...Done something that you never thought you would? I'm doing it right now! I'm driving a school bus. Yes, I'm driving a school bus. I had thought about this on different occasions in the past and well this summer I decided it would serve beneficial in our adaptation to this new area we're now in. It allows me to meet many new people while also helping to make ends meet financially. Being a Contractor for all my adult life I know I could go out and build a business in this area as construction is everywhere but we didn't move here to build a business, we came here to build a church.
Another benefit to driving a school bus is the route I'm on. Others in the transportation department would argue with me but I think God has uniquely placed me where I am on my route. I transport the JJAEP Students. JJAEP stands for, Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program. Yes, I transport the "bad" kids. But you know what? Over the last month since school started here I believe God has really let me see these kids in a way other than the way many see them..."convicts". When others are referring to the students I transport, they say things like "You got those convict kids on your bus, you better watch them". I don't see "convicts", I see lives. Lives that are full of potential and lives that God loves and Christ died for. I refuse to label these kids as "convicts".
Last week I loaded an ice chest up with ice and filled it up with bottled water. When my students boarded the bus, they were amazed that I had thought of them in this way to bring them cold water. The first student on the bus asked me, "Is this on you man?" I said, yes it's on me...enjoy. He replied, "Man, not everyone would do that, thanks!". He made certain that everyone who boarded the bus thanked me for bringing cold water for them to drink.
My prayer is that this bus route would be more than a job but an avenue to do ministry even if those receiving it aren't aware it's "ministry". The vast majority of these kids are from single parent homes and are struggling at best to understand life and the hand that has been dealt them. I hope that over the course of my time as their bus driver I'll be able to have a positive influence in their lives.
Our new church work is going well and I'll be writing more about what's taking place soon! Stay tuned!