Over 100 residents at a Florida RV park spend their winters hiding from snow and at the same time help make Jesus known to people around the world.

Since the founding of Wycliffe Associates in 1967, volunteers have contributed thousands of hours of labour to propel the ministry forward in its mission to accelerate Church Owned Bible translation across the globe. And at the Wycliffe Associates international headquarters in Orlando, Florida, approximately 110 volunteers are staying for the winter season at an RV site built by Wycliffe Associates volunteers.

Built in 2001, the 69-space RV park is adjacent to the organization’s headquarters.

Stacy Valeu and his wife, Jolene, volunteered with Wycliffe Associates for 14 years while they spent the winter season at the RV park. “Before we came to Wycliffe Associates we were pew sitters at church,” Stacy says. “We didn’t do a thing to further the gospel. When we drove into the RV site after we retired, we knew we were home. The years at Wycliffe Associates were the best years of our married life. But what we were doing, we knew [it] was going to further God’s kingdom throughout the world.”

During a typical year, the RV site is 85 per cent occupied. November through April is the busiest season, with the largest influx of volunteers arriving in January.

Dave and Marty Jones have been staying at the RV site and volunteering at the Wycliffe Associates headquarters since 2002. The married couple arrives in November and stays until April, when they return to Illinois. Dave helped build the RV site, as well as a warehouse and two phases of the office building.

During their time in Orlando, Marty works in the office, supporting the prayer ministry. Dave manages the warehouse and operates equipment. He also helped set up the assembly lines for Bible Translation Acceleration Kits (BTAKs) and Bible Translation Recording Kits (BTRKs). The BTAKs consist of technology and equipment that facilitate collaboration among Bible translators, while BTRKs make it possible to distribute Scripture translated into unwritten languages.

Twice weekly, volunteers attend chapel services, where they receive updates about the ministry from the organization’s leadership. Relationships between the volunteers are deep, and many of them say they learned about the RV site and volunteer opportunities primarily by word of mouth.

The seasonal volunteers stay an average of three months and volunteer approximately 32 hours per week. Since the RV site’s opening, Wycliffe Associates estimates that the volunteers staying there have donated more than 998,000 hours of service. The return rate for winter volunteers is 90 per cent.