About thehaverherd

We are a family of five who travel full time and live in our Airstream camper. ✌🏼❣️

The Haverherd takes on Spain

The Haverherd has had a mildly life changing spring. We finished up our 6-week ride along with the World Race America team at the end of February. Oh how we miss you Dosson & Alex, Alleigh, Amber P & Amber M, Carolyn, Lauren, Jess, Mel, ShelbyCorbyn and Ben. That journey was the beginning of some incredible mind, body and spiritual activation which we didn’t even know could be possible.

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As we flew into Barcelona, Bex found herself asking an identical question that she had posed to me a mere 40 days before. “What are we doing ?” Our continuous family joke has been, “Let’s just turn right”. It originated back in mid-January as we were tailing the WR America van out of Adventures in Mission’s parking lot, helping them start their 11 month journey to serve, encourage and uplift people in need all across the US. As their van turned left towards the first destination, a homeless shelter in Asheville, Bex half-heartedly joked “what if we just turn right and text ‘em that we had a change of plans?”.  Needless to say, we made the left turn and have been graced by some amazing friendships that will certainly extend for many years to come.

Now flash forward to March 1st, in our tiny rental car driving towards the Mediterranean sea. In answer to Bex’s previous question, I reminded her that we were simply going to hang with some good folks for two weeks. How bad could it be? As we pulled into the small white-washed-wall town of Mijas, she gestured that a right turn at that moment would take us over to Portugal for the entire month of March;). “How bad could that be?”, she countered.

The founder of G42 academy, Andrew Shearman, would be teaching the first week of class and to say that I was ridiculously excited would be a bit of an understatement. Andrew has a long history of awakening young men and women to grab onto their full identity with both hands. A few trademark one liners from this 71-year-old spiritual warrior include:

“You were born to be loved.”

“Are we, the church, missing the plot line?”

“When we soak up God’s love, we can choose to pour that love back out on the people around us. Not because we have to, out of fear, or guilt or condemnation, but because we get to. And if we can do that, the kingdom of God will occur right before our very own eyes.”

The G42 staff encouraged me and Bex to bring the boys into class with us and sit alongside the 30 students (interns, as they’re referred to who are all in the 20s or early 30s). We however enlightened them that they were not yet aware of the full magnitude of the Haverherd boy craziness. Instead, I proceeded to get the boys (ready for their day of homeschooling) and Bex (with headphones in to listen from outside to the teaching) set up in the lobby. On that first Monday morning, as I was about to walk into the classroom, I felt a nudge. But I didn’t want to ask her. I had delivered our family 10,000 miles across an ocean and I wanted to listen to Mr. Shearman ‘bring it’. After I long pause, the words reluctantly trickled out of my mouth.

Hey Bex, do you wanna go into class for the morning session?

She thought for a moment and then responded with a breezy “Sure, that sounds good.”

Over the next couple hours I listened in (via headphones) as Andrew laid out the framework of who God is, who He has made us to be and what role we get to play in the Kingdom. And then I heard it.

Where you at Bex?”

Oh no. What is going on in there?

As many of you know, Bex has been on a roller coaster of a journey both emotionally and spiritually over these past six and a half years since her brother committed suicide. I won’t go into all the details but she’s found herself on a long road in which she has put forth tremendous effort to work through a deep rooted season of grieving.

It was Gary’s voice (he’s the twenty year younger version of Andrew at G42) booming not just through my headphones, but through the crack of the two doors that separated the classroom and the lobby where I stood outside with the boys. My body tensed up as I instinctively contemplated ripping open the door and bursting in to my wife’s rescue.

Then I heard Bex’s voice, through my earbuds, “I want joy.

Now I’m not exactly sure how the next 10 seconds played out, as I could only listen in. But Gary, from one side of the room, motioned to Bex, who was seated on the ‘guest couch’ in the back corner of the other side of the room, for God to ‘give her joy’. My headphones phased out for a second. And then it was done. Andrew continued to teach and class went on without skipping a beat.

An hour later, one of the other guests, a tiny 18 year old girl also seated on the couch, shared her story. It was a story filled with abuse, sadness, hatred and neglect. With quivering words this girl shared with the class, “I’ve never heard of God’s love the way you are talking about it Andrew. But I want that so badly.

