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Traveling to the Cornhusker State

We arrived in Marquette, Nebraska on a Roving Volunteers in Christ's Service (RVICS) project at Timberlake Ranch Camp after a brief one-night stop in Hamburg, Iowa on Wednesday, April 24. The drive north on US 29 from Kansas City, Missouri was only three hours but the truck traffic and navigation was challenging. Hamburg turned on to be a sleepy Iowa farming town with only one restaurant. We were using our Harvest Host membership to stay the night in the town ball park on the grassy parking lot and we were the only RV there.

The weather on Thursday, April 25 was changing with forecasted rain turning to thunderstorms so we got on the road earlier than usual at 9:30 AM from Hamburg. We drove Highway 2 to the Nebraska border heading west towards Lincoln. From Lincoln we connected to Interstate 80 and continued on to Marquette. The weather was behind us as we moved west but the predictions for the weekend indicated we were in for some potential heavy thunderstorm activity and possible tornadoes.

We all spent the weekend hunkered down and prayed the bad weather would miss our location, but to be safe, we had the NOAA weather alert radio ON keeping us up to date on the approaching and changing conditions. Both Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 were pretty hairy with over 150+ tornado alerts and warnings in Oaklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraka and Iowa. Rain was heavy with occasional downpours of "pea sized" hail which made sleep during the night difficult. We received alerts on both our cell phones and the NOAA radio throughout the day. By Sunday it was all over and we all came though this extreme weather unscathed. The region experienced two fatalies, 50+ injuries with 153 tornado reports, 138 wind reports and 276 hail reports from the April 25 to April 28 storm outbreak sequence. No tornadoes were reported closer to us then some suburbs of Lincoln, Nebraska about an hour away to the east. We got many calls and texts from concerned family and friends; many thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

The RVICS enitre team met up for the first time on Saturday afternoon; we are made up of three couples and a single this time around. On arrival at camp we met Steve and Jan Meyers at the entrance to the RV parking area. They will be our RVICS team leaders on this project through May 17. They're both retired school teachers and have a home in Iowa leading teams with RVICS part-time in their Nomad fifth wheel by Skyline. Couple number two, Tom Horsfall and Cat Tyson are working with us traveling in their Entegra Anthem motor coach. They are also "escapees" from California and. on their fourth RVICS project like us. Our single member is Christina Beck from Arizona traveling in her Jayflight by Jayco tow-behind trailer. She's new to RVICS and on her first project with her dog, Gidget.

Timberlake Ranch Camp, founded in 1977, is a Christ-Centered camping facility in the midwest and for over four decades they have been providing family-friendly camp programming combined with excellent facilities designed to immerse guests in nature as they explore and grow in their faith. "By intentionally taking the time to step away from our busy schedules to invest in our relationship with God, connect with those around us, and create space for new experiences, God does incredible things. We have seen the power of camp firsthand through the years as thousands of young people have professed faith in Jesus or found fresh purpose by taking meaningful steps to deepen their faith".

We are looking forward to a busy and fruitful week of work with the camp staff repairing and preparing the facility's different venues for their future campers.


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