“I accidentally spilled the bucket of paint on the church driveway. So, everyone ran over with their rollers and began to roll it up to paint the fence. Then, I got the power-washer and made the paint disappear. The church never knew what happened,” confessed Sharon Mason, a relative newcomer to the RV’ers in Mission, in a time of sharing stories at Altadena United Methodist Church.
The Cal-Pac RV’ers in Mission are a group of United Methodists who travel in RV’s in order to be in mission for an extended period of time at a particular location. Mostly, the mission projects have to do with facilities maintenance or repair work of local churches that a congregation might not always have the time or people to perform. So, a local church would always agree to provide the materials for the work and the RV’ers would offer up themselves as workers. The skills required include painting with rollers, using a power-washer, cleaning gutters, but also prayer and love.
“I came in crying and everyone just started to hug me,” said Sharon. While almost the entire group is from Orange First United Methodist Church, Sharon is a member of Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church in Mission Viejo along with her husband Gary. Both are retired and decided to spend time together in meaningful mission with the group. What she found in addition to opportunities to serve was genuine Christian fellowship. She says, “We are family. I mean, we cannot spend this much time together and not be family. We know each other well and we know how to care for each other.”
For the past few years, the group has held an annual vote of whether or not to continue the ministry of the RV’ers in Mission. The vote has always been unanimous, one way or another. This year, the group decided it was time to accomplish one final mission as those involved are anywhere from 65 to 85 years old and many have already gone before them into eternal glory or have become unable to participate due to illness. “I hate the thought of not being able to see everyone,” shared Sharon.
As the time of sharing RV’ers in Mission stories came to a close at Altadena United Methodist Church, Rev. Yvonne Boyd of Altadena shared about a time when the RV’ers in Mission visited a local church that was located next to a mining company. There was debris everywhere and the church was not in good shape. So, the RV’ers in Mission came by and nursed the church building back to health. This inspired the owner of the adjacent mining company who then organized a clean up of all of the debris in their area. Thus, while the Cal-Pac RV’ers in Mission, after having completed 235 mission projects in 28 years, end their work as an organized group, the impact of their meaningful life and love remain a blessing in the lives of those privileged to have met them.
Comments below in tribute and thanksgiving for the RV’ers in mission are welcome and encouraged.