Man on a Mission

small diamonds courageWhen a person learns that they are dying, it does not mean they are dead or even half-dead.

It means they are alive.

Their life matters.

Each day counts.

Purpose and passion take on new meaning.

Josh wants his living and his dying to make a difference.

He’s charting a course. Counting the days.

Running his race – like he’s never ran before.

It all began at the Hospice Home in Ft. Wayne (a remarkable place filled with remarkable people) in the last week of August. We were instructed by the staff to do what we needed to do and initiate the “goodbyes” that needed to be said. Josh was declining rapidly. A dear friend came with glass hearts for Josh to give to those he loved. It was a precious, powerful demonstration of love. The bowl of hearts soon ran dry.

In a wakeful moment, I explained we needed to get more “forget-me-nots.”

“I’ll look for hearts, Josh, but I don’t know what I’ll find.”

“Whatever you find, make sure it’s red. I want them to remember ‘life is about love.’”

Noah and I jumped in the car and found a Michael’s craft store. To our surprise, there were no glass hearts to be found, but, through tears, an employee joined the search. We found little crosses, bead hearts, and various plastic “gems.” I bought them all. I wanted Josh to choose. Once back at the Hospice Home, he instantly knew what he wanted.

It didn’t take long before a visitor arrived to say goodbye to Josh. We got a front row seat.

“I’d like to give you this diamond,” he said, as he placed it into the hands of his friend. He then cradled their hand in both of his. “It’s red because ‘love matters.’ We need to love in a way that makes a difference. It’s a diamond because God does amazing things under heat and pressure. He does His best work when life is the hardest. Don’t forget.”

Red Diamond Days began.

Josh is a ‘man on a mission.’

Alive.

Running his race.

An Invitation to Join Josh

Hundreds of Red Diamonds are now in others’ hands along with God’s powerful message of love and truth. Some have gone to people Josh knows and some to those he meets for the first time – medical supply delivery people, hospital workers, ER nurses, hospice staff, helicopter pilots. Others are now sharing them as well – a second grade teacher with the kids in her class and leaders with their students at a Jr. High youth rally.

Josh would like you to join his “Red Diamond” giveaway. Josh has set a goal to give away 100,000 Red Diamonds. Will you help him? It’s simple:

  • Pick up some Red Diamonds. They can be found online or at your local hobby store. We originally found them in boxes of 100 for $5 at Michael’s.
  • Share the gems with people. Pass along to those you know and love and, when comfortable, with individuals you meet. Keep them handy in your car, desk, bag, or on a shelf in your dorm. When people ask, give them a diamond and share the simple message: “hear, know, and do not forget God’s love.”
  • Include a Care Card. We have created a small card (PDF, 542K) to pass along with the Red Diamond. Print the PDF (in black & white or color), trim out the cards and share.
  • Tell us how it goes. Drop us a line on Facebook to let us know about how you are living and giving during these “Red Diamond Days.” (We’d also love for you to share Red Diamond Days to your Facebook friends – help us spread the love!)

We’re working to launch a website for the Red Diamond Days project; it is not yet up and running, but will be soon. We’ll use the site to share a little bit about Josh and his great desire to “Go M.A.D. – Go Make A Difference.” The page will also include a clear “Good News” gospel presentation a feature a link to the Chevy commercial that reminded Josh of God’s great pursuit.  We pray this site will be a mighty tool in God’s hands and an easy way for us to intentionally connect with others in a way that can make a difference.

Love matters. God works. Now, Go M.A.D!

First time here?

Categories Family

29 thoughts on “Man on a Mission”

  1. Truly God’s hand at work, even amidst the tragic news, this is awesome, God speed, filled with the Gospel message everyone needs to hear, absorb, and act! Blessings Annette

  2. Having been sick….bad sick….I have learned to not discount people or days we are given. There are so many regrets. Love not expressed. People look at me strangely but it’s important to say thank you NOW. It’s important to say I love you NOW. It’s important to say you made a difference NOW. It’s important. What a great ministry Josh has begun. A ministry of NOW. Love you my friend. Praying for strength for you all.

  3. I have been so impressed by this young man, Josh ever since the first time I met him when he wanted to help the orphans of Romania. He is definitely going to finish well. I am going to Hobby Lobby tonight and will look for the red diamonds, so I can help Josh spread the love of Christ! Running the race with you, buddy! 🙂

    • Diane,
      Josh’s heart has always beat hard for kids who need a family.
      WBCL gave Josh an avenue to put that care into action. What a joy!
      He remembers you, Diane! He will love to hear that you’re running the race.
      Run hard. Rest well.
      Love, Brenda

  4. Brenda- My kiddos were so touched by Josh’s words. They each took one out of the basket so solemnly and offering a prayer as they held onto the red gem. They especially liked the scripture quote at the bottom of the paper you gave me. They even caught that it came from the book of Joshua! Josh held their attention in ways that I could only dream. 20 gems shared so far. I will be looking for a box when I get to FW this weekend.

