SOWER Ministry Newsletter December 2022
Dear Friends,
 "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"....
Thanks to an early winter snowstorm, much of our country is looking a little bit TOO much like Christmas these days. But whether you’re living in a snow globe or are enjoying sunny days in the 70s, the pressure is mounting! Is your shopping done? Is the tree decorated? Are the cookies baked? Are the stockings hung? So many questions - and so little time! With all the holiday hustle and bustle pressing in from all directions, let's just take a moment to hit the Pause button, take a deep breath, and really reflect on what Christmas is all about.
"For unto to us, a child is born."

Ah, yes – That’s the Reason for the Season! Wherever THIS Christmas finds you - busy packing for your January SOWER project or hunkered in somewhere cozy for the winter, may your Christmas indeed find that "pause button" as we remember that the God of all creation humbled Himself to become a human being - our Savior, Christ the Lord. Because Jesus was born He could bear our sins with His death, bringing about the abundance of life we enjoy through Him. May each of you rest in the security of the Babe whose birth we celebrate this day.  

Celebrating the Joy of the Season,

Stephanie Conrad #2509  
Editor
stephanie@rvthereyet.org
A Note from the Office
We’re introducing our new DONATE button! Clicking on the button will take you to our SecureGive account and you will be able to make a donation using your credit card. If you’d like to get a statement from SOWERs for your donation, please complete the information when making your first donation. It would also be helpful to indicate your SOWER number in the "Add a Message" block. This information is only needed with your first donation. Please contact the office if you have any questions!
Click on the button to make a donation!
This can also be used for purchases of SOWER merchandise or to pay for the registration fee for the TX Rally. See additional details when making your transaction!
(Editors note - I just checked it out - it's easy-peasy!)
A note from the President
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:11-14

While listening to a sermon recently on this section of Colossians, it came to mind that the SOWER Ministry is very much like this description of the early Church. We are a very diverse group of Christians, and we come from many, many different churches and communities. We are factory workers and retired military, accountants and UPS drivers. Pilots and linemen, maintenance workers and teachers. Our differences far outnumber our similarities, but what keeps our ministry effective is our shared love of Christ and the Holy Spirit living in all of us. As we move into our busiest season of the year, let us remember to put some of our differences aside and ‘above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Let’s go to our projects with an open heart and love for our fellow SOWERs and work as a cohesive unit.

Colossians 3:11 (SOWER Paraphrase)
Here there are not Easterners and Westerners, Southern Folk or Northerners, blue collar, white collar, young(ish) or old; but Christ is all, and in all.  

New Project Update!
All the Kings Horses Children’s Ranch, in Benson, AZ (AZ-561) has just opened up for SOWERs. Last month (Nov) the Nordells (#3455) and the Fielers (#3187) started the construction project which consists of an addition to one of the existing pre-fab homes on campus. It will include 2 BRs, a living room, a laundry room, and a carport.  This month the Fielers are continuing the project by attaching the common wall and hoping to continue until the trusses are in place.
This home will house children from southern Arizona that are overflowing from foster home placements and various others that just need a family/home. The Ranch is located about 45 min. south of Tucson right on the I-10 corridor.  The RV parking is huge, laid out with SOWERs in mind and maneuverability is a piece of cake. If you're looking for a refuge from winter weather - make this your stopping-off place. They will love on you like family!
Gail & Wayne Fieler (#3187)
When SOWERs Make the News
Linda Comer (#3021) shared this newsletter from Bonita Park Camp (NM-521) which highlighted the mural painted by SOWER Bob & Gail McCandless (3220). Thanks, Linda - and great job McCandlesses!
"Let me tell you how great God is..." - A Moment with Morgan
For some, November 1st is the start of Christmas. For others, Christmas begins after Thanksgiving. At Tejas (TX-240), our Christmas preparations started long before November 1st! Thankfully, we are blessed with volunteers who help us set up lights, decorate rooms, and make sure all facilities are in “Christmas condition.”
Mike and Bonnie Griffin (#3264) are a couple who have been volunteering at Tejas for the past eight years. Mike has served as the hayride driver, and Bonnie has played many roles, all of which use her creativity and artistic touch.
They are a part of a traveling RV group for couples called SOWERs (Servants On Wheels Ever Ready).
They discovered SOWERs when Mike, a retired school principal, took a group of 5th graders on a retreat. There was a group of them volunteering at that camp, and Mike remembers being so impressed by their attitude.
He came home from that trip and asked Bonnie if she would ever consider joining SOWERs. She said she would, so they joined and started traveling with them from camp to camp.
Both Mike and Bonnie look forward to their annual trip to Tejas. Bonnie said, “It just doesn’t feel like December (or November) without Tejas!”
Mike continued her sentiment, saying, “It is so refreshing to watch little kids run around because their parents know Tejas is a safe place.”
It was so sweet hearing Mike and Bonnie talk about their fond memories at Tejas, but it was even sweeter hearing how excited they were to serve with each other.
Mike said, “The best part about serving with Bonnie is how creative she is. When I look at a path, I am thinking about the end and how to get there. When Bonnie looks at a path, she thinks about what is along it. She has a way of inspiring others with her childlike creativity."
Bonnie shared similar affections, saying “My favorite part about serving with Mike is that he starts Bible studies wherever he goes. Sometimes it is with the camp staff, sometimes it is with other volunteers, but his desire and initiative are consistent.”
I enjoyed hearing from Mike and Bonnie about what it means for them to set the stage for Jesus to transform lives through volunteering. We are forever grateful for them and the many other volunteers like them who partner with us to set the stage.
- Morgan Askey, Camp Tejas Staff
Underserved Project Update
Have you checked the Underserved Project List lately? The office has put together an updated list of ministries that have received six or fewer SOWER couples in the last 24 months. Check the PLS to see where you can serve or contact the office to get any clarification about these underserved projects.

