Where would we go?
Bible reading: Joshua 1:1-6
One thing we both knew, we preferred warm weather to cold, so we made our tentative plan to go to Arizona for the winter. Taking a little liberty with Genesis, even Abraham “kept moving, steadily making his way south”! (Gen. 12:9, MSG) And LeRoy claims the apostle Paul told him that Phoenix was a more suitable place to spend the winter. (Acts 27:12, loosely taken)
But seriously, we felt a definite call to be of use in the building of the Kingdom of God, even in retirement. We did not feel as though God was through with us and although we were no longer going to serve employers every day, we were still young at heart and healthy. We searched for a place to be of service, as well as enjoy our retirement freedom.
We chose to serve the Friends Church in Tucson, connecting with pastor Adam Kemper and his family as well as the congregation. LeRoy’s handyman skills are put to use many times during a winter season and my years of working with several office computer programs has allowed me to be helpful in the church office. When the women’s Bible study was stopping for lack of a leader, I offered to moderate and what a blessing that has been to me. We’ve made our place in this congregation and we think they look forward to our coming each fall.
Where does God want to use you? He can and will direct you, even if you never leave home.
Why travel full time?
Bible reading: Joshua 24: 14-15
But why did we feel the need to travel full time? I can’t speak for anyone else, but for us, it seemed to be how the Lord was leading us. Another lifestyle might include year round expense in a house, with additional expense for the traveling we hoped to do. We saw living in our bus conversion full time as an economical alternative, even at 6 mpg!
We wanted to maintain the freedom to give. We had felt called to commit to missionary support and we couldn’t walk away from that. Our finances had to be carefully managed, but we weren’t willing to stop giving, to put our own wants and needs ahead of those young missionaries who were depending on us. God was depending on us!
What is your call from God? Whatever it is, don’t walk away. If God calls you, he won’t leave you stranded. Does His call come with a cost? Then know that He will provide. Is there a way out? There is always a way out, as Joshua told the children of Israel. They had a choice—serve the Lord or serve the gods of their ancestors, the gods of Egypt, or the gods of the Amorites. Each came with consequences, blessings or curses. Choosing the latter would result in destruction for them eventually but choosing God was not necessarily the easy way out. They would have to fight for the land of their inheritance, but oh, the rewards!
Serving Christ is always more rewarding than the alternative.
Bible reading: Phil. 4: 11-13
So much excitement! So much angst! What about the logistics? LeRoy and I knew that we were embarking on a totally new adventure. Many of our friends thought, I’m sure, that we had taken leave of our senses. Others envied us and still others felt sorry for us. We researched, read blogs from other people’s journeys and tried to plan ahead at least a little way. Since our costs would depend upon a lot of variables, we had to put a budget in place to save for large expenses, such as fuel and RV park fees.
All the planning in the world could not have prepared us for all the contingencies. Major mechanical expenses made us realize that we were not self sufficient, that we needed to be sure God was with us and that we needed to trust Him to provide. You know what? He did just that. Sometimes He allows us to serve Him in return for our space and hookups. Other times we sit still a while for repairs and are not spending fuel money. Anyway, it is His provision.
Wait! Isn’t this the same situation we had been in when we were working? Fortunately, we had learned that God was dependable long before we were in crunch situations. Past experience became a monument we could turn to when our faith needed bolstering.
Isn’t that the way God works? He always knows our needs and will provide. Our experience on the road is no different than yours at home, whether you are working or retired. God leads and provides if we just trust him.