Couple Launches Mobile Campground Ministry

June 24, 2010

by Woodall’s Campground Management

Jerry and Cynthia Winegard, members of Providence Baptist
Jerry and Cynthia Winegard, RV Outreach

Jerry and Cynthia Winegard, RV Outreach

Church, Montevallo, Ala.,  are stocked up on Hershey’s chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers and are on the road again, again and forever.

“Well at least until the Lord says, ‘Don’t do it anymore,’” Jerry Winegard told The Alabama Baptist. “But He has just given me a testimony that really has an impact on people when they hear it. But I never knew who I’d be able to share that testimony with other than people in the area where I live.”

On Feb. 3, 1990, a robber shot Winegard twice in the chest. He was 26. The bullets crushed his spinal cord. Medically speaking, he was dead for seven minutes but lived to tell about it. Recently he’s wanted to tell a lot more people about it.

“I’m not a rich person by any means with the means to travel around in order to do that, so over the years, I said, ‘Lord, if that’s what you want me to do, you’re going to have to make it happen,’” Winegard said.

God soon obliged him in the form of a 19-foot 2008 Palomino Gazelle travel trailer. And that’s all it took to get RV Outreach off the ground and on the road.

On May 30, the husband and wife team began pursuing the RV park and campground ministry full time, an idea Providence Baptist Pastor Allen Foster said was born through months of prayer.

“Jerry and I have probably been praying over this thing for a year and a half now or longer,” Foster said. “It’s just something he felt the Lord wanted them to do and they’re suited for it. They’ve got wonderful personalities and they’re grounded in their faith and organized down to every little dime they’re going to spend as far as the things they’re doing, especially with the kids.”

Reaching out to the kids of America’s campground-vacationing families with crafts, gospel tracts, Bible studies and scavenger hunts, one of the items on the list is a Bible, is one of the ministry’s main avenues of witness.

“It’s easy to connect with the kids, and then once you get them involved in something, then you can talk to the parents,” Winegard said.

The first stops on the couple’s itinerary include campgrounds in Georgia and North Carolina.

Cynthia Winegard knows that not all the people they’ll have an opportunity to minister to will be at the campgrounds for fun.

“The very first time we took out our camper was on a short trip to Oak Mountain (State Park in Pelham), and our granddaughter was with us, and while we were in the campground, we actually encountered a family living in their car and with a two-man tent,” she said. “We didn’t come prepared to give anybody anything, but we had bought the items to make s’mores. We did that and those little children were so excited. To me, that just confirmed the work we’re planning on doing.”

The Winegards are documenting their travels in a blog on their website, www.rvoutreach.org. Also follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/rvoutreach.

World Cup Bans Faith Talk

June 22, 2010

By Brian HuttChristian Today Reporter

Wayne Rooney was reportedly interrupted by a World Cup official while discussing aspects of his Catholic faith.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, England striker Rooney was prevented from sharing more about his faith as he answered a question in an off-camera briefing about why he wears a cross and rosary beads around his neck outside of official matches. Rooney has often been seen sporting the religious items during training.

He told the newspaper: “I’ve been wearing them for about four years now and you don’t usually watch training (to see them). I obviously can’t wear them in games. It’s my religion.”

The newspaper reports that before another question could be asked, Mark Whittle, the Football Association’s head of media relations, interrupted by saying: “We don’t do religion.”

The parallels to Alastair Campbell’s “We don’t do God” remark will not be missed by Christians. The former director of strategy and communications interrupted then Prime Minister Tony Blair with the comment before he could reply to a question from a reporter about his Christian faith.

FIFA, the World Cup’s organizing body, has outlawed athletes from wearing clothing carrying political, religious or personal statements. FIFA’s move blocks Christian athletes from proclaiming the name of Jesus on air after scoring goals and winning games.

England faces Algeria Friday.

