A common theme has sprung up in 2021 dealing with Covid-19: numerous cancellations, and all for various reasons. Regardless, we had immense blessings in unexpected places.
It truly began with a graduation ceremony, turned early chapel service, at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School. The May weather turned too cold for outdoor festivities, so they resorted to moving everything inside.
Next was a movie-in-the-park event with Brooklife Church, which turned into a rain-checked date for Christmas, which did work out in the end. It was such a pleasure and blessing to get to work with them again.
After that, we had some great events that went off without a hitch, but then it was back to another last-second cancellation:
During the setup for a Margo Fiesler Ministries event at Whitestone Community Church, there was a man-hunt underway not far from the church. Everyone ran inside because the reports said the perpetrator was armed and the police were searching the area. They locked everyone in the church while the emergency was active, while JJ himself got into Big Blue to hide. The pastor wanted JJ to move carefully from the Van to the church, where he was likely to be safer; a large, blue, and solitary truck in a church parking lot, looked like a nice hideout for the assailant. Soon, everything was secure again, though the event was rain-checked too. JJ and Big Blue remained safe during the upset.
More event successes and a time in Appleton with Bilco Auto Body followed, and then we had to cancel an outdoor feature at a Stuart Briscoe honorary night with Care of Elmbrook Church. The summer heat was just too much, even at night.
We had a big success with the Global Leadership Conference in Brookfield. It allowed hundreds of people to see Big Blue outside the conference center. We got more requests from that outing than we had for months.
Big Blue and JJ returned to Whitestone Community Church for Margo Fiesler Ministries’ new event in the parking lot, but there was a massive thunderstorm, forcing everyone inside yet again.
Lake Country gave us its first cancellation; we had two previous tailgate worship services that summer. But then, several more wonderful events came our way.
A different event with Immanuel Lutheran came for their Back-to-School backpack giveaway and school supplies drive. It sponsors underprivileged kids in the inner-city with essentials for school. Next were two block parties in Milwaukee, one with A Loving Heart Ministries, and the other sponsored by BASICS. JJ was invited to an Oasis Project golf outing with Big Blue to auction off and raise funds for more kids in need through games and a watch party.
Each outreach was an amazing experience!
But then, another couple of cancellations caused us some grief. Ephesians Missionary Baptist Church wanted us back for another movie night for their community. It was a welcome and encouraging distraction in 2020 and offered Pastor Monk and his congregation to evangelize during political upheaval. They eventually canceled this year, since the dates didn’t work for either party.
Days later, JJ and Karl headed out for another movie for the Equip team of the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. While en route on Capitol Drive, Big Blue burst a water hose and overheated. A quick and disappointing call to the Equip team and the movie night was off, at least until we figured out what to do with Big Blue’s problem. Thank the Lord it turned out to be an easy fix that was affordable and quick.
The Milwaukee Police Department, District 4, and a ministry called Faith+Blue put together a movie night with the help of community organizer, Neva Hill. Everything went smoothly this time. The police themselves set up folding chairs and handed out goodies, drinks, and popcorn
Two spontaneous neighborhood outreach events occurred simply because sponsors saw Big Blue in operation and wanted it in their neighborhood. JJ was able to hand out bibles and share the Good News.
We prepared to join RiverGlen Church in Pewaukee for their annual Trunk-or-Treat event, but a sudden death in the Jones family happened the weekend before. JJ flew out to be with his family, while the Trunk-or-Treat went on without Big Blue.
Despite the hiccups in operation and unforeseen road bumps, we got the blessing of serving alongside such incredible and talented servants of the Lord. More than once, they told us that they couldn’t have put on their events without Big Blue.
We’ve taken every missed opportunity into account and want to make them happen in 2022. All the partners who didn’t get to see Big Blue kept us in their hearts and minds and prayers and our desire to assist in the shared impact we have on each community are important to us. We’re reserving ideal dates and times in 2022 to make sure that happens.
Because you keep supporting us, we want to give you the information, the prayers, and the stories of blessing that come with this journey. We covered the cost of all the missed events without aid, so in 2022, we need your help. We want to thrive through every unexpected circumstance: the pandemic, weather emergencies, crime, repairs, and conflict, and keep our boots on the streets. For three years, we’ve persevered and the Lord continues to bless us.
Thank you for staying connected to us through prayer, assistance, sharing, and donating! Things went dark for a while, but the proof that we have are still a force for the Lord are your constant inquiries into our well-being. We are capable of wondrous things through the intercession of the saints and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Know that the Lord is here with us and that He is above all. He can get us through anything, and when things go against our plans, He has bigger and better things for us on the horizon.
The Media Van team