News - Traveling Ultra Light: Unique Retirement Brings Service-Minded Pair To G.U.’S Campus

Traveling Ultra Light: Unique Retirement Brings Service-Minded Pair To G.U.’S Campus

By: Carla Morris

Malones RetirementExcellent timing has its rewards, and the rewards of retirement for Jerry ’70 and Nancy Malone have everything to do with being in the right place at the right time.

“Right place” for the Malones is supporting and helping those who serve others, notably Christian missionaries, ministers and organizations worldwide.

“Right time” is now, while they are physically fit and financially able.

“Our entire lives have been focused on service, so why should our retirement be any different?” says Nancy.

Most recently, their unique extended tour brought them to Greenville University. On March 3, they will pull up stakes, concluding the Greenville leg of their journey. Since January, they have:

  • researched nominees for the University’s athletic hall of fame and volleyball history,
  • hosted visiting teams and officials on game day,
  • transported travelers to the airport,
  • researched library usage data,
  • welcomed the parents of new students to campus, and more.

Bring On the Simple Tasks and Grand Enterprises

Before retirement, Nancy coordinated continuing education for the South Central Kansas Library System, and Jerry served as director of membership and compliance for the NCCAA. Their prior experiences filling leadership roles in higher education contribute to the pair’s broad expertise.

“We will do anything we are equipped to do,” says Jerry, "‘Yes’ is our motto."

“Anything” has run the gamut from simple household tasks to advising organizations on direction and initiatives. They’ve painted walls, prepared meals, sorted clothes for charitable distribution, set up fundraising efforts, guided program development, hosted staff retreats, cared for children, proofed dissertations and much more.

They’ve filled gaps and met needs in London, Israel, Greece, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and right here in the U.S.

Once they leave Greenville, they will serve again in Israel (Jerry calls their prior work with evangelical Palestinian pastors in Nazareth “hands down” the most rewarding so far), followed by stops in Spain, Turkey, Georgia, Bulgaria, the Balkans and northern Italy.

Aiming For Seamless Integration

The Malones travel to countries where they already have connections, including missionaries supported by the Free Methodist Church. They arrive, settle in more like residents than tourists and develop a work plan with their hosts. They help as needed, but also relax and make time for sightseeing.

One measure of success is the minimal inconvenience the Malones put on their hosts. They are determined to seamlessly merge into existing operations, which means:

  • arranging their own transport;
  • purchasing SIM cards to make their mobile phones functional;
  • identifying amenities like local restaurants, coffee shops, bus stops, subway stops and grocery stores;
  • and developing friendships apart from the missionaries.

“One of the worst things you can do if you are  ‘truly serving’ is to make extra work for your hosts,” says Nancy. “They have enough to do.”

Ultra Light: Letting Go

The Malones’ bold retirement choice flowed from seasons of prayer, self-examination and research. They explored concepts like “intentional living” and “minimalist” lifestyle.

They stayed sensitive to matters of faith and discovered comfort and calling from Scripture, most notably the Lord’s words to Abram recorded in Genesis 12:1-3: “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you . . . you will be a blessing.”

Ultimately, they divested themselves of most possessions, including their home of 38 years.

“We ended up with about two suitcases each and four plastic tubs that we moved into our son’s attic,” says Nancy. “We loaned our car to one of our sons, and we were off.”

Often, they do not know exactly what they will do until they arrive at a location. They go with the flow, but they do so knowing God goes before them.

“He has helped us stay healthy and protects us,” says Jerry. “We would not be doing this if He was not in charge.”

Follow the Malone’s travels and service through their blog, Malones on the Move.

Learn More

Collected G.U. Stories: God’s Call
The Exhaustion Tour
Serving the Homeless in D.C.
Blend of Leadership and Service Score On and Off the Court
Work-Life Integration – Millennials Value Merger of Career and Service

When you support scholarships through The Greenville University Fund, you give students access to learning that equips them for lives of character and service. Thank you for giving.

This story was published on February 11, 2019

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