20 Die in Arkansas Campground Flood

June 14, 2010

June 12, 2010 by RV Business
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Motorhomes and towable RVs were damaged in a campground at the popular Albert Pike Recreation Area near Caddo Gap., Ark., during a flashflood early Friday. Seventeen people were reported dead Saturday and dozens of others were missing.

Rescue crews took to kayaks, horseback and ATVs in Arkansas at daybreak Saturday to resume the desperate search for about two dozen campers still missing after flash floods swept through a popular campground, killing at least 20 people, according to the Associated Press.

The pre-dawn Friday surge along the Caddo and Little Missouri rivers caught sleeping campers in and around the Albert Pike Recreation Area by surprise, leaving them little time to try to scramble in the darkness to higher ground and safety. The last person found alive was rescued late Friday morning.

Arkansas State Police Capt. Mike Fletcher said there were about two dozen people still unaccounted for as of Saturday morning — a number far lower than some had feared. By one estimate, there were some 300 people in and around the campground when the floods swept through, and a call center fielded inquiries about 73 people who hadn’t been accounted for as of Friday night.

Fletcher said authorities had identified 16 of the 17 bodies found, but that they wouldn’t be identified publicly until their families had been notified. There were children among the dead.

The search was expected to take several more days, or even weeks, and anguished family members of the missing who gathered at a church in nearby Lodi on Saturday could only wait helplessly for word of loved ones. Some cried and embraced one another, and some held their head in their hands.

Graig Cowart, the pastor of the Pilgrim Rest Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, said there were 24 people still unaccounted for Saturday morning, and that their families were worried sick.

“They’re just devastated. The time for shock has probably gone and now it’s just anxiety building. They’re beginning to fear the worst,” Cowart said.

Cell phone service and visibility from the air in the heavily wooded area are very poor, hampering search efforts. Portable cell towers were dispatched to the area in the hope that stranded survivors would be able to call for help.

Crews on horseback and ATV returned to the craggy Ouachita mountains to look for possible survivors, as searchers in kayaks and canoes explored the tangled brush along the river banks for bodies.

Debris hung from tree branches 25 feet above the bend in the Little Missouri River that the camping area straddles, and rock climbers searched the valley’s steep and craggy terrain. It would be difficult for someone to signal for help because of the rugged and remote nature of the area being searched, some 75 miles west of Little Rock.

Floodwaters rose as swiftly as 8 feet per hour, pouring through the remote valley with such force that it peeled asphalt from roads and bark off trees. Cabins dotting the river banks were severely damaged. Mobile homes and recretion vehicles lay on their sides. Some described the quick rise of the water as a tsunami in a valley.

Tabitha Clarke, a National Weather Service hydrologist in Little Rock, said Saturday that the wall of water that swept through the campground could have been higher than the 23.4 feet reported Friday because the valley in that area is so narrow. The nearest river gauge, some 4.5 miles downstream, showed a 20 1/2-foot rise in a four-hour period early Friday.

“It would have been even worse where they were,” Clarke said.

Authorities prepared for a long search effort and said bodies may have been washed away. The last body found Friday night — the 16th confirmed dead — was found some 8 miles downstream from the campground.

“This is not a one- or two-day thing,” said Gary Fox, a retired emergency medical technician who was helping identify the dead and compile lists of those who were unaccounted for. “This is going to be a week or two- or three-week recovery.”

The rolling floodwaters would have sucked debris — including bodies — under the surface of the Little Missouri River and could have pinned people beneath rocks and trees that line the banks of the normally docile stream, Clarke said.

Brigette Williams, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Little Rock, estimated that up to 300 people were in the area when the floods swept through.

Forecasters had warned of the approaching danger in the area during the night, but campers could easily have missed those advisories because the area is isolated.

Denise Gaines said she was startled awake in her riverfront cabin by a noise that sounded like fluttering wings. She saw water rushing under the cabin door.

“I thought it must have been an angel that woke me up,” she said. She woke up the six others in her cabin and started packing her things.

Gaines, who lives in Baton Rouge, La., had been through violent weather before with Hurricane Gustav.

