Church takes in group when bus breaks down - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jamel Major

Church takes in group when bus breaks down

OSCEOLA, AR (WMC-TV) - A charter bus full of people trying to head home for the holidays broke down earlier this week in eastern Arkansas.

Kevin Hernandez never imagined his Christmas vacation would take a such a turn. He and a group of more than 30 people left Chicago on Sunday headed for Mexico.  But when they got to Osceola, Arkansas, the charter bus they were on experienced some trouble.

"They said the battery broke or the engine, something like that, inside the bus," Hernandez said.

The bus broke down along I-55 just a football field away from the nearest exit.

"It was freezing the whole time.  There was no heater," Hernandez said.

When Pastor Jay Weaver, with First Baptist Church of Osceola, heard the news early Monday morning, he knew he had to help.

"I said, 'Well, I'll take the van out there and bring the folks up here to the church, so we can get them off the road in a warm, dry place,'" Weaver said.
The group had to temporarily leave all their personal belongings on the stranded bus, but welcomed shelter, a hot meal and a spot to rest. 

"It's just a great experience for us to be able to minister to them," Weaver said.  
After more than a day of phone calls to the bus company, and hours after of waiting, another bus finally arrived to pick the group up.

Before boarding, they hugged and waved goodbye to their new church friends.

"They did more than we could ever ask for," Hernandez said. "We were all very mad at the time, but they managed to put a smile on our face, took care of us, fed us...we couldn't ask for anything more.

The bus took the group to Memphis Tuesday evening to pick up their belongings.  From Memphis, they'll make a brief stop in Texas, then head to Mexico.

Click here to send an email to Jamel Major.

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