Sunday, January 9, 2011

Have home, will travel

By far, the most redeeming feature of an RV is that you can go just about anywhere and camp out for a few nights.  You literally can take your "kitchen sink" with you.  And you don't have to worry about packing anything (assuming you were already living out of the RV to begin with) going or coming back!

It has been 2 months now since we left our home in Chelsea, AL.  At the beginning of this week we were getting cabin fever (in this case, RV fever).  So, what's a family (of mostly boys) to do but, have a change in scenery. 

California is home to a variety of geographical locations.  Beach to the west, desert in the middle, and mountains to the east.  One of the places we wanted to take the boys was the desert.  Since they are in Scouting, this was a great opportunity to let them experience desert life (with a certain level of comfort...).

So, we "battened down the hatches" (AKA secured any and all possible objects that might by chance become UFOs as we sail toward our destination).  This was just the break we needed from weeks of ministry work, and tedious RV living.  I know, you are saying to yourself, "Yeah, but you are still living in the same RV!?"  True, but the change of scenery and new things we can do make all the difference.

We ended up staying in the Anza-Borrego Desert, in an off-road area, boondocking.  Yes, boondocking.  It's a term RVers affectionally use meaning camping out in the boondocks, w/o hook-ups or in a commercial RV park. 

We stayed two nights and had a great time.  The first night we "splurged" and after dinner had marshmellows, a movie, and popcorn.  Let's just say it was a family bonding moment since the size of the screen was Robert's notebook computer.  A must for any family who already has it all.  You haven't experienced anything yet until you camp out in the desert, have popcorn, and watch a movie on a 10" monitor.  Just sayin'.

The next day we hiked the hill behind us and had a lunch pic-nic at the top while Bill read the Exodus passage about Moses and the Red Sea.  Again, another must try.  You will never again have the same perspective on what the Israelites experienced.  Besides being able to see for miles, I had an overwhelming feeling of what it must have been like for thousands of people to live in the desert.

Sometimes when we put ourselves in someone else's shoes, even experiencing to a degree what they did (or still do), a new sense of understanding and appreciation develops.  There's something life-changing about "walking a mile in another man's moccasins." 

I think that is the heart of missions.  We will have a better perspective of those we are trying to reach when we can contextualize it.  This means taking in all the conditions, culture, personalities, and resources at the time and using God-given discernment to arrive at a conclusion.  Add some compassion and humility and you have a recipe for the heart God would want us to have.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6,7

A few more pics from our trip:

Climbing the hill behind our RV.

A boy's dream come true:  biggest sandbox in the world...

We visited the Salton Sea before heading back.

Salton Sea, with an incredible view of the mountains in the background.

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