what is a nomad?
NOMADS is an acronym for Nomads On Mission Active in Divine Service. In short, NOMADS is a United Methodist affiliate group of 1,200 people, mostly retired couples and singles who travel around the country in their RV's and provide hands on work at UM conference camps, UM children's homes, local UM churches, homeless shelters, mission agencies, and in many communities on individual homes when sponsored by local UM organizations. We also (when invited by UMCOR*) go to areas hit by natural disasters to help rebuild homes. But more importantly, NOMADS do Christ's work and glorify God while setting an example that encourages others to serve God also.
Because NOMADS come from various backgrounds, they are skilled in many areas and frequently do new construction, remodeling, maintenance, repairs, painting, office work, gardening, and many other tasks. NOMADS enjoy using their hands for Christ's mission and appreciate the fellowship and lasting friendships of others also serving Jesus.
*United Methodist Committee on Relief (an agency of the Board of Global Ministries)
Ruth Ann & Mike Weigel, Paula & Don Patrick, and Mike & Barb Druck are NOMADS and members of CUMC. When they are in Carlisle they join us for worship and participate in the ministries of CUMC.
Ruth Ann & Mike traveled full-time in their RV for many years, but now have a home in Carlisle. They still travel a large percentage of the year in their RV and continue to serve in NOMAD projects around the nation. Ruth Ann is a retired benefit analyst from a local insurance company. Mike is a retired public school teacher and licensed local pastor in the Susquehanna Annual Conference of the UMC.
"As we planned for retirement, we knew that sitting idle was not an option. We believe God wants us to wear out not rust out. When we worked we had not traveled extensively so in retirement we desired to visit as much of the US as possible. Because we had always liked camping we thought this might be the way to accomplish our traveling goals. Additionally, during our career years, we had also worked on and enjoyed numerous VIM projects and believed God wanted us to continue in ministry, but perhaps in a new way. Fortunately years before retirement we had heard about the NOMADS and now wondered if we could combine the two of these activities. As it turned out they could be combined and God guided us to how that might happen." ~ Ruth Ann & Mike
Paula & Don lived in Michigan for many years but now call Carlisle home to be near family.
"We wanted to have a retirement with a purpose! Paula is a retired RN, and Don a retired Research Chemist. We enjoyed VIM projects but were seeking a more extended commitment. The NOMAD projects are longer and we really see a lot of progress toward getting families back in their homes. We feel these projects allow us to be the hands and feet of Christ. An important aspect of NOMADS is meeting and working with dedicated Christians with a strong desire to serve others. We have a lot of fun while working and learning from each other. Each work day we start with devotions, singing and sharing prayer concerns. We are enjoying lasting relationships with fellow NOMADS from all over the country." ~ Paula & Don
Mike & Barb joined NOMADS in 2017.
"For a number of years we did a lot of research concerning what retirement might look like for us. We laid out all our options (buy a house; buy a property and build a house; consider a townhouse/condo or retirement community, etc.). During these years God's sense of call to mission beyond our employment years grew stronger - and we realized that - for us - having a home would hinder the amount of mission work we hoped to do. Eventually we settled on buying a 4-season full-timer-rated RV which would allow the mobility necessary to respond to needs without the expense and complications of trying to maintain it and a home. This lifestyle change required its own set of sacrifices (getting ride of 90% of our 'stuff') but also provided a surprising sense of release and freedom." ~ Mike & Barb
Mike & Ruth Ann in the past two years have worked on projects in Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota, Arizona and Alabama. These projects were at children's homes, conference camps, local churches, and in the community on individual homes. All of these have their own challenges and rewards, but probably their favorite project location is individual homes. Getting to know people on a personal level and share with them through their hands, feet, and voices the love of Christ is what their NOMADS work is all about.
Paula & Don have served on Disaster Rebuilding Projects in Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida. These projects were at church camps, community outreach, children's homes, and retreat centers. The Patrick's serve on 2-3 NOMAD projects each year for typically 3 weeks at a time.
Barb & Mike have traveled to Tennessee and Ohio and have scheduled or are planning many 3-week and 1-week disaster recovery projects in the future. Each of those they've been involved in has involved hard work, great fellowship with their NOMAD brothers and sisters, and a deep sense of gratitude to God for the opportunities to serve!