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Mayor's Prayer Breakfast 2022 Great Falls, MT
Keynote speaker Doug Mazza
Unfortunately, you don’t seem to see or hear much about the National Day of Prayer anymore. But before you read on, please stop and say a prayer for someone or something; after all, it is the National Day of Prayer and there is much to pray about these days.
You may be slightly confused by my post’s title: ‘Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast 2022 Great Falls, MT’ and not ‘National Day of Prayer 2022’. Or perhaps you might think that today was the Mayor’s prayer breakfast based on the fact that today is the official National Day of Prayer.
I wanted to share something today even though the Mayor’s prayer breakfast was yesterday, May the 4th (also known as Star Wars Day…So side note: May the 4th be with you!).
Speaking of the force…the Mayor’s prayer breakfast was…
Uplifting. Powerful. Awesome. Encouraging. It was just what many of us needed!
The morning was full of prayers by various folks from the Great Falls, MT as you will see in the images included below. You could say God’s force (His Holy Spirit) was in the room, as you could ask any of the 500+ in attendance if they felt or sensed something. And I would venture to say that they would answer Yes!
James 5:15 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” —James 5:16 ESV
The keynote speaker was Doug Mazza.
Here is his introduction as taken from the program handout:
Served as President and CEO of Joni and Friends from 1999 until 2019, overseeing an era Of tremendous growth.
He and his wife, Lorraine, made a life-changing decision when he left the business world to answer a calling to this full-time ministry. In 2004, when Joni and Friends estimated it had quadrupled the number of people it was reaching under his leadership, Doug was promoted from executive VP to president.
Having ministered to his disabled son, Ryan, Doug brought a personal perspective to every program at Joni and Friends. During his tenure, Doug took the vision of Joni Eareckson Tada and helped make Joni and Friends the authoritative voice on Christian outreach to the world’s 660 million people with disabilities and their families.
He also brings award-winning skills in corporate leadership, as Joni and Friends has consistently received the Best Christian Workplace award since 2006.
Formally the top American executive for American Suzuki Motor Corporation, Doug wrote the marketing plan that successfully launched Suzuki automobiles in the USA. Under his leadership, the Suzuki Samurai was named one of the top 10 marketed products in the US and became the subject of a Harvard case study. Doug later joined Hyundai Motor America as its top American executive, serving five years as CEO.
Doug is the recipient of the faithful steward’s national outstanding leader award. He is also the recipient of a national award from women against violence in the media for his public stance for family values.
Doug is originally from Bergen County, New Jersey, near New York City. He and Lorraine live in Woodland Hills, California, and attend Calvary community church in Westlake Village. They have five adult sons.
Doug spoke about giving up control and the power he had to be in charge over to Jesus Christ, vis-à-vis the birth of his disabled son Ryan.
He said there really are only two reasons why people have the desire to be in charge: fear and pride.
God spoke through Doug as he began to share about the rare disease his son Ryan had and the multiple surgeries to try and help his son get better. Through the struggle Doug had to let go of being in control, as there was nothing that could be done for his son, and that is the night that everything changed. He locked eyes with his son. His son seemed to peer into him and looked into his soul like nobody ever had. Doug leaned in and whispered to Ryan that he was in Jesus Christ’s hands now; in his heart, he didn’t expect Ryan to live much longer.
You could hear a pin drop in the room as Doug was speaking.
Doug said the next day he received a call from the nurse. She told him that he wasn’t going to believe it but Ryan was up and standing on the bed!
At that moment, Doug asked God what he wanted him to do with his life, and he ended up going into full-time ministry to help those who were disabled.
Doug’s story was so powerful! He went from being a corporate CEO in charge of everything in some very large companies to a humbled servant of God in a full-time ministry.
I also stuck around for the workshop he offered where he spoke about building a culture of success in the workplace. It was fantastic.
It was a great morning here in Great Falls, MT. I felt very full and satisfied with what I received from the encouraging and uplifting morning. So much so that I wanted to write this post and share it with you!
A big thanks to the city, speakers, sponsors and volunteers who put this event on for the last 29 years. Also thanks to Jayson Olthoff for inviting me.
Below are some pictures I captured from the event and I was happy to stay after class to grab a picture with Doug Mazza himself and to thank him for sharing with us.
Remember to 🙏