The Van Blog

Latest stories of God’s goodness and developments of the Mobile Media Van…

Connecting Gears – Autumn 2017

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Home Page Slider, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Old Fashioned Elbow Grease

 

Who doesn’t love a car show?

 

The pastors and friends at WeatherStone Church, just off of Greenfield Avenue, asked John if he’d like a moment to show off the Media Van at their community outreach/car show.

 

Facing the screens out to the heavy weekend traffic, John situated the Van at the edge of the full parking lot to attract the masses to the event with exciting visuals and the promise of a free hot dog.

While the people wandered around and scanned all the vintage autos, John invited them inside to hear the wonderful stories of God’s goodness in his life. The most gung-ho of these audiences were the “gearheads” – some auto buffs.

 

Upon hearing some of John more poignant accounts of the Media Van’s adventures, they asked to take a look under the hood. 
John and the gearheads had a good time having discussions surrounding the Media Van’s 554 international harvester engine, and the imminent replacement with a new diesel.
By the end of the show, the gearheads all shared their contact information with John and they all promised to meet again to discuss the most beneficial and efficient ways to install the new engine.

 

 

Interview with TBN

Image by John Jones

 

Stay Tuned

 

Later on, the Trinity Broadcasting Network in Brookfield called John up to ask for an interview. 
They wanted to do a story on the presence of the Media Van in Southeastern Wisconsin, its history, as well as the testimony John built up over the years. The hope was that the national office would pick it up and air it all over the States.

 

John was thrilled to do this, and took the Van out to a local park to shoot the interview. It would be one of three interviews with the TBN base in Brookfield.

While the last interview was underway in the parking lot of the TBN facility, some office personnel came out for their lunch break. Seeing the Van, they were immediately intrigued and asked for more information. John gave them all a quick tour and synopsis of the history he’d just shared in front of the camera. 
In that final interview, they allowed John to have free rein to run the clock as long as he liked to give the whole story.

 

The Media Van story on TBN is still to air.

 

 

http://www.city-data.com/picfiles/pic860.php

East Troy Border circa 2001

 

Practical Ministry

 

By the end of the summer, much had settled down and more opportunities for networking opened up. Though, none could launch without the connections made over the years, culminating in a way that only the Lord could ordain.

 

Pastor Ron Christiansen of East Troy Bible Church reached out to the Media Van team to share the great news that the elder board had agreed to take on the Mobile Media Ministry as one of their funded missionaries. John and Ron connected over the past two summers in August for ETBC’s Family Carnival outreach to the local community. Through those interactions, John was able to see Ron and his congregation’s heart for the community of East Troy.

 

John and the team were elated to hear this, and Ron asked for a meeting to discuss the possibilities for more mission work in 2018. Over time, the team came up with some great and practical ideas for reaching the needs of people in 2018, and a meeting with the leadership at East Troy Bible Church is in the books for the winter.

 

East Troy Bible Church was Rick Puza’s home church; John attended his funeral there earlier this year.

 

https://www.dreamstime.com/polished-engine-stock-images-imagefree502194

© Jason Kasumovic ID 502194

 

Jacked Up Situation

 

John later connected with the gearheads again outside of church to talk mechanics. 
They all deduced that there could be as many as three ways to remove and replace the engine, including things like clamshell lifts and cutting torches.

There is yet to be a final decision made on this issue, and time is limited. It is hopeful that this transfer can take place when the weather is not so cold and bitter. But, we know that the Lord has a hand in it.

 

Image by Sammi Funk

 

New Ears, Eager Hearts 


 

Lastly, the Media Van team hosted another open house to all the roadies and their friends. With two presentations at two different times, it made for a passionate and generous turnout.

 

At the second presentation, the team welcomed the new heads of leadership at BASICS in Milwaukee, Inc., Gary and Laurie Hendrickson. They had met and worked with the MMM team before, but had never heard the Media Van’s whole story.

 

John shared his testimony in the history of the Media Van, spanning back as many as forty years. He included the new stories from the street outreaches of 2017, like Rick Puza’s legacy and the haircut ministry at the showing of “Milwaukee 53206.” He went on to also share his heart about reaching the adult black men in the inner city, his feelings toward their treatment, and his own way of relating as a black male.

 

Once the presentations were over, the roadies and guests numbered over forty. Lots of them shared their connections to John’s story – even at the very first moments of conception for what would become the Mobile Media Ministry. Others immediately voiced the excitement to join on as on location volunteers in the coming months and outreach opportunities. And still more roadies shared their ideas and passions for Milwaukee and how they and the Media Van could co-mingle in the years to come. One of these resulted in a new connection at Epikos Church in Milwaukee.