“We could feel the cabin shaking,” said her fiance, Adam Fontenot.

After the cabin filled with chest-deep water, the group clung to a tree and each other outside for more than an hour. Then the water dropped quickly, several feet in just a few minutes.

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As the water receded, the devastation emerged: Vehicles were piled atop each other, and bodies were in the water. The group sought shelter in a nearby cabin higher off the ground. They were eventually rescued in a Jeep.

Computer Work From Your RV

June 10, 2010

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet? June 9 , 2010

jaimie_bruzenak

You have a computer, you are computer literate. Can you work from your RV while traveling? AARP has an article, “Legitimate Work-at-Home Opportunities,” that describes several options. Some could be done in your RV on the road if you have a reliable Internet connection.

A number of would-be RVers have asked about medical transcription, one of the options mentioned in the article. My advice would be to get the training and get started before hitting the road, if possible. If you are already established with an agency or a practice, it is much easier to then continue it while traveling. One thing noted by one RVer medical transcriptionist is that there are a couple of different specialties and that some companies are going to voice-recognition software where they don’t pay as much. The agency mentioned in the AARP article is one other RVers have used and are happy with.

You would need a good Internet connection. If you primarily move from one RV park to another for extended times, you could get a phone line. Internet satellite would work if you are not blocked by trees. The business plan, though more expensive, might work better if you’ll be online quite a bit. An Aircard can work well too, in many areas. With both the satellite Internet and Aircard, you’d need to be sure you did not exceed your allotted bandwidth. And, no matter what the connection you usually rely on, sometimes it does not work. Have a Plan B! If you work for an agency, they might be willing to be flexible and not give you assignments when you are traveling and have an iffy connection. Having established a good relationship before RVing could be helpful here.

The advantage to this kind of work is that, assuming you have an Internet connection, you can work from most anywhere. Some costs would be deductible since you are an independent contractor or self employed. Working at home AND on the road is a nice way to earn money!

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at [email protected]

reprinted with permission

Can Chritians Explain Their Faith?

June 9, 2010

By Edmond Chua| Christian Post Correspondent
jmcdowell

Josh McDowell

The faith of most Christians, even that of many pastors, will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, according to renowned apologist Josh McDowell.

This is a concern because pastors’ inability to present biblical truth comprehensibly and relevantly has led to children from Christian families leaving the church, research has shown.

In the United States, the age at which nearly all such children leave church has decreased to 18 years.

Not even the children of many successful ministers are spared.

McDowell made his comments at a recent networking dinner among various men’s ministries organized recently by Men-in-Covenant. MiC is the men’s ministry of Covenant Evangelical Free Church.

He recalled speaking with the pastor of one of the largest U.S. churches, a man known for his expository preaching. Confiding in him, the pastor said their church was losing its youth right after high school graduation.

In his 50 years of ministry, McDowell has asked several thousand pastors and leaders how they could be certain Jesus Christ said “I am the truth” and not one of many truths or a truth.

“Not one person has ever given me an intelligent, biblically-based answer,” said the author of The New Evidence that Demands A Verdict.

During the past six years, he asked hundreds of Christians and leaders why they see themselves as Christians. Again no one gave him an “intelligent” answer.

In the past 17 years, he has asked over 4,000 pastors, leaders and parents why they believe the Bible is true.

A mere six “came close to giving an intelligent answer,” McDowell noted.

“If anything is based upon truth, it’s the Christian faith,” he said. “Christians who do not know why they have faith or believe have a very difficult time expressing themselves to others.

“The saddest thing is people come to me and say, ‘What’s the answer?’”

“I say, ‘There’s no answer… There are hundreds of answers.’”

Most Christians, even some pastors, don’t even know one. On the other hand, the apologist said he could give 50 reasons for his belief that the Bible is true.

Ninety-five percent of Christians gave disappointing responses when asked why they believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Asked why the Bible is true and historically reliable, Christians replied that it was what they had been taught by their church or parents.

