A Hidden Gem

By Rachel Greco

Like a sapphire hidden among grains of gravel, the private RV Park at JAARS lies nestled among the pine trees in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina. RVers who come to JAARS to connect to the global impact of Bible translation can make their home in this quiet, restful spot.

Lyle Williams learned about JAARS and its RV Park when he moved south to join his wife, Paige. The Williams had sensed their chapter in Utah coming to a close, though they didn’t know why. They started praying that God’s will would be done in their lives.

Paige and Lyle with their dog and RV

The Williams had already moved into an RV because they wanted to simplify their life. With the Lord’s help they found one at a great price that was the perfect size for them. “If you buy a big house, you have to fill it with stuff,” Lyle explained. “That’s money and expenses that we would rather spend on experiences. So we really liked the idea of minimalizing and simplifying life and having just what we needed. This freed up our time and resources to do things that are more important than merely having stuff.”

Then Paige saw a job opportunity in Rock Hill, South Carolina and applied. When she got the position and had to start right away, some of her former neighbors in South Carolina helped her find a place to stay with some of their friends. Lyle remained in Utah to prepare their house for selling and tie up other loose ends.

He still didn’t know what he would do when he came to the Carolinas or where they would park the RV. Lyle longed to continue serving in youth ministry somehow. When Paige mentioned to her hosts that Lyle was looking for a place to serve, and they needed a place to park their rig, her host suggested they could probably do both at JAARS.

So Lyle first heard about the place that would become his home as trekked across the States in their RV. When he first checked out the RV Park, he said, “I was captivated by the JAARS community and what God is doing through the organization and wanted to be a part of that.”  

He now serves as the associate high school pastor and helps out with CrossVenture events. “Since being here and getting plugged into JAARS, it’s really hard to imagine doing something that would take me away from here.”

Lyle enjoys talking to the retired mission workers who live or serve at JAARS and hearing their testimonies. “It’s nice to hear all these amazing stories from all these amazing people.”

He and Paige appreciate the safe, clean, and pleasant environment of the RV campground. Angie and Casey Nixon, the camp hosts, “are wonderful neighbors,” Lyle says. “Angie does a great job of hosting and developing a sense of community.”

Sitting around the new campfire at JAARS and listening to God-honoring stories

Sometimes Angie and Casey host worship times around the brand-new fire pit, where they sing, pray, read Scripture, and invite everyone to share how God is working in their lives.

The Nixons have recently upgraded the RV clubhouse with new paint, furniture, and a streaming TV to make it as inviting as possible for future guests. It also has three free washers and dryers. “We’re trying to make it ready for people coming to hear about JAARS so they’ll have a nice place to hang out,” Angie relates.

The RV clubhouse before the Nixon’s work
The RV clubhouse after the Nixon’s re-do

Angie loves how quiet, spacious, and naturally beautiful the RV Park is. “It’s quiet and peaceful at morning and night.” Even taking out the trash in the evening can be a special event—not long ago she and her family saw a fawn right in front of them.

Angie has relished helping out with Night at the Museum and Mission at the Airport events and learning how God uses all kinds of people to spread his story of love around the world.

The RV Park has 20 full hookups and can accommodate any size rig with water and electricity.

Is God calling you to explore how you might serve in support of Bible translation? If you or someone you know has an RV, there’s a special place where you can hear stories from living heroes of the faith—the true gems at JAARS. Contact JAARS housing at 704.843.6290. We hope to see you on campus!