    I love the care cards. I was wishing earlier today that there was a way to communicate Josh’s story with parents so they would understand. Thank you for the cards. I will share with my families on Monday!  Thank you for touching hearts! See you Monday! Susan

    ________________________________

    • Susan,
      You and your class of kiddos were part of God’s plan!
      Josh caught the vision that other people could pass out Red Diamonds, too.
      His dream took root and is growing beyond what he can imagine.
      Little things in the Hands of God.
      They are a work of wonder every time!
      Thank you for touching our hearts!
      Brenda

  5. Brenda, my best friends grandson is fighting stage 5 chronic kidney disease and bilateral kidney dysplasia. It’s a mouth full, but God is working wonders with this infant,and with those who are praying for him. There is a benefit for Shane later this month and I am one of the volunteers. I will proudly buy a bag of red diamonds and give them out to all of Shane’s volunteers so they all know God is working miracles in those big and small all around the world. I love the care card.

    • Erin,
      Praying for Shane and his family and all those who are surrounding this little one in every way.
      These kiddos are secret agents I do believe.
      Their mission beyond what we can fully understand.
      Thank you — for sharing these diamonds and God’s message of power and hope.
      Onward!
      Brenda

  6. I am inspired! I will send some to my family (1 brother 3 sisters) who have fallen away from the church and God over the years. Also, to my mother who is nearing 90 and does not have too many years left on this earth. What an blessing Josh is even in his final days, God truly has a mission for all of us no matter our situation. Love and prayers to everyone in the Jank family.

  7. So blessed to get to be a part of Joshs ministry, going to get my red diamonds tomorrow and start spreading the message! GOD IS GOOD! Blessings to you all!

  8. I thought of you as I read this. It’s from the devotion “Streams in the Desert”.

    “Oh, every year has its winter,
    And every year has its rain—
    But a day is always coming
    When the birds go north again.

    When new leaves sprout in the forest,
    And grass springs green on the plain,
    And tulips boast their blossoms—
    And the birds go north again.

    Oh, every heart has its sorrow,
    And every heart has its pain—
    But a day is always coming
    When the birds go north again.

    It’s the sweetest thing to remember,
    If your courage starts to wane,
    When the cold, dark days are over—
    That the birds go north again.”

    I saw my pastor yesterday. Some new memories. It was hard. You walk into the battle. You see the pictures in front of you….pictures you don’t want to see…rooms you don’t want to enter. You fight. You go kicking and screaming. You face the pictures. You see the abuse. And then Jesus took my hand and led me out. He held me in His arms with my face against His chest. He would not let me look back. It’s over. It’s dead. A picture. A part of life. A walk that had to be taken, but I don’t go back. Life is to be lived for the now. You walk onward. You go forward and not back. But the pain remains. I can’t deny the room. I can’t deny the abuse. It hurts. It hurts bad, but I go forward now. The power of the room holds no more power. I go on.

    • Betty.
      Betty!
      Tears of joy for the healing work of the One who travels with us back to those dark dungeon places and carries us out, alive, held tight, with healing in each step.
      You’ve got to be exhausted. What you are doing is life-time work.
      Rest, my friend.
      Give yourself wide margins and lots of space to breathe.
      Feet up. Head Back. Rest in the unfolding wonder.
      He is the Healing One.
      Inside. Outside.
      Onward.
      Brenda

      • My body is sore. My muscles ache. The enemy has been coming at me with vengeance. I can’t get hold of peace or rest. Sleep doesn’t come. I spent hours last night hiding in the closet with the Word before me. Tonight I will take the meds. I will sleep a drugged sleep. It is needed. I must stop and rest. The pain increases. The enemy has no power. He cannot defeat or destroy, but the pain he inflicts is real. For a little while longer I will hold on. Jesus has many sheep that need to be led home. I will hold on until the sheep are restored.

    • Terry,
      Encouragement like yours inspires us. Thank you! We had a beautiful, quiet Christmas, a thoughtful and prayerful New Year and then lots of snow! Josh’s siblings missed 5 days of school. Our holiday break was precious and memorable on many fronts. Blessings! Brenda

  9. We just received your diamonds at a Tincaps game today. I’m very touched by your life and your courage to have been fighting against the illnesses. You and your life are in fact amazing and inspiring many of us. Thank you very much Josh!!!

    • Mayumi,
      It was such a special night…almost a year to the day we were saying goodbye to Josh. I will pass on to Josh your love and thanks. Your encouragement will bless him. Have you had a chance to share your second diamond?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.