The Freedom to serve…
Our family is so blessed to have an RV! It allows us to be able to travel places that we would otherwise never be able to! This winter it took us from Montana to Florida and back, and all sorts of great places in between. Usually, our destination is chosen for both educational, and pleasure reasons, but sometimes, our RV gives us the freedom to choose to go somewhere that isn’t necessarily going to be a joy ride. Sometimes our destinations are enjoyable, and a lot of work at the same time. Sometimes stops are sad, but enlightening, mixed with muscle flexing and sharing hope.
In the few years since we began traveling, we have had the opportunity to help with a weekend Build Brigade with Homes for our Troops; and we were even able provided overnight security for them, onsite, because we tote our house with us and are self-contained.
We have spent 2, 2-week gigs in Tuscaloosa, helping to re-build homes after the 2011 tornado razed part of the town. This spring we traveled to both Calhoun, GA, and Shuqualak, MS, and tried to help with cleaning up debris, tarping roofs, and bucking up and removing fallen trees after tornados struck those areas. We would not have been able to do any of that if our RV hadn’t either housed us, or made us mobile enough that we could travel there.
On Friday (tomorrow! Wow!), we will be embarking on our next ‘RV-enabled’ maybe-not-so-fun, but wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world experience. We will be heading down to Oklahoma to help the residents of Moore/Shawnee clean up their neighborhoods. Because we have an RV, and are self-contained, we can travel down there and volunteer our time and effort to show some love to those effected. We will flex our muscles behind wheel-barrows, chainsaws, rakes and shovels, we want to fill numerous big, black garbage bags with debris, and we hope to help organize donations and serve meals to workers and residents. All because we can tote our house with us. This destination may be quite different than sitting by the pool in 90 degree weather in Orlando, but if we had to choose between the two, working to help others would win hands down.
Having the ability to pick up and go can be such a blessing to others! There are many unique opportunities available to those of us that tote our homes with us. Habitat for Humanity has a unique group of builders called RV Care-A-Vanners and there are multiple Christian RV Volunteer Groups
. Often, other, non-RV groups (such as Samaritan’s Purse
) who are volunteering with projects like church building, or cleaning up after a natural disaster, will welcome the extra help you can provide also (you will just have to find your own RV/camping site).
Granted, not everyone can get out and wield a chainsaw to fell damaged trees or sift through nail-ridden 2x4s, but there are often other avenues of service that need to be filled also, like serving meals and organizing donations. There are ways that all of us can get involved, whether we can travel or not; prayer, donating, and raising awareness are all ways that each one of us can get involved if we want to. For our family, we have the unique opportunity to serve the people of Moore and Shawnee for the next couple of weeks; we’re pretty thankful for our RV home right now…
*All of these pictures were taken 2013, by my tribe while they were helping with disaster relief cleanup in Calhoun, GA, and Shuqualak, MS. If you would like to follow our Oklahoma mission journey, we will be posting updates about what it’s really like, their needs, and how we and others can help at: