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Jesus Takes Transit
He thought faith was for “nuts” like Aunt Barbara, until he needed God to bail him out.  Now he is sharing his faith with the world.

At one point he ridiculed the Christian faith. Now David Harrison of Scarborough, Ontario, is sharing it through Bus Stop Bible Studies, an organization he founded.

Since its inception two years ago, the ministry has posted 1,200 advertisements on buses, exposing an estimated 140 million sets of eyes to the Gospel.

Bus Stop Bible Studies consist of passages of Scripture accompanied by a challenging question or a thoughtful comment posted inside buses, streetcars and subway cars or on the backs of buses.

Harrison is a self-described “black sheep” from England who thought religion was for “nuts” like his Aunt Barbara, a born-again Christian whom the family made fun of.

After immigrating to Toronto at age 22, he developed successful business ventures in audiovisual installation. Yet, in 1985 when the economy began to plummet, so did he. “Facing losing the company, in utter and complete distress, I cried out one evening ‘God, if you’re there, help me!’” recalls Harrison, now age 47. “That was my prayer of salvation.”

Six years later the father of two was driving with his seven-year-old son past an illuminated bus stop displaying a provocative lingerie advertisement.

Two thoughts collided: “My children shouldn’t have to be exposed to that kind of image” and “God, if only that was your Word being displayed.” The germ for the new ministry stayed with Harrison for five years until a sermon at his church, Bendale Bible Chapel, confronted him with the statement that “God can’t steer a parked car.” He decided to put his vision into gear.

Since then “We have received moving testimonies of lives being saved, both physically and spiritually, of believers being encouraged and challenged.” One bus rider was unemployed and facing eviction. After reading the study she called 100 Huntley Street and accepted Christ. Later she wrote to the Toronto Transit Commission saying the ad on the bus had saved her life. Nevertheless some remain opposed, including Mississauga Transit, which opposes religious advertising of any kind.

Recently Bus Stop Bible Studies expanded to Burlington, Ontario, and Calgary. Sponsored individually and corporately, the success of these studies relies solely upon donations.

Next stop? The world!

“Ours is a God-sized dream,” says Harrison.

Emily Wierenga is a writer based in Blyth, Ontario.

Originally published in Faith Today, July/August 2008.

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Used with permission.  Copyright © 2008 Christianity.ca.

 

 
 
 
 

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