The Van Blog

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

About the Author


Photo by Sammi Funk

Sammi Funk (S.L. Funk) is the Mobile Media Ministry’s content writer and executive assistant to John Jones. She’s also an author working freelance. She’s covered the Van Blog since 2013 and keeps her own blog where she occasionally writes about writing, books, movies, and faith. You can find her at



Metamorphosis – Looking back on 2019

Posted by on Dec 30, 2019 in Home Page Slider, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Winter Indoors

A polar vortex hit in late January like an icy fist, and all kinds of plows and big rigs flooded business at National Spring and Alignment Inc.

The extra work caused the crew and staff to work non-stop for weeks on end. Meanwhile, John and the Media Van sat quietly in their designated spot and plugged away at whatever could be done without the crew’s help. Every so often, as he’d done for years, John would start up the engine to check how it was running from long stretches of un-use.

John working on Van at National Springs.

Image by John Jones

This was the way things were for most of the year. Whenever John asked for advice on where to start, what to do, and who to call, the crew at National Spring were more than happy to oblige. But more than that, the crew took great pride in their work on the Van, especially Mickey, the team leader. He wanted things done just right, and he wouldn’t allow anything less to get near his good work. Without Mickey, Scotty, and Nancy, the Media Van would be nowhere near road-worthy. It wouldn’t even work as a regular vehicle, and Big Blue was never meant to be a regular vehicle.

John came in most days, did what he could on his own, and then talk with the crew in between jobs. He heard all their complaints and concerns. Everything from water-cooler talks to pressing prayer needs. John’s ministry didn’t end where the Media Van stopped; the Lord used him to help calm, encourage, and maintain peace between members of all sides of the company. Some sheet metal for the Van would come in, and while they helped cut and put it in, he’d talk with them about their anxieties over business prospects or hiring. John would work on the fiberglass moldings for the new front grill, then go over and talk to the crew about how they felt about their work. John would stop his work to pray, counsel, or have a lively conversation with the guys, and it started to make a difference in the dynamics of the team.


Photo by John Jones

Many Hands

As the thaw finally came, the crew got back to working on Blue regularly. By Mickey’s recommendation, John went to pick up a truck electrical manual from Nelson Bus Service. He called in another truck company to tune up the diesel engine before leaving National Spring. And they set to work on installing the cut steel into the generator housing and putting the power generator back in. This did this with a forklift, and John got photos and video of it all. All progress was worthy of documentation.

A couple of days after the generator was back in and John was hooking everything electrical back up, a fuse in the generator blew. Still, John didn’t know where it came from. Within 24 hours, a repairman from Wolter Power came and found the problem. Not too long after that, FS Truck and Trailer Repair came to tune up the new engine – which was still working from being outside for the better part of a year.

John made some scaffolding by himself and brought it in to reinstall the screens and put in the skylight over the hole cut for the crane hook. The interior floors got scuffed up pretty bad, but that would be fixed later.


Image by John Jones

Keeping up with the Joneses

On July 4th, John and the Jones family went out to see family in Colorado. They all stayed at a massive house in the mountains, nearly 35 people crammed into one place, and spent the week together. After that, John took a personal trip out to North Carolina to stand in his sister’s wedding vow renewal ceremony. While he had the time, he stopped at the Billy Graham Museum. Around the same time, earlier in the summer, the Joneses welcomed another grandchild, a daughter, Hannah, into the family.

Afterward, John invited his son, Andrew, and a friend of the family, Eric, out to National Spring to help set in the screen modules one by one.


Photo by Sammi Funk

Tailgate Thank You

Everything was almost in place for Big Blue to leave National Spring. It’d been there for 18 months already. The whole time, God really did challenge John’s patience and the patience of the crew and staff of National Spring. Things did not come together in the time we’d thought it would, but God did bring so much together in the time He allotted for us. Without all this time, John wouldn’t have been able to build the trust and relationships with the crew that he did. He wouldn’t have learned about all the cuts, measurements, and intricacies that go into a mechanical venture of this magnitude.

By summer’s end, it looked like John Jones could finally take the Media Van out on the streets for ministry work again. It only seemed right that a huge “thank you” would be in order for the long-suffering crew and staff, who’d seen their own blessings over the past 18 months, of National Spring.

