SOWER Ministry Newsletter August 2018
Greetings!
August. The last hurrah of summer! One last trip to the cottage or lake or beach or mountains. One last family reunion or giggle with the grandkids or visit with a precious parent. The "back to school" ads seem to shout "wrap it up - the summer's over". But while we might be trying to squeeze in one last 'something', we also can look forward to the great things the Lord has ahead for us. Cooler temperatures, less lawn mowing and bounty from the garden are just a few of those things. But let's not forget the many SOWER service opportunities that are available! September, October and November are some of the most requested months for SOWER assistance. Check the Sowergram for an opening near you - or one on the way to your next destination. There will be blessings ahead!
 
Resting in His Grace, Thankful for His Mercy, 
Stephanie Conrad, #2509   
SOWER Ministry 
on behalf of the SOWER Board of Trustees
Oh, the History of it all!
(NY-251)
Redfield, NY

Built in the late 1890's as a hunting/fishing lodge, the old mansion was left vacant and vandalized.......
The "Manor House" received new life (early 1970's) when bought by Ron and Lorraine Hodge to be used as a Christ-centered Ministry. Today High Braes, can accommodate 50 + guests and serves as a Christian Retreat Center/Day Camp, complete with its own campground, beautiful vistas and waterfalls.
Montrose, PA

Montrose Bible Conference was founded by Dr. Rueben Archer Torrey, a pastor, educator, author and evangelist. He saw the purpose of the Conference as a place to bring people into right relation with God and to send them back to their communities with a larger vision of Christian service and with a greater love for others.



What started as a 10-day summer Bible Conference in a tent in 1908 has expanded into a year round multi-faceted Conference, Camp and Retreat Center! Located on 83 acres in the beautiful Endless Mountains of Northeastern PA with two campuses, MBC provides a place for adults, teens and children and families to experience God.
September Board of Trustees Meeting
The SOWER Trustees will be gathering in Lindale, TX from Sept. 24-26 for their annual meeting. They welcome your input and questions and of course, your prayers! Sending an email to the office marked for "Trustees" will insure that all the Trustees will receive your correspondence.
ANNUAL Registration & Skill Sheet 
FAQs
1. Who should return their 2019 Registration/Skill Sheet?
~ Everyone who plans to work at a SOWER project in 2019.
~ Everyone who is not sure if they can work a project but wants to stay connected in case their circumstances change.  
~ Everyone who has retired from doing projects but wants to remain in the 'family' - having access to the PLS, Sowergram and Roster and also the ability to vote for Trustees and on other issues.
 
 2. If I'm already an Alumni, do I have to send it in?
~ YES! If you do not send it in you will no longer be on the rolls and we'd hate to see you go! You do not need to fill in your skill levels - just the top portion.
 
  3. What if I don't send it in?
~ You will not be able to work any projects in 2019 (even if you have already signed up for them). 
~ You will not be listed in the roster. 
~ You will not be sent a 2020 Registration/Skill Sheet.
~ You will not have access to the Sowergram and PLS.
 
 4. Why can't the office just use my information from last year?
~ Information changes, i.e. email address, home address, RV information, physical limitations etc. It's an important check for the office to make sure they have accurate contact info for you. 
~ Skill levels change. Maybe you had a 4 down for tile, but this year you had knee replacement surgery. Lower your skill level to reflect your current limitations. Our partner ministries rely on accurate skill information when they are planning their projects.
~ Skill levels change. Maybe you had a 1 down for painting but God had you doing a lot of painting last year and you improved your painting prowess. Bump the number up. See comment above.
 
