Bus4Life brings literature and life to Europe
Bus4Life is OM’s mobile missions centre, transporting literature, equipment, audio visual and even sports equipment to reach the unreached people of Central and Eastern Europe, particularly those living in villages and rural areas. Not only does it display books, it also acts as a home for its onboard staff, and a base from which they can contribute to summer programmes.
Bus4Life in Ukraine
This summer, Bus4Life was in Ukraine for a total of four weeks in August and September and connected up with an outreach taking place in Vinnytsia, Western Ukraine. Its focus was literature. Ukrainians are very keen to get their hands on the books on the bus’s bookshelves. They long for God’s word and to be able to read it in their own language; yet sadly, easy access to Christian literature is very limited. The team saw how fervently people welcomed the opportunity to buy the Christian books and Bibles: approximately 1,700 Christian books and Bibles were sold from the bus in four weeks! Some titles were completely sold out in that time, so a drastic restocking was necessary before the next trip.
Even though the books and Bibles sold at Bus4Life are priced as low as possible, they are still an expensive item for the average Ukrainian’s weekly budget, where prices for commodities have risen significantly although salaries and pensions have remained the same. Yet Christian literature is so clearly an important priority for Ukrainian believers. Bus4Life also gave local Ukrainian fellowships the opportunity to buy books by driving through local towns and villages, in spite of the challenging road surfaces.
Bus4Life in Romania
The team then travelled on to a week-long trip to the Constanta region in Romania. The drive from Ukraine to Murfatlar by the Black Sea took longer than anticipated, so the bus stopped only briefly at OM Romania’s office to pick up books for the outreach and half of the outreach team. The rest of the team met them at their destination. Everyone was excited and motivated to be participating, as Bus4Life had visited Murfatlar for four consecutive years, and locals knew what to expect as soon as they saw the bus. This meant lots of visitors – and lots of conversations.
One of the conversations was with a man who talked to the team for over an hour, just happy to hear Bible stories and meet Christians. After talking and praying for him, a local volunteer invited the man to church. On the last day of the outreach the team attended a church service where they saw the man again, also attending the service.
The team also organised a children’s programme, attended by 40-50 children each day. Many parents came too and listened to the stories and songs. One local Christian family wanted to help by organising a free juice bar for the children, which attracted still more children from the neighbourhood.
The outreach in Romania was coordinated by OMer, Delia Luca, who expressed her enthusiasm: “I’m glad for the opportunity to serve the Lord through Bus4Life. I learnt many things and got to grow my faith out of my comfort zone. May God bless the Bus4Life ministry and all the people involved in it. Also, my prayer is that more people may hear about Jesus through this way of sharing the gospel and those who have heard to know Him more.”
A pro-life campaign in Hungary
Not only does the Bus4Life serve to promote Christian literature, it also acts as a means of helping people think through issues by displaying topical information from a Christian perspective. As did the bus when, during the September outreach to Hungary, it provided an exhibition space about prenatal development. Through the bus’s presence, the team had the opportunity to discuss and share about the negative impacts of abortion.
Bus4Life not only brings faith to life through literature, but can help the generations decide how they might value the life Jesus came to save and liberate.