These are such exciting times for all of us involved in the Eden Bus. You might remember reading about our plans to bring a new Eden Bus to the streets in the last issue of Flow. Well, thanks to a generous gift from a surprise donor – and the hard work of our team here in Manchester – we’re not just doubling our bus ministry in 2015, we’re tripling it!
This summer saw the Eden Bus ministry make its first steps towards expanding out of the North West. Our team were up in Glasgow on mission as part of CLAN Games with Vital Signs and Twelve24, and again for the launch of Message Scotland at the beginning of October. It was wonderful to see people come to know Jesus on the bus during the summer, including one family who all came to Christ on the same day. Epic!
We saw another miracle in the summer too. After doing a (literally) four-minute presentation about the Eden Bus one morning at New Wine, a man approached Andy and offered to fully fund the entire cost of fitting out a new Eden Bus. That means, along with the bus we are currently working on (and still fundraising for — see below!), we will have two brand new Eden Buses on the road by next year. The plan is that we will have three full-time buses, serving Manchester, Merseyside and Glasgow all year round, though we will probably rotate the buses to keep it interesting for the kids.
Our building team includes our long-serving mechanic Roy, Malokai’s Andy Bell, Anthony Martindale (our first ever Urban Hero of the Year winner), and MEC building team member Michael. They are currently half-way through the exciting though challenging job of converting a regular bus into an Eden Bus. We will have completed one by the end of February and will immediately start on another conversion in March. Please pray for the team as they carry the extra workload and have a serious amount of fundraising to do!
Currently the Manchester bus is in four locations per week and recently we have seen a lot of young people discovering Jesus for themselves and joining churches. We’ve also had the joy of seeing parents come to Christ. Imagine the impact when our two new buses are fully established – it will allow us to be in 12 to 15 communities per week across the country. That’s why we’re really excited about this opportunity.
The bus we’re building at the moment, as always, includes some zany new ideas and features! We have a tree house in it and a climbing wall the full height of both decks (check out our very own Eden Hattersley team leader and climbing expert Simon Davidson testing it out for us in this picture). There are games consoles and a photo booth as well as a nail bar and a karaoke pod. It’s perhaps more unusually laid out than any previous Eden bus, with various levels and areas to explore. Ultimately the bus is a powerful draw for young people and has to be amazing so that the really important part – the relationships and sharing of God’s love – happens.
Please consider supporting us financially and pray for us as we look for partner projects in the three cities, new bus managers as our new buses are established, and all the funds and favour needed to get this thing on the road.
Regular giving is the lifeblood of our ministry – we’re so thankful when somebody chooses to stand with us long term because it allows us to grow new teams and pay staff and reach more young people on a regular basis.
There is also a very big opportunity to support us with one-off gifts if you would like to help us build a bus! It’s a very tangible end product which you’d be very welcome to come and experience for yourself first-hand. Thanks!
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