It took place on October 20th, 2019, in the afternoon at the West Milwaukee Park, just outside the company itself. John parked Big Blue on the curb on Mitchell Street with all the fixings: screens, new fiberglass front grill, and of course, amazing new diesel engine and chassis.

Long-time supporters, donors, and employees came out at John’s invitation for a combined celebration of the Van’s transformation, the honor of the team, and the Packer game. As people helped set up and cook, John set up an antenna to stream the football game live for the party. People came, fellowshipped, ate together, and went throughout the day.


Photo by Sammi Funk

At halftime, John showed a tribute video to the many months that the National Springs crew put into the Media Van. He honored the main mechanics, Mickey and Scotty, and Nancy, and he remembered Rick Puza, who passed away while preparing the new chassis was for the transfer. The remaining Puza family were in attendance as well.

During the tribute, Nancy also honored John back for his presence at the garage and the peace and grace he helped bring to the entire staff through the Holy Spirit. She thanked the roadies for their prayers over the whole procedure, and John topped it off by gifting a framed photograph to them of their finished work in front of the Media Van.


Photo by Sammi Funk

Closing a Long Journey

It’s no secret by now that this repair journey was so much more than just how it looked; it could only happen in God’s perfect timing and foresight. John didn’t know that he’d become like an unofficial chaplain at National Spring and that there were some troubles God knew would come. At times, it looked like National Spring would go under, staff tensions rose, and the polar vortex complicated things.


Photo by Karl Schuldt

Above all else, John thanks God for allowing him to find the right people with the valuable knowledge to help Big Blue reach its destination of full renovation and repair. We are thankful to God for His goodness and grace over these hard months and the required journey of faith to reach this amazing reward.

After some recalibration, John put together a looped video for National Spring of the Media Van journey for the customers to see. Big Blue also went out to Delafield, Mukwonago, and Waukesha for some low key Christmas events. After that, Blue is finally home for the holidays.

God is good all the time, and this was a long time coming.

Thank you all for never losing hope and sticking with us for the 20 months at National Spring. May God shower your 2020 with blessings and grace.

Big Blue’s Big Change-over – Thank you, National Spring & Alignment, Inc.

Posted by on Oct 25, 2019 in The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Watch the 5-minute video from John Jones of the Big Blue Chassis Conversion

Thank you to Mickey, Scotty, Nancy, and the rest of the guys at National Spring and Alignment for the amazing support and work over the last 19 months! Thank you, Lord God, for all You’ve done for us!

More Photos and Videos

Full story and blog coming soon!


A Tumultuous Year – End of the Year 2018

Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 in Home Page Slider, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

Dear Roadies,

As I greet you all one last time this year, I want to tell your many prayers for us are felt and encourage us. The Lord has been working.

There is terrific energy down at the shop. We are a long way into the work on the generator housing. It is the last substantial electrical project we have left to do. We have finished all the other main rewiring, thanks to a bus wiring manual I obtained from Nelson’s Bus Service. The tail lights work correctly now, and we have installed a backup camera and a backup horn. Now, when we are in reverse, it beeps to let people know. Most new trucks have that, but since Blue was made in the 1970s, that horn was not part of the safety requirements. For the camera, we have a little monitor on the dashboard connected so that we can see better. That’s all new and cool, and we can function on all safety accounts.


In the past, when it came to the power generator, we have only been able to access the generator from the back doors but to change air filters, make oil changes, and change spark plugs, you have to have access to the other side of the generator. Unless we climbed in and over the generator to get at the other side, it was not accessible -we’d have to hang upside down to get the work done until now.

One of the impressive things that our chief mechanic, Mickey, out at National Springs did is cut through the steel in the back of Blue so we could put in an inside access door to the generator. He did it all so fast; it only took a few hours. No more climbing around – all we have to do is open a sliding door now.

It was just something that we decided to try to do while the Van is still out there at the garage facility in West Milwaukee. We stripped the Van down to its skeletal state, and cut out the damaged parts. We also worked to rebuild everything effectively. It’s all super exciting, and the generator will be running better from now on as well as the engine, brakes, and steering.

