Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 8, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 8, 2012 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people who create them 

 Story by Chris Bertrand Photo courtesy of George and Barbara Fawrup


 George and Barbara 
Fawrup recently retired 
from their busy careers 
in the Department of 
Justice and accounting 
respectively. Never ones to 
let the grass grow too long 
under their feet, the Sierra 
Madre couple decided to 
combine their wanderlust 
with service by joining a 
group called the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program 

 The Fawrups had learned about MMAP nearly two 
decades ago when Harriet and Otis Cobb, friends at 
Alhambra First Baptist Church, told of their adventures 
with the organization when they regularly “disappeared” 
for about a month at a time. “Then it went off our radar 
for a number of years,” said George Fawrup.

 According to the organization’s website, MMAP is a 
non- profit charitable Christian “retired couples that 
travel in RV’s for the Lord and help out where needed. 
The MMAP life is a fun life. We enjoy what we do 
because we get to travel, help others, fellowship with 
other adventurous folks and best of all serve the Lord in a 
meaningful way… on the North American Continent… 
working on selected projects at Christina churches, 
camps, missions, orphanages and other similar 
ministries. The work involves construction, renovation 
and remodeling… Each project lasts three weeks, with 
members working four days a week for seven hours a 
day. All members are financially independent and self 
supporting and provide their own medical insurance. ”

 After the Fawrups retired, they received an unexpected 
gift from George’s parents, a 38’ diesel pusher motor 
home. “We wanted to honor God for the generosity 
of George’s parents,” reflected Barbara. “We recalled 
the Cobb’s stories and after an Internet search found 
MMAP. We joined the organization in May, 2011, and 
have served on 9 projects to date.

 Their projects vary widely. “They range from starting 
from scratch with new construction, to major remodels, 
and as minor as maintenance and repairs. In the past 
MMAP has built churches from the ground up,” 
according to the Fawrups.

 The organization tries to take advantage of the climate 
and seasons, according to the website, by “choosing 
projects in the best climactic conditions – moving 
South in the winter and north in the summer months.” 
Though the project is available across the continent, the 
Fawrups prefer to remain within a few hours of home 
and family, so stay within California. 

Couples with self contained recreational vehicles (RV’s) 
from all walks of life have been part of the teams the 
Fawrups have been assigned to on their nine projects 
so far. Of the four to six couples on each project, 
“There are actually very few that previously worked in 
construction,” said Barbara. We’ve worked with a doctor, 
a truck driver, a college professor, and federal/state/
county/city workers involved in various professions, 
among others.”

 The Fawrups have experience in managing commercial 
properties and the attendant maintenance, and are 
knowledgeable about many aspects of construction, 
and can help teach others who are able but not skilled or 
trained in the project at hand. There is always a project 
coordinator who understands and is trained in the skills 
needed for the project. One time it might be laying 
tile, or insulating a building. Another time it might be 
painting or making draperies for a room or structure. 

When an actual church new construction project is in 
the works, a team of twelve couples is assembled. Then 
the project is extended to three months at one location. 

 Only once did they arrive at a project that wasn’t a 
good fit for the group. A new roof was planned for an 
Orange County church, and it was determined that 
it was a project better suited to a contractor, so they 
group went down the list to other needed projects at 
the church.

 Some couples actually live in their RV’s full time, 
and travel from project to project, giving their time to 
remodel churches and camps and other Christian based 
structures, while enjoying a low cost way to travel and 
see different areas of the country. “The projects provide a 
parking space with full hook-ups without cost. Projects 
are scheduled across the United States every month 
of the year and are a three week duration,” explained 
Barbara. With the four day “work” week on Monday 
through Thursday, couples have time to explore their 
new environs on the days off. 

 The minimum number of projects required from 
a member is three per year, for a total of nine weeks’ 
commitment annually, but many couples do much 
more. The Fawrups love the program, and have worked 
on nine since 2011. 

 George Fawrups commented on their enthusiastic 
participation in the MMMP projects, “We give of our 
time, talents and abilities. In return, we get the ability 
to serve directly in the various Christian ministries 
across the United States and help them fulfill the visions 
God has given to them. We have direct ‘hands-on’ 
partnerships in churches, camps, homeless missions, 
women’s shelters and orphanages across the United 
States and Canada.”