 

https://www.dreamstime.com/hands-free-stock-image-imagefree8635256

© Alekss ID 8635256

 

And The Wheel Keeps On Turning…

 

Looking back over recovering from Summer 2017, it is apparent that the Media Van, and the legacy surrounding it, is more than just blessed… it’s being multiplied. More than anything, God is opening up the hearts and minds of the Church in Southeastern Wisconsin, and is using the many passions and talents that she possesses. With them, she won’t just get the Media Van back out on the streets, but also herself.

Like a wise man said not too long ago, “Salvation doesn’t just reside in the walls of a church…our God is an outside God.” The connections to these wonderful Christians, roadies, and friends are pre-ordained and precious. 
May the Lord work in them and through them in the coming year; let them see His Glory manifest itself around them as they walk by faith.

Our Invisible Shepard | Summer 2017

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Home Page Slider, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Movie in the Park

 

Every year, the Media Van joins the other organizations, companies, schools, and community servants of Pewaukee for the Independence Day parade. The Van shows images of freedom and truth, with historical, as well as modern, American pastimes and values. The roadies handed out tracts, brochures, and invitations to the annual Mobile Media “Movie in the Park.” And best of all, the new fourth promotional screen also advertised the Movie in the Park for everyone on the passenger side without the full visual context.

Image by John Jones

This year, the Media Van succeeded in sharing the featured movies in the Pewaukee Village Park, instead of the nearby Droegkamp parking lot. Videos for children, values for families, and truth for every American, that God shed His grace on us. With the movie going, JJ and friends handed out bibles to kids and prayed with families.

 

Movie in the Lot

 

Later in July, the Media Van joined Elmbrook Church’s High School Ministry program for a movie night in the parking lot.

It was quite a humid night, full of encouragement, inspiration, engagement… and mosquitoes. The students gathered together and repelled the nuisance like champions, and continued to engage with each other about the Lord. The upcoming generation of God-fearing Christians has great potential and we are honored to be an example for them as the new digital age changes and rearranges into the future world.

 

Image by John Jones

Movie at the Playground

 

For its second event at Kluge Elementary, the Media Van and team came out to assist Pastor Marques Jones from Crossway Church in a kid’s event at the school playground. Also present was the Milwaukee Police Department, featuring their own special vehicle, an ice cream truck, serving everyone free of charge.

Image by John Jones

 

It was during its first event at Kluge Elementary that the Van suffered its first bad tire blow out. On its return journey from the kid’s event, the Van hit a pothole and one of the back tires finally popped. It was at this point that John knew that the dry rot had finally set in.

 

Image by John Jones

Baptism into New Life

 

Two baptism invitations followed these movie outreaches. Elmbrook had a baptism, and Pastor Jason thought the Media Van should be there to help broadcast the 200 baptisms to the people on the other side of small lagoon outside the church. It was an incredible time for many, presenting themselves as willing servants for the Lord’s work in their lives.

 

A little later, an outdoor service at Phantom Ranch in Mukwonago commenced with a baptism, hosted by Brooklife Church. The Media Van supplied all the sound and visuals for it and the baptism after, as well as sporting its new awning over the last screen to cover the direct sun glare as daylight faded away.

 

Image by John Jones

Spreading the Joy

 

The next two events in early August were an outreach at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, and another family movie night at Elmbrook Lake Country Campus.

 

John and the small team with him were on their feet all day and passed out as many as one hundred bags of popcorn at the Rescue Mission. Handing each bag to someone with a smile and a kind, encouraging word, John was glad that the Van and its popcorn machine were put to good use, spreading good will and joy to anyone who came by. At Lake Country, lots of families showed up for the film. But this time, instead of mosquitoes, the night swarmed with happy children. God is good.

 

 

Photo by John Jones

Triple Feature

 

At the tail end of the summer outreach season, the Media Van was set for a hectic 3-event day, and worst of all, no driver was available to take the Van out. Last minute, John called Ethan Puza, who volunteered to drive after the loss of his father, Rick. Ethan was unavailable that weekend as well, but referred John to another potential partner, a friend from childhood, Ben Himsel. Very soon, Ben was on board for the triple feature day.

Image by John Jones

First event was a showing of the all-new documentary, “Milwaukee 53206,” at the Genesis in Milwaukee headquarters.