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones


Going into the new year, all maintenance work on the Media Van will be more accessible and efficient.

Usually, when I told the guys what I needed to be done on the Van, and because I wouldn’t always have the equipment I needed to get it done, they would help me in between their other jobs. I expected things to get done within a week or two, but things didn’t usually pan out like that except for the access panel and the sliding door. The very next day, Mickey had gotten it done before I’d even arrived. I was so excited.

There is such a spirit of cooperation in the garage, and Mickey is pretty excited about it all now. He shows the Van off to customers who come in and likes to talk about the work he’s done on it and about what the Van does. He has even said he’d like to see it in action on the road when we finished all the work. “Invite me along; I wanna help out in some way.” He’s even mentioned bringing friends along too.

I brought my daughter down this past week while she was back in town for Christmas, and Mickey did more talking than I did, explaining and demonstrating how things worked, and opening up the back door to let her see.

God has knit us together as a team now. I love working there; it’s a total blessing. Things are going so well, and I know it’s because of the Lord working in all of us.

I was able to get the guys a Christmas present this year, some gift cards and things like that. They appreciated that very much.

“You didn’t have to do that, JJ.”


“Hey guys, you have been a really amazing part of my life. It’s the least I could do.”


We’ve grown pretty close, and it seems that this has been the ministry of the Media Van this 2018, the subtle way God works in the hearts of an unlikely team.

I am looking forward to finishing up the generator stuff these coming winter months and putting the skylight in as well. Replacing the hook hole we cut in the roof with a plexiglass dome skylight instead. Things are all moving at the right speed now.

Happy New Year, and thank you to all who have prayed for us and kept us on your mind this tumultuous year. You are all so amazing! We will keep in touch!

– John E. Jones and team


Summer in Suspension – Summer 2018

Posted by on Oct 26, 2018 in Home Page Slider, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

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

We installed a new tailpipe 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 manpower to finish the job. But with the time crunch of the building changing ownership in August, business started flooding into the garage from the regular paying clientele – and the mechanical crew was constantly working.



Photo by John Jones

Time Crunch

We have an understanding that the crew at National Springs Inc., would help with the Media Van when the regular business died down; since regular paying clients 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, job security would be uncertain and their livelihoods at stake. 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 truly 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 in the end. As the August deadline was no longer hanging over anyone, we lifted the Media Van off its old chassis in mid-July. It was suspended in the air for the new school bus frame to roll in. But then, 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 of 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 lose 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, we got the new Van frame 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, we replaced the brakes and driveshaft due to rust and wear. New steel to reinforce things were put into 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 partnership 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 massive chassis exchange was completed with no injuries! Praise the Lord! Also, the Van has a new diesel engine, brakes, exhaust pipe; driveshaft 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 than it was before; 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 underway 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.


Stepping Out – Spring 2018

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 in Home Page Slider, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

A Similar Situation

On a Thursday afternoon in April, John went to a Cousins Subs restaurant for lunch. The only parking spot available faced a lone, stalled car stuck on the busy Moorland Road. A young man kept coming in and out of the restaurant, looking flustered. After a little while, John felt compelled to go find out what the problem was.
The young man’s stalled car blocked traffic on the busy street, and the current warmer weather caused more heat to the damage. When John came out to ask if he needed help, he learned that the 19-year-old driver worked down the street at Woodman’s supermarket, and his car and cellphone were dead. The story struck John as so similar to his own situation earlier in December, freezing out on a country highway, only now, he was the rescuer.