And again, Gary’s voice boomed from across the room at my wife, “Bex, give her some of that joy.”

Bex told me later that she had no idea what that even meant. All she could think to do was put a hand on the girl’s back and her other hand over the girl’s heart. And then she reminded the girl who God had created her to be.

You are a daughter of the Creator of the Universe. You are cherished. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are the beloved.” She quietly breathed life in.

As the afternoon finished up, and yours truly (homeschool teacher Daddy) did his best to maintain the chaos of the boys out in the lobby, I watched as the interns poured out of the classroom. But where was Bex? I gave up waiting. As I made my way through the door in her search I bounced my way into embraces of gratitude with both Andrew and Gary. But where was she?

As I looked over on the couch, I locked eyes with her. She was in the same mothering position that she had been for the past hour, almost rocking the girl in her arms and telling her over and over who she was created to be.

So that was our first day of class. And it was good.

I’ve got one other story to share with you all that has absolutely blown my mind. But it’ll have to wait until next time as I’ve probably put most of you to sleep at this point (assuming anyone’s actually kept reading this far;).

We heart you all so much. Thanks for all the encouragement, kind words and kingdom love you have shared with us over these past 2 years on the road. We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon.

-Daniel, Bex, Matthew, Josiah and Tobias

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How I Made Two New Friends in the Shelter

So it’s been a few weeks since we left the homeless shelter in Ashville, NC. But there were two friends that I would like to share with you.

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Photo use with permission by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I had the opportunity to sit with John over a few meals throughout our week at Western Carolina Rescue Mission. If he had been wearing a red shirt, you’d be convinced that he must be married to Mrs. Claus. Over our week together “Santa” shared with me several portions of his story as well as his goals for the future. During our final meal together I asked him if I could pray for the healing of his diabetes. And if he would pray for mine.

He agreed, but I could sense his hesitation. “Was that an offensive question John?” I asked.

He softly responded, “I’m just not sure I know if I can pray out loud”.

After sharing that I would be honored by however he’d be willing to pray for me, we both closed our eyes. I reached over and placed my hand on John and asked God to heal his pancreas and the other areas of his body that were not in good working order. As the final few words floated out of my mouth, I opened my eyes for a second to see John quickly re-bow his head and squint his eyes shut. We sat facing each other for another minute or so before I heard John quietly say, “Amen”.

As I looked up, tears filled his eyes, “Daniel, I also prayed for your three sons.”

Both of us stood up and quickly moved towards the exit of the cafeteria. Not wanting anyone to see our emotion.

I’m so grateful that God gives us the ability to learn from people in all walks of life. We have such a good heavenly father. And we all have so much to learn.

The other individual who I’d like to introduce you to just so happens to be the very first smiling face I encountered after walking through the doors at WCRM last month. I’m going to share Chevis’ story through this video from the Say So Series (thanks Shelby). But if you could please be praying for God to give him the courage and endurance he needs to trust in these next incredible strides forward in his journey, we would both be eternally grateful.

Love you all.

Homeless Dignity Project: WR America launches homeless

Hello all,

We hope this note finds you doing well. It’s been an action-packed and wonderful first few weeks of 2019 for the Haverherd.

We have found ourselves traveling alongside some amazing people. People who love authentically, have experienced heartache, and understand that good intentions don’t always deliver expected results. They are humble and open to learning. They serve and care for the people they meet, in a way that looks a lot like Jesus. We have enjoyed our time riding alongside the team of alumni World Racers (the trip we went on back in 2009) as they pioneer a similar initiative across the US this year called World Race America.

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The alumni team of nine launched from Gainsville, GA on January 12, driving to Asheville, NC where they lived the first week in a homeless shelter. To say we had some initial concerns about impersonating homelessness would have been an understatement. We wanted to make sure, first and foremost, that no one who would otherwise be sleeping out on the street, was displaced by any of our team members. We wondered whether the team would be accepted within the homeless community.

Our cautious concerns were met with open communication and care. The way this team and the residents at Western Carolina Rescue Mission connected immediately and authentically was incredible. Those in the shelter welcomed each of us, shared their stories, listened to ours and expressed heartfelt generosity in a way that I find difficult to articulate.

