FIRST-PERSON: Break 1-9 for the Gospel

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--I recently purchased a CB radio to communicate during motorcycle events without thinking about the primary use of CBs -- by truckers. However, as I monitored the CB while traveling, I listened to an interesting transmission. A trucker was sharing his salvation story with anyone who would listen.

The trucker told about driving down the highway with tears in his eyes as he thought about Jesus dying for his sins and God's offer of forgiveness and salvation. Pulling off to the side of the road, he bowed his head and asked Jesus to save his soul. He went on to tell his listeners how they also could have a relationship with Jesus.

Interestingly, another trucker began to ask the truck-driving evangelist about how to share Jesus with a family member who was not saved. I wish I knew the rest of the story, but CBs only have a range of a few miles, so the story faded away.

Truck drivers present opportunities for unique ministries to both churches and church members alike. According to the United States Department of Transportation, companies or individuals register more 9 million large trucks each year to transport everything from toys to gasoline across the country.

With this many men and women driving massive vehicles for days at a time, there are a variety of opportunities to minister to this community. For truck drivers who don't have a relationship with Jesus, seeds of the Gospel have time to be watered by the Holy Spirit during long drives down the interstate.

Most ministry centers designed for truckers offer showers, laundry facilities and a relaxing environment to spend a few minutes checking the weather or e-mail before hitting the road. Generally, there are Bibles and tracts of all sorts. Free CDs with sermons or Christian music are available. A telephone in a private area with unlimited long distance is a great help as well.

Others who minister in this arena find a truck stop owner or manager who will allow the ministry to set up a display or table to offer Christian literature or CDs. Many will offer a worship service for truckers early on Sunday morning if space is available.

The truck-driving evangelist inspired my 10-year-old daughter who was traveling with me. She decided to broadcast her own CB radio ministry. She read a brief Bible verse, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). Then she prayed for the truckers' safety on the road.

She asked me, "Dad, do you think anyone listened?" About that time, a truck driver crackled over the airwaves, "Thank you, honey. That was the sweetest thing I've heard today."

We're praying the Holy Spirit is watering that seed even now.


Keith Manuel is an evangelism associate on the Louisiana Baptist Convention's evangelism & church growth team.

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