So John lent him his phone to call AAA® for a tow, but they couldn’t send someone out without proof of identification or a membership card. He tried calling others, friends, and family, but couldn’t get a hold of anyone.
John helped the young man gently push his overheated car out of traffic with his new SUV, and once he learned that he lived in nearby New Berlin, John set about calling some friends who lived in that area – the very same couple John called that snowy December night. He set the call on speaker mode so the young man could hear the conversation. John told them about the situation and how similar it was to his own in the winter, and through that connection, he could authenticate himself to this young man as a good Samaritan.
After that, John offered to drive the young man home himself, and he gratefully obliged. On the way, John asked the young man about his faith. He only said that he only attended church on Easter and other holidays, and John could easily feel the tension in him about getting beaten over the head with a bible-thumping conversation. Instead, John shared the whole story of the night his car died in the middle of the snowstorm that past winter, and how the Lord reached out to save him in his most dire need. The story riveted the young man and left him dumbfounded by the time John finished the story.
When they reached their destination, John gave the young man a few bible tracts he had lying around in his car. Because of the amazing testimony and the kindness that John showed him in his need, the young man took them with a smile.
The real interest in connecting with someone, reaching out to them in their need, and genuinely sharing Christ’s love and kindness with them makes all the difference and opens up a sliver hope to plant seeds of salvation.

Photo by John Jones

Hope among Believers

In March, before all this happened, John took the opportunity to share the mission of the Media Van and the testimonies he’d garnered along the way with fellow believers at the Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Expo in Marshfield. All donations collected at the Expo went toward ending human trafficking in Wisconsin. For a couple of days, John connected with come new and hopeful roadies, some new churches and ministries, as well as one Scottish singing family group, who very much reminded John of the von Trapps. The mother of the family approached John at the Expo about the possibility of doing concerts in the summer or fall together; John had just heard the father share some great sermons and he could tell that they were extremely skillful in their field. Another urban choir based from Elmbrook Church wanted to join in as well, so they all exchanged information and promised to connect again in the future.

Photo by Sammi Funk

Critical Calling

But most recently, the Media Van went into a large facility to have an extremely significant exchange done. The delicate transfer of the lower chassis, which includes engine, steering, and all tires, must be done with precision and intelligence. With the work of so many people over the years in the Media Van, like the beloved late Rick Puza, the most significant mechanical adventure the Media Van has to date is one that has to be securely placed in the Lord’s hands. That means trusting and believing when the plans change when workers and volunteers disagree over methods when new and old steel has to be added or reinforced; and when screens have to be removed for safety, and even when the facility is bought out by someone else. The wonderful woman who sold the building is a friend through BASICS in Milwaukee, Inc., and is allowing John and the other men to come in as often as possible to work at disconnecting the electrical things from the Media Van, removing nuts and bolts from the donated school bus in the parking lot, and working toward getting everything ready for the big lift.


Photo by John Jones

A Legacy in the Balance

God has given so much to the mission of the Media Van; He’s been building it for decades; the legacy and the incredible testimony that it comes with continues to grow. Even though things may appear uncertain and all the pieces may not be together doesn’t mean we stop. We do what we can when we can, and we trust and hold to the Lord to hold us up and prepare us for the impending miracles.


Light of the World – Christmas 2017

Posted by on Dec 30, 2017 in Home Page Slider, The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments



On December 23rd, John and his driver, Karl, arrived early in the morning to the Media Van’s headquarters, and prepared to go out to a long-anticipated caroling event in Delafield.


Just as they were ready to go, John realized the Media Van’s energy generator would fizzle out only 12 seconds. They tried multiple times to start the machine, but it wouldn’t stay on for more than 20 second, and the Generac customer service office had closed for the Christmas weekend. With no generator power, John had to reluctantly call off the Van’s appearance at the Christmas carol event. He allowed Karl to go home for the holiday and got on the road himself to attend the caroling outreach, set up in the town square.


When he arrived, the many attendees and sponsors had already started to work on a basic projector system to share the video content that was meant for the Media Van. They propped the projectors up and held them in place with bags of salt. Soon, they had the whole thing underway, singing carols and sharing the miracle of the Christ-child; the time spent sharing the ways in which the Lord is good, faithful, and giving. Before the event would come to a close, John felt so compelled to share a recent experience in which the Lord came to his aid and showed His faithfulness and power:


It was a clear morning, and John went to go spend the day with an old friend in a nursing home, and the only visitors she ever received were her daughter and John, who were longtime friends. After a full day without a meal break, John bid her goodbye and got out on the road back to his home in Wauwatosa, with nothing but a cup of hot chocolate in his hand.


