ON Friday, 1st January 2016, the Gospel Bus Ministry will have been on the road for exactly ten years!
This project has been driven by Ricky and Joyce Bell.
The bus itself is now a double decker which has been completely refurbished to include a kitchen, toilet and televisions on the ground floor, while upstairs, there is a large lounge area in addition to 12 beds.
Ricky says: “It truly is a multi-purpose facility. The vision that God put into our hearts was to reach out into the local community and take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people.
The Gospel Bus Ministries team operate in Belfast and Ballymena.
The Gospel Bus Ministry makes regular trips to Belfast where their warm, comfortable chariot is a welcome sight for those without a home in our capital city.
Ricky went on to say: “On a typical night, we go out round all the avenues and alleyways. We find the homeless and bring them up on to the bus. Once they arrive, we provide soup, stew, tea, coffee and brand new clothes.
“We also give them a rescue pack which contains gloves, a hat, scarf, torches and a tin-foil blanket to keep them from getting hypothermia.”
“Of course, the great thing about the new bus is that 12 people will now be able to have a roof over their heads for the night which will stop them potentially dying of cold-weather related illnesses in this day and age.”
Closer to home, the Gospel Bus evangelists also operate a thriving regular ministry to children in Ballykeel, Doury Road, Drumtara and other places throughout the town.
“I believe that Jesus Christ is the greatest need in the province. It doesn’t matter what background you come from or what religion, Jesus Christ is the answer to the problems in Ballymena, Belfast or anywhere else,” adds Ricky.
The couple are planning a special Evening of Celebration and Thanksgiving on Friday 1st January 2016 to mark this memorable occasion. It will held in the Portable Tabernacle, which is situated close to the Seven Towers roundabout at 7.30pm.
Cherith Bell plans to minister in song and there will also be a slide presentation to show how the Gospel Bus Ministries has developed over the last decade.
If you would like to hear more about the work of the Gospel Bus Ministry, Ricky would be delighted to visit your church and he can be contacted by telephoning 07753 240113.
You can also check out their Facebook page here.