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If I previously believed that I had some concept of what life on the street is like, I have been sadly deceiving myself. This past week I have been able to sit with and listen to so many human beings. Our family slept in our camper, which we parked just outside the shelter. We spent daylight hours eating meals with the residents, having real conversations and just doing life together. At the same time, the team fully entered into the 24-hour experience of those who otherwise, would not have a place to lay their head at night.

The WR America team members did an amazing job of consistently confirming with management at the shelter that they were not taking a bed from someone else in need. Their intentionality to let go of any ‘privilege’ they possessed which wasn’t afforded to any other resident of the shelter was both honorable and humbling. Team members followed the same schedule as any other person who needed a place to sleep for the night. Each day this included:

Lights on at 5am, shower then chores before breakfast was served at 6am. Everyone was required to be out of the shelter by 6:45 each morning and back out into the open air, with temperatures typically hovering in the mid 30’s. They would then walk around the streets for about 90 minutes to stay warm until a nearby day shelter would open up providing coffee, a roof from the rain/snow, 4 walls from the cold and some dignity. After lunch, there was a women’s devotional before everyone would be back out onto the streets until the doors were opened back up for dinner at 4:30pm. After that meal there was a prayer service, then chores at 7pm before an open hour of free time before lights were turned off at 9pm sharp. Following an often restless night of sleep, the entire process would start over again at 5am.

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In conversations with a few folks on the street, we discovered that there were a select number of people who very deliberately chose not to stay overnight at WCRM. While many of the longer term residents have certainly become accustomed to, and many deeply appreciate, the rules that have been created here, for others without homes, their preference was to live outside of this structure (random breathalyzers, drug tests, etc.) and spend nights out on their own.

Once the team was in the shelter for the night, I found myself driving around the streets of Asheville, in search of anyone who may be in need of help. On Thursday night, I came across two young men in just that place. After I moved Toby’s car seat into the trunk, Jim and Tom placed their bags in the car and buckled their seat belts. I asked the guys if they were from Asheville originally and how they were doing. Jim was open to sharing how he had traveled to NC from California for a job that fell through while Tom stayed quiet in the back seat.

I drove the pair across town to the VA shelter, which I hoped would accept a couple of last minute arrivals. After being turned away, I asked the guys if I could purchase them a room for the night at a motel next door. Jim nodded his head in acceptance as he thanked me.

The guys stepped out of the car for a smoke while I entered the building. As I reached for my wallet I realized that it wasn’t in its normal back-left-pocket resting place. I returned to the car and searched the glove box to no avail. With my head hanging down, I asked the guys if they could wait a few minutes for me to drive back to the camper to retrieve it.

As I pulled back into the motel parking lot I could see the surprise on Jim’s face as if there was no chance that I would be returning. The three of us walked in together as I explained to the receptionist that I wanted to purchase a room for the night. After paying the bill, we started walking toward the exit as Tom held the door for me and Jim. As I walked past, Tom spoke up for the first time in an abrasive voice “Tell me your name”. After my hesitant reply, he barked back again, “No, I want your last name.” I paused just long enough for him to open his mouth one final time, “I need to send you a check for this man.”

I reached my hand up onto his shoulder, as we looked each other square in the eyes,

“You’re good Tom. God is good.”

He wrapped both arms around me and leaned in without saying another word.

I’m convinced that we all still have so much to learn. About others. About life. About who He is.

 

Pursuing the Heart of True Adventure

Hello Friends,  Happiest holidays, Solstice, and New Year to each of you.  Sometimes, it’s hard to express and explain ourselves and our lifestyle on our own.  Recently, Jeff Powell of Fresh Paths approached us about featuring us on their blog.  He was able to eloquently and clearly share about our lifestyle.  We are so grateful and wanted to share the article with you all.

Without further ado,  here is a repost of the article.  Hugs to you all!

