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



A Father’s Day to Remember | Summer 2017 Update

Posted by on Jul 8, 2017 in 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 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.




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

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



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.







Just Perfect | 2017 Update

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in 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!



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 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 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

The Harvest is Plentiful | Fall 2015

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments


So after Labor Day weekend, the Media Van and team began to prepare for the next season, starting off with raising support and encouraging the church at Elmbrook’s “Connect” weekend. Much like the year before, we attended a large conference and gathered in the Elmbrook parking lot with lots of other ministries in the Brookfield area. The Van was set up to show examples of video content we used out on outreaches and encouraged the believers around us in the Lord. Lots of people were allowed inside as well to see the vision of the Media Van’s final product, to see the progress thus far, and to learn more about how to be involved with the unique ministry of the Media Van. We talked about the summer and our past exploits, showing how the grace of God worked behind the scenes at this project and how He was bringing more of it together all the time.

Connecting and learning about local ministries in your area is a great way to see how the Lord is still at work in our world today. Thank you Elmbrook Church for allowing us back this harvest season.

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Unexpected Developments

After “Connect” came to a close and we had a moments rest, we wanted to meet together with a board of council members to discuss all that went on and how the rest of the year could proceed. While no one was available to meet that night, there was some wonderful and unexpected news – the funds for the 3rd screen’s purchase was ready! After another personal encounter with one of our wonderful donors, John was presented with the rest of the funds to purchase the last crown jewel of the Media Van project.

John’s dream of nearly thirty years is finally coming together in its entirety!


Grace Church

After much conversing and deliberation, the Media Van was able to make it out to Grace Church in Delafield for an outdoor service/open mic discussion on personal mission work. It was great! John was allowed some time during the service portion to have a Q&A with the congregation and share his testimony in a nutshell. There was of course music with the worship service and the weather proved to be just right to provide a nice atmosphere for the sermon topic of harvest and the seasons of the Christian life. Right out near the busy street, the Van provided its high profile performance and aimed to attract more people into the arms and wisdom of God.

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

Harvest Fest

Again, the Media headed out to Elmbrook again for the week long “Harvest Fest.” Parking the Van outside in the parking lot again, we now had installed the new FM radio transmitter for the people coming and going from the church to listen to the Media Van videos in their cars.

Over the entire week, John stood at the table with the BASICS in Milwaukee crew inside the auditorium and explained to more people in detail of the progress of the Media Van and encouraged them to take a look outside and try the radio transmitter for themselves. At the BASICS table, there were, of course, all kinds of brochures and information about the various ministries connected through BASICS and a sign-up sheet to get involved. The Mobile Media Ministry had quite the time, conversing with old friends and reconnecting over the possibility of volunteering. With some more support at our back, we were encouraged in the future possibilities of 2016 and how the Lord was bringing more and more people to our attention for help.


Breakdown at Atkinson Park

The Media Van crew was raring to go out on another small outreach during the Fall season.

One, “Trunk or Treat” event was the last outreach scheduled, but in the end had to be cancelled.

Out at an impromptu outreach at Atkinson Park in Milwaukee, all went very well, but in the end the Van had a mechanical malfunction with its fuel line and had to be towed back to Wiza and Co., where a new fuel pump had to be installed.

We trust in the Lord that He will continue to keep it running as long as He sees it bringing people to know Him more. Incidentally, the pastor from the church whose event was cancelled has scheduled ten Fridays out of our next summer season in 2016!

We are expecting to see Big Blue return to us very soon, and we hope to see that 3rd screen installed and a possible Christmas outreach before 2015 draws to a close.

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

As for Now

The Mobile Media Ministry has had a lot to do this year, and of course it’s not over yet. We are looking forward to the way the Lord will move in us in the coming months and into 2016, a new year.

Thanks again to all who showed their love and support this Fall and we hope to see you all very soon.

God bless!

