We are a traveling ministry family, and since 2016 the 7 of us have traveled in our 36ft RV. Our home state is Indiana, and in the beginning, our home on wheels was all we had so, out of necessity, we went south in the colder winter months. Now we have a home base (a small lake cottage in northern Indiana) but we still take this southern ministry trip every year, encompassing Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma over the months of January, February, and March.
I thought it would be fun to do a blog series, telling what this southern trip looks like for us, giving you a peek into the life of a traveling ministry family, and giving me some documentation of memories.
In this first leg of what I shall call our “Give me some Sunshine” series, I will tell you what we have been doing the last two weeks.
We left Indiana on January 6th, in the midst of the packing, I was attempting to watch the Senate debate about voter fraud in America in the recent Presidential election. By the time we were on the road, I was watching the Capitol being overrun with protestors. It was bizarre and frustrating to watch.
We stopped in to visit with some friends at Genesis Church in Seymour Indiana to plan some upcoming tent ministry outreaches. Our kids were able to attend youth group while we were there. After that we stopped over at Matt’s aunt and uncle’s house. They are always very welcoming and we stop over there frequently.
It was an easy drive down to Alabama, with one stop over in Tennessee at an RV park. There was a bit of snow in Tennessee, making for a beautiful drive.
Our first stop in Alabama is in Clanton, this friendly spot has become familiar to us over the years. The people here exceed the expectation of southern hospitality and always make us feel loved. Matt will be preaching at 3 churches in the area (Thompson Chapel Assembly of God, Sunshine Assembly of God, and Temple Assembly of God – all great churches that you should totally visit if you’re in the area) and we are able to keep our RV at Sunshine Assembly of God while here.
We are re-adjusting to the small size of the RV. We have spent quite a bit of time at our 900sq ft home in Indiana, and although that is not large, it is 3 times as big as the RV. The kids have grown too, so we are all adjusting. I like to think of it as character building. Being able to get outside and enjoy the mild winters of Alabama as well as the play area with a ball pit and a gymnasium, at Sunshine Assembly of God, has been wonderful and a huge help in the adjustment.
Happy Birthday Miss O
Our Miss Olivia turned 16 while we were in Clanton. I tried to convince her that the beach was only 3-4 hours away and would be a a great little getaway (perhaps I was selfishly suggesting this idea). But, she doesn’t really love the beach so we had a shopping day, went out for a delicious pasta dinner, and picked out a new keyboard as a birthday present. It was a fun day.
Learning stuff, Inauguration, and Church Services
A typical day for us involves a full day of school, learning takes time, and usually we are done with our school work by 3pm and have free time after that. Sometimes, if we are in a new place, we will end our school day early and do some exploring. That has proven a little more difficult with covid restrictions, but I look forward to those ending soon. These two weeks we have spent most of our time doing our regular curriculum and enjoying the ball pit, gymnasium and the warm weather here in Clanton.
We watched the Inauguration on Wednesday. No matter my opinion on the new President, it was an opportunity to watch history unfold, and so we did. My personal favorite moments were, the firefighter saying the Pledge of Alegance in sign language, the lovely young poet giving her poem, my youngest daughter refering to Lady Gaga as Cruella Deville, and the Bernie Sanders memes have been entertaining.
Our reason for traveling is ministry. We feel honored that churches welcome us to come in and minister to them. Covid has changed that too, we don’t have as many revival-style services, but Matt is still able to preach and pray for people and we are glad to have that opportunity. Returning to a church is such a blessing, we are able to see familiar faces that have grown in the Lord and it’s amazing how you can feel such a connection to people you only see once a year.
Family Fitness Challenge
It seems every January I feel inspired to make health changes. This year we decided to do a family fitness challenge. We are doing a simple challenge so that we don’t give up. For 30 days, we are making the committment to do 30 minutes of some sort of exercise. We are also doing a 30 day plank challenge, with the goal of a 5 minute plank by the last day! It has been a fun time for us so far, we are enjoying it and look forward to doing it each day.
We have explored a little bit in the area. Last Saturday we visited “Peach Park”. Clanton Alabama is known for its peaches, but we are a bit early for peach season. Peach Park is a cute little tourist spot with a playground, shop and campground. The kids enjoyed the playground in spite of the cold weather.
This Saturday we made a short trip over to Wilderness Park/Bamboo Forest in Prattville, Al. It was super cool. There was a short walking path through 4 varieties of bamboo. It was perfect weather and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring. I took a ton of pictures.
After the Bamboo forest we drove over to Alabama’s state capital, Montgomery. We drove past the parsonage where Martin Luther King Jr. lived during the civil rights movement. There were many historical spots to see, it was inspiring to drive past where these American heroes once lived.
To be continued…
Soon we will leave Clanton, head to Mobile, and then on to Mississippi. I look forward to those adventures and telling you all about it.
Thank you for reading along about our southern adventures, I hope you all are enjoying your own adventures.
If you would like to find out more about our ministry, Kingdom Pursuit Ministries, go to www.kpministry.org