Along with this exciting new film to come out of Milwaukee, those serving with Genesis – ex-convicts who were working on reentering society – were offering free haircuts. The Van opened up its doors for the barbers to work inside. Hundreds of people came to the open block party and lined up all up and down the streets to receive a haircut and see the film. “Milwaukee 53206” brought awareness to Milwaukee as our nation’s number one city and zip code for most African-American men incarcerated. It was an awe-inspiring turnout, and John wouldn’t soon forget it.

Image by John Jones

Then, the Van had to move on to East Troy Bible Church for another Family Carnival for young families. The kid’s film, “Moana,” was requested for this event, but the weather turned sour later that day. A majority of the festival and viewing of the film happened underneath the drop-off area canopy by the church’s front doors. John was able to speak into the biblical truths that could be gleaned from the delightful little film, speaking out from the adjacent grassy field to the parking lot. All too soon, the team had to move on to the last event back in Milwaukee.

 

In Sherman Park, the Captive Project was hosting a prayer vigil for the community, including singing, speaking, and praying for all those affected in the riots that had taken place there the previous year. It was planned to last the entire night and to end with a worship service in the morning, but the weather continued to change the game. John left the Media Van running its music videos with the Captive Project as he returned Ben back to his vehicle at the Mobile Media base in Pewaukee. He returned to help keep the night going until his new driver would be available to drive the Van home in the morning. Around midnight, the servants with the Captive Project called it a night because of the weather and the small, dwindling attendance. Auspiciously, the Milwaukee Police were present at the event as well, and offered to watch the Media Van overnight until John could return. John left the Van in their capable hands and went home around 1:00 am. When they all came back in the morning, the Captive Project allowed John to take the Van home, since the weather was still muggy and people were less inclined to come out to worship that morning. The prayer vigil did continue though, even after John and the Van left.

 

Image by John Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He is Working in Us All

 

God is there, working in us and in our fallen world. A lot of the time, we can’t point it out or see it happening before our eyes. Everything doesn’t always go according to best-laid plans, and sometimes people might say that God has nothing to do with this world or us… but He’s always there.

 

He is present, even before we are or we are ready to be. He is affecting us, even when we are just living and learning beside each other. He is providing a new way and a new life for all of us, even when we aren’t looking for it or sensing it. He is shining through us, even when we think we are just having a good time or a good day. And, He is trying, teaching, and molding us into the people He desires us to be, even when we think we are failing. God is relentless in His dynamic pursuit of us. And for that, we are truly blessed.

And all these shall be added: Summer 2016 Recap – Part lll

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Home Page Slider, The Van Blog | 0 comments

August 2016

 

After some time out for the repairs to the engine, there were a handful of upcoming event plans left for the end of the summer. The Van had missed events like “Feed the Kids,” “Serve your City,” and “Movie Night at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church.” Now, John was looking forward to getting back into the groove of things — helping meet some of the spiritual needs of the city.

 

While it had been a long waiting, the Van and team were able to make it out to East Troy Bible Church for their “Family Fun Fair” in the church parking lot.

Image by Sammi Funk

There was fun, games, food, interviews, and worship. The Van had a showing of “The Peanuts Movie,” which enchanted all the families gathered together, and later ran the sound system and PowerPoint lyrics for worship time.

Image by Sammi Funk

East Troy Bible has been blessing their local community with events and opportunities for families to be touched by the Holy Spirit; this event with the Media Van was another wonderful moment in time for the Lord to work in the hearts in East Troy. And much like Brooklife, East Troy Bible and the MMM have sparked a lasting friendship.

 

 

Image by John Jones

 

September 2016

After this, things didn’t necessarily slow down for the Media Van. Events and outreach opportunities came and went in quick succession.

 

 

After many rain checks, the Van joined a Captive Project movie night in Atkinson Park, showing the inspiring film, “Courageous” to all the young men invited by Richard and Frank. John and the team of roadies made bags of popcorn in the Van and handed them all out with a kind word and smile. It was a night that spoke deeply into the lives of the men and their connection to the Father.

 

Image by John Jones

Another Brooklife event came along next. This time, Blue was featured in an amazing outdoor worship service, where thousands of people showed up! It was an amazing time to worship and reflection on the goodness of the Lord. John remembers feeling that the Lord meant to move during that outreach in a powerful way that doesn’t happen often. God used that time gathered together to reach every one of the people’s hearts personally, and move among them through the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Later in September, John brought the Van to an event at Westmoor Country Club beside his friends and affiliate ministers with BASICS in Milwaukee, Inc. He got to share his testimony, stories, and mission of the Media Van.

 

 

Photo by Paul Alexy

 

October 2016

By October, the only things left to go to were Harvest Fest at Elmbrook, a church service in Mequon, and another Atkinson Park movie night.

