But something was missing: Purpose! Trips to visit Henry's brother, a physician at Redbird Mission in Kentucky, had made them aware of the tremendous need for volunteer workers with the skills to provide repair and maintenance of facilities in a host of Christian ministries throughout the country. Henry knew the Lord was speaking to his heart.
And so, with God's Word as their guide, a new retirement dream was born: Roving Volunteers in Christ's Service (RVICS), with scripture as its mission statement: ...be doers of the Word, and not hearers only... -James 1:22
The ministry that begain in February, 1977, with Henry and Margaret Schaeffer and two other couples, serving at Phoenix Gospel Mission in Phoenix, Arizona, has now grown to an organization of over 100 current couples. Separate teams (with 3 to 6 couples on each team) serve needy Christian missions all over the United States and Canada. A coming RVICS milestone: as of the end of 2014 RVICS teams will have completed over 2,300 projects. Praise the Lord!
In the early years, Henry handled all the business aspects of the organization himself. He coordinated projects, arranged itineraries, carried on all oral and written communications, and designed promotion and publicity. By 1981, he realized that the organization had outgrown his 5th-wheel office. But my God will supply all your needs... -Philippians 4:19
By 1995, RVICS Village was well under way, and the RVICS National Headquarters moved to its new building at the Village in Smithville, Texas.
This brief history cannot possibly "tell it all". The prayer that was, and is, the backbone of RVICS; the obstacles overcome; the sacrificial time and money contributed by the Schaeffers, headquarters staff, team leaders, team members, and faithful supporters outside of the organization; lives transformed within the ministry and as a result of the missions we serve. Whatever has been given, whatever has been accomplished, whatever is of lasting value in the Kingdom is lovingly dedicated to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Henry & Margaret Schaeffer
1st President 1977-1993
George & Elva Parcher
2nd President 1993-1995
Eldon & Gwen Toy
3rd President 1995-2004
Gale & Linda Hickman
4th President 2005-2009
Paul & Sandy Swetland
5th President 2010-Current