5. When is it due?
~ Today!   Okay, it's not really due until October 1st. But do it today! If you can't find the copy that came in your Sowergram, you can download one from the Members Page or contact the office for another copy.
Don't Miss the FUN!!
Midwest Reunion
Sept. 17 - 20
Michindoh Conference Center
(MI-139) Hillsdale, MI

Cost - $85.00/couple
includes your full-service camping site and five meals

Cabins are an additional $25.00
(includes linens, towels, queen-size beds, and a dorm-size refrigerator)
Golf carts may be available for a fee

We, the committee, would like to remind you that time is flying by and the SOWER reunion / get together at MICHINDOH M-139 is only about seven weeks away!!
Two speakers have committed to come and present their programs. The subject of their programs is diverse and quite informative as well as lighthearted.
The entertainment for Tuesday night comes highly recommend.

Now that your interest has been whetted, contact Emory Rockafellow at emory.rockafellow@gmail.com or call 810-869-0826 to make your reservation. There are still a number of RV spots and a few cabins available.
Western Wound Up!
SOWERs Intentionally Following Jesus Christ

September 17-20, 2018 Aldersgate Retreat Center (OR-320) Turner, OR. 

Costs include 4 days/3 nights will be as follows (includes 2 lunches and 3 dinners):

         Full hookups - $60
         Dry Camping - $50
         Lodging - $75

Registration is now OPEN!
contact
916.968.0133  

MN SOWER Retreat
Sept 17 - Sept 19, 2018  
Lake Beauty Bible Camp (MN-523)
Long Prairie, MN

Campground sites $26/night
Loon Lodge or Guest cabin $52/night

Reservations Contact
651-636-8049
cell 612-710-3490
Looking Ahead!
2019 Texas Roundup
Alert Academy TX-410
March 24 – March 27, 2019
Northeast Texas is a natural stopover from winter projects to summer projects. Plan to join us for food, fun, and fellowship next March.  
Watch for more information in the months to come. Want to help? Contact Margaret Gearhart for more details! 970-214-4626
2019 SE Florida SOWER Reunion
Where : FL-143 Florida Baptist Youth Camp, Groveland, FL
When : February 25-27, 2019
Cost : $55/rig; Room Rent: $55/couple;   Walk-ins: $7.50/person; Early arrivals: $15/night
Meals included : Supper on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
Breakfast: Tuesday and Wednesday
Register:  Text or call Ruth Stoll at 727-967-0494 or email at wstoll2@gmail.com
Looking forward to seeing you at the Reunion !
Bill & Ruth Stoll, Jon & Cathy Richmond, Jeff & Barb Kaiser,    
SOWER Pictures

Do you have photos from your summer SOWER projects you'd like to share with your fellow SOWERS? Contact Ed Soltes ( ed@soltesweb.net ) to add them to the " Photo Collections " page on our Member website.
" Photo Collections " will be used to archive photo collections associated with SOWER activity, projects and reunions. 

Texas Round-up Photos are up and ready for viewing!
Seen recently on Facebook
Thank you, Nelda (Thompson #3445), for sharing about the work that was accomplished at Sunshine Bible Academy (SD-495). This project still has openings in September and next summer starting in June!
Have you stopped by lately? We're up over 631 members in our FB group, and there is always good sharing of project news and happenings. Make sure you've "checked" the Notification box to receive current posts, and PLEASE post pictures and stories from YOUR projects! Remember this is a "Public Page" and be sure you have permission before you post someone's picture.

If you're a member of Facebook, but haven't joined the SOWER Group, click on the icon to join the family!
While you're on Facebook, don't forget to check out your favorite ministries. Many of our partner ministry locations have a Facebook page and it's a great way to stay up to date on the places you love to serve!

We're almost at 700 "Likes" on the SOWER Facebook Page ! If you haven't already given it your thumbs-up,  head over there now! It's a great way to spread the word about our ministry. 
Spreading the Word

Last year we got together with a couple in Texas that we had met in Indiana at a rally before we became SOWERS. During dinner, we talked about SOWERS and encouraged them to join. They heard us out, but in the end, they had other priorities for their new retirement RV lifestyle. But they knew another couple that they had served with in the US Coast Guard and shared the SOWER Ministry with this other couple. Well, lo and behold, that other couple joined SOWERS!.
Now, the rest of the story. On our project last month at Living Waters (ME-37) we served with a new SOWER couple. As Peggy and I were serving together with them we connected the dots and learned we had a common friend. And that common friend was the couple we tried to recruit last year in TX. Don and Anita Brown (3464) learned about SOWERS because Peggy and I tried to recruit their friends and in turn, those friends recruited the Browns.

