The Ministry of Driving Around

My wife, Jacque, and I had been praying that God would open doors to allow us to connect with kids in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, neighborhood where we live. We regularly open our home to these kids for Bible study, as a place to play basketball or to simply hang out.  But who knew that God would lead us into a “ministry of driving around”?

One morning, Jacque picked up a young woman from the neighborhood and took her to work. Then at 1:00, she drove a young man and his mother to a doctor’s appointment because they have no vehicle. On the way home the mother asked if Jacque would pick up one of her other kids from school (in the opposite direction).  By the time she finally made it home it was around 3:00. But our driving wasn’t done for the day.

I arrived home from work around 6:00 just in time to receive a phone call from a young man who needed a ride home from basketball practice because his mother was working. After dropping him at home, I was working around the house when there was a knock at the door. Another young man had walked three miles to our home in the freezing cold because his girlfriend had kicked him out. He asked if I would drive him to his grandmother’s house to spend the night. I did, and then two hours later, he was back at our house because his grandmother had criticized his girlfriend and he didn’t want to stay there.

His girlfriend told him he could come back to the apartment, so at 9:30, he and I took off again. On the way we had a great talk about God’s plans for relationships—and how he could have responded differently.

A few nights later, Jacque and I had a date night. While we were in the theater I received six calls from a neighborhood teenage boy who was stranded at school and needed a ride. We put our date on pause and picked him up. On the way to his home, we talked about how young men are supposed to treat young women, and about what it means to be a godly leader in the home (at 16 he is the male head of the house and takes his responsibility very seriously).

We resumed our date and later headed for bed around 10:00. Pounding at the door woke us at 11:30. When we opened the door 17-year-old Mohamed stood there with his friend. They’d missed the last bus and asked if we would take them home. On the way, we talked about the last Bible study Mohamed had attended at our house. His friend expressed surprise that I wasn’t mad about being awakened so late, but Mohamed told him, “I knew Henry wouldn’t be mad—he cares about us!”

On the way home I thought about our prayer that God would open doors to allow us to do ministry and connect with kids in our neighborhood. I thanked God for His faithfulness in answering that prayer — but who knew that open door would be on our car?

“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

three people reading Bibles

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