The Haverherd: Pursuing Adventure as a Family in Their Home on Wheels

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For me, the thought of packing up and heading out in an RV to experience adventure sounds captivating, but this is exactly what this family has done. Meet the Haverkos family, also known as the “Haverherd.” (Check them out on Instagram @thehaverherd.) This family with three little boys is living out an adventure that has brought them closer together as a couple and a family. Want to know what this adventure has been like? Just read Bex Haverkos’s words for yourself:
“We have felt the mist from dozens of waterfalls from coast to coast, dry camped at an island 60 miles west of Key West, witnessed a meteor shower from Cabot Trails, viewed sunsets that seem to stop time, ridden horses in western Texas, snowboarded in Steamboat, Colorado, surfed in Samara, Costa Rica, sandboarded at Great Sand Dunes National Park, slept out with the Sequoias in California and eaten ice cream of almost every imaginable flavor in North America. To have experienced so much on this earth, the word grateful is an understatement.”
How did this family begin such a journey? Bex explains, ” We began planning for our camper journey, as we like to call it, in 2015 when I was pregnant with our 3rd son, Tobias. At that time, I was at home with our other two boys and my husband was working 60+ hours a week running his financial services company.”
Soon after this, the company was sold, and life on the road began, but it wasn’t their first experience with adventure. It really began for Bex and her husband, Daniel, back in 2009 when they both participated in the World Race through Adventures in Missions. Through this experience, they lived out of a backpack on $14 a day as they travelled and ministered through 11 different countries spending a month in each. Their participation in the World Race gave their families and friends a hint that they were, in her words, “a little different.”
Even though The Haverkoses had a reputation for being willing to take chances, it was a surprise that they began planning their journey while they had two small boys and another on the way. That is, however, exactly what they did. But they didn’t undertake this move without a great deal of planning.
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Bex says, “As we planned for our camper journey, we spent a lot of time researching and then searching for an SUV/Truck that could tow an RV big enough to house three kids. Then we started looking for a camper. We had a very small budget for both of these items.”
Even though many people think that only the wealthy take off and do something like this, Bex says that is not true. “It’s kind of funny because, in generations past, this lifestyle would have been associated with people who were looking for work. We are not rich. We aren’t poor either.”
In fact, they have planned for this for quite a while. “We live a cost-conscious lifestyle and saved for years before embarking on this journey. We are in a good financial position, but we need to budget effectively and find creative ways to economically enjoy the things in life that we love the most.”
With the preparations in place, they got their show on the road over a year ago. “We moved into our Airstream in July 2017 after my husband sold his financial services company in Maryland. Since that time, we have journeyed all over the US, Canada, and Central America. As we travel, I run a small, online yoga business. The aim of my practice is to create a connected and accessible community where people can come to learn or enhance their yoga and meditation practices in a judgment-free zone.”
In addition to running her business and raising their boys, Bex and family have been to some amazing places and seen some beautiful things while they have been travelling. “We love visiting national parks and exploring rural areas. Maine, Costa Rica, Banff (Alberta, Canada), Vermont, Nova Scotia, and Colorado, have been our favorite locations so far. We also loved our time in Montana where our sons did two weeks of summer camp. It was also the first place complete strangers invited us over for dinner.”
For some people, the idea of travelling in an RV filled with five people might not seem like such a good idea, but the Haverkoses are not only surviving this experience, they are thriving. “Daniel and I are the weird kind of people who are better together than we are apart. We joke that we could be each others’ backpacks and never tire of one another,” explains Bex.
It isn’t only their relationship as a couple that has been positively affected, but also their relationship with their three boys. “Our relationship with our kids is very strong and seems to be growing by the minute as we continue life as we know it in our 200-square-foot ‘home on wheels,” as the boys like to call it.”
“One of the unique benefits of living this lifestyle is that there is no room for conflict avoidance,” she continues. “We are all forced to learn how to communicate more effectively and seek forgiveness when we make mistakes. As our oldest son’s former kindergarten teacher used to say ‘In this classroom, we make mistakes every day.’ All five members of our family have humbly taken on that mantra. On a humorous side note, I personally do not thrive with a lot of noise, so it’s an on-going joke with friends and family about how much time I spend wearing noise-cancelling headphones.”
The benefits of this journey have reached beyond just the here and now for their children, and the Haverkoses believe that their children will experience long-term positive impacts from this lifestyle.
“We hope and believe that this experience is providing each of our kids with a much greater perspective on the world. We have seen so many places, but more importantly, met so many people, that provides an opportunity to view different ways of life.”