So, recruiting a couple to SOWERS is a lot like Salvation. We plant the seed and then let the Holy Spirit do the work.
The lesson learned is that we should get the message out there and even if we fail there may be good come out of it.
Jamey Matheny (3407)
This month's group shot is from the July 2018 group at Aldersgate Camp (OR-320)
L-R Rod and Helen Rehfeld (3352) , John and GiGi Cox (3472), Dennis and Sherrill Davis (3458). It was the first project for both the Coxes and the Davises.

Header Photo - Timber Wolf Lake Young Life Camp, taken by Sandi Barber (3365)
Scripture Photo - Bob Hostletler - One Prayer a Day
SOWER Blog Roll
See what other SOWERS are doing around the country! 

Jeff & Mary Peace
Ed & Patty Soltes
Bob & Billie Wakeman
 Gary & Stephanie Conrad
Paul & Juanita Alton
Don & Jenny Rasmussen
Terry & Alice Burnett
 Wayne & Gail Fieler
Ken & Deb Long
Robert & Shana Carman


  Do YOU have a Blog you'd like to share? Send me the link, and we'll add it to the "Blog Roll". 
Clicking on the 
Coneflower above will take you to the Members Page, the Aug/Sept Sowergram and the latest updates to our Project Listings (updated weekly).

If you have any questions, please contact the SOWER Office  
 903-882-8070
Singing the SOWER Song in Church
SOWERS from the Living Waters Camp (ME-37) share "Our Best" at a local church.
Submitted by Ed Blanks (2410)
silver-keyboard2.jpg
I can't do this without you! Honest!!
This newsletter is always looking for SOWER testimonies, God Stories, project highlights, group pictures, and more! And Bill Myers is always on the look-out for some great tips! Submit stories, ideas and photos to  Stephanie Conrad 
Sam and Sally...
Dear Sam and Sally,
    We've been SOWERS for a few years and have a question as to whether or not we should leave a donation at the ministry we are serving. I figure this is a personal decision but wondered what our board members feel about this. Also, if you are staying those extra days after the project, should we give an additional donation?    
Thanks, from friends who want to do the right thing!
 
Dear Friends,
What a great question! You are absolutely right that leaving a donation with the ministry you are serving is a personal decision. The agreement with our projects is simple - they provide the hook-up, we provide the workers. However, since you've been SOWERS for a few years, I'm sure you are aware that having SOWERS come is not without cost to our projects. Along with having the funds to accomplish the work that needs to be done there are also the utility/maintenance costs of having the RV's hooked-up. While our labor is free, our electric and water are not! Our projects cover a wide spectrum of financial stability, but I don't know that anyone would not appreciate a donation to cover the costs of our utilities. And as to staying that extra week? Well, that is also an agreed upon "term" in our SOWER-Project relationship, so you are not required to leave a donation for that either. Let your heart be your guide - these ministries are all working to advance the Kingdom of our Lord, and we are honored to be able to serve them however we can. Don't forget, though, when there are two or three weeks between projects (that happens a couple times a year), there are written guidelines: "When there is more than one week between projects, SOWERS should make an agreement with the Project Host if staying longer, and reimburse him for the additional expense, or work SOWER hours for each extra day beyond a week".
 
Thankful for your generous spirit,
Sam and Sally

Do you have a SOWER Etiquette question? Or maybe you'd like some clarification about a policy or rule. Sam and Sally would love to hear from you!  Contact them at - samandsally@sowerministry.org.   
To send in a prayer request or praise item-
 
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903-882-8070  

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