Stepping Out – Spring 2018

Stepping Out – Spring 2018

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.