Tragedy Comes To Super Bus
Both Patty and I, as well as our Super Bus Church team, Carol and Bob Hartsook are just broken. I can’t think of a better word to express how we feel. Our hearts are broken. We have no words to express our disbelief and the depth of our sorrow.
The worst nightmare for a pastor has to be to stand at the police tape in the rain and watch the coroner go in and out of a home while police cars with their lights flashing surround the whole neighborhood.
Patty and I stood at the tape knowing what was inside the house. A mother, a grandmother, and a 8 year old little girl lay dead in in a row in a pool of blood.
“Would you move back a little further?,” the Policeman asked. We didn’t want to; what we wanted to do was get inside and help Armani. Armani had been a part of our Super Bus Ministry from the beginning. She was just 4 years old then. She came every chance she got. I can see her in my mind running toward us yelling, “Miss Patty, Miss Patty.” Now just 8 years old and she was gone.
Sunday afternoon she had come to our house for a church picnic. Then we went to the Meggett’s Calvary Baptist Church for an afternoon baptism for 6 of the children from Armani’s neighborhood.
She rode to our house with Miss Carol and Carol told us how Armani and the other girls laughed and had a great time. I remember her smiles and laughter as she played with the other kids.
Over the years Patty often has asked the children in our Super Bus Church to raise their hand if they have Jesus living in their hearts. Armani always raised her hand. When she was just a little younger, she had made a decision for Christ.
Our Super Bus Team has lived on the edge of tears since Armani’s death. We can’t comprehend an evil so great that it would have taken such a precious life and the lives of her family.
Here are some things that God seems to be saying to me:
1. ...When evil raises its ugly head, God will come to believers and give us what we need to endure and conquer.
2. ... It’s kind of strange, I keep hearing in my mind God saying the words, “I’ve got this.”
3. ...In times like these when we are weak, He is strong and He will carry us.
4. ... When our faith grows weak and it looks like satan’s victory, God will give us more faith.
God has strengthened my resolve about Super Bus. He has us in these neighborhoods for a reason. We are missionaries with a calling. We have a divine purpose.
An encouraging thought for us has been that, when Armani saw Jesus, she recognized him, because we’ve been telling her about Jesus for years.
I would like to wake up from this terrible dream, but it’s not going to happen. I do expect to see God work in an incredible way to turn this evil into good.
After the coroner left, Patty and I went from house to house praying with all the families and Patty announced to them that she was praying that every one of them would accept Jesus as their Savior. No one protested, so maybe a revival is on the way.
Yes, we’re broken, but God has a way of allowing us to grieve and even hurt. However, He doesn’t leave us broken. I know that soon he will begin to put the pieces back together. The engines on our Super Bus Church will start, and we will once again drive into our communities. The children will run out to meet us, to hear once again about Jesus.
I have seen what Super Bus has meant to so many!
Thanks to all our Team members who make sure we have what we need to go into the neighborhoods!