Connecting Gears – Autumn 2017

Connecting Gears – Autumn 2017

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.