There were many busses coming through my impoverished neighborhood for one reason or another. A painted-over blue bus used to drive through my neighborhood on Sunday mornings. It beeped its horn before stopping at the end of the block. Most children in this impoverished neighborhood knew this meant it was time to go to church. The blue bus was there to pick-up anyone who wanted to go.
Most of the neighborhood kids were dressed and ready to go and we’d run out to meet the bus. Our parent’s, some just not home and others working, didn’t mind if we went to church. I guess they figured it was better for us to be in church than on the streets getting into trouble.
This bus would make a few more stops in other poor neighborhoods, and then drive thirty-minutes to First Baptist Church of Mar Vista in Venice, Ca.
My first visit to this church we “bussed” children were sent from the main sanctuary, where everyone was, to another building where young people from all walks of life and all colors learned and worshiped Jesus together.
For months I attended this church, via the blue bus, and got to know who Jesus was. During a winter youth retreat in the mountains, we bused children saw snow for the first time. We also praised God like never before. This is where I also found my everlasting love for Jesus. There in the mountains, full of snow, I decided to believe, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16)
The following Sunday I got baptized and I’ve been a believer ever since. That’s not to say I haven’t strayed away and lived like any other sinner. But God never left me in my sin. He always gently called me back to Himself where I eventually stayed.
If it weren’t for the faithful servants of Mar Vista church, the kids from my neighborhood and I would not have gone to church, any church. If it weren’t for the love those people showed, caring for poor children from another side of town, I may not have fully given my life to Christ.
This is what I know. Each one of us has a responsibility to tell someone about Jesus. Then, it’s God’s work to touch their heart. Thank you saints of Mar Vista for bringing me to church when I had no other way of getting there. And, thank you for telling me (in a way a teen-ager can understand); that “No man comes to the Father except by the Son,” and that is Jesus Christ.
Did anyone tell you?