It was through the ministry of the ‘Evangelism Bus’ that Elim Christian Center was established.
In 1989 an Australian Missionary family serving in Heidelberg Germany believed the Lord was directing them to acquire a double-decker bus to travel behind the then known ‘Iron Curtain” for evangelistic purposes. The 3 purposes of the Bus Ministry were to:
- To present the Gospel through films, videos, Christian literature, preaching, coffee-shop outreach, puppets and tent rallies.
- To offer the Bus as a support to local churches in poorer areas of the Eastern Bloc, to enhance their ministry on a short term basis.
- To travel to areas as yet untouched or with little evangelical witness.
An old 1970 double-decker bus was purchased for 500 DM. (around 250 Euro)
Using many used items that were thrown out onto the German streets, the missionary family fitted out upstairs of the Bus as a small Christian video theater. The upstairs ‘cinema”could seat 30 people, and included a small prayer room. The downstairs was fitted out as a coffee lounge/ literature/ counseling area.
Shortly after the bus was purchased in 1989, the wall of communism in Eastern Europe fell, leaving an open door for the missionaries to enter without difficulty. Through the wonderful provisioning of the Lord the bus was completed in 1991.
The missionaries believed that they were to begin the Bus ministry by aiding the local churches in the Southwest part of Poland in July 1991. Their family lived in a camping trailer during this time. The Lord blessed tremendously as they witnessed many coming to new life in Jesus Christ.
Wherever the Lord sent the bus, hundreds came to watch films (such as the “Jesus” film) and share one-on-one with counselors. Through this ministry many people give their lives to Christ, Christians were encouraged, churches were strengthened, alcoholics were set free, and even new Fellowships started.
Unknown to them at the time, but what was starting out as a travelling Bus Evangelism Ministry would in a short time grow into the establishment of the “Elim Christian Center”, as the need for ongoing discipleship arose in the lives of new Christians in the area.
The Evangelism Bus has continued to be used through these years in a variety of ways, and is still a wonderful ministry tool for God’s glory at Elim Christian Center.