Our Great Commission Vehicle

Just to give you a peek into one of our secret projects. A few weeks ago we bought an overlander – or at least a potential overlander. Its a 1987 Iveco Magirus Deutz – air-cooled engine, 4×4, diff lock, high clearance, 3-point pivot body, etc. Just what one needs to drive across the Sahara or around the Arctic Circle – both ideas having crossed my mind recently.


It needs a lot of work but when it is finished, it will be our Great Commission Go Anywhere Pilgrimage vehicle for our travels in 2009 – which involve being in about 20 countries from Turkey to Ukraine to Portugal . . and North Africa. Eventually, we would like to drive it all the way across to India and Asia. Still trying to figure out the visa problems for my American wife to get into Iran so it looks like Europe and its fringes for the next year.

Should make for some interesting blog posts.


We are spending the Christmas holidays fixing it up. Very exciting. Today we were cutting up plywood for the beds and couches. I already found some old Transit van windows for £20 each and they should be in next week. We don't have enough budget for solar panels just yet but are hoping to add them later on. I will start up a special blog for the truck soon.

So if you live in the Eurozone, and are feeling called into the new things that God is doing, let me know when we get near your city and lets hook up, even if your town or village is really hard to get to [we like a challenge]. Even better, plan to be at the Christian festivals next year (Slot in Poland, Freakstock in Germany, UpFest in Ukriane, Greenbelt in UK, etc) and look out for our tall skinny expedition vehicle.



Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Tucker says:

    I have to say that sounds very cool. And I am envious of the truck.

  • Steve K. says:

    You need to come up with a name for your vehicle like TallChunkyMobile or something.
    BTW — Solar panels to produce electricity to run stuff inside the vehicle is great, but are you converting that engine to run on used vegetable oil? Or … ? I tremble to think of the fossil fuels that thing will consume 😉

  • brad says:

    yowzuh and wowzuh!

  • andrew says:

    hi steve. its a 6 cylinder diesel and it already gets twice the milage that our petrol-based V8 Winnebago got when we were full-timing it around USA during the 90’s.
    but we do want vege oil and are looking into it. we have room for a vege oil tank next to the diesel tank and are scouting the wrecking yards. it seems we could do a 50/50 mix or even 70/30 mix if we can get a heater for the oil. getting used vegetable oil on the road will be a lot tougher than finding it in our home town but i think it will help a lot.

  • andrew says:

    oh . . . and the truck’s name is Maggie.

  • andrew says:

    steve, i should also say, regarding our ecological strategy, that we are lowering our carbon footprint in 2009 by:
    – driving the whole team in the truck rather than flying . . . except in rare circumstances.
    – giving up our home which we will not have to heat anymore. the truck will obviously be cheap to heat.
    – because we are giving up our home, we do not have to return home after events so that cuts our travel down again.
    – driving a family of 7 plus 2-4 team members all in one vehicle is actually good management of resources compared with all those cars carrying only one or two passengers.
    – we already have wind up appliances, a pedal powered generator and will wash and dry our clothes by hand rather than machine. This, and other ways of reducing our carbon footprint, should bring us down to one third of the energy/emissions we used in 2008, despite our travels.
    my travels will be documented on dopplr and quite transparent should people want to track how much energy we are using.
    thanks for asking.

  • Michael Toy says:

    used (and filtered) fryer oil, great idea.
    brand new veggie oil — now you are in the lesser of two evils. growing crops for oil is possibly a fairly damaging activity also. check it out before you go too far in this.
    hope you have great time on the road!

  • Steve K. says:

    That’s brilliant, Andrew! I’m really blown away. I’m not sure my wife and kids would go for living out of a monster truck, so
    So if you’re home is your car … Is this the launch of a new “car church” movement? 😉

  • Peggy says:

    Wow, Andrew…did this just come up out of the blue, as it were? So many plans for the community in Stromness … has Debbie handed over her co-op project to others?
    You guys are the most amazing family…on the road again, eh?
    And…where did the name “Maggie” come from?
    Blessings…looking forward to following your travels.

  • becky says:

    I was going to connect with you in Scotland but looks like we’ll do it on the road – as you know I’m traveling in Europe this summer some for the upcoming book – holler when you know you’re schedule and we’ll connect.