Updated 12/02/2022
2023 SOWER
Work Dates
Click on the calendar to download a one page PDF calendar with all of our 2023 project start and end dates, along with the dates of the Rallies and Trustee Meeting.
Let us not forsake gathering together....
2023 Florida SOWER Reunion
FL-143 Florida Baptist Youth Camp, Groveland, FL  
 February 27 - March 1, 2023, Monday – Wednesday
Theme: Serving Sacrificially 
Cost: (Cash or check only)   $80/rig   W/E 30 amp/dump
Room Rent: $80/couple (linens & towels not provided)
Early arrivals: $15/night
Walk-ins: $20.00/couple for 1 day; $30.00/couple for multiple days  (lunch provided for walk-ins)
Meals included: Supper on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (Potluck)                        Breakfast - Tuesday and Wednesday

***We're in need of a Pianist! Can you help?***

Bring your books for the Book Exchange Table!
Special Guest Tuesday Night
  Crossfire Gospel Quartet

Register: Text or call Diane Ramaker at 920-946-3345 or email at dramaker.52@gmail.com

Looking forward to seeing you at the Reunion! 
Wendell & Diane Ramaker, Jon & Cathy Richmond, Jeff & Barb Kaiser,
Bill & Kellie Blake
40th Anniversary Rally
REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
Registration Fee - $75.00
A check made out to SOWER Ministry must accompany your registration form and mailed to the SOWER office in Lindale.
The DONATE button (above) can also be used to submit your payment via credit card.
If you haven't received your registration form yet, you can download one from the Member Site, or request one from the office.
At this point all of the Premium sites have been reserved. Please indicate whether you need 30 AMP or 50 AMP on your registration form.

RALLY FAQ
It looks like ALERT has a pretty big campus. Will there be golf carts for us to use?
The committee is checking with area golf cart rentals to secure the best prices for rentals during our long weekend. The carts that we are looking at would be four seaters, so the expense of the rental can be shared. Watch for golf cart reservation information in January.
What are some of the afternoon activities?
Two of the many activities we are planning are a Pickleball tournament (for every level!) and a Corn Hole tournament. More information, along with sign-ups, will also be supplied in January.
Committee Members
Mike & Jackie Barber #3601
Gary & Stephanie Conrad #2509
Wayne & Gail Fieler #3187
Dwayne & Margaret Gearhart #3263
Ron & Reenie Maynor #3738
Carol Nering #3100
Gary Smith #3627
Wes & Carolyn Strausser #3369
Nelda Thompson #3445
Dick & Billie Mondello #3923
Calling all Sewing SOWERs!
We’re in the planning stages for a 40th Anniversary Signature Quilt which when finished will hang at the office in Lindale. The basic design has been borrowed from this one hanging at ALERT (from their Family Camp), but our squares will be all ‘scrappy’! After all, we are a ‘scrappy bunch,’ aren’t we? We come from so many different backgrounds, that it only seems right to incorporate that beautiful diversity into our signature quilt. That’s where we need the help of our Sewing SOWERs! Would you be willing to put together some blocks for folks to sign during the 40th Rally in March? Each block requires a 7” neutral square and two contrasting 5” squares. When completed, they make into one (1) signature block and two (2) border blocks. We will be needing close to 150 squares, so even if you can only make one or two that would be greatly appreciated! Complete instructions will be available in January (who has time for extra sewing in December, right?). If you can help, please just reply to this newsletter or contact me at Stephanie@rvthereyet.org.
PS - If you can't make it to the Rally but would still like to be a part of this project, don't worry! Details on how that can happen will be in the next newsletter!
Seen recently on Facebook
Thank you, Dennis, for sharing how those SOWER decals can work! So glad you were able to connect! Folks - check with the office for how to get your SOWER decals!
Have you stopped by our Facebook Group lately? Please use caution and respect when posting. This is a PRIVATE group (only members can see posts and add posts), but it is still good Facebook etiquette to get permission before you post someone's picture. Thanks!

