Fun Sunday In Kentucky

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The last day of September was a beautiful day in the mountains of Kentucky. Low of about 61 this morning but it warmed up to the upper 80’s this afternoon. Tomorrow is suppose to be cooler.

We drove over to Middlesboro, about 15 miles, and worshiped with the congregation for whom we are framing a building, New Heights Church. They are currently worshiping in a small gym type building, Making Ripples Studio, and it was pretty full today. During the week there are zumba classes and the like in the worship area. The music and preaching were good and the congregation very welcoming. They are very excited we are here to help build their new church.

After church we decided to ride up to Pine Mountain Resort State Park for lunch. It is back in Pineville where Fred is parked. It is a beautiful park on top of a mountain. The lodge is rustic with a large fireplace as you first walk in. The dining room has windows on all sides with beautiful views of the mountains and valley below. In a few more weeks when the leaves are in full color, (they are just beginning to change), the place will probably be packed with people enjoying the leaves. The view alone was worth the cost of our meal and it was a good meal. We all ate too much.

To work off some of our lunch, we drove on up the mountain past the lodge to the parking area for Chained Rock Trail. Chained Rock is so named because there are two very large boulders that are “chained together” to keep them from crashing down on the town of Pineville and destroying it. The chain links are quite large and weight 7 pounds each. They chain is over 100 feet long. The story goes that the children were afraid to go to sleep with the boulders looming above, afraid they would be crushed by the boulder during the night. Some say it was a publicity stunt to attract visitors to the new state park but you can read the sign. It was a nice hike with a beautiful view so even if it is just a crazy story and stunt we enjoyed our time on the mountain.

At Chained Rock
At Chained Rock

We had our opening meeting tonight and Anne and Debra will be cooking breakfast starting at 6:00 in the morning. Looking forward to a good week.

The Start Of A Big Project

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The church when we arrivedSo we arrived here in Pineville, KY yesterday and Max and Randy were on the job site in Middlesboro at 8:00 this morning. Unfortunately, due to rain the metal building people are behind. The roof was suppose to be on but the contractor started on it today. However, at the pace they were going today, we doubt it will be finished by the time we leave on Friday. Hopefully it will not slow us down too much. We will be using metal on the interior walls so we can build those out without the roof. For those that may be new to our blog, we are working with a different group this week – Constructors for Christ. Each year this group builds a church or family life center. We provide five weeks of labor and the church provides the materials. If it is small church, we may complete the building, but if it is larger structure such as this year, we will not complete the building but will have saved them a lot of money on labor for five weeks. We only work one week, as most people, and work it with Max’s brother, Randy, and sister-in-law, Debra. It is a wonderful week when we get to work and visit. They stay with us in FRED and we have fun. This project usually begins on Father’s Day but the church had weather and permit problems and the project was delayed until now. Randy and Max repaired some trailer wiringUnfortunately, we will be short many of our usual workers due to the delay. Our team this week will be less than ½ of our norm with about 20 expected versus about 45-50 on a usual week one. Oh well, God will use and bless what we are able to get done. Today Max and Randy first repaired one of our tool trailers electrical connections that were damaged in their travel to KY. Later they worked on installing the base channels so we will be ready to begin some walls Monday Morning.

Anne and Debra set up the storeDebra and Anne worked on setting up the “store” today. We sell T-shirts, hats, water bottles, etc with the Constructors logo. We folded shirts and displayed merchandise for most of the day. We have some new designs this year. We probably have some new shirts in our future.

Tomorrow the rest of the team will arrive, and we will have our first team meeting tomorrow night. We look forward to a great week.

Long Drive, Short Blog

Friday, September 28, 2018

It was about 61 degrees when we walked a few minutes before we pulled out of the Agricenter RV park at 6:30 this morning. It stayed cool much of the day, but was sunny and warm when we reached Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, KY a little before 5:00 pm.

Uneventful drive
Uneventful drive

It was and uneventful drive – first through Tennessee fog and then in the beautiful mountains of eastern Kentucky. We will be here a week working with Constructors for Christ on a new facility for New Heights Church with Max’s brother and sister-in-law.

We are thankful for safe travel and pray for safe travel for all our NOMADS.

A Day Of Goodbyes

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cool temps this morning
Cool temps this morning

We stated the day with more rain. That means it has rained at some point of the day everyday since the annual meeting officially began on Sunday. Fortunately, it was just a fine mist when we were having to walk to the meeting area this morning. The heavy rain came while we were meeting and then there was no rain this afternoon. It has really cooled off. Our low tonight will be 56. That means it will be cool when we are doing our final departure checklist in the morning.

Today was another very busy day, but fun and sad at times too. This morning after 7:00 am Bible study and 8:30 devotion, we had the second half of the business meetings. That meeting ended with the gavel being passed to our new Chairman of the Board, Everett, and the official beginning of Anne, Mike and Carolyn’s four year terms on the board.

This afternoon Anne was in the mood for a break from the meetings and so she attended a line dancing class taught by some fellow NOMADS. That was a first, and she found it to be a lot of fun and good exercise. No problem getting steps today even though we didn’t get to walk this morning due to the rain. Max attended sessions hanging doors and windows and best practices for NOMADS. There was another leader training class this afternoon and tonight we had our closing meal together, barbeque from Corky’s. Very good! And the banana pudding and brownies were pretty awesome, too. Our choir gave a final worship concert after dinner. They did a great job. We have a lot of talent in this group. Then it was time for our last hugs and “see you down the road’s”. Some of our friends we will work with in a few weeks in Lumberton, NC and some we probably will not see until our meeting next year in Illinois. Even though we may be many miles apart, we will hold them in our hearts. Lots more to share but we must be ready to travel early in the morning so we will try to catch up a little later. Safe travels everyone.

NOMADS Choir Worship
NOMADS Choir Worship

Tuesday and Wednesday in Memphis

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Registration stats
Registration statistics for 2018

The rain has continued intermittently the past two days. When you are sure it is over, something else pops up. The quantity hasn’t amounted to much but enough to soak you if you get caught walking up to the meeting area. Temperatures have continued to be really mild. It’s currently 67 and really nice outside tonight.

Yesterday was an extremely busy day and we worked and walked on concrete floor all day. The Love Auction is the biggest way we raise money to give to agencies who need help with materials for projects. Yes, it seems crazy. Members bring items to auction. We register them in and put them out for all the members to pursue. We give everyone bid numbers and have a silent auction. A few items of special interest are held out for the live auction done by an auctioneer member of NOMADS. When we get the count tomorrow, we will have probably have raised over $38,000.00 from our members extravagant generosity. So we spend our own money to pay our expenses to projects and then spend our own money to buy things at the auction to have funds to give away. Some people think we are crazy. We think it is great. The entire amount of money raised by the auction goes to partially fund the materials needed for our various projects. It takes a lot of work to put on the auction, but it’s also lots of fun.

Auction item pickup
Auction item pickup

Today everyone paid for and picked up the items they won in the auction. That’s always fun because most of the time on the silent auction, you don’t know until you pay out exactly what you won of what you were placing bids on. We ended the day with a hammock, some home made jelly, salsa, and a drill bit set. One of the things Anne was most pleased about was that a hand crafted wooden bowl, made by Ralph, our deceased World War II fighter pilot friend, brought $550.00. Ralph would be so pleased that it was used to raise money for missions.

NWS presentation
The National Weather Service held a very interesting weather safety seminar this afternoon.

Today we also had the first half of the Board report to the membership. After that were the seminars presented for the membership.  In one of the sessions we taught a 1.5 hour class on Disaster Preparedness for RVers.  It was very well received and people stayed after so long we almost missed lunch. We hope it makes a difference in NOMADS members’ readiness for storms. Later in the day, we were taken on a tour of the Agricenter’s facility by a friend of our friend Melody. This is a very interesting place. We will share that information in another post.

Tonight we had a pot luck dinner that was wonderful. Anyone who left hungry has no one to blame but themselves. After dinner Elvis was in the building and sang us a few songs. We also got a nice visit with Pat and Clay, our dear some NOMADS friends from New York, after dinner.


