Reaching our world


When Marti Wolcott was a brand new Christian and a stewardess (pre-“flight attendant” days), she heard that you could let the Bible fall open and blindly point your finger at a verse and God would lead you to His personal message for your life. Fully believing this, she tried it, and landed on Matthew 28:18-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Convinced that this command was directed specifically to her and that God had given her the whole world to reach, she started by setting up a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Airline Personnel in Los Angeles, selecting a Board of Christian pilots she met while working her flights, and setting up major events for airline employees to which she invited people she knew and met on her flights to come and speak like Hal Lindsey, Barry McGuire and evangelist Lane Adams. Hundreds came to Christ. Hundreds more were led by these through the process of multiplication. She then carried on the idea to other cities and domiciles across the country. She was basically taking on the whole airline industry — small potatoes to Marti, except that she had made a deal with God that she would get the airlines first as long as He would let her have the world next.

A couple of years later, someone gave her a copy of my album, “Still Life.” She didn’t know me from Adam, and was less impressed with my talent, but soon after that, she had the vision I mentioned yesterday of a circus net without poles that stretched as far as you could see, but what I didn’t tell you yesterday was that hovering over that net she saw me — the guy she didn’t even know on the album cover. Why would she have a vision of a perfect stranger? Little did she know that she was to meet that stranger through mutual friends, fall in love and become Marti Fischer. Marti was elated. Now she had someone with a similar mission to join forces with her. And when the world wide web came into being years later, everything came into focus. Soon the Catch was formed, and the Board of Directors after much deliberation charged us with the vision: “To introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to everyone, everywhere.” Marti had her calling back; look out world.

Except that John was somewhere off on another planet content to write his daily Catch as long as it fit into the bigger vision, while leaving the real fulfillment of that vision to Marti and others. That’s a confession, by the way, and a statement of resolve that it won’t happen anymore. I’m ready now. I get it. The Catch is no longer just a blog; it is a multi-generational community of believers all in training as disciples to make disciples who will introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to everyone, everywhere. No longer spectators, we are workers in the field. This Catch Ministry belongs to all of us, not just a few of us, and certainly not just me.

Fred Rogers has staying power. A popular documentary and now a feature film about his life indicate how he has not left the consciousness of the generations he touched. In an article in The Times today about Joanne Rogers, Fred’s wife, Joanne talked about how people admired her husband and marveled about his character and what he accomplished, as if he were way beyond what they could ever aspire to. “People invariably say, ‘Well I can’t do that, but sure do admire him. I would love to do it.’ Well you can do it,” says Joanne. “I’m convinced there are lots of Fred Rogers out there.”

And there are lots of you out there. This vision belongs to all of us. I may have gotten a late start, but I believe that you and I and the Board of Directors can yet fulfill Marti’s verse in our lifetime. I’m in; are you?

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2 Responses to Reaching our world

  1. Christina west says:

    Yes John I am in – Tina West! Just to update you and Marti ,I am in Multnomah biblical seminary studying for my Masters of Divinity which is what Ron and every pastor has but in the field of chaplaincy. So Masters of Divinity in Chaplaincy. Also you may not know I’ve been a doctor of chiropractic for 31 years and a qualified medical examiner “, industrial disability evaluator And got three more years in pediatrics of chiropractic. But I was looking for something to honor my father who is a veteran and colonel of the Marines to honor him and he went to be with the Lord 2015 and I was looking how to honor the policeman fireman as well. I’ve done a year and a half of my bookwork and hope to finish that next May or June. Then enter a hospital and do one or two years of chaplaincy work and later get paid for it. So it’s a rough road but I am staying fresh to the open, Ron Ritchie Assisted me in getting in two years ago. So say some prayers my studies are biblical preaching right now and theology and ethics and it’s great to get closer to the Lord and what this service might mean. Good to hear Marty’s testimony again and how she’s doing and you both on the couch Reading your update of the two of you. So Pray for my ministry and studies I’m not a natural student but I have way too many degrees in spite of myself. And pray that God will use me in the interim in anyway he wants I to open to the great commission. Love you brother and say hi to Marty and how many kids do you have and what’s going on you could put it on my email which you have love to be updated about your family as wellAnd how you were doing. I let Pam Mark know how Ron was doing as welI praise God to reconnect with you all brother!

  2. jwfisch says:

    Thank you, Tina. You always were a hard worker so I’m not surprised but I am impressed with all you have accomplished and with your desire to honor your father. That is very commendable. I will look for a way to reply privately. Thanks for writing and glad to know you’re in!

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