A common response that most Christians gave to both questions was that it is “what I believe.”

McDowell responded: “That’s voodoo thinking. Where did we ever get that crazy idea that something is true just because we believe it?

“If that is true, then there will never be heresy. Everybody would be right.”

On one occasion, 13 youth pastors at a large convention were unable to reasonably answer the apologist’s question.

Finally one young person stood up, walked toward him and told him he knew the answer.

The young man promptly held up his Bible and said, “Because I believe it.”

And to McDowell’s dismay, all the youth pastors applauded him.

McDowell said, “Young man, do you know the difference between you, me and the majority of Christians in the world?

“To you, it is true because you believe it. For me, I believe it because it is true.”

Another response the apologist received was: Because I have faith.

He commented, “Where did we ever get the crazy idea that faith makes something true? That’s idiotic. That’s so unbiblical you can call it heresy.

“God doesn’t use faith to create truth. He uses truth through the Holy Spirit to create faith.”

Christians, the apologist stressed, are called to explain their faith when asked. They are set free by the faith in the truth, he expressed, referring to John 8:32.

Yet others say Christianity is true because Jesus changed their lives.

Even this will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, McDowell argued.

“Lies change lives; cults change lives,” he said.

To make such an appeal is “not the essence of Christianity,” the author emphasized.

McDowell said: “We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, we owe it to our neighbors, we owe it to the lost, to tell them not just what we believe but why do we believe it.”

RVing in Hurricane Zones

June 9, 2010

By Judy Jackson, Edmonton Journal June 3, 2010

June 1st is the beginning of the six-month hurricane season. Predictions are that 2010 may be a very active season due to a waning El Nino and warmer waters in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
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Image added by RvchurchesUSA

If your RVing plans include travel to anywhere in the U.S. southeast, Atlantic coastal states and provinces, or Gulf of Mexico states, you need to know a little bit about hurricanes.

First, hurricanes are big, really really big. The average hurricane is 200-400 miles across. Big ones will be 550-plus miles.

Second, they don’t occur suddenly, like in the movies. It takes days and weeks for hurricanes to build from tropical depression, to tropical storm, and finally to hurricane. There is plenty of warning before a hurricane hits.

Third, hurricanes don’t travel very fast. They average 10-20 miles an hour, though on rare occasions they can move along as fast as 70 mph or creep along at two or three.

Fourth, hurricanes don’t travel in straight lines. They take curving paths, often looping and backtracking and zig-zagging.

Fifth, hurricanes can have tremendous amounts of rain or very little.

Sixth, hurricanes have an eye, the centre of the storm. The eye can be from five to 120 miles across with most being 20-40. In the eye it can be eerily calm with clear skies, fooling people into thinking the storm is over, causing them to come outside to see the damage. However, once the eye passes over, there is the other half of the storm still left to endure, with sudden ferocious winds coming from the opposite direction.

Seventh, the worst winds tend to be in the northeast quadrant of the storm.

Eight, the sustained winds of a hurricane (74 to over 190 mph) are bad and cause a lot of damage. However, hurricanes tend to spawn many tornadoes which cause much of the damage.

Ninth, flying debris can be a bigger hazard than the wind itself.

Tenth, hurricanes are tropical but are not restricted to tropical areas, the coast, or the summer. Some of the worst and most damaging hurricanes have hit in the Carolinas and northward in September. August and September are the months with the most hurricanes.

What should you do if a hurricane is headed your way? Don’t risk it. Evacuate -and do so early. Because hurricanes are so large and their path of travel is so variable, it will take time, maybe days, to drive your way out of danger.

If you wait too long before evacuating it’s likely you will get caught in a major traffic snarl along with all the other late evacuees, and you may not reach safety before the rain and winds of the hurricane or its outer bands reach you.

You may run out of fuel. There will likely be fuel shortages (because everybody is buying and stockpiling fuel) and you may not be able to buy fuel to complete your evacuation. If you must stay put, get prepared.

– Get as much water as you can -fill bottles, tubs, tanks, buckets, anything you can find with water.

