A few years following the completion of my photojournalism career, the Lord blessed me with a new career five years ago in a field I really never thought I would ever find myself doing: city bus driver. I have now been driving for the past 5 years. Quite a change from what I had been used to doing for a quarter century.
Far be it from me in being able to hand out a gospel tract to every one of the hundreds of people who get on my bus each day. Sounds good but it would not only be impractical but against policy, I'm sure. Amazingly, however, the Lord has given me hundreds of clear opportunities these last 5 years to share the gospel with fellow bus drivers, dispatchers, instructors, supervisors and even passengers.
I work 11 days within a 2 week pay period. Just in the last 3 weeks alone, I have had the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus to an average of two people per day! I start each day with a prayer to the Lord that He would allow me the privilege of being His ambassador and grant me opportunities to witness for Him. He has been very kind to answer this daily prayer with affirmation.
For obvious reasons, I have to be careful in witnessing to passengers and/or giving them gospel tracts. But most opportunities are given without me seeking. The Lord brings them to me which changes the dynamics of the occasion by having me being put in the position of the responder instead of the initiator.
They might see my Bible that I keep on the dash and they start the conversation by inquiring about it. They might see me reading my Bible during one of my breaks as I sit on a bench at a transit station. They might hear me say "God bless you" when they leave the bus and start a conversation the next time they are on. They might hear me say "By God's grace, I'm very well" with a smile instead of just saying "Fine" when they ask "How are you?"
There are many examples I could list. In short, I just keep the spiritual radar on at all times.
By far the best opportunity the Lord gave me to witness to my peers at work in one shot was on a bus loaded with fellow bus drivers. A well liked co-worker had suddenly died of a heart attack and it really shook those at my depot. A large group of us chartered a bus and we all went to the funeral, dressed in uniform, together. The family of the deceased were deeply touched.
On our way on the bus from the funeral back to the depot, everybody was talking about how we never know when we're going to die and that we should never take life for granted. I actually felt the Lord prodding me to get up and preach the gospel to my co-workers. A part of me didn't want to but I knew the opportunity was too good to pass up. I prayed for the Lord to grant me courage and the right words. Before I knew it, I was walking up the aisle to the front of the bus. I turned around and asked for everyone's attention. They had no idea what was coming.
The springboard was obvious and I open-aired the gospel inside the bus. Had it not been for the engine running, I'm sure one could have been able to hear a pin drop after I was done. Armed with a stack of my "Are You Ready" gospel tracts in my coat pocket, I thanked them for listening, encouraged them to take what they heard as good food for thought and told them if they wanted a gospel tract, to come up and exit from the front doors when they got off and I would give them one. All but two fellow drivers exited at the front and received a gospel tract. And they all said, "Thanks, Paul."
All this to say that if you are serious about reaching the lost with the gospel, if you are not ashamed and are ready and willing to share the good news wherever you may be, even at work, the Lord is faithful to provide and bless each and every encounter. After all, it is He who makes it all happen. His Spirit happens to be very creative.
I may not be busy doing street evangelism as often as I would like to, but the gospel is to be preached in ALL the world, in all places. Even on 'the highways and byways'...on a bus.
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. SEND ME!" - Isaiah 6:8
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." - Romans 1:16
Friday Night Evangelism - May 10, 2013
8 hours ago