If someone steps foot onto a TBM Camp Builders project, he or she will more than likely meet Walter and Twila Shue. Since the Shues’ journey with Camp Builders began less than six years ago, the self-proclaimed “TBM groupies” estimate they have served on approximately 45 projects.

The couple’s familiarity with the organization dates back to 1996 when Twila’s mother and stepfather began their own voluntary venture with Camp Builders. For years, Walter was perplexed as to why his in-laws seemed so cheerful after each project.

“They would be gone a lot,” he said, “but once I really understood what they were doing, I realized that’s exactly what we needed to be doing when we retired.”

In 2018, Twila retired from 22 years of work as a schoolteacher, and Walter retired from his 33-year-long career as a flight mechanic for ExxonMobil. Following retirement, they immediately became second generation TBM Builders, even purchasing their camper from Twila’s mother and stepfather.

“God had been working on our hearts several years before retirement,” Walter said, explaining how his career as a mechanic and Twila’s knack for arts and crafts gave them valuable experience for Builders work. 

On a Camp Builders jobsite, Walter and other volunteer craftsmen help meet constructional needs for the camps. He credits 22 summers spent with World Changers and BOUNCE, mission organizations for youth-age students, for giving him a missional mindset of serving God through physical labor.

“It’s really difficult to try to explain to people why we do it,” he said. “We spend our own money. We don’t get paid. ... But when we get back to the camps and see how they’re using what we built, we know that we brought light to God’s kingdom.”

Alongside other wives at the camps, Twila enjoys tackling various needlework projects, such as sewing handmade clothes and hygiene products for women and children around the world.

“It’s really opened my eyes to worldwide missions,” she said.

The Shues plan to continue enjoying their retirement on mission with Camp Builders and invite others to join them.

“Just come and give us a chance, give us a couple of days,” they said. “We’re willing to help and teach each other. You’re going to meet a group of very good, honest Christian people.”

When they aren’t at a Builders jobsite, Walter and Twila enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren or tinkering on projects at their home in North Richland Hills.

TBM Builders ministries – including Church, Camp and Cabinet Builders – empower churches, camps and other ministries to accomplish their God-given visions of expanding the kingdom of God. Click here to learn more about opportunities to volunteer with TBM Builders