– Have plenty of nonperishable food and food that doesn’t have to be cooked, heated, prepared or refrigerated.

– Have a good supply of drinks and juices.

– Be sure you have a mechanical can opener.

– Have a way to cook food other than with electricity, such as a grill that uses wood, charcoal, or gas.

– Get plenty of batteries.

– Be sure you have plenty of personal items, diapers for babies.

– Have a good supply of first aid items.

– Be sure to have plenty of necessary prescription medications — get refills.

– If at all possible, cover your windows.

– Position your RV so that it noses into the wind if you can. Be aware that the wind direction will change as the storm moves through.

– Close vents, latch doors.

– Park close to a building on the side opposite of the expected predominent wind direction.

– Move your RV away from trees -far enough that it can’t be reached if trees are blown over.

– Have a portable radio/TV so that you can keep up with the latest on the hurricane track and local news and conditions.

Above all, think, use your common sense, don’t take risks, be wary, be safe.

Here are some websites to check for more information about hurricanes:

http://library.thinkquest.org/5818/hurricanes.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30072578

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

Loose Weight

June 5, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

Pick up most any publication and you will find one or more articles dealing with our nation’s and the world’s problem with obesity. Governments are spending tax dollars to educate us about the problem and to assist us alg_bible_readingin living healthier and longer lives.

Every athlete is aware that excess weight is a deterrent to their success. While they know that muscle mass is important to their success, they also know that fat weight hinders their performance. This has been proven through research. It also proves that obesity can affect the quality and length of our lives. What we consume is important to our overall health.

While this growing concern about our diets is good, there is another aspect of our lives where our diets are even more important because they affect the quality of our spiritual lives. Just as we abuse our physical bodies with improper diets, so we as believers sometimes abuse our spiritual beings with improper diets. Paul seems to address both the physical and spiritual aspects of our lives in 1 Cor. 3:16-17 with the words, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple” and warns us not to destroy God’s temple.

For the spiritual side Hebrews 12:1 admonishes us: “let us lay aside every weight; and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Spiritual diets, like physical diets, require the discontinuance of some things we have been consuming and adding others we have either not been consuming at all or enough of. I do not know what weights you need to lay aside. It may be what you are watching on TV or reading. It may be the people you are spending your time with. It may be habits that interfere with your spiritual growth. I do know that if you are sincere about knowing what weight you need to lay aside, the Holy Spirit will reveal it to you if you ask (John 14:26).

As to what you may need to add to your spiritual menu, Peter indicates that we need the spiritual milk of God’s Word (1 Peter 2:2). Psalms 119 is an excellent section of the Bible to consider what we should consume for our spiritual growth. Philippians 4:8 lists things we should consume for our spiritual growth.

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

Coast to Coast-Winnebego Promotion

June 2, 2010

by RVBusiness.com June 1, 2010

Winnebago logoCoast to Coast Resorts, the industry leader in bringing RV enthusiasts access to some of the finest “members-only” outdoor resorts in the country, and Winnebago Industries Inc. today (June 1) announced the “3 for Free” promotion for new Winnebago Industries motorhome owners and Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) Club members.

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The promotion entitles new owners and WIT Club members to a free three-day, two-night stay at one of more than 50 of the top Coast to Coast outdoor resorts across the U.S. and Canada, according to a news release.

The offer is available to anyone who purchases a new Winnebago Industries motorhome on or after Jan. 1, 2010, as well as new and existing WIT Club members. To be eligible, participants must attend a 90-minute presentation/tour on Coast to Coast membership at the campground.

In addition to the free three-day, two-night stay, participants qualify for exclusive credits and discounts. Guests who join Coast to Coast will receive a $500 discount on their membership, while those who decline membership will be offered a $500 camping credit at the resort where they stayed.