 

First, they repeated the Atkinson Park movie event and shared the same love with a whole new crowd. Both times, John and others handed out popcorn and shared their personal stories of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness with the invitees. No obstacle is too much for our Heavenly Father.

 

In Mequon, John’s son, Andrew, spoke into the Word and shared his own stories of the Lord’s goodness in his life, with the congregation gathered outside in a local park on Sunday morning. The band got a good set up with the Media Van assisting with sound and visuals as well.

 

At the end of the month, Harvest Festival at Elmbrook came around. John brought the Van to share with the other missions and missionaries coming together. Every year, Harvest is a plentiful and fruitful time in the hearts and ministries of everyone who attends, sharing, encouraging, supporting, and praying for one another as the Holy Spirit communes with them all.

 

Image by John Jones

 

Year’s End

November slowed everything to a crawl, and the Van and team got a break to recoup for the holiday season.

 

Then December rolled around, and John partnered with Bench Tree Church to host a “Keep Christ in Christmas,” event in the historic 3rd Ward in downtown Milwaukee. They sang carols and filled the streets with joy and peace. John loved being out in the heart and bustle of the city that night. He felt that the streets weren’t only lit up by the lights and store windows, but that the Holy Spirit was moving up and down to every street corner and the blessing of the truth of Christ’s birth was filling the air as well. He hopes to go again and see the Lord work there soon.

Image by John Jones

At the close of the year, there was enough funding for another screen. John had long been wondering and praying about having a smaller, simpler screen on the opposite side of the Van. After events like parades and block parties, where Blue is usually seen from both sides, he wanted to see if there was a way to let everyone know at once what was going on.

 

A final fourth screen allowed John to project event details, times, and other information about the Media Van and its outreach events to anyone seeing it from the wrong side.

 

With the Lord’s financial blessing to him, John ordered one just before the ending of the year.

 

And lastly, on New Year’s Eve, John joined the Captive Project for an all-day outreach event in the Sherman Park neighborhood. Lots of truth, inspiration, and music filled the air, long into the frigid night. The rap artists and preachers spoke life into the community, and the tumultuous year of 2016 came to a close.

 

Image by John Jones

 

What Can We Take Away From 2016?

2016 was a rough year for everyone. God still worked in all our lives despite that. As we are now also finishing the final miles of 2017, let us not forget that God moves… He doesn’t stop. Sometimes, He is silent, allowing us to reach out in faith to Him. God rewards faith. But, He is never inadequate, lazy, or ineffective; He can have His way in us if we allow Him to. God is greater than we can every truly know, so let us look to Him with great, humbling gratitude and expectation for the way He will bring about His Kingdom.

Engine Story – Summer 2016 Recap

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in Home Page Slider, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

July 2016

 

While on outreach in late July, the Media Van was starting to overheat again. John surmised that it was the old carburetor giving them trouble. With the carburetor overheating and stalling on the street, the Media Van wasn’t as effective as it could be. Worries of long and dangerous rides, stalling on the freeway, or in the middle of an intersection plagued John for days, until he had to put the summer season on hold while the Van could be repaired.

John called in a mechanic he knew, and he concluded that the carburetor had never been cleaned, since it had sat, unused, for years in a lot, before John could use it. The mechanic offered to take it out and clean it, and John later got the call that it was all done while he was out of the garage.

 

When he returned, John started up the engine immediately, only to hear something else rattling around deep inside. He shut it off and quickly called the mechanic back. After another overview, he diagnosed many possible problems: a spark plug break, a cam shaft snapped, a push rod break… they all sounded terrible. Either way, the problem now was the engine, with an unknown broken piece rattling around. The mechanic said it would set John back quite a bit.

 

This was, of course, disappointing, but before he would have to pay to have the Media Van towed into another garage and have the engine completely pulled out, John called in another mechanic he knew well to get a second opinion.

 

The mechanic sent out one of his guys and he arrived with a stethoscope to better understand the origin of the unknown piece. He found the source of the trouble in Cylinder One. The second mechanic surmised that the only problem was the loose piece in the cylinder, but it would still be necessary to take the engine out and apart to retrieve it… hardly cheap or practical for an old vehicle like Big Blue.

 

Later, John ran into an old friend at Elmbrook Church who reminded him of yet another mechanic, one they’d met on outreach in Mayville a while ago. They had asked to be called at any time an issue arose. Luckily for John, she had the phone number.