ID 96269007 © Benoit Daoust |

ID 96269007 © Benoit Daoust |


He was nearly halfway home on the highway when the night started to turn windy and cold. Winds were blowing at sub-zero temperatures, and John’s car died right in its tracks. The jolt caused him to spill of hot chocolate all over his shirt. His battery had died, and so had his phone. Unable to move over or call for help, he took a couple of chances trying to wave down someone for help. Every attempt was met with cars moving past, and not a single one trusting to even slow down, let alone pick up a suspicious-looking, stained-shirt man alone on an extremely cold night on a major highway.


John sat in his car alone, slowly freezing. No way to warm up, no food, no way of calling for help, and no one who would pull over. He asked God, “Why me? Why now? Is this it for me?” He prayed for support and comfort from the Lord, Who is faithful, and he came to the understanding that someone special, sent by God, would have to be his rescuer.


ID 85269568 © Dusan Kostic |

ID 85269568 © Dusan Kostic |


After what seemed like hours in the cold, dark car, a pair of headlights came up behind him and stopped. John immediately got out of the car and explained his situation to the couple inside the other vehicle. They didn’t get out or roll the window all the way down, but they listened to John intently and offered him a call on their cellphone. He could only remember one phone number out of his caller ID contact list and asked them if they would dial it for him because his fingers were completely numb from the cold. The woman on the other end of the phone didn’t believe it was their friend, John Jones, at first; he had a strange phone number, but John convinced them of his predicament, and his friend, Tom, came out to pick him up and called AAA® to tow the car to Muskego Tire and Battery.


John, grateful to miracle couple who pulled over, blessed them in the Lord’s name. In that moment, he knew that the Lord was faithful and would meet him in any and all of life’s storms.


The friends collected him off the highway, warmed him, and later took him home. John car was completely dead and he was without a vehicle for the holidays. After coming home and sharing the story with family and other friends, they were so moved by the story, that some of them offered to pool some funds together to buy John a new car for Christmas. One amazing 2004 Ford Expedition – with a new engine – was offered by a neighbor and supporter of the Media Van headquarters for as little as seven thousand dollars. John had wheels again, but much more than that, he had another testimony of God’s faithfulness.


Photo by John Jones


These miracle friends and strangers weren’t the only ones who were moved in the Spirit by this incredible story: many from the Delafield Christmas caroling were immensely inspired and encouraged by this true story. John left the event having ministered to the people in Delafield town square, himself, and the Lord – without the luxury of the Media Van.


ID 95228862 © Ryzhov Sergey |

ID 95228862 © Ryzhov Sergey |


It turned out that all the generator needed was a new sensor part within the computer system responsible to run and distribute power to the whole machine and the Media Van’s power outlets; the generator emitted the correct amount of power, but it wasn’t able to make it all the way past the faulty sensor. The unfortunate side was the sensor is so engrained into the computer itself, that the whole computer and sensor needed to be replaced. The day after Christmas, John successfully contacted the Generac customer service to order the new part.


The entire story of the Media Van, filled with its ups and downs, has all come down to one strong and simple fact, GOD IS WITH US. He is faithful, He is just, and He never turns a blind eye to the needs of His beloved children. In the chaotic and scary world that we see ourselves in today – heading into 2018 – we need this truth more than ever. God isn’t dead, nor is He stagnant. He works in amazing and mysterious ways, meeting us all at the exact right moments in our lives to show His power and His love for us. It’s our privilege and desire to share these testimonies with a doubting and greedy generation, shining the Light of the World into the darkness.


In 2018, we strive to remember that not one of us has it all; we may have technology on our side, but it is hardly essential for effectively sharing God’s message to those around us. Our ministry starts with God and us, all we need to do is share.


Our prayer for you all this new year echoes Paul’s prayer to the Ephesian church: that you would all make room daily for the glorious riches of God’s power and goodness, and that every one of you, through faith, be rooted and established in love – to grasp how wide, long, high, and deep it is, and to allow yourselves to be filled to the brim with the fullness of God.


He will never leave, nor forsake you. And He never has. Let 2018 be the year of witness, of true stories of God’s goodness, and the year we all reach out in beautiful practicality to help out our fellow-man.


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21


Happy New Year!


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.

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.

© 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.

© 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 Shepherd | 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 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 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.