THE STORY

THE WHY?

The Story: I went on a mission trip to the inner city streets of Toronto, Canada in College.  I met a man named Basil.  Basil was homeless, hungry, cold and not very trusting of our kindness.  We were there for 6 days in Toronto and I ended up seeing Basil almost every night in the same location.  Every night we would engage deeper in conversation, but he would never really let me in.  Every night I always had a sandwich and had a willing ear to listen to Basil's interesting stories.  

 

The Lord Spoke: The last night of our trip was extremely cold. So I had two long sleeve shirts to stay warm and a brand new Sweatshirt.  I saw how cold Basil was and felt as if I heard a voice from the Lord say "Give Basil your new sweatshirt." I hesitated because it was new, but I could not ignore the the nudge. So I took off my sweatshirt and gave it to Basil.  I said "The Lord wants me to give you my sweatshirt."  He didn't want to take it from me, because he was worried I would be cold, but he put the sweatshirt on and it fit perfectly.

 

That gift changed the relationship:  At that moment Basil asked me to sit beside him and he let me into his home (sitting on his sleep bag), and he began to tell me more of his story.  

 

The Truth: It was more than a sandwich, more than a friendly conversation, the consistency of being there each night and the value of the sweatshirt showed him that I truly cared about his life.  This interaction has never left my mind. You see it truly comes down to a relationship.

 

MAIN PASSAGE: Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[c] you were doing it to me!’

 

OTHER SCRIPTURES: I Corinthians 14:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14

I Corinthians 14:1 NJB

Make love your aim. 

 

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV)  

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 

THE BUS JOURNEY

Our bus is a 1984 Crown Bus which started out in New Jersey, it was donated to help my friend move his belonging to Texas.  And then it was transformed as a bus to serve the needs of the homeless in Dallas, Texas in a ministry called Metro Relief. Through the vision inspired by the founder of Metro Relief it was also expanded to Columbus, Ohio where Columbus Relief was created.  As Metro Relief and Columbus Relief expanded, the bus was no longer being used and was sitting at Columbus Relief.  I was told by the founder of Metro Relief, that the bus they originally started their ministry with, was no longer being used and it was sitting at Columbus Relief.  So with the dream that started with Basil, I made a call to Columbus Relief and talked to the CEO about purchasing the bus.  After talking with her for two days, I drove down with my friend Jon and we picked up the bus from Columbus, Ohio.

THE FIRST DRIVE

I purchase the vehicle from Columbus Relief and drove that bus from Columbus, Ohio to Washington, Michigan, a 5 hour trip and also the first time ever driving a bus.  It was one of the scariest experiences, but also rewarding because I began to see the vision actually start to become a reality. As I drove the bus for the first time, I started to see how this dream was going to come alive.

ARRIVING HOME

After arriving home,  I started the process of starting a non-profit called “More than a Bus.”  I developed a mission and vision statement, put together a board of driectors, assembled a prayer team and began the process of making “More than a Bus,” a non-profit. Thankfully the inside of the bus was already equipped to serve the hungry and care for their needs so we had the bus painted and made necessary repairs to get this bus ready to for use to meet the needs of the homeless and those who are hungry.  

THE PROCESS

March 7:  Received a call from Columbus Relief that they were not usingthe bus any longer.

March 9: I went down and paid for the bus and drove the bus back to Michigan.

April 5: After three weeks of working with the Secretary of State, we got our license and title to move forward in making this dream possible.

April 6: I began to start putting the board together and researching a name for this ministry “MORE THAN A BUS".

May 3: We became incorporated.

May 8: I started a Facebook prayer page to mobilize prayer warriors and supporters for this ministry in the future.

May 16: We brought the bus over to United Automotive and they began to strip the bus and start the process to paint it.

In the month of May: I found two incredible gifted leaders that will join me in this ministry when it begins.

June 2: We had our first board meeting and we approved the bylaws and started putting things in motion.

June 3: We opened a checking account. 

June 15: I picked up the bus from United Automotive fully painted and brought back home.

June 18: Met with lawyers to fill out our paper work for 501(c)3.

In the month of June: We sent our paper work in for the Health Department to obtain a license to serve food from the bus.

July 14: We finalized our logo.

August 21: The final paperwork was sent from the lawyers to the state of Michigan to wait on the final approval making this a nonprofit.

August 23: Started the process with Ministry Designs to start our website and financial funding through there organization.

September 1: We began the journey of raising support:  please help us and give to us monthly.

November 5:  Received letter of approval from IRS for 501c3 tax exempt status

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