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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Real Followers

I learn so much writing blogs for my church. I meet the neatest people, get to know people better and realize all of the blessings all around me. Recently I went on a trip to Lake Junaluska to do a story with our "Travelers." On that trip I realized we need more bus drivers so I got together with some of our bus drivers. This shows us, again, how we are blessed when we bless.

I decided to name this blog “Real Followers” because that is the name of our sermon series at church and these men are real followers of Jesus. There are more bus drivers but I just met with the ones from the trip I went on. After them telling me they would like to have chauffeur hats and be called “captain,” we finally got down to business. Not only are these men great drivers but they are servants who have a heart for others.

Rick and Steve started driving youth around thirty years ago. You may know them as part of the kitchen team at camp. (If you were with the Travelers at the Alabama Theater Christmas show, he was the man, on stage, dancing with the girls!) About ten years, Rick “decided to start playing with kids his own age and started driving for the seniors.” Many seniors do not drive any more, do not drive at night or on long trips. He loves seeing them enjoying themselves. It makes him feel good to look back and see people sleeping because he knows they trust him. If your wife falls asleep as soon as you start on a trip, maybe you should think about being a bus driver!!! Luke 6: 38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Steve loves seeing how the kids react with other groups. Seeing how people are touched by the trips makes it all worthwhile. Colossians 3: 23-24, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for the people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”

In Craig's career he had driven a lot and knew he had that skill. Craig is now getting to drive the bus on trips that his wife would go on without him. There is joy in knowing that he had a part in carrying through a ministry and becoming a part of it. They all mentioned how great it is to make new friends, the joy of fellowship and getting to go places they would normally not go. Charles is also a driver when needed. Of course he is, he does everything! Charles said that going with Ignite and seeing the kids interact with other kids and going to Pilgrimage and seeing thousands of kids worshiping are his favorites.

Steve and Rick drove when their children were in youth. They mentioned how they got to see their kids grow spiritually. They got to experience things with them and their friends that other parents did not get to experience. “You see your kids in a whole new light. You get to support them and grow with them.”

What a wonderful way for parents to serve. Normally you are split up from your kids to save them the embarrassment. I reached out to the grown children of these men and here is what they had to say about their dads driving the bus. “When my dad would drive the bus it would always give me an extra sense of security and humor. He will always keep you safe but tell very funny (sometimes lame) jokes at the same time.” “Growing up it was great to have my dad driving the bus! I always felt super safe with him behind the wheel, and loved that we got to experience all of those trips together.” “It was wonderful having my dad there as a driver. I loved being able to have that extra time with him and sharing him with all my friends. It meant the world to me to have him there.” Wow, these are treasured memories!

Mark 10: 45: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus expects us to serve. We all have gifts. Even driving a bus you can bless and be blessed! Proverbs 11: 25, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Where is God calling you to serve?


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