When I was younger, we visited Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta. There were parts of the park that I really enjoyed and others that I didn’t. I loved the old time candy store and ice cream shop. What kid wouldn’t? I didn’t love experiencing the sod shack/mud hut by stepping inside. I found it stuffy, closed in, and dark. It made it hard to breathe. Fast forward many years…Now, I have my own mud hut, which I share with Mark and our dog, Ginger.
Not How I Roll
Mark and I spent a period of time homeless and couch-surfing at the onset of founding Blue Fire Legacy. Numerous generous friends and family provided beds, showers, and laundry facilities during this time (some of which was akin to long-term camping). In November 2021, we sold the house that we were finally able to buy, to end this homeless period. Since the sale of the house, we have been living in a 5th wheel trailer.
For me, our trailer (aka home and ministry office) is my mud hut on wheels. When I surrendered my life to ministry at 16, I had no concept that it might look like this. When God didn’t seem to be tugging on my heart to move internationally, I was relieved. Smuggly I assumed, “Home missions it is”…with all the comforts and amenities I was used to. God had other plans. Hard plans even. Of course, the reality is that we do both home and international ministry now. Sometimes, we do so in person, boots on the ground, and more frequently, virtually through the technology that permits us to work with individuals, groups, or church communities in far away lands.
Plenty of people choose to live this way, RVing full-time, for the sheer adventure of it. They enjoy seeing how minimalistic they can live while traveling to visit various sites and attractions along the way. The novelty of constant change is invigorating to them. Others enjoy the simpler living space and take advantage of spending many hours outdoors. That just isn’t quite how I roll.
Our Own Tiny Space
This go around of finding ourselves without a house, we have our own space…it’s simply small and mobile. There are extra challenges with working and living in such a small space. Have you ever noticed how loud you are, even when trying to be quiet? Grabbing a quick snack, heating something up to eat or drink, doing the dishes or other quick cleaning task, rustling papers, etc. can all be quite a distraction, when your spouse is attempting to meet with a client, sometimes half the world away, all while sitting mere inches from you.
I see our RV as my mud hut because meeting with people isn’t a job for me. It is a lifestyle of being completely called apart and dependent on the Lord; dependent for our well-being, financial provision, and scheduling. No, I don’t have cobras or venomous insects to be concerned about; but somewhere, in a spot we have yet to discover, the bees have found an opening to be able to come inside. Yes, I have water and electricity (though the hot water runs out quickly, and the clothes washer can make you feel like a plane about to take off), but I’m also removed from consistent support systems. Uprooting on a regular basis to travel to our next designated spot lends to feelings of instability and loneliness at times.
Hidden Costs and Benefits
Recently someone asked me how I was adjusting to the RV life. I responded by saying, “It is a lifestyle of obedience rather than preference.”
There are hidden costs to embracing the call of God on your life. Sometimes, you’re the consistent one, so people forget you need encouragement. Other times, the faithful are taken for granted and overlooked or dismissed with thoughts like, “Oh, they’ll understand if I don’t make it or back out.” Holidays and celebrations are more difficult to coordinate when you don’t have space to entertain family and friends. Days and nights of intercession for and crying over clients and their ministry difficulties adds an added layer to your own burdens carried consistently before the Lord.
There are also benefits of embracing the call. A real time testimony to those walking out their journey with you. Strengthening and discipling those younger or less mature in their faith. “Street cred” to minister to those struggling to walk out their callings. The benefit of the peace and satisfaction of “Yes and amen” in growing with the Lord in what He designed for you to do.
Not everyone is called to vocational ministry. Not everyone is called to immerse themselves in a foreign culture. Maybe your mud hut is your community or job. You will still have opportunities to minister to those in your circles. Your mud hut may be a figurative or metaphorical vehicle that positions you to minister in a specific circle. My mud hut just happens to be an actual vehicle on wheels.
The Great Commission
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
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