Participants in the promotion will experience the type of luxurious facilities offered by Coast to Coast’s resorts at locations that stretch from the wilderness of Washington’s Cascade Mountains to the Orlando, Fla. area. The resorts contain a range of high-quality amenities for vacationers of all ages, such as swimming pools, clubhouses, boating and countless fun planned activities for adults and children alike.

“Coast to Coast has a long history of providing excellent value on outstanding resorts across the country,” said Bruce Hoster, president of Coast to Coast Resorts. “By partnering with Winnebago Industries, we’re able to show the benefits of Coast to Coast membership to a whole new world of new and existing motor home owners. We look forward to welcoming Winnebago Industries motor home owners and WIT Club members at our resorts and anticipate that many of them will choose to become members of Coast to Coast following their stays.”

“Winnebago Industries offers a wide variety of motor home products with high quality expectations and the finest in luxury comfort available to RV owners,” said Chad Reece, director of marketing for Winnebago Industries Inc. “Therefore, it’s natural that we are partnering with Coast to Coast, whose resorts offer an equally high level of amenities and activities. We are sure that the combination of a Winnebago Industries motor home and a five-star outdoor resort will provide the perfect vacation getaway.”

A Coast to Coast membership makes it easy to travel safely and comfortably throughout North America, with hundreds of affiliated RV resorts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Member benefits include a subscription to Coast to Coast Magazine and a number of travel services, with additional advantages that include cabin and condo rentals, trip routing and dining and leisure discounts. Coast to Coast offers RV Tripsetter, an online and phone reservation system, which provides a simple way to reserve a space.

Coast to Coast was established in 1972 and is owned by and affiliated with Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), the nation’s largest provider of outdoor clubs, services, media and events that service the safety, security, comfort and convenience needs of the North American recreation vehicle and outdoor enthusiast market. AGI is the parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.

Existing members of Coast to Coast are ineligible to participate in the “3 for Free” promotion. Other restrictions may apply. To participate, visit www.experiencectc.com/3forfree.

Who Is This On The Cross?

June 1, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

Is this a great teacher hanging there being mocked by soldiers and those who passed by? whoIs this the miracle baby born to a virgin and laid in a manger? It this the one whose birth was announced to shepherds and wise men by voices and a chorus of angels from heaven? Is this the one who went about doing good? (Acts 10:38)

Yes, it is all of these, but more also. Hanging there on the cross that day was God’s only Son (John 3:16). However, He was not there by the force of Roman armies (Matthew 26:52-54). He was not there because Judas betrayed Him. He was not there because of those who unjustly accused Him before the high priest (Matthew 26:59-60; Luke 23:13-25). He was not there because Pilate handed him over to be crucified (Matthew 26:23, 26; Luke 23:24).

He was there fulfilling the Law (Matthew 5:17). He was there doing what He came to earth to do (Matthew 26:39-42). He was there of His own free will and choice (John 10:17-18; Matthew 20:28; Isaiah 53).

So often we forget this amazing fact. Yes, Jesus Christ was in a sense murdered by the mob. However, we must never forget that He was their willing victim. This was His greatest temptation: to save Himself in response to the taunts of the crowd who cried out, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One” (Luke 23:35).

Today’s world cries out the same taunts as they did that day, constantly asking for some scientific proof that there is a God who really loves them. The events of that infamous day are recorded in history. God has already provided the most vivid picture of His love for man through Christ’s willing sacrifice of Himself on the cross.

While many continue to reject Him to the end, two got it right: the centurion in Matthew 27:54 and the thief on the cross beside Him (Luke 23:39-43).

Who is this hanging on the cross? It is Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, becoming the sacrifice for the sins and disobedience of all mankind. He is willing to be the sacrifice for your sins as well. Will you accept Him now as Your Savior? (John 3:16).

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

Exclusive Resources

Be sure to check out our Resource Page (under For RVers above) for links to help you grow your faith, discover clubs/organizations, latest RV industry news and necessary on-the-road information.

Our Ambassador Club

Members serve as mentors to campground owners desiring to start on-site worship services by connecting them to churches within the owner's local area. Networking is vital to this ministry.