Retired couple becomes missionaries
October 01, 2013
By Dawn Freeman, Volunteer Writer
“Since both of us have had a lifelong interest in missions, it was natural to answer the call to work in a support role in our retirement years,” said Bonnie Voss.
Paul and Bonnie Voss serve as part-time missionaries every year through the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program (MMAP), a Christian organization of retired couples that travel in RVs to serve where needed.
“We looked into different organizations that we had heard of over the years and were led to join this one, which is evangelical and non-denominational,” replied Bonnie.
MMAP began in California in 1979 by a group of retired volunteers who wanted to serve. Their primary focus was and still is to serve evangelical Christian organizations through construction, maintenance, and repair projects.
Now all over the country, they serve many Christian camps, schools, homes for children as well as some small church additions and builds.
Some of the volunteers have been with MMAP for more than 30 years, but there’s always a need for more people. Volunteers are asked to commit to serving four months or more each year, but many of them serve full time.
“We’ve committed to 5-6 months per year,” Bonnie said.
Three to six couples are assigned to each project, so the fellowship is an added bonus for the retired couple. This particular project provides a place for their camper with water, sewer, electricity, and materials for their job.
The Vosses are currently serving with Maranatha Ministriesat their Four Seasons Conference Center in New Hampshire, a year-round retreat center that provides programs, sanctuary, and rest for New England church leaders and their families.
“We’re working at a camp that’s pretty much a one-man-and-wife team operation with no paid staff. All who work are volunteers. It’s amazing what the Lord has provided!” said Bonnie.
The older couple was there two years ago. At that time, the project focused on sheet rocking the camp worship center. Volunteers have since finished the drywall, painting and installing the ceiling with tongue and groove white pine lumber.
In August, during the couple's first month there, the goal was to complete the worship center in time for a wedding.
Volunteers had much to do back then: installing, sanding, and staining wood paneling; building a stage; having carpet professionally laid; building stairs to the basement; and doing electrical work with lighting and sound. And the wives worked to clean the chairs, sand the wood paneling, and paint some exterior sign posts.
In September, the basement of the same building was sheet rocked and electrical work was completed. A sports building for ski and archery equipment was also on the list for completion. That job included painting the exterior, insulating the interior, sheet rocking, and doing electrical work.
Bonnie said, “We love traveling. Since we have a week off between each month, we’re able to see some of the glorious country God has made for us to enjoy. We’re currently visiting Nova Scotia.”
There’s an endless list of jobs, but the Vosses' work for October hasn’t been revealed yet. At least, the Four Season Conference Center is now complete and debt-free after several years of work primarily done by the volunteers.
“We’ve lived in Spring Hill for seven years, but just recently started to fellowship at The Church at Station Hill. We’ve enjoyed Jay’s teaching and our LIFE Group with Don Reid,” said Bonnie. When the couple isn't serving out of state, they can be found there.