The Bus - A Missionary Perspective

By: Amber Smith, Pioneers Poland

I was still waking up as the bus rolled to a stop. I stepped in and stood by the doors. Grandmothers in heavy fur coats with shopping bags in hand prepared for the morning sales. Men and women in business attire hurried to another day of work. Students, cell phones and school bags in hand, stood and somehow remained upright as the bus lurched toward the university.

During the mundane morning commute to language school, I glanced at advertisements for anything from the police academy to belly dancing classes. It was hard not to watch my fellow passengers, however, and wonder, ”Who are you? Where are you going? Is there life beyond your daily tasks?”

Then the thought struck me, simple, but devastating to my otherwise peaceful morning: “Am I the only one on this bus who knows Jesus?”

As I got off the bus at the university stop, I wondered what filled the minds and lives of the students as they hurried to class. Were they as depressed as I that the days were growing shorter?

For the next five hours I sat in class with two other missionaries and a small assortment of fellow international students: two hours of grammar, one hour of conversation, one hour of reading, one hour of writing. By the end of the day my head was swimming. In the murky darkness I walked back to the bus stop where students whose names I did not know milled about.

The dim lights of the bus reflected the spiritual oppression I felt. The much-quoted line from “The Sixth Sense” came to mind: “I see dead people.” Everywhere I looked, I saw the faces of the spiritual walking-dead. “God,” my heart cried out, “how will we possibly reach all of these people? They need to know Your truth! There are too few of us here to tell them. Help, please!”

As I walked down the hill toward home, I passed the large brick church that always reminded me of Minas Morgul, a tower from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In front was a banner reading “Come, Mary, and save us, lead us to your Son.” In a world of muddled theology, where people cut and paste together beliefs to suit their lifestyles, how will we break through?

I thought of my Polish friends by name, and of the names of my teammates’ friends. People God had put in our lives for a purpose. “Thank you Lord that we can influence at least these few,” I prayed. “Please continue to work in and through us and help us to discover how we will serve you best. Thank you for the opportunity to serve, for my teammates, and your Word that sustains us. May we encourage one another as we run this race together. Please send more workers to Poland!”