  • andrew says:

    Maggie is short for Magirus. She was already named this.
    We have been traveling and living out of motorhomes, on and off, since 1993. Our last motorhome – a 20 year old Avia from Czech Republic, died in Italy back in 2003 and we have been on the road in our teepee over summers but havent gone for any extended time yet. until now.
    The Sorting Room will continue in Scotland and we will still be part of it. This will be our base while we travel.

  • andrew says:

    and Michael – we had talked [did i chat with you about this in California???] about having a fish and chip trailer to make some extra money and use the oil to get us to the next town. Its probably hard to get used oil in foreign towns. Only option would be to buy it new and heat it up – which saves some money but defeats the purpose of reducing footprint.

  • Bill Kinnon says:

    Way too cool. I want to take it for a spin. As does my son, Rylan.

  • Andrew, thanks for keeping missions in the forefront. The example your family is setting (don’t sweat the whole carbon thing…geez) speaks volumes.
    If you ever get that beast over the pond to Latin America we’d love to join you for a Pan-American highway trip! If Che could bike it you could “lorry” it! 🙂

  • Love it! Awesome! Bril! Amazing! —- you still gonna be here in March? Talked to Sasha last night he might come in for Feb. – and Kerstin is pondering a pond hop too! Austin is getting some FLOWWWWWW! Jenna is still here with us. Caroline and John got a flat… and we’re at DnA’s for Christmas Eve shin dig.. (there is your Austin moment update!)
    Send hugs and kisses ’round your table and have a awesome and over the top Blessed Christmas!
    MUAHxo- K8

  • greyowl says:

    Our village isn’t really hard to get to, but we’d love to have you drop by (20 km south of Zürich) if you’re around this neck of the woods some time. We might even let you have a bed for the night! Viktor

  • Tom Cole says:

    This makes my newly acquired station wagon look a bit lame really. But at least my car can actually go fast!
    Very jealous. This looks outstanding. I might well be able to catch you at something like Freakstock next year – I’ll be home by then.

  • John H says:

    I have a couple of solar panels and a controller unit looking for a good home. All we need is a creative way to get it to you from Bristol/London.

  • There was a team that drove from London to New York via Siberia. I think Saskatoon is actually on that route so I’ll keep some coffee on for you.

  • whitney says:

    I think you guys should get a cool video guy or gal and then be the next super cool late night TBN show or something!!! Or along those lines anyway!!! We americans LOVE watching our late night missions real world survival shows!!!! It is totally doable AND it could generate some fundage!!!!
    So how do we support this venture? Through what avenue?
    You guys rock….

  • andrew says:

    john – serious? would love that solar. lets talk on email.
    Viktor – thanks. we hope to sleep 10 inside the vehicle so we wont need a bed.
    and whitney – someone emailed me with a possibility of a decent video camera – so lets see. we really do want our travel and exploits to help others discover the world that God loves.

  • brian says:

    I would love to see you get that beast up the track to my farm……

  • andrew says:

    farm should be no problem – its getting it on the plane to Ibiza that would be problematic. Maybe a boat?
    and Tom, your station wagon might be faster than my truck [cheeky!!] but my house is faster than your house.

  • Cathryn says:

    Hey did you see the MEGA sized bottle of wine i got for DnA? Just cuz your truck is “super size me” but better carb intake!
    love you guys…… mucho! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo cat

  • Eric says:

    Have you guys ran WVO(waste veg) in a vehicle before?
    If not let me know if you need advice on setting something up. I run multiple vehicles on everything from straight veg, biodiesel,diesel and used ATF(automatic transmission fluid,),and blends of these fuels.

  • andrew says:

    eric – we do. thanks. what is your recommendation for a magirus deutz air cooled engine?

  • can you tell us (here or in another post) what you’ll be doing on your travels? Sounds great, but I can’t quite get my head round your purposes…or maybe you don’t know yet? Sorry if you have blogged it and I have not picked up on it. But I was just telling my wife about your plans and while I’m thinking ‘travel cool, big truck cool, risk-taking cool…’ she (ever the practical one) says ‘what are they going to be doing though?’ THat spins on into another question for me… how does church work for you in this lifestyle? Do you have a church that is your base? While you talk with others about missional church etc, where will you get a chance to do the stuff yourself?

  • Sage H. says:

    Wow- what an adventurevagen. I’m curious to see the construction and outfitting, and especially to hear of your travels. It is inspiring to me, in the midst of my diesel westfalia build. I don’t feel as crazy or slow anymore! I wonder how many emerging caravan itinerants are out there?
    Happy trails-

Leave a Reply