Reflection of the Heart

Posted by on Sep 12, 2015 in The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

So after ending our time with Watertown Community Church, the next Wednesday would be our first outing with the Feed the Kids program from the Milwaukee Salvation Army of the year. All was coming together, until a last minute hiccup the morning of the event — one of the rear left tires of Blue was extremely low compared to the night before. Unable to determine for sure that the tire wasn’t popped or leaking rapidly, we sadly had to cancel our appearance at Washington Park.

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk


A repairman came not long after this happened and deduced that the outer tire was perfectly fine, but that the inner tube of the wheel had been slowly disintegrating over the many years of neglected use. With this knowledge, it didn’t take long to get everything back to rights, naturally. But something even more worthy of note is that John had some time to converse with the repairman and even pray for his new family life and his and his wife’s uncertain pregnancy.

In the end, all was put into the hands of the Lord, and He put everything all to rights.

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Unconditional means No Fine Print

Next event was our last stop at the beloved Woodlands for the summer: another kids movie night showing “Unconditional”.

There was much going on and much to do at the pavilion, with all the games and food and face-painting that was going on, even as the movie was playing. Kids stopped in to watch the Van and comment to each other on what they witnessed; people young and old gathered, disbanded,  and gathered together again as the movie continued on. When the movie was almost over, the sound unnaturally conked out and all was silent. This was because of a battery going dead in the laptop that was running the movie without a charging cable. Even though the movie ended in silence, John was able to follow up on the message of the film, explaining that God’s love for us has no limit: that means no preference, no color, no termination, and of course, no conditions. No fine print.

We are thankful for our time at the Woodlands this year and look forward to the years to come and the movement of the Lord there.

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Lost in Translation?

Finally, after a week to recoup from the last fiasco with the tires, we headed out to meet with the Feed the Kids program at Reiske Park on the South side of Milwaukee. Upon arrival, we started up as soon as we saw the locals gathering for the imminent food truck. Starting with a Jesus story, we engaged the young ones both before and after the food truck’s stay. Our lovely correspondent at the Salvation Army, Ms. Debbie Thompson, was present as well, ready with a table full of childrens’ Christian books and lesson material, as well as pylons for the Van’s parking situation. Reiske Park has a very large Spanish-speaking population, so with the English audio of the film, some was unfortunately lost in translation. But once the movie and our time came to a close, John was still able to share with the crowd a message of hope and encouragement with the ones who chose to stay, and even Ms. Debbie was able to share the appropriate Bible reference in the Spanish Bibles she was giving out that day at the park.

God’s truth and love is free for all and has no language or circumstantial barriers!

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

Serve Your City

Though the engine trouble we had been experiencing reared its ugly head again on the way back from Reiske; it was a harrowing ride, but praise be to God for allowing the Van and crew to arrive safely back and even travel out to the next event more than a week later, Clarke Square Park with Faithbuilder’s “Serve your City.”

At the park, there was a clean-up effort and block party headed up by the Milwaukee Police Department and all the Faithbuilders teams.

The Media Van parked within the park grounds and provided movies, power supply, and visual aid to the various programs being presented after the clean-up. During the event, as many as six different church representatives came out to learn more about the Media Van and the mission tied to it, and many showed great interest, especially those based in the Hispanic community. Lastly and miraculously, our volunteer driver that day, Rick, was able to permanently fix the engine problem by finding a mishap with the carburetor. Smooth sailing from now on!

Praise the Lord for the work he is doing through the Faithbuilders and the MPD in these hard times, renewing our hope in the greater good and the faithfulness of the Lord!


Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Feed the Hungry

Our next two events were with the Salvation Army and Feed the Kids out at Butterfly Park and Carver Park. At both events there was much blessing. Showing our “David and Goliath” story at both locations, many young ones and their families came and went from the movies and tables, getting food and sitting down on a blue tarp to eat. After the programs, John would come up again to all the kids and elaborate the story, that God is interested in even the little things, and the giants in our lives are no match for the God that loves and looks after them.

