LAKELAND, Fla. — Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service, better known as RVICS made the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes’ Lakeland campus their home for January and February.
RVICS are retired or semi-retired Christian couples living in recreational vehicles who are serving the Lord through an organized work ministry. They focus on maintenance and service activities as well as small construction projects. They serve Christian organizations such as colleges, schools, camps, conference centers, and children’s homes. RVICS does not charge for their services.
Eron Green, administrator for the Lakeland campus said the RVICS team of six couples worked on numerous projects to help improve the campus. “The men worked on heavier projects such as dry walling, plumbing, electrical, and other remodeling work. The ladies usually worked on lighter projects such as helping to organize the donation center, cleaning, and some office work,” Green said.
According to Dr. Jerry Haag, president of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes RVICS provided an invaluable service to the Lakeland campus. “The work that RVICS did was critically important. We would never be able to afford to pay for all the work they did for us. Their work literally represents thousands of dollars to this ministry. What a wonderful ministry!” Haag said.
Fred Ogrinc, RVICS team leader for the Lakeland campus project has been a volunteer for RVICS for three years. Ogrinc and his wife Rosemarie made RVICS their full-time ministry after he retired as a lineman from the local power company in Hiram, Ohio.
“I wanted to retire at fifty-five and God provided us a way to do that, but I also knew that when I did retire I wanted to do something for the Lord. My wife, Rosemarie, and I made this ministry a matter of prayer for nearly ten years. The Lord answered our prayer and opened up all the right doors for us,” Ogrinc said.
In order to host an RVICS team the organization must have a Christ-centered focus. They must also be able to provide hookups on site for 25 to 45 ft. RV’s at no cost to the RVICS workers. The work site must also provide all materials and permits in-hand when work is to begin.
RVICS teams serve on projects throughout the United States and Canada. Most projects last 3-4 weeks, but some may last two months or longer. RVICS volunteers do not receive anything in return for their services. They work three days a week and then have the rest of the week for site seeing and other personal activities.
Some of the requirements for participating in the RVICS ministry include having received Jesus Christ as their personal savior, have a self-contained recreational vehicle, be self-supporting, and furnish their own hand tools and safety equipment.
The RVICS ministry is headquartered in Smithville, TX. More information about the RVICS ministry can be found on their website at www.rvics.com.