Tinker, Tailor, Sailor, Nomad

Every summer an intrepid group of United Methodists called the Nomads visits Central Methodist University for up to three weeks to do volunteer work. The Nomads are part of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.

The group that just left Central painted a number of student rooms in McMurry Hall this year. They painted 39 rooms and used 38 gallons of paint. They do all of their work for free in the spirit of the Methodist church, and they live in their RVs on the edge of campus. This year they were beside the OAF (Outdoor Athletic Facilities), spread out and right at home.

Home for these folks is wherever they are at the moment, all across the nation. This year's Nomads included Jay and Beth Hicks from Richmond, Mo., Steve Gilland from Glenrock, Wyo., and Bill and Marti Koch from Sioux Falls, S.D.

But their real homes are their RVs where they spend most of their time. Mostly retired, they don’t want to just sit around and get old. They prefer to paint, repair, plaster, and do whatever else needs done for UMC-related institutions around the country as perpetual do-gooders. A group visits a very grateful CMU every summer to help out.

The Nomads sign up through the UMC Office of Creative Ministry for assignments. The Hickses (who began Nomading in 2016) and the Kochs (who began in 2010) have connections with CMU through graduates in their families. Bill Koch was also a UMC pastor in Missouri and a District Superintendent in the Mark Twain District for 30 years. From here the Kochs are off to South Dakota for their next assignment. Gilland (who began in 2016) and the Hickses are going to their “land” homes to take care of their crops and regroup.

They will all be off to new assignments soon in their real homes--the mobile ones--soon. Some may return to Central next summer. But even if they don’t, a group of Nomads will be back to share their Christian work and love next year.

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