Afterward, many decided they wanted to know more about God and the ministry and we promptly invited them inside the Van to learn more. Young and old entered the Van and many learned more about the way God sees them and received their own Bibles. After praying with the group and sending them off in peace, many hearts were lifted and spirits commended to the Lord. At Carver Park, lots of volunteers with the Salvation Army expressed the thanks and interest in the Media Van and team, and we were so blessed to meet them.

Thanks to the Salvation Army and Ms. Debbie for allowing us again to take the Media Van along with you as you work to melt the hearts of the local people in the most dire places in Milwaukee; the Lord is with you!

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk








Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones


Open Invitation

One of the last items on the summer agenda was the fabulous FEAST Gathering at Genesis in Milwaukee off of Lisbon Avenue — in one of the darkest corners of Milwaukee. The Van arrived early to pray, and parked as a barricade for the street as the tables and activities were being set up. Come 10:00AM, people were again invited out of their houses to join the many followers of Christ in engaging in fun activities, movies, hearing testimonies, and sharing a great meal. The Van, parked on the end of the street, again provided visual aid to the many demonstrations and testimonies and sermonettes being shared that day, and the event generally had a nice turn-out. Lots of people connected to the various ministries and organizations, as well as some old friends and volunteers came out to show their support and fill in the gaps.

When God feeds everyone at the same time, you can’t avoid the movement of His Spirit taking over the atmosphere. Praise God for always being good!

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones


Within this time and various activities, of course some things came as a surprise and other things had to be let go of: our Church on the Rocks efforts had to be put on hiatus for the next summer season, and Mr. Bob Chase finished his wonderful craftsmanship on the Van interior, creating seamless wall coverings to the screen side of the Media Van. And with that all completed, we’d thought our busy summer had finally come to a close…

But not long after FEAST, John received a call from his old friend from Phantom Ranch Bible Camp, Olen.

Olen asked if it would be possible for the Van to come out to Mukwonago for an outdoor worship service and message, where he could also share his testimony. John readily obliged and made all arrangements quickly to head out to Phantom Ranch on Sunday, September 6th.

Once parked in a large field area, the Van provided the main power supply and visual aids for the worship band as the night progressed. It was a great time of fellowship and praise to the Lord for all His goodness, and sort of a throwback to our Timber-Lee trip in 2014. Though during the last bit of the music, one of the propane tanks ran empty and all the power was lost momentarily. Regardless, the band continued to sing and praise the Lord while John installed a spare tank and booted up the Van again. The chapel time ran well into the night, and as the sun disappeared under the horizon, the Media Van’s two screens shone forth in brilliance and gave the closing of the night a feeling of hope and renewal for the times ahead.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Photo by John Jones

Photo by John Jones

Goodbye Summer

So as the Media Van third summer season has finally drawn to a close, we want to thank everyone who has made all this wonderful work possible:

Faithbuilders, the Salvation Army, the Woodlands Community, Pewaukee Chamber of Commerce, Genesis in Milwaukee, BASICS in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Police Department, Evangelical Child and Family Agency, and all the countless individuals who volunteered their time, funds, and energy to bring about some truly incredible times this year when the Lord was allowed to move.

The heart of the city reflects the heart of humanity, hungry for God but looking in all the wrong places. Thanks to all who did their part this summer in reaching out to Milwaukee and the neighboring towns to reveal that the Lord is the ultimate goal and the ultimate satisfaction to the soul.


Give and Take

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in The Van Blog | 0 comments








Master Craftsmanship

As the Spring moved into Summer, many new interior renovations were underway and falling into place — thanks to the expertise of Bob Chase, master woodworker.

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

He spent much of his time, energy, and resources to bring the Van’s interior vision a little closer to life. He worked on the interior screen wall furnishings and more, creating a uniform look to the whole room. John was very impressed with his work and Bob was eager and grateful to help. Come time for the third screen installation process, we are excited to welcome Mr. Chase back to complete his handiwork.

Before our next official event could take place and our third summer season to kick off, that second screen was in need of an status update, and by that, we mean to be installed!

