Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Our outreach program to children had been going for several weeks. Each week we met new kids who were excited to ride the bus on Sunday morning. One Sunday a young freckle-faced boy named Mike tumbled off the bus and into our gym. His clothes were scruffy but what he lacked in appearance he made up for in enthusiasm. He was a bundle of energy, but the fast pace of the program's music, games, puppets, skits, stories and object lessons kept his delighted attention.
After a few weeks, Mike appeared wearing a tie almost as long as he was tall. He told the worker he found it in his dad's room, so he decided to wear it.
After a few more weeks I suddenly noticed Mike's absence. At the staff meeting, I asked Mike's "Bus Pastor" where he was. He replied, "When I went to pick up Mike, he opened the door and said his dad was going to take him. I could see Mike's father passed out on the floor behind him. So I said, "Look, Mike, I don't think your dad is feeling well today. Why don't you ride the bus with us?"
But Mike dug in his heels and shook his head. “NO!”, he said, “my dad is going to take me!"
“I couldn't talk him out of it. His mind was made up. So we left. When we were dropping off the kids after church, I saw him sitting on his front steps crying."
The next week the same thing happened. The bus driver went to Mike's house. He was ready to go but determined his dad was going to bring him. But his father was again on the living room floor passed out. After church, the kids on the bus saw him sitting on the steps of his house crying as they drove passed. By the third week of this, I couldn't take it anymore. I told the driver to convince Mike to come and let his dad rest. Reluctantly, the worker said he would do his best. Arriving at Mike's house, the driver knocked on the door but when it opened it was Mike's father standing there. He was dressed and mumbled he would be taking Mike to church.
That Sunday Mike's whole family came to our children's program and at the closing invitation came forward as a family to receive Christ. Mike was right. He never rode the bus again. His dad took him.