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John: Growing up I had the sense that there are really only two kinds of jobs that most people could do here in the valley. And one of them was working on the farm in the fields with the fruit. And I had done enough of that. I knew that was not what I had wanted to do with my life.
And the other was to become a teacher. And I bombed as a teacher. And I never really realized that what I would end up doing, telling God stories, would take me to the end of the earth. I’ve been able to tell his stories. And it’s because he's called me to do that.
He Was Asking Everything Of Me
John: My nature is to challenge everything. For me it’s important to understand. I don’t just accept things as they are until I’ve examined them. It’s gotta be real. But I went to a high school called Immanuel Academy at that time. And one day, or a number of days I saw people my own age. They were sitting around picnic tables at the school and Geri, my wife, she was among them. And these kids were talking about God speaking to them. And they were reading the Word. And I could understand.
Those words made sense to me. So I began to join them and was with them to a point came where I realized this is real. God is speaking. He’s actually speaking to me! And I saw it! I saw it with the people around me. Yeah. I wanted that to be….I wanted that to be real in my life. And it became real.
And then I realized to be a follower of Jesus, to be Christian means to be a follower of Jesus. And that meant he was asking everything of me. But I wanted to do that. And so that was a turning point. I came this close to walking away.
With All Of Who I Was
John: When I went to college I knew I needed to serve God with all of who I was, my gifting, my talents. I sought to do that. I actually did a project. This amazing multi-image thing. In that day that was cutting edge. We had four slide projectors. All controlled by micro-processors. We had live elements. We had drama elements. All mixed into this story of telling our story as prodigal sons, where in a sense I was going to turn away from faith and I went back to God. And I loved it.
I was able to do it. I was able to put pictures and sound together in a powerful way. So we toured and we were in churches and sharing our faith through multi-media. I knew that’s what God wanted me to do. That’s my passion. That’s been my life.
My Gospel Patron
John: Peter Thomas is a Gospel Patron that is supporting my ministry and enabling me to do my work. He truly is a Gospel Patron. He has taken the profits from his business and he is giving it to God. He is giving it to kingdom building. And to people like me so that I can do what God has called me to do.
Peter: It’s exciting to partner with John and Geri because they’re telling the stories of foreign missionaries. And I’m passionate about foreign missions. I’ve been real influenced by John Piper, his ministry too, his book Let The Nations Be Glad. I’m kinda simple about it too. I think it’s, you have three options: you’re gonna go or you’re gonna send, as a Christian, you’re gonna go, you’re gonna send, or you’re disobeying.
That’s a simple way to put it, but right now I’m not going in the terms of I’m not actively myself going to foreign places to proclaim the gospel. And so it's very natural that the wealth that I have, the wealth that we have in America, that we should be the hub, the American church should be the hub, to be doing foreign missions. I see my role where I am in terms of the ability, like I said, to have a business that makes a profit, that’s a special thing, that’s something that is very useful in God’s Kingdom.
So my first introduction to John, from a standpoint of support, was from Ron Brown who is on the board of directors at Resource Compliance. Ron and John attend the same local church and Ron introduced me to the ministry of MB mission ministry. And that was the doorway for me to learn about what John does telling these stories across the world of what gospel believing saints are, what their situations are like. That excites me because I think it will…stories are powerful and have the ability to stir up the hearts of the Western Church to be more engaged in foreign missions, to be more engaged in the mission of God so that ultimately our Lord Jesus Christ will be more glorified here than he is now.
A Part Of God's Story
John: Stories of Gospel Patrons need to be heard because they don’t have to be a cameraman, a producer, a missionary, a pastor. They can be a business person! And God can use them and needs to use them as effectively. They’re just as important. Those stories are just as critical as all the other stories. They’re a part of God’s story. They need to be told.
In Psalm 145 it says generations are to tell the next generation to bring praise to God for what he has done. It’s to tell others, it’s to tell the generations what God has done and what he wants to continue to do.