Image by Sammi Funk

Image by Sammi Funk

It was a bit of a process, but over the next week after the Van arrived back from its steel frame job and with a couple of weeks in-between outreaches, John FINALLY was able to put together, piece by piece, building one on top of another, within the new framework in the left side of the vehicle, the second Media Van screen in its appropriate place.

It took a relatively short time to install the screen and get it running together with its partner compared to the near year and a half it took to prepare the equipment for the installation process. Another summer season, technical difficulties, software updates and purchases, and general upkeep had kept this screen in its temporary spot on the garage floor instead of its home in the Van where it could perform.

But praise be to God, with the third Media Van outreach season quickly coming into view, it was finally packed in and ready for the show… or so we thought.


Photo by Valerie Pietrowiak

Photo by Valerie Pietrowiak

Movie Night

Our first summer event was a movie night at the beloved Woodlands Community in Milwaukee off of Brown Deer Road. Before arriving though, the second screen had yet another malfunction, and we had to do the event with the one original screen running the movie while the new guy sat this one out.

It was a good night, though it got a little cold as the night grew on, but the kids had fun and some really invested their attention into the film’s message: that God can work through anyone and change anyone’s life, though it may be difficult sometimes. At the end of the night, we were immediately invited back for a couple more nights that summer to engage the kids more in dwelling on the ways of God and how He could work in their hearts. We accepted with gratitude and continued on back, for we had another event the following morning to get ready for.

Image by Sammi Funk

Image by Sammi Funk


Party on the Block

The next morning and afternoon, Big Blue and the team went out to a block party with the Faithbuilders teams and the Milwaukee Police Department’s District 4 off of 106th Street.

There was a lot to do and a lot going on: door prizes, food, books, and clothes were being given away; as well as visiting church booths, prayer booths, a rock climbing wall, and a bounce house! And of course, the Media Van!

Throughout the late morning and afternoon, the Media Van showed videos that spoke life and purpose onto the street, and every now and then, a performance would take place outside to engage the community and praise the Lord. It was a fun afternoon of fellowship and preaching the goodness of the Lord. Toward the end, the emcee’s power generator choked out and the Media Van team was able to assist further by hooking them up to the Van’s power supply, which got everyone through the rest of the event. At the end of the day, it was clear, ‘God is good, all the time.’

Now something that was continually on the agenda, but never got enough attention, was the impending Church on the Rocks opportunities that the Media Van team was so eager to take on. Going to the lakefront and preaching the Gospel through art and song was something that John had had in mind to do with the Van for a long time, and this summer seemed like a nice time to test that idea. But for the first time, it wasn’t going to work out with the current situation with the ministry, so we it saved for another time — there were much bigger tasks at hand.


Image by John Jones

Image by John Jones

4th of July

On the morning of the 4th of July, 2015, we had much in place for our next and hopefully successful 4th of July outreach event. With no church sponsor and a small team of roadies gathered to assist throughout the day, we had gathered to pray and intercede the night before and now were gathering again at the Pewaukee School District for the parade line-up. All the plans we’d had for the previous years were falling into place now, and we were able to participate in the local Independence Day festivities like the parade and show a movie in the park… though that was only half true.

We had to pull out of having the park as an option this year due to red tape and deadlines we were unable to meet, so by the grace of God, we were then allowed to park and show our film in the neighboring Droegkamp parking lot just off of Capitol Drive at the end of the parade route. Having spread the word and having faith that some would arrive at the new location, we set up some folding chairs on the lot and began to show more videos to precede the film. Some of our friends arrived shortly before the movie was to begin, as for some other people we didn’t recognize, and the movie started promptly at six o’clock.

Image by Sammi Funk

Image by Sammi Funk

While the videos and movie ran in the parking lot, many more passersby were able to catch a glimpse of what was going on. The film talked about our heritage as a free nation, and how the founding fathers valued the teachings of the Word of God to create a template of conduct for a new and free nation to be built upon. At the end, we were all challenged with the idea of how we each would personally keep this fire alive and stand for a pure and holy worldview to keep America afloat during our lifetimes.

