“Freely you have received, so freely give” (Matthew 10:8): this is the way of life Matthew and Melissa Ruszczynski are teaching to their four young children.
So on a hot summer day last July, the family looked around at all God blessed them with and decided to give things away. The Ruszczynskis organized a “Free Evangelical Rummage” outside their home in Milwaukee, Wis., with a sign that said, “God gave it all to us. We offer it all to you.” They prayed for God to bring the right people to their lawn that day.
Those who showed up received free toys and household goods as expected, but they were also offered lemonade for physical refreshment and a relationship with Jesus to quench thirsty souls.
Matthew, Melissa, and the children handed out Bible tracts, shared the gospel, and prayed with close to a hundred people from 9am-5pm. Matthew said, “Although we seemed to be talking non-stop for seven hours, it was never too much, and we always felt like we were talking to the right people.” God brought people straight to the well!
One woman admitted as she arrived that she didn’t even know why she was there. Melissa and Matthew knew that God brought her there specifically to be told about His Living Water—eternal life. Matthew later journaled, “We set our minds to do something that was self-sacrificing of our time and treasures, and God used it to bless us and others in ways I couldn’t have begun to predict! What an amazing God!”
Matthew and Melissa believe discipleship should start in the home. “But it’s much bigger than that,” Melissa says. “We want to pour into our kids, but we also want to get them around people of different ages, so they will learn how to live out their faith outside the home.”
Eight-year-old Lydia Ruszczynski wrote a letter to Love Worth Finding, sharing that while manning the lemonade stand that day, she and her sister Mabel collected a donation for the ministry.
Matthew and Melissa train their children according to God’s Word, spending intentional time reading and discussing the Bible with their children daily and encouraging their children to study God’s word on their own. The Ruszczynskis are energized and equipped to extend Christ’s love to others because God is at the center of their family. In a world in which so many families are faltering, their story is as refreshing as… well… a glass of cold lemonade in July.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).