As many now know, my mother passed away on Wednesday of last week. It has been a hard week but with the Peace of God, and His Grace, I and my family have come together and felt the love of one another as well as the Love of the Lord. We recently had a Pastors meeting and planned out the remainder of the year as far as preaching schedule, food, etc. I was not scheduled to preach yesterday due to the loss of my mother, and I wasn’t intending on being at Breakthrough Church at all yesterday. But then the unexpected happened, and I received a call from Lydia and she informed me of the sudden death of her nephew’s wife. She was young, only 44 with three children. Lydia and Patrick were scheduled to run the weekend services and now they had to make a trip to Wisconsin to attend the funeral. Lydia saw to it to make sure that the food was covered by our wonderful team, but there was nobody to preach. I knew it was supposed to be me, but I had nothing prepared. I thought I would simply prepare in the hour leading up to the service.
Steve Robinson, our Transportation Director asked me if I would be riding with him on the bus as I normally do. My first thought, honestly, was “How I was going to get out of this?” because I had to prepare a sermon…
Then it was as if the Lord spoke right to me – “Yeah David, are you going to get on the bus (where I want you) or are you going to “Prepare” something?” I got on the bus.
When we arrived in downtown St. Paul, I sat and watched people getting on the bus and felt a nudge to go in and invite people from Dorothy Day. This is not something I have done in quite a while as I figure most of the homeless know we do this every week. But the Spirit of the Lord was moving upon me and I just had to go in. I made the announcement and as I was leaving, a women who worked there called me and said that there was someone who was going to join us. I waited for him and together we got on the bus. Then, as I sat down, I noticed one by one coming from nowhere, five others that I have never seen just get on the bus. Curious about them, I simply introduced myself to each of them one by one. Hosie, Tim, Corey, and Shorty.
After a few minutes of getting to know Tim and Shorty, I was drawn to this man Billy, sitting at the back of the bus, and so I just got up and went and sat in front of him. He carried the most gentle spirit and as he told me about himself, I wondered if this was an angel. Just listening to him, I was comforted. His story was interesting, but it was his gentle nature that attracted me to him the most. When the bus arrived, I sat on the bus with just him for about ten minutes as he told me about three situations where the Lord used him to save others’ lives. One was about how he lifted an entire car off of a women who was hit and trapped under it, and then he just went on his way. I felt that his story was the reason I needed to get on the bus and so I asked him to give testimony and he agreed. During the service I invited him up and with him came this amazing sense of Peace.
Interesting, I entitled the sermon “Peace” – and the Lord blessed me with Billy.
David Engman – Breakthrough Ministries Pastor & Executive Director