 

 

 

Image by John Jones

 

When the third mechanic finally arrived to look at the engine, he found the same problem, the rattling piece in Cylinder One. There wouldn’t be any running the engine, since it was entirely possible that the piece was damaging the cylinder walls. So, the mechanic proposed a solution: he would use his own stethoscope tipped with a microscope to go in and find the piece, and if the piece was metallic, he could use a magnet to safely remove it through the spark plug hole. The only condition… John would have to cut out a portion of the Media Van floor under the spark plug hole so he could get at it.

 

And so John did just that, and he counted it as a blessing since it wouldn’t mean removing the entire engine.

 

After a few days, the mechanic called John, and explained that while John was out, he’d come and gotten the piece out. “While you had your carburetor taken out and fixed, a loose screw got knocked into the cylinder in the transfer. Your engine works as good as new.” Praise the Lord!

 

The Van was out of commission for at least three weeks – not fun for outreach opportunities. But while this was happening, lots of riots had broken out in the Sherman Park area and shootings stopped everyone in their tracks. God may have used this little rogue screw to keep the Van and team from getting caught up in the middle of a chaotic attack.

 

John recounts this story as a way of God “connecting the dots” in his life. If he’d never gone back to Elmbrook that day, he may not have met his old friend, who then connected him to the mechanic, who he’d met before on outreach at a church in Mayville, who had also volunteered to help at any time the MMM needed it.

 

“So God was in it all along, I just had to not lose faith. And so, we were up and running again…”

 

God certainly moves in unexpected ways, yet is always in control. Looking back at the way He works in our lives, it’s humbling, encouraging, and inspiring to see what He does in and through us.

 

 

A Father’s Day to Remember | Summer 2017 Update

Posted by on Jul 8, 2017 in Home Page Slider, The Schedule, The Van Blog | 0 comments

June 2017

 

During the current summer outreach season in June, the team was preparing for many exciting and fun ideas: Mukwonago’s Brooklife Church was participating in the Father’s Day parade again, and John and the team were welcomed back to assist, and the second ministry vehicle – the donated school bus – was being repaired and prepped for further mechanical work in Oconomowoc.

Image by John Jones

Our beloved brother and supporter, Rick Puza was hard at work, fixing the bus on his own property in Eagle. He was also going to drive the Media Van itself on Father’s Day in the parade.

 

The day before the parade, John gave Rick a ring to talk about the event and confirm the status of the bus. Rick was nearly done with the necessary repairs under the steering wheel before being taken to the garage in Oconomowoc, and when the call ended, he went out to finish the work.

 

Not even 30 minutes later, Jones received a call from Puza’s older son, Ethan, telling him that Rick had passed away suddenly. His wife had found him in the second ministry bus, slumped under the steering wheel, screwdriver in hand. They were unable to move or resuscitate him. His chronic heart condition had taken it’s toll on him, yet the Lord allowed him to work for His glory to the very last.

 

John came over that same day to see Rick’s family, to pray and share in their grief. John had lost his own wife after 27 years of marriage, so he could empathize and be there for Rick’s wife, Barb, on that fateful day. At the end of the visit, both Rick’s sons – who are fathers themselves – volunteered to assist John at the Father’s Day event in Mukwonago, driving in their father’s honor. Deeply moved, John accepted gratefully.

 

Thank God for the Puzas

Image by John Jones

 

On Father’s Day 2017, the parade and outreach with Brooklife went off without a hitch, and many were encouraged and blessed. The testimony of fatherly love, sacrifice, and giving to the younger generation pervaded the atmosphere. The team and ministers from Brooklife honored and blessed the Lord.

Rick Puza had been a loyal friend and supporter of the Mobile Media Ministry for years. Back in 2001, Puza and his sons had volunteered their time to help clear out and patch up the Media Van, back when it was an old discontinued medical screening vehicle from the 70s. He had been a man who always helped anyone he met, anywhere, anytime. Rick Puza would give of his time, talents, and funds, even when his health was critical and his time on Earth was ending; everyone who was touched by his good-will and experienced his skillful service had also been blessed by the goodness of the Lord. While he worked as a driver for the Mobile Media Ministry, he would go above and beyond the call of duty: handing out refreshments to the people, praying with those who needed prayer, and sharing wisdom with the Media Van team about life, as well as vehicle mechanics. There were many events that Rick would attend and help with during the last few summers where he was an indispensable member of the team, and a force for the specific work the Lord planned to do at that time. Suffice it to say, Rick Puza was a blessing beyond compare to the growth and efforts of the Mobile Media Ministry.

