I’d been seeing these little orange and blue fish signs around town, so my nosy self followed them to the Civic Center. I was greeted with this:
The RV circle was almost at capacity. As I drove around to park, I noticed license plates. Texas, of course, then North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida. It was like the whole southeast quadrant of the US decided to come camp out. But why?
The Campers on Mission have been having their national (yes, you read that right) rally right here in Mineola this week. There were 217 campers from 17 states attending. They even filled the Best Western, I was told. Campers on Mission (COM) is a nondenominational fellowship of Christian Campers who travel the country sharing the gospel while doing missions work. While in Mineola, they repainted our Gazebo at Commerce and Johnson Streets for us.
I met Retha Snelson inside the Civic Center, who graciously took the time to tell me about COM. “It’s a wonderful fellowship,” she said. They work often with the Texas Baptist Camping Association, who allows the group to camp free at their camps around the state and feeds them as well. Mrs. Retha’s boiled-down description: “We get to camp for free, get fed, fellowship, and do good!”
As I was leaving, I was struck by the flag display on this bus. The “lady of the bus” (Jeannine Carter) happened to be in and allowed me to take a picture. “Did any of them ask you if you had a relationship with Jesus?” was her first question when I told her I’d been inside. I loved it. It’s their whole point. Mrs. Retha had told me inside “We give all the glory to God.” Mrs. Jeannine proved it. We talked about grandbabies and traveling for a few minutes before I left.
Next year’s rally will be in New Mexico. I’m hoping the year after they come back here so I can visit some more.