The Very Best Birthday Present

Celebrating Lily’s birthday with lots of love

“The fruit of the righteous is like a tree producing life, and the one who wins souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30, NKJV).

A few days before her birthday, I took Lily to the park. I watched from a nearby bench as she enjoyed the playground. She quickly made friends with some other children playing there. Afterwards, she told me that she had shared Jesus with one of the girls that she befriended. “But she didn’t accept Him in her heart,” she added reluctantly.

A couple days later, she and I were on a taxi ride. “Should we talk to him about Jesus?” Lily asked, indicating the driver. “Sure honey, go ahead,” I encouraged her. Shyly, she started up a conversation with him about spiritual matters. He was polite, but also not at a place where he was looking to start a new relationship with God.

Lily was disappointed. I, on the other hand, was thrilled. My little girl’s heart is stirring with a desire to spread the love of Jesus! What could be better than that? To top it all off, on her birthday, she specifically wanted to go to the park, just so she could find someone to share Jesus with.

In anticipation of taking her there, I told her about an effective strategy I learned about a few years ago. It’s affectionately called, “Treasure Hunting.” This simply consists of asking Holy Spirit, ahead of time, for some clues about who He wants you to go minister to. These will help direct you to the person He has on His heart for that day.

I explained it to Lily, and she liked the idea. So we both asked Holy Spirit for a clue. A few moments later, she said that she had seen a picture in her spirit of some black men’s dress shoes. At the same instant, I saw a picture in my own spirit of a black shirt. Armed with these indicators, we were ready.

We arrived at the park. I looked up, and there he was. A young man wearing black dress shoes and a black shirt! I pointed him out to Lily. She was nervous. I told her I would be with her to help if she needed me, and we approached him to say hi.

He looked up from his cell phone, a little surprised. Lily shyly blurted out, “Would you like us to pray with you?” From there ensued a wonderful conversation that went on for about twenty minutes. The young man introduced himself as Dwight. He had been away from the Lord, and had been thinking that he needed to get back with Him.

“Your appearance here today out of the blue greatly encourages me to think even more seriously about this,” he expressed sincerely. He looked amazed when we told him about God showing us his shoes and shirt before coming to the park.

Dwight was glad to receive prayer at the end of our conversation. He wasn’t quite ready yet to give his life to Jesus, but it was clearly evident that God’s presence had touched him that day. I gave him some contact information for follow-up, if he so desired. He had a new smile on his face when we said goodbye.

The biggest smile, though, was mine. I was filled with joy, both to be a conduit of God’s love to another human being that day, and to see my Lily growing in her giftings. How wonderful that this was the way she wanted to celebrate her birthday! That afternoon at her birthday party, she verbalized her wish before blowing out her candle: “I really want to be a pastor!”

Yesterday, she asked me when we could go out and share Jesus again…

I would say this verse sums up my current experience beautifully:

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (1 John 4, NIV).


Celebrating Lily’s birthday always feels like a double gift since God healed her! In 2019 she was in a coma for 17 days and came very close to dying. The Lord gave us an incredible miracle, which you can read about here.




20 thoughts on “The Very Best Birthday Present

  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story Jen. Yes, a great blessing to a parent’s heart is to know your child walks in the truth! I am happy with you🥰. I look forward to hearing more of Lily’s evangelism journey! When was her birthday? ❤️Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WOW how time flies! Happy Birthday Lily!! You are blessed beyond words can say!! Love you and the entire family!! Miss you!! Until we meet again in Peru or Chicago ♥️😊

    Liked by 2 people

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