Finishing off the second 4th of July event with the Media Van, letting ourselves be fully known to the local community of Pewaukee, and showing the love and perseverance that it takes to come and meet people where they are, we slowly dispersed that night in the hopes that God had sparked imaginations and touched hearts.




Photo of Journal Sentinel issue taken by Sammi Funk     Image credit to Gary Porter


Police love Milwaukee

A week later, we joined Faithbuilders again off of Center Street and North Sherman for another huge block party for the locals in Milwaukee. Again, the Milwaukee Police Department had a huge hand in getting everything put together and having the activities run for everyone attending. District 7 and the corresponding Faithbuilders team headed everything up and spoke into the lives and hearts of the community, stating that the Lord has not abandoned Milwaukee and that the police department is for them and is striving to be seen as an asset to them and work on their behalf effectively.

And of course, Big Blue was there, sharing videos, live feed of the event, supplying sound and microphones for the speakers and musicians, and also acting as one of the barricades on the west border of the block. Many local churches also came out and represented the body of Christ, drawing people into learning about how God loves them and how He is available for one on one contact. And at one point that day, John Jones went up and down the block, stopping to talk and pray with individuals who were curious or in need of intercession.

Altogether, it was another gem of an experience the Media Van team was thankful to add to the treasure trove of memories… but another was soon to come.

Photo by Valerie Pietrowiak

Photo by Valerie Pietrowiak

We were meant to be Courageous

Once again, on the 16th of July, we headed out to the Woodlands community for our second run at a movie night with the kids: on the roster — the movie “Courageous.” It was a rainy night, the Van finally had two functioning screens that worked in tandem while the spectators sat under a pavilion. Throughout the night, lots of kids came and went from their homes to do random things and get more food, even after the popcorn provided by the Media Van team was exhausted. The movie looked great up on the two big screens, and a few young men stayed for the entire film, running close to two whole hours. Afterward, John invited these gentlemen inside the Van to elaborate and talk further about what each of them thought of the message. It was a great time and one we wouldn’t trade for anything, even being able to have our Independence Day movie in the Pewaukee park. One young man accepted the Lord into his life that night. God is awesome!


Photo taken from no copyright intended

Photo taken from
no copyright intended

Continual Jumpstarts

That following Sunday, the congregation at Watertown Community Church requested we join them for their annual church picnic service at Lincoln Park in Watertown. Though arriving there was a bit slow — on account of a bridge that was under construction — eventually the Van arrived as the people were coming in and set up quickly to start the service. There was a worship duo that sang and a pastor lead us in prayer, then John had the podium for a while to recount his story in full: how he was inspired and saved after a miraculous rescue in Vietnam, how he worked in the city and saw the needs on the streets, and how he came by the Media Van and slowly started bringing it back to life as an visual instrument to the Lord’s glory. The crowd was so moved by his story, and the Mobile Media Ministry was taken on again as an official sponsored mission of the church.

There was a meal and fellowship afterward, but there was something else that had to be addressed that day: the Media Van engine became overheated  upon arrival at the park and started jerking forward while parking. After the service and meal, some of the people from the church called in a mechanic friend to take a look at the engine before leaving and was able to temporarily mend the problem.

Photo by Valerie Pietrowiak

Photo by Valerie Pietrowiak

So even as we head into the second half of the summer season of 2015, we are thankful and stretched by what we have experience so far and look forward to the way the Lord with move in the following months. Thank you Lord for the many ways you meet our needs!

Manna is Falling

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in The Progress, The Van Blog | 0 comments

A Surprise Visit

So not long after the Media Van went in for its long-awaited tune-up, the Media Van team was surprised by a unforeseen arrival of a new friend.
Very early in the morning, John received a phone call from China informing him that one of their repairmen from Shenzhen would be arriving in Chicago within a few hours; he had about a week in between the jobs he traveled around the world for and he would be stopping in to help with some software and programming trouble with our second screen. John was elated and drove the two hours to Midway Airport to receive the Chinese technician, who now wouldn’t have to spend the night at the airport.
When John arrived around 2am in Chicago, he had no idea of who to look for. So he was surprised as anything when the young man he was looking for appeared behind him, speaking fine English, and showing a youthfulness that even betrayed his tender years.

