It’s easy to say you’re a Christian. It’s even easy to get up and go to church on Sunday mornings. After all, not only does the Bible tell us not to forsake the assembly in the book of Hebrews, but most of our friends and neighbors here in the Bible belt expect Sunday morning attendance. It becomes a little more difficult to attend Sunday night and Wednesday night services. Toward the end of the day, our bodies and minds are tired, not to mention that is when all of the good television shows are on!
I also think it is easy to love the majority of our church family. After all, we are surrounded by good hearted, loving people here at Portland church of Christ. It becomes more difficult for me to open up my heart to people who are different from me; people who were raised differently from my own upbringing, people who don’t seem to be so good hearted and loving on the outside, people who tend to make choices in life different from my own; these people intimidate me and I have a harder time finding common ground in which to build a relationship.
This narrow view that I held changed in the summer of 2016 when God sent a small group from the Portland church of Christ to Luther, Oklahoma on a mission trip. The church at Luther works tirelessly to help anyone in need without question. Not only this, but they run a bus service for any children who wish to attend services but have parents who are unwilling to attend with them. I believe this was the model for our bus ministry that Stan began. From the moment I decided to commit to helping Stan in this ministry, it seemed that God melted my heart. I love those children who have now become a part of our church family. Sometimes they take a little bit of extra patience, but I believe every life we invest in as a church is more important than anything else we could possibly be doing.