The Haverkos have also taken the opportunity to enrich the lives of others. “We’ve also done a lot of work serving the homeless around the country, and the boys seem to be recognizing that there are a lot of people who are down on their luck.”
Overall, this lifestyle is building a stronger family with more empathetic children. “We feel that the camper journey experience is growing the bonds of our family tighter and strengthening our relationships. We think that the boys have become more patient human beings that value experiences over stuff. And lastly, we hope that more family time outdoors, as opposed to individual time in front of a screen, will give them a healthy foundation that will last a lifetime. “
With all the new and exciting things to do and see, there isn’t really a “typical day” for the family because they like to be able to respond to whatever opportunities arise. “We have had a lot of fun homeschooling the boys, Matthew in grade 2 and Josiah in Pre-K. They each have accumulated more than 50 Jr. Ranger badges from various national parks and get to see, touch and experience things that most kids read a line about in a textbook.”
Though the family loves what they are doing, there are some challenges.
“The biggest challenge is having space to be adults. While having two ‘stay-at-home parents’ should provide plenty of back up in the daily shenanigans that the boys get themselves into, it can limit our time together to just be husband and wife.”
There has also been a bit of learning curve to help them thrive as they learn how to deal with mechanical operations and issues. Another challenge has been learning how to thrive in relationships outside of the immediate family, “We are just starting to realize in year two on the road, that, while relationships within our family have been strengthened, it’s been hard to not have our normal friends and extended family around as much as we did in a non-mobile lifestyle. While video calls and technology make things a lot easier to connect with people, we find that it’s not the same as sitting down with someone face to face.”
In spite of a few things that they are learning from, the Haverkoses were surprised that they were actually able to live this type of lifestyle though they realize they are very much living counter-culturally. “While the world seems to continue the steady push for bigger, faster, more, we’ve found that smaller, slower and simpler has some incredible perks. We’ve also been very pleasantly surprised at how willingly friends and family all over the country have modified their schedules to spend good old fashion quality time with us. That has truly warmed our hearts.”
In year two of their trip, the family is not ready to wind down this adventure. “We have another year or so planned out in our Airstream, and we would absolutely do it all again in an instant. Daniel and I thrive in this type of environment, but we feel strongly that we need to settle down as the kids get older. We just aren’t sure exactly where that is supposed to be yet. We really want to find a place where people don’t take themselves too seriously, can make time for the important things, and try to put the good of others ahead of their own. Daniel and I talk all the time about when the boys are off to college we will pick back up with this lifestyle and maybe even expand it over to Europe or other parts of the world.”
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Bex believes that others should pursue their passions and recognize the role that fear often has in how we live our lives. “In the US, we are often driven by fear,” she says. “We are told that the world is scary and will hurt us. I hate to think that people are making their life choices based on these unfounded fears. However, I absolutely understand the impact fear can have on us. Just 15 months before we left for our trip, I had such debilitating anxiety that sometimes it was hard to leave the house for a play date or even to go to the library. All that to say, I advise people to build a life intentionally that they are passionate about.”
Want to know more about what they are doing and how they are doing it? Reach out to them. They’d love to hear from you!
“We love to authentically connect with people. Please reach out to us to talk or hang out! We have met new people all over the country and have found some of the most incredible connections.”
Don’t forget to check them out on Instagram @thehaverherd!!!

THE MOST CUTE BABY SEA TURTLES EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD

Hi my name is Matthew and I am writing from Florida. I did many things at the turtle hospital including these:

  • Feeding Tortuga the turtle
  • Seeing the super cute baby sea turtles swimming
  • Watching vets saving turtles and releasing them into the wild and rehabilitating turtles from boat and fishing line injuries.

I learned that some baby turtles couldn’t find their way from their nest to the water because of light pollution. The babies waddle on the sand towards the moonlight but sometimes flashing lights can confuse them.

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Lots of turtles can get hurt. Shark and other predators can wound or kill them. Also, chemicals in the ocean or boats can ride super fast and hit the turtle’s shell and can give them something called bubble bud. This means that a bubble can form in the shell making the turtle not able to swim under the surface of the water to find food. The vets can put weights on the turtle’s shell to help them swim deeper. Some turtles get mixed up and think that plastic bags are jellyfish and eat them. The plastic won’t come through their body making them not get hungry and they can starve.

Please be careful when you fish, drive boats slowly and be sure to recycle everything you can.