Summer in Suspension – Summer 2018

Summer in Suspension – Summer 2018

High Hopes

The Media Van went in for its chassis transfer work in April. Initially, the deadline to finish was August – since the building itself was to be sold. The energy that produced in the team got the Van stripped down, the screens safely removed, and the donated school bus frame detached and electrically outfitted for the Van. Among the crew of roadies were the “gearheads”, from the car show at WeatherStone Church; they worked on perfecting the measurements needed for the exchange.

 

 

Photo by Sammi Funk

A new tailpipe was installed into the school bus frame, and huge hooks and chains for the big lift of the exchange. Once the electrical work in the Media Van was disconnected, a small hole was cut in the ceiling to accommodate the chain. With all that done, it was only a matter of time and man-power to finish the job. But with the time crunch of the building changing ownership in August, business started flooding in to the garage from the regular paying clientele – and the mechanical crew were constantly working.

 

 

 

Photo by John Jones

Time Crunch

It was understood that the crew at National Springs Inc., would help with the Media Van when the regular business died down; since regular paying customers took priority. When things got busy around the garage, John would either busy himself with the school bus frame, or simply wait patiently.

 

 

 

Photo by John Jones

He had to make room for the new diesel engine fittings, take old, rusty parts out, and make sure the new bus chassis would fit perfectly into the Media Van’s frame. Other times, John would pray for the crew and the business, talk with them, and even get them breakfast from time to time. He grew relationships with them and heard the concerns they faced with a new change in business. For some of them, they didn’t know what was in store for them or the security of their livelihoods. They didn’t even think the Media Van was going to get finished in time: “What are you gonna do if that happens?”

 

 

John did struggle with this thought himself, but the Lord was asking him to place it in His Hands.  “I don’t believe the Lord would leave us hanging. He is good and faithful; He will see this ministry brought to fruition.”

Photo by Sammi Funk

And for months, that was enough. Business took over the crew and John got into a waiting pattern.

 

 

Photo by John Jones

Faithfulness Under Fire

One day, when John came back into the shop, the manager told him that the business deal fell through and the building would no longer be sold. This was good news for the crew, at least for a little while. The manager however was uncertain about her future and if the business could keep its head above water. John was there for her as well: “Well I know there’s a lot of pressure on you right now, but I really believe that God has us all here for a reason, and I don’t think this is gonna be pulled out from underneath us.” And he encouraged them to rest in the promises on the Lord.

 

Photo by John Jones

It all turned out alright. As the August deadline was no longer hanging over anyone, in mid-July the Media Van was lifted off its old chassis and suspended for the new school bus frame to roll in. But right at that time, business boomed like never before, as freights, semis, and a sea of school buses flooded in again. Things were looking better for the National Springs management and crew, but the Van patiently hung from its spot for another two months – with securing blocks underneath it.

 

 

 

Book by Jim Lees

New Fruit

Through all this time, four months of wading through fear and clinging to hope and faith, John still worked and prayed with the crew working alongside him. He struck up a great relationship with one mechanic, and later he invited John to go with him to see the Thunderbirds at the Milwaukee Air Show on Labor Day weekend. John agreed and came out early to see him, but the mechanic ended up a no-show. But while John was waiting for him, he sat down to read a book, “Miracles Give You New Life” – a book from an author friend, Jim Lees,  who wanted to turn the story he wrote into a movie.

 

“Is that a good book?”

 

“Yeah, it’s pretty good.” John said to the stranger rolling out his blanket on the ground.

 

“Are you a Christian?” the stranger asked.

 

“Yes, I am.”

 

“I am a Christian too, brother!” He was so excited and John and the man started talking.

 

This Indian man organized runs and marathons in his home country to raise awareness for Jesus. He’d conduct runs through Hindu neighborhoods where everyone would get a shirt with JESUS printed on it, and he would use these events to evangelize the Word of God in places in need of hope. He came to the US and found the inner city a place where crime and broken families took precedence over everything else. He told John he had a great desire to share Christ’s love with them. He initially asked John if he would help him, to recruit him to his ministry, then John shared his own vision and ministry of the Media Van. The man from India was so excited!

 

“Then, we work together!” And they exchanged information and agreed.

A couple other miraculous things happened at the Milwaukee Air Show, but John walked away with another testimony to the way the Lord will work to the good of those who trust and have faith in uncertain times.

 

The Jones/Davis Family

Family First

During this hard summer, John was forced to look at his time and ministry in a different light. Since the Van didn’t go anywhere this season, for the beloved 4thof July, he spent time with his family, and more specifically, all his grandchildren. Most of them were too young to remember a time when Grandpa wasn’t out with the Media Van on that holiday. They had a swimming party and a cook-out. John took the time this summer to focus on the ministry he had to his family, through birthday parties, get-togethers, and more cook-outs. He said it felt like a little vacation.

 

“The Lord wanted me to have that this time around. It’s all part of His plan, not only to be salt and light, but to give encouragement and to fellowship with those He puts in your path, and to build my family. And at the same time, all the potential partners in ministry we had lined up for this year were all gracious and prayed for us, and are all excited for next year. We didn’t loose any support and we have an exciting vision for 2019.”

 

Photo by John Jones

Answer to Prayer

When September came, all the school buses returned to school, and finally, the new Van frame was brought inside and they lowered the Van body down onto it. It all fit together within a fourth of an inch; all the measurements were perfect! Afterward, John’s mechanic friend from National Springs, a tough guy, said it was a good job. That made John feel good.

After that, the brakes and drive shaft were replaced due to rust and wear. New steel to reinforce things were put in place. Now, it’s only a matter of time and prayer before Big Blue will be road-worthy again.

Photo by John Jones

 

Photo by John Jones

 

Blessings from this summer (stuck in a garage):

 

  • The school bus frame was exposed to the elements outside the garage for months, yet the diesel engine remains unaffected – purrs like a kitten.

 

  • The crew at National Springs have job security.

 

  • A new partner with the Media Van, Vijay Ravoori, will be partnering with us and BASICS in Milwaukee for a “Run for Jesus” in 2019. It’ll be held in Milwaukee on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

 

  • None of our potential partners from this summer were lost, all remembered us and prayed for us despite our event plans falling through. We look forward to spending 2019 with them.

 

  • Our Media Van’s huge chassis exchange was completed with no injuries! Praise the Lord! Also, the Van has a new diesel engine, brakes, exhaust pipe; drive shaft and axle bearings, as well as no more air brakes classification. From now on, our drivers will not be required to have a CDL classification. And after all that, Big Blue is even lighter that it was before, and even lighter than a typical school bus.

 

Photo by John Jones

2018: A Different Kind of Year

John was a comforting conduit for the crew and management during this stressful summer. Everything came together in its time through the Lord’s will and providence, and our patient faith was rewarded.

 

Now the only thing left is your prayers for getting on the road again. The Van is still in West Milwaukee and needs to be electrically connected and watertight before hitting the road to Oconomowoc. There, our friend Bob Chase will work on getting the interior refurbished again, with new lights, flooring, and skylight. New blinds are going to be installed over each screen for shade, and new sheet metal work is going into the body before the screens can be reinstalled. Bodywork repair and patchwork is being done as well.

 

Please remember these things for us as you pray. The Lord is good and faithful, and He has not let us down in all of this. Thank you all for praying and keeping in touch with us during this confusing and uncertain summer – you are all precious and wonderful.

 

Jehovah Jirah, our Provider.