 So many of the organizations would never have the 
funds to make the repairs and improvements the group 
performs. George recalls a particularly rewarding 
experience. Our very first project was in Idaho at a camp 
about 90 minutes north of Boise, in a rural location. 
The camp was run by Christian missionaries who had 
to raise their own support. The camp did not generate 
sufficient income as it provided low cost camperships to 
allow as many children as desired the ability to attend.”

Barbara continued, “The camp would have never been 
able to afford the work we were providing. The men 
built a large playground and exercise stations from trees 
that had blown down in a storm in the previous year. 
The resulting playground would have been the envy of 
any organization providing recreation to children. The 
ladies remodeled a home that housed the staff. One 
afternoon, the ladies were out and got talking with 
people in the nearby town. When we told them why 
we were there, one person commented that her kids 
would be thrilled to hear about the new playground as 
they regularly attended summer 
programs there.”

 The Fawrups appreciate the 
flexibility of their volunteer 
work in the program, and that 
they aren’t required to do any 
of the fundraising to put the 
projects together, but always 
feel that this organization is 
definitely the right direction for 
them to use their talents during 
retirement, and regularly feel 
they get divine reinforcement. 

Barbara chuckled, “It seems 
that on every trip we have taken 
that God gives us a reminder 
that He is in the project with 
us. On our first trip to Idaho, 
we experienced that early on. 
Northbound on I-15 in Utah we 
lost a tire on the motor home 
and limped into Cedar City. 
For hours we searched every 
tire dealer in town and no one 
had the right size. It was either 
hours to St. George or Salt Lake 
City to find a replacement. In 
frustration and exhaustion we 
found a parking spot out of the 
way behind a truck stop with a tire service bay that had 
already told us they didn’t have the replacement. It was 
only after all of our best efforts that we remembered that 
we were on this trip to serve God and not ourselves. 
Suddenly we felt embarrassed that we were frustrated. 
We stopped and prayed to God that we were on His 
mission, not ours, and asked help in deciding what to 

 I then took the dog for a walk near the tire shed where 
two workers were taking a break outside. We struck up 
a conversation and I told them I was the one who called 
about the tire they didn’t have. One worker looked at 
me, looked back at the motor home. I swear I could see 
a light go on in his head. He just recalled he had a special 
ordered metric tire that was never picked up. It might 
be the right dimensions. After careful measurements 
and calculations, they determined it was the correct 
size. Apparently, God had already stocked the right tire 
in the right place for us, but wanted us to recognize that 
before he revealed it to us,” she laughed.

 The Fawrups just returned from a nearby project in 
Arrowhead Springs in San Bernardino. The 1800 acre 
site was developed at the location of a natural landmark 
that appears to be an arrowhead carved into a hillside 
above some naturally occurring hot springs. It is 
now owned by a descendant organization of Campus 
Crusade for Christ, now called CRU.

 Native Americans considered it a spiritual monument. 
In the 1800’s it became a Sanatorium for tuberculosis 
and respiratory ailments. Various hotels had iterations 
at the site over the years. Before Palm Springs and Las 
Vegas became the go to spot for celebrities, Arrowhead 
Springs was the spot to see and be seen for movie stars 
and the rich and famous. “Elizabeth Taylor spent her 
first honeymoon in the penthouse suite,” according to 
the Fawrups, and “Esther Williams, of swimming fame, 
filmed a movie at the Cabana Pool there, and countless 
stars vacationed in the many bungalows there.”

 The Fawrups explained, “After a period of disuse, 
Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU) obtained the 
property in the early 1960’s. Restoring and improving 
the property, CRU utilized the site for 31 years before 
moving to Florida. The resort served as a training ground 
for missionaries, as well as a retreat and conference 
center for southern California and beyond. Many a 
happy couple had their weddings on the expansive lawn 
in front of the hotel. With over 20,000 full time CRU 
missionaries and 225,000 CRU volunteers worldwide, 
Arrowhead Springs Resort memories span the globe 
among the many who started with their training there. 
It is the goal of CRU to now pass on this asset to another 
organization that will embrace its heritage and continue 
its legacy of bringing service to the surrounding 
communities and the world.”

 In January the Fawrups head to Camp Maranatha in 
Idyllwild for yet another project. 

