As most of you already know, Mariel and I have joined the NOMADS program to give us purpose, to let us continue to serve in some small way, and (more selfishly) to get free camping while we’re on the road in our RV. I’m not sure, however, that we’ve really explained what this group is or does.
When Mariel and I started on this journey of living in an RV full time we had no idea this organization existed. We did, however, know that we needed to do something to help keep active as the hands and feet of Jesus and to keep us involved with other Christians. Thankfully, while at our Methodist Conference we told Pastor Kim Kinsey of our plans and she told us about NOMADS. We took a look at their website and decided this was a perfect fit for us.
Nomads On a Mission Active in Divine Service is a ministry of the United Methodist Church that started in Texas in 1988. That first year 24 members completed five projects. In 2017, 904 members completed 158 projects in 33 states. That equates to over 119,000 hours of work (about $2.9 million dollars of labor).
But what is NOMADS? As the website states:
NOMADS demonstrate God’s love through our work and by listening to the people with whom we work. We do new construction, remodeling, and repairs for churches, children’s homes, camps, colleges, outreach missions and disaster rebuilding. Team members do maintenance, cleaning, painting, electrical, drywall, sewing, flooring. With God’s help, NOMADS pretty much do it all.
What has all of that looked like to Mariel and I? We’ve been at two sites (Circle J Camp at Ten Sleep, WY and the Ocean Park Conference and Retreat Center in Ocean Park, WA). While at each of these places, we basically performed a variety of tasks:
• Landscaping and brush clearing
• Plumbing Work
• Electrical Work
• Building Sidewalks and light carpentry
• And more…
At each of these camps there were a variety of other functions going on as well. There were church retreats, youth groups, trainings, etc. So these places are definitely worth our time to help improve on them or repair them.
The NOMADS work schedule is Monday thru Thursday, 8-4. Then we have three days to explore some of the most beautiful parts of this country, or stay home and relax.
NOMADS operates under the umbrella of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) which means that 100 % of monies raised goes to help fund our projects. Last year NOMADS had a record year of giving with the Every Member Campaign raising more than $70,000 to support this ministry. As you know, this year has been a year of many disasters and hardships with the hurricanes that devastated Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the wild fires that have devastated California. Mariel and I and other NOMADS volunteers stand ready to help, to be the hands and feet.
If you want to know more feel free to visit their website:
So how are Mariel and I going to be helping in 2018? We are currently scheduled to help at six locations:
• Whispers of Hope Horse Farm near Wichita Falls, TX in March.
• Camp Chippewa near Ottawa, KX in April & May.
• Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO in May.
• Mission Midwest Distribution Center in Latham, IL in July.
• Camp Lake Stephens in Oxford, MS in August & September.
• Lost Creek UMC & Oak Park Retreat Center in Stillwell, OK in October.
After that we’ll be headed back home to the Four Corners area.