 

 

Needless to say, the Mobile Media Ministry had lost a precious member and brother with the untimely death of Rick Puza. Everyone will sorely miss him. His story and contributions to the ministry and the Kingdom of God will forever be retold by the Mobile Media Ministry as they press on for the sake of the call.

 

 

 

 

And all these shall be added: Summer 2016 Recap – Part ll

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 in MediaBar, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Brooklife Father’s Day Parade

 

Once the summer was finally underway, John and the team came out to work with Brooklife Church again for the Father’s Day parade in Mukwonago. When lined up and ready to go, the Media Van team were given two freezers full of popsicles for the crowd, as well as some volunteer helping hands. Going through town during the parade, John made sure to have one screen that showed live feed of the crowd as he passed with the camera. The other two screens showed Brooklife’s video content about their summer Bible school programs. Even some of the prominent figures featured in the parade made use of the Media Van’s restroom.

They crowd loved it and so did Brooklife; afterwards, John and the crew stayed in the church parking lot, showing more videos and sharing our heavenly Father’s love with the community.

 

Image by John Jones

Woodland Wednesdays

 

Another big feature for the Media Van in the summer of 2016 was the famous “Woodland Wednesdays.” John and the crew would accompany an outreach group from Evangel Assembly of God and host fun nights for the kids living at the Woodlands and their families. The first night there, John brought his old-timey popcorn machine for the kids to enjoy during the movie. The wonderful team of drivers would help hand out bags of goodies and converse with the families on top of their other jobs. Though some of these nights were regrettably cancelled appearances for the Media Van team, it’s one of the most dear places to keep frequenting for John and the crew.

 

Image by John Jones

4th of July

 

Of course, what would a Media Van summer outreach season be with the Pewaukee 4th of July parade? This time around, John invited his new partner and volunteer, John Stephan, along and brought his own ministry, “His Banquet Ministries,” which boasts a mobile grill.

 

Image by John Jones

 

After the parade and eventually settling in the Droegkamp parking lot, the showing of “Monumental,” and grilling of burgers and hot dogs commenced. Onlookers from the parade were invited to the movie and given food upon arriving at the lot. All the while, John and the crew would share the Word of God gently with the attendees, initiating meaningful conversations about how God affects us in the United States. The night was long and full of the Spirit, moving to remind us all that He is above all in our nation.

 

Image by John Jones

Home Driveway Ministry

 

Another opportunity came in July for John to share the love of God with his own personal neighborhood in Wauwatosa. He brought the Van back to his place because of some much-needed work on the carburetor, and John took the opportunity to invite his neighbors and friends out on Friday night for a family movie time in his front yard. John remembers how fulfilling and joyful the nights were and how positively the people responded to this new and personal type of ministry. God will move in any way, any time, and any place; we just need to trust and follow His lead. John knows that this is a genuine and effective way to reach out to those closest to him and address the things that come up often, talking both before, during, and after the events with his neighbors any time he’s home. What a blessing!

 

Image by John Jones

During all this activity in the summer, the Media Van started having problems heating up and stalling while out on duty, and it very soon became very dangerous to drive. For fear of stalling with on the road again, or on the freeway, John decommissioned Big Blue for a short while to address this chronic and discouraging problem.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

And all these things shall be added: Summer 2016 Recap – Part l

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Home Page Slider, MediaBar, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Finally!

 

For the bulk of January and February 2016, John was hard at work configuring the software for the 3rd Media Van screen and preparing it for installation.

Once it was ready and the odd planks stripped away from the port side, John called in a handful of able-bodied friends to help assemble and install the screen.

And there was much to do besides that: some previously-installed steel rods had to be re-positioned and re-welded. Within a day, the Media Van screens were all installed and fit together seamlessly. John and the guys all decided to celebrate by going out for some Philly cheese steaks.

 

See how the Lord finishes what he starts!

 

Not long after this, Wooded Hills Church invited John to Colgate to give a presentation to a men’s breakfast group. Using PowerPoint to share the message on his heart, John shared some of this miraculous life stories and how God was there, step by step, in bringing about this new ministry.

 

Image by John Jones

 

MMM loves Cops

 

In March 2016, John was startled to receive a call from the Milwaukee Police Department. The officer on the line told him that they’d seen the Media Van and were really impressed with it, stating that it had “such a positive influence on the community.”

 

The officer then extended an invitation to partner in an outreach event for children in Sherman Park on Milwaukee’s west side, along with the MPD and Mount Calvary Lutheran. The event was the day before Easter; John was elated at the chance and agreed immediately.