If you are interested in the work of this group, contact 
Mobile Missionary Assistance Program for more 
information by visiting, or contact them 
at, (909) 795-3944. The Fawrups 
keep a blog of their adventures at MMMP at http://

More information about the future possibilities of 
Arrowhead Springs is available through the listing broker, 
Jones Lang LaSalle Real Estate. www.joneslanglasalle.


It's not just the economy - there are lots of reasons that people choose to downsize. It could be retirement, 
a recently emptied nest, or just plain "maintenance fatigue." Whatever the reason, plan your 
new lifestyle carefully.

When you search for a smaller home, don't forget that Location is still the key ingredient. Even if you 
don't have kids or they've flown the coop, a good school district and proximity to public transportation 
and recreation are still the best bets for retaining value.

If this will be a retirement move, think about the future and seek out homes on one level, or at the 
very least, with the master bedroom on the ground floor. For practicality's sake, at least one bathroom 
should be handicap-accessible or easily remodeled as such. Even if you don't think you'll need 
it later on, your visitors might appreciate the convenience.

If downsizing to you means less maintenance, you may be tempted by town home or condominium 
living, but be aware of "hidden costs," like annual or monthly homeowners association fees. Check 
recent association meeting reports to see if there is a building renovation planned, as you could be 
hit with an assessment fee in the future, too.

There are a lot of considerations in advance of your move, so ask an agent for more advice and enjoy 
your new lifestyle! 


The holidays can be a wonderful, yet stressful time. Reduce stress and enhance your 
families’ enjoyment this season by increasing the benefits of holiday décor and gifts 
and by taking a few shortcuts to properly care for holiday trees and plants.

1. Keep your Christmas tree looking its best by keeping the tree stand filled with 
water. Make this a daily chore for someone trying to stay on Santa’s nice list.

 Don’t worry if good help is hard to find. Purchase or make your own self-watering 
device. Use a decorative tin or plastic bucket set in a box and wrapped to hide its 
presence. Fill it with water and run a piece of plastic tubing from the bucket to the 
tree stand. Weight each end of the tubing, so it stays at the bottom of the reservoir. 
Test before leaving town to make sure it is in working order.

2. Add some holiday plants this year. Many studies have shown that indoor plants 
can boost mood levels, reduce fatigue and even lower stress.

 Plus, it’s easy to extend the life of your holiday plants. Place them in a cool bright location away from 
drafts of hot or cold air. Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil moist. Pour off any excess 
water that collects in the saucer, basket or foil wrap to prevent root rot.

 Save time and improve your plants growing conditions by placing pebbles in the base of the saucer or foil 
to elevate the plants above the excess water. As the water evaporates, it increases the humidity around the 
plants. Or purchase one of the saucer inserts, like rubber grids, that work the same way.

3. Use nature-inspired decorations that provide enjoyment throughout the holiday season and beyond. 
Colorful stems, white painted allium seed heads and wooden stars can add beauty throughout the holidays 
and much of the year. Red wood wreaths are festive enough for the holidays and timeless enough to leave 
hanging on your wall year round. Luminaries can be used to light the entrance to your home or the path 
to your outdoor living space during warmer months. Use a few roosting pocket bird houses to decorate 
trees and greenery and then move them outside for the birds. These decorations can provide beauty and 
enjoyment way beyond the holiday season and remove some of the pressure to take down all of the holiday 
decorations by a certain date.

4. Spruce up indoor plants with a few holiday flowers, spangles and lights. Place a few cut flowers in floral 
picks filled with water. Place these in one or more of your houseplants for some seasonal color. Or add one 
of the miniature poinsettias, kalanchoes or cyclamen to a large planter. Simply sink the flowering plant, 
pot and all, into your houseplant container. Replace the small flowering plants as they fade or the seasons 

 Add colorful stems, ribbons and winter branch lights to your houseplants and planters for a bit of seasonal 
sparkle. Branch lights are also a festive way to light an entrance, bathroom, or other out of the way space. 
Look for lights with timers to extend the life of the batteries and reduce your workload.

5. Increase value and extend enjoyment with gifts that give twice. A tabletop spruce tree, perfect for any size 
home can add greenery and fragrance long past the holidays. And, once the weather is suitable for planting, 
move your tree into the garden. Or re-gift it to a friend or relative looking to expand their landscape.

Make this a holiday you can relax, enjoy and remember throughout the coming year.

For more gardening tips and information, visit

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