For the sake of confidentiality, we will call our new friend L.
L traveled back with John and proceeded to stay at his home, sleeping on his couch and going nearly everywhere with John for the duration of his stay. John would bring L to the garage headquarters of the ministry to work together on the second screen and talk tech. John would often run out to the hardware store and L would stay and spend hours and hours working on the Media Van screen, preparing it for final stages of installation.
Then on one occasion, while John was out, the screen accidentally fell over, crashing down on the floor into its individual pieces. Sammi and L were present for this and no one was hurt, and praise be to God, the screen was easily repairable — there were extra pieces of LED screen parts included in the kit when the screen arrived, over a year earlier! Not long after this, Wiza Truck Service called to inform the team that the Van was ready. Now L would get to see the Van in action firsthand! Once arriving to bring Blue home again, it wouldn’t start up. It was a Saturday morning and everyone was home for the weekend. Fortunately, the boss, Mr. Wiza, was present to hear how the Media Van coughed and sputtered trying to start its engine. He advised to keep the Van for a couple more days to replace some chords and pipelines to the engine. Praise be to the Lord for providing for all our needs!

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Culture Club

Since the Van was still in for further repairs, John and company decided it would be best to show our new friend from China around town. After little things like bibles studies, Sunday school, bowling, getting frozen yogurt, L’s tour de Milwaukee was topped off with a little jog around the UW Marquette area.
L seemed to so enjoy his short stay with us, that he said he looked forward to visiting again soon. It was sad to see our new friend go, but it was an invaluable blessing to have had him around, and we feel sure the feeling is mutual.


Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

The Van returns

After L’s departure for his next job, the Van was ready to come back home. With everything under the hood finally in tip-top shape, we now had to send the Van off again to receive one last bit of renovation before all could be put to rights for the summer. But before that, we had our first and only Spring season event to do, the Bike and Hike for ECFA!

Spring Ride

The first and only event of the Spring season came as the Evangelical Child and Family Agency annual bike and hike fundraiser in Waukesha. Upon arrival, we weren’t sure how many would come or if the weather would stay nice. But the sun stayed out and made the whole event a warm, happy, and energized affair! The Media Van was able to show many clips and movies about little ones, bigger people, Jesus, and how we all relate and how our relationships to each other are very important!
The day finished off with some door prizes, food, and a well-earned respite for the cyclists. ECFA, as well as the Media Van team, was blessed by this event, with more support and general awareness for our mission to glorify the Lord in the metropolitan area.


Image by Sammi Funk

Image by Sammi Funk

More renovations

The very next Monday, the Media Van had another renovation to undergo, a steel framework job for the second screen in Menomonee Falls. Heading out there was no problem, and the job didn’t take up nearly any time at all. Once the Van spirited its way back home, there were not one, but two steel frames placed inside the Van, one for the second screen, and the other for the impending final screen that has still to make its way to us. With all of this now in place, the screen that has sat in the Media Van headquarters for over a year will now have nothing in its way to be finally installed into the side of Big Blue itself! Also, many new partners have voiced the desire to be roadies with us this summer, including a new driver! Summer is shaping up to be spectacular!

Photo by Sammi Funk

Photo by Sammi Funk

Final Thoughts

So as the spring gives way to the exciting next chapter of the Media Van’s story, we have much to look forward to. Old connections as well as many new opportunities are flying in and slowly becoming a reality: movies nights, parades, block parties with the Milwaukee Police Department, much is happening this summer and God is going to do some amazing stuff! We see revival coming to Milwaukee, and it may already be happening, because it has been affecting us here from in the city, all the way to China. We can see how the Lord can move in ways we do not expect, but we can also see how He knows just how to get our attention and speak directly to our situation. He is a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, and He and only He is going to bring His people back to His heart.
 Thank you for all your prayers and support!