 

On the day of the Easter egg hunt in the park, it was a bit cold and overcast. Upon arriving though, it heartened John to see the police officers there setting up folding chairs on the main lawn for the community. With everything that would happen there later that summer, this was a reassuring sight to see, and John was so thankful for the good message it sent to the city of Milwaukee, and for the support for ministry by the law enforcement.

 

The event went well and affected many, even though the new screen on the Van had some glitches and John had to resort back to just two screens. All in all, this event and its influence would stick with John over the next year.

 

 

Image by John Jones

 

Remote Event

 

In April 2016, the Mobile Media Van had its first event with Brooklife Church in Mukwonago — sister church to Elmbrook.

 

The Media Van arrived early on a Saturday morning in the parking lot, and a “Run for Life” 5K was ready to begin. The event was happening in two different locations: this was the Media Van’s first _remote_ outreach, meaning that there was a constant live stream of the other 5K event happening simultaneously in Brookfield. The whole church and much of the community gathered around the Van to find their starting positions, while John took his camera around to live feed the Mukwonago event back to Brookfield. It was a hit! And suffice it to say that the outreaches cemented Brooklife Church and the Mobile Media Ministry as friends!

 

Image by John Jones

 

Memorial Day

 

After that, there was nothing on the roster for a while, so John took advantage of the time to make sure the screens were all functioning properly, and that the Van itself was in decent working condition.

 

When Memorial Day 2016 was nearing, John felt compelled to do something — to share the message of Christ’s sacrifice with the community. John situated the Media Van in the Droegkamp lot outside the garage and set up for a Memorial Day solo outreach.

 

He showed movies and shared testimonies about God’s goodness in the middle of war and hardship. He spoke into the parallels of sacrifices that soldiers make for their country and the grace of Christ to die for us all. Alongside this, he displayed some of his memorabilia from the Vietnam War, including his “wings” and his purple heart.

 

It was the first of a few solo outreach opportunities that John would initiate in 2016, and one of the most rewarding.

 

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

Just Perfect | 2017 Update

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Home Page Photo Bar, MediaBar, The Van Blog | 0 comments

After about 4 months of silence, the Mobile Media Van is getting another facelift.

 

Just Enough

In the morning of April 11th, the beautiful fourth screen for the Van arrived and was picked up in Milwaukee.

Not long before, John was ministering with his bible study group by assisting in some manual labor at a farm. Once they were done, a man had a pallet lift to get rid of and another man from the study group suggested John take it. And just like God works, it turned out to be the perfect thing for John to use when he brought his fourth “baby” home. Lifting out of his borrowed vehicle — 300lbs at a time, he was able to get all the screen parts into the garage headquarters all by himself.

A few weeks before that, John’s personal vehicle was stolen from his driveway in the night and some of his belongings damaged. The Wauwatosa police were searching for a while with nothing to show for it, until a snow storm struck on the weekend and the minivan was uncovered outside an apartment complex on the street while the streets were plowed. The only damage done to the interior was a ruined ignition and now requires a new steering column. Easily replaceable; God is good!

Just days before John was supposed to pick up the screen, he had to swap out his borrowed vehicle for a new one. Turns out that the replaced car was a van with the perfect amount of trunk space for the crates containing the screen parts. God always provides the manna we need, just when we need it!

 

Curbside

Image by John Jones

You may be thinking, “There isn’t room for a fourth screen on the Media Van, is there?” And you are delightfully wrong!
The fourth Media Van screen is to be installed on the opposite side (curbside) of the Van. It will serve to give a better visual of what the Van’s mission is from all sides and distances during outreach and parades. At all times, the curbside screen will be broadcasting information about the outreach, what’s playing on the street side screens, and when everyone can expect a rerun of the program. During parade events especially, the curbside will allow all spectators to understand exactly what the Media Van is about. As well as all promotional and schedule information, the fourth Media Van screen can inform everyone in their parked cars that they can tune into FM radio to hear and see the videos, all within the comfort of their vehicles. All screens also will have the ability to toggle content back and forth as needed.

It is expected to be installed very soon.

 

Good Stewardship

Image by John Jones

Before the vehicle theft and screen arrival, a school bus was donated to the ministry. Now you may be thinking, “What does John need with a school bus?” One thing that a newer bus has that the Van doesn’t… a new Cummings diesel engine.

John is excited to eventually replace the current standard 1970’s engine within the Media Van with a new and improved diesel one that will save tons on gas efficiency; he’s happy to have the opportunity to practice good stewardship of his resources and expand the Van’s radius for ministry, maybe even into other nearby states. John expects to wait until the Fall of 2017 to swap the engines, so as to not encroach on the Summer outreach season.

