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NOMADS Rebuilding Lives of Others

By Glenn Collins
Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 2:03 PM

Methodists and Mennonites work together to load in supplies for the rebuilding of a tornado-destroyed home in Phil Campbell on Thursday, March 8, 2012.

(PHIL CAMPBELL) – For those of us who recall World History, when we think of Nomads, we envision the Middle Ages or prior and whole groups of people who wandered, never laying roots, never building towns, settling in one location. There are Nomads here in Phil Campbell. There are no tents, these modern Nomads "pitch" R-Vs.

They are here this Summer to help the rebuilding effort in Phil Campbell. They belong to NOMADS, an acronym for Nomads On a Mission Active in Divine Service, a mission service of the United Methodist Church. This project started about three weeks ago and continues through May.

Nomads are mostly retirees, and they are 1,100-strong nationwide. They move from area to area rebuilding lives, homes and facilities. For example, Nomads spent five years on the Gulf Coast after Katrina struck in 2005. Nomads usually spend three weeks on a project. The Phil Campbell project is a 12-week project and crews switch out every three weeks or so. This group has “pitched camp” in the parking lot behind First United Methodist Church in Haleyville.

Ron and Becky Hoblit are from Leesburg, Fla. Ron retired about 11 years ago and both have been Nomads since then. They are part of a group working on electrical and plumbing. They are going in behind a Mennonite mission group that has framed homes in Phil Campbell and Hackelburg installing electric and plumbing.

The Hoblits move on this weekend and the next group “pitches camp.” Hoblit said he is a Nomad because “It's good to help get people's lives back in order.”

For more on the NOMADS program, [Click Here].

Posted in Life & Times