We are coming up on the one-year mark of our dear friend, Jerry Jenkins, passing. Jerry did so much to help the men at the mission and advance the mentoring ministry. Please take the time to read these thoughts from his wife and best friend, Viviana.
One year into this journey of grief, I have read a lot about how to deal with it, stages of grief, etc., and of the things people experiencing grief talk about, is the grieving over the plans for the future they had made with their loved ones.
Jerry and I made many plans for our future together, and we also talked about the vision he had for the Ironman ministry. He wanted the ministry to expand by involving other churches, because he recognized this is a difficult ministry, not for everyone, and because he saw the church as a big family, not just one specific congregation. He also wanted to help the men transition out of the mission by helping them get their life in order.
But most of all, he cared about the eternity of the men going through the program. He was an evangelist at heart and once he got saved he shared Jesus with everyone. So when we had conversations about Ironman, we would talk about all the practical ways he would love to help the men, but then he would tell me: "I can't wait to see who's in heaven as a result, don't you think that would be the coolest part of it? Can you imagine when I'm in heaven and a guy that I never met comes to say hi and says, I'm here because of Ironman. That would be the best!".
When the Lord called him home, I did worry about the ministry at first because I knew how passionate he was about Ironman. Then God in His great love and mercy revealed to me that our plans here, whether it was the plans Jerry and I had made for our life together, or the plans for the ministry, are not guaranteed. We don't even know if we have tomorrow.
However, the plans we made for heave are not just guaranteed, but are a reality from the moment we accepted Jesus into our hears, and that revelation took away all the worry, because his plans and vision for the ministry have heaven as the main motivation behind them, and I know for sure one day in heaven, someone will introduce himself to Jerry and tell him he's there because of Ironman.
I've already been so blessed because I've witnessed how Ironman has expanded and now 2 other churches have demonstrated interest in the ministry, and the scholarship fund has already assisted 2 guys transition out of the mission. And most important, souls are being saved, lives are being restored and the men transitioning out are now mentoring other men going through the program and are plugged into local churches.
And all of this has been possible because of your prayers, donations to the scholarship fund and volunteer work, so thank you for making the vision a reality and for continuing the race.
If you would like to donate to the Iron Man Scholarship fund at this one-year mark of Jerry’s passing you may do so in his honor by clicking HERE. Thank you for your support.
– Pastor Dan
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!