The biggest prayer need at this time is that a large-enough space can be available when the time comes for the installation of the new diesel engine, somewhere with the proper equipment like hoists and such. We need a spacious-enough indoor location with the space to accommodate two very big vehicles at once. With five months to go until then, this is our biggest renovation need.

 

What’s Next?

Image by John Jones

Some of the event plans coming up in the Spring and Summer of this 2017 year is another 5k Run with Brookfield Church in Mukwonago as well as more movie nights in the Woodlands community.

We are also super excited about an upcoming revival prayer vigil event at Sherman Park in Milwaukee. After a dark history accumulated there last year, a new beginning is in order and new hope is needed.

Thank you for all your prayers and support this past year; it’s gone a long way and we look forward to what the Lord will do and how He will move in the coming months!

A recap of the events in 2016 will be coming shortly.

Blessed – Winter 2016

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Home Page Photo Bar, MediaBar, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Not after very long, the Media Van’s fuel pump was repaired and brought back to the garage base, and a good thing too, because there was another event yet to attend: an Elmbrook Christmas caroling and fireworks night. The Van arrived back the day before the Treelighting and Fireworks event at Elmbrook, and while the Van was there, many were filled with the joy of the Spirit. When things had wound down over the weekend and John was out looking at the Van playing a movie, a churchgoer from Elmbrook came up and parked next to him to watch as well.

John was worried: not long before this, he had received a call from the shipping company that the 3rd screen was available to be picked up and they would only be able to hold it for another day before having to charge him major bucks. John wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to pick up the screen or even come up with the money to pay the late holding fee, when the churchgoers asked John about the Van. John explain the Van’s story and purpose and even reluctantly shared the details of the shipping predicament. The couple in the car were so filled with the Spirit and excited by hearing John’s testimony, that they wrote him a check to cover the late fee right then and there.

John was aghast and thanked them greatly in the Lord. Later, he would share this testimony with the council that met in his home to discuss the Van.

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

On the following Monday, the final Media Van screen was to be picked up from the storage dock in Milwaukee and John was super excited to finally bring it home. But he couldn’t do it alone: two teens from the wonderful Van Erdan family tagged along to help handle the parts to drive back to the Media Van garage.

 

After this was accomplished, it was apparent that the ministry and team were in need of some down time as the new year rolled in, to shut down all the 2015 details, to build the screen and work on its software, and to compose themselves as they looked into the future of the Media Van.

A prayer council for the Media Van team met in January to discuss the necessary needs for the upcoming year and the points of interest that they entailed. A lot was talked about and prayed over and by the end of the night, an agenda for 2016 was born.

The upcoming 2016 year would consist of many types of event that’d done before, plus adding more new and eager partners to the mix.

Mobile Sunday School, Christian outdoor concerts, Drive-in movies, and more were put down as necessities for the summer outreach season with the Media Van and team, as well as outside partnering ministries and individuals.

Other than the agenda, there was one prayer need for the Van’s renovation: Blue was in desperate need of a new carburetor. It could still be running obviously for a little while, but it would soon have to be addressed. The Lord will provide.

We are very excited to see what’s going to happen now that the Media Van is nearly finished and the ministry is becoming more rounded out. Please remember to keep us in your prayers as we are working diligently to get the Van back out on the streets to the glory of God.

Quick Christmas Update

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in MediaBar, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Hello everyone,

As the Christmas season is coming into full effect and the new year is just around the corner, I just wanted to give a quick “unofficial” blog post concerning some of our feelings and thoughts surrounding this ending of 2015.

In short, it’s been a wild ride and not really that much like our previous years. A lot of new experiences and lessons have been learned, and by the end of it all, we are that much closer to the Media Van becoming complete!

The third screen arrived in the U.S. not long after the Media Van had been repaired at Wiza Truck Service and John went to pick it up not two weeks ago with some of our wonderful roadies, the Van Erdans. Though there are still more renovations and repairs to be done, we are finally, after several years, in view of the finish line.

We have to say goodbye to 2015 and all it contained, the events, the places, the experiences, to wipe clean the slate a little bit, for the new year is hot on our heels.

We praise God for everything, for He is worthy of all the credit and reward we have gained in this last year. He is still right there, working around us, in the unseen world, yielding physical results like we wouldn’t have believed possible. This is what keeps us faithful and keeps us trekking forward to the finish line — a fully outfitted and functioning Media Van. The testimony is strong and real.

Thanks to all who have contributed to the mission of the Media Van in 2015! You all are so dear to us and we will see you all soon in 2016!

Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

– Sammi, assistant to John Jones