One of the best parts of my job as Director of Resource Development with MARKINC Ministries is meeting and interviewing people for our Help and Hope audio library.
Technology makes it possible to interview people from all over the world, as long as each of us has a good internet connection, a decent pair of headphones, enough storage on our computer, and a quiet room. The most stressful part of the interview is getting set up and making sure all parties have a good connection and we can hear one another.
One week we experienced repeated tech issues, but thought we had solved all of them. Chuck was scheduled to interview Steve Demme, founder of Building Faith Families, Loving Each Other as God has Loved Us. Steve is an author and writes curriculum used by thousands of homeschoolers. Steve’s best friend is his young adult son, a young man with Down Syndrome. We had “met” Steve for a pre-interview via Zoom (an online meeting platform) and we knew his story would offer help and hope to many. Chuck was almost ready to introduce Steve and start the conversation when the lawnmowers started running around our house. NOISE! Lots of NOISE! What to do? We didn’t want to inconvenience Steve by rescheduling, so Chuck quickly moved into the closet, sat on the floor, looked at me and said, “What I do for MARKINC Ministries!” I grabbed my camera because watching him huddle over that computer reminded me of the early years of ministry. Chuck was pastor of Logan United Methodist Church, located at the corner of 13th and Rockland St. in Philadelphia, PA. We were both about 25 years old and passionate about sharing the Gospel with whomever would listen. Our church was a tiny city church but Chuck didn’t let that stop him. He started a radio broadcast, aired every Sunday on WPEN. But we were not set up to record his sermons during church, so Chuck created a studio on the third floor of our old house by placing extra mattresses on the walls. Each week he recorded his sermon in an empty room, the Lord his only audience. He then drove to the station to drop off the reel to reel message.
As I watched him huddled in the closet for this interview, I laughed and said, “I think we’ve come full circle!”
Anyone involved in any kind of ministry, but especially in non-profit ministry, will most likely agree: we are flexible and always have a back up plan and we try to make it work with whatever the Lord provides!
Whenever I see Steve Demme’s name and we launch the conversation he had with Chuck, I will smile as I remember Chuck in that closet.
We’ve been busy having wonderful conversations with people who want others to know the resurrection power of Jesus, especially when the lights in their lives go out. Check out the resource we released last week "The Graceland of Marriage and Disability: A Conversation with Joan and Jerry Borton." Jerry was born with cerebral palsy. Joan and Jerry’s conversation needs to be heard not just by people with disabilities, but by anyone who wants a glimpse into how to come alongside someone with disabilities.
Chuck and I were blessed deeply by our conversation with Paul and Jill Miller. Paul founded seeJesus and has written numerous books, including A Praying Life and A Loving Life. Each morning Chuck and I start our day by reading a chapter of A Loving Life to each other. Paul’s insights into the life of Naomi and Ruth are life transforming. But with all the amazing work of Paul and Jill, they both say that their daughter Kim, now a young adult, opened the doors to deep intimacy with Jesus as they learned how to raise a daughter with autism.
Last week I recorded a conversation with Andrea Maher, author of Slammed. Andrea lost one son as a result of drug induced hypothermia. Three years later, her precious son, Matt, made one mistake that could have ruined his life (Check out the resources we recorded with Matt Maher last year). I resonated with Andrea’s response to the slams of life and how each one eventually drove her deeper into the heart of Jesus.
Though we’ve seemingly come full circle, we really have not, as God continues to open wide the doors of ministry through MARKINC Ministries. In this “winter season” of life, we know the Lord still has work for us to do. I am so grateful that part of that work is connecting with people who are experiencing resurrection in their every day lives, but even more, trusting that one day, complete resurrection will be their’s.
Treasured by Him,