Busy days but good days. We are tired!

Drone Picture of the RV Park taken by a NOMADS friend
Drone Picture of the RV Park taken by a NOMADS friend

Busy, Rainy Monday

Monday, September 24, 2018

Afternoon showerIt rained all night and most of the day. There was water everywhere. There was no walking this morning. There was time today that there was water running through the RV sites to the point some sewer connections were under water. A neighbor with a tow dolly had water half way up the tires. It was some pretty impressive rain. Then late after noon it stopped and the sun was shining brightly. Soon everyone was outside walking and visiting.

Our days at annual meeting begin early. We have Bible study at 7:00. NOMAD Louie Lyon, a retired pastor, is leading the study this year. It is a very good study on what Jesus taught about himself. Louie reminded us that what we understand about Jesus is ever changing. Jesus doesn’t change but as we study his Word and grow in our faith our understanding of His teachings changes and deepens. We must remember we are not all at the same place in our understanding. And that’s okay. After Bible study we have about 30 minutes of singing and gathering together. Then we have a devotion/message, with today’s by another NOMAD, Bill Koch, another retired pastor. Bill, who is also on our Board, did his usual great job, teaching us to “Go where the feet need washing.” We as NOMADS always need to constantly remember that we the hands and feet of Jesus. The term servant sometimes is considered a derogatory label and not something to be desired but we are called to be servants, even if it’s to clean dirty feet – or bathrooms.

After devotion, we assisted in preparing for the auction. We worked on receiving the items people were donating. We have a lot of really nice items to sell. All our items are donated by our members or sometimes agencies were we work or just friends of NOMADS. We aren’t sure of the final count yet because a few items will come in tomorrow but it is around 500 items. Most will be sold through the silent auction but we will also have a live auction tomorrow afternoon. It is always a fun time. Other than getting ready for auction, today was a day of tours and fun. There were Graceland tours, civil rights museum tours, Pink Palace tours, and trips to see the Peabody Hotel ducks. We both worked most of the day. We did get our walking in late this afternoon.

Tonight was movie night and we watched “Secondhand Lions”, of course with popcorn and cookies. If you haven’t watched this one you should. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

Tomorrow should be another very busy but fun day.

Rainy, But Good, Sunday

Sunday, September 23, 2018

It rained off and on during the night and all day today. There was no morning walk due to the rain. But the temperatures are really nice. Low last night of 67, high today of 77. It’s continuing to rain intermittently tonight. Anne didn’t have her 10,000 steps today so she was out walking tonight after our NOMAD memorial service to get her steps.

We started the day with morning announcements and then we had a worship service. Rev Tommy Ward a Methodist pastor from Oxford Mississippi led us in worship and then communion. His message was titled “Walk the Walk”. Very good service when ended with us singing “Let There Be Peace On Earth” and a spontaneous ring of NOMADS holding hands encircling the convention center. It was really cool.

Our meetings began this afternoon with new leader training, experienced leader training and then a reception for all the NOMADS attending their first annual meeting that we attended as board member. Tonight we had a memorial service for the NOMADS we have lost this year. It was a hard year as we lost 24 of our members. After that we worked on setting the building for the Love Auction and then came home ready for some rest. Busy but good day.

Poem used in tonight’s memorial service:


Hold high the torch!
You did not light its’ glow–
“Twas given you by other hands, you know.
‘Tis yours to keep it burning bright,
Yours to pass on when you no more need light;
For there are other feet we must guide,
And other forms go marching by our side;
Their eyes are watching every smile and tear
And efforts which we think are not worthwhile,
Are sometimes just the very helps they need,
Actions to which their souls would give most heed;
So that in turn they’ll hold it high
And say, “I watched someone else carry it this way.”
If brighter paths should beckon you to choose,
Would your small gain compare with all you’d lose?
Hold high the torch!
You did not light its’ glow–
‘Twas given you by other hands, you know.
I think it started down its’ pathway bright,
The day the Maker said: “Let there be light.”
And He once said, who hung on Calvary’s tree–
“Ye are the light of the world…Go!…Shine-for me.”