If you're a member of Facebook, but haven't joined the SOWER Group, click on the icon to join the family! Just enter your member number in the question, and the Administrator will approve you.
Since the SOWER Facebook group is a ‘private’ group, we try to limit our members to folks that are SOWER members or project hosts, and couples that are interested in joining our ministry.

If you invite other interested folks to join our Facebook group, they will still need to answer the membership question. Thanks!
Thank you to everyone who has given our SOWER Facebook Page a "Like". We're over 1500 "likes"! 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. 
While the SOWER Facebook Group is for sharing SOWER stories (and is something that you join), the SOWER Facebook Page is where the ministry shares information and works to generate interest in our ministry (and is something that you 'like').
Don't forget to check out your favorite ministries on Facebook. 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!
Clicking on the Lights of Tejas photo above will take you to the Members Page, the December/January SOWERGRAM, and the latest updates to our Project Listings
(updated weekly).

The Members Page Password will change on December 15th. Check the printed SOWERGRAM for the new password.


If you have any questions,
please contact the SOWER Office  
 903-882-8070
This month there are 111 SOWER couples (or singles) serving at 46 different ministries around the country. Praise God for all work that's being accomplished!
Starting with the Apr-May 2023 edition, the SOWERGRAM will be an online edition only. ANY members who want to receive printed copies must contact the Office by email.

SOWER Project Manager (SPM) Update
What is it, and how will it work?
When a Project Host has a larger project that would extend over several months, SOWERs would seek to identify one of our Members to serve as Project Manager and this individual would work with the Project Host to provide ongoing oversite of SOWERs for the duration of the project to provide continuity from one monthly group of SOWERs to the next.
The response was very encouraging with between 25 and 30 Hosts saying they could use an SPM and that this program could greatly benefit their ministries Many had projects that they would like to start within this next year.
Therefore, SOWERs will be looking for men who are interested and have the background to serve as construction project managers. We have determined that this SPM individual would also be serving as the group leader for the months that they serve as SPM, with a commitment of 3 to 6 months or longer depending on the project. It would also be possible to split up a project into 3-month sections and have two or more SPMs for the duration of the project. We will need individuals who have general construction background and are capable of providing oversite of a construction project. If you are interested, please send a brief construction resume to Roy Olson. Also, if you have previously sent in a resume, please confirm your willingness to serve in this capacity. I will be keeping a file of all interested individuals.
We are hoping to get all of the logistics worked out and get this program underway within the next year.
Roy Olson, # 2964
503 689 0799
IN FACT - Coast to Coast Opportunities
The Olsons (#2964) have signed up to serve at Mt. Gilead Bible Conference Center (CA-533) as a trial SOWER Project Manager for the restoration of 8 cabins. They could use 3 or 4 couples to join them on this project.

In Florida, we have already received a request from Lake Wales Care Center (FL-157) for someone to oversee the renovation of a newly acquired 2-story, 8-unit (2 bedroom, 2 bath) apartment building. Contact Roy Olson for more information!
SOWER Blog Roll
See what other SOWERs are doing around the country!
Ed & Patty Soltes #1864

 Gary & Stephanie Conrad #2509

Bruce & Katie Gay #3659

Terry & Alice Burnett #3071

John & Connie Nicholas #3322

Jim and Cathy Fry #3564

John & Druann Bauer #3521

Conrad & Pam Popp #3652

Burneall & Ann Ekberg #3702

Dennis & Lorree Johnson #3658

Sondra Smith #3779

Spencer & Lorraine Saints #3574

Mark & Jeanette Sheler #3782

Doug & Laurie Schneider #3704

Dave & Robyn Koppin #3847

Ken & Pebble Williams #3870

Paul & Juanita Alton #2766

Do YOU have a Blog you'd like to share?
Send the link to Stephanie@rvthereyet.org and we'll add it to the 'Roll'!

Group Picture The November 2022 group from Sermon on The Mount Ministries (OK-555) L-R - Gary & Stephanie Conrad (#2509), Floyd and Barbara Adcock (#3748), Mike & Jackie Barber (#3601), Handsome (the horse) and Dr. Lew Sterrett, project host.

Header Photo - Scene from the Christmas Train, Victory Camp (TX-333), submitted by Kellie Blake (#3766)

Open Paragraph Photo - the Christmas Tree at WEC International (PA-173), Deanna Schoenenberger (#2029)

Members Page Link Photo - Lights of Tejas, Susan Malone (#3667)

Sam and Sally are taking the month off as they get ready for a Big Family Christmas this year. Have a blessed Christmas Season SOWER family! We'll be back in 2023!


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-
 
To contact the office -
903-882-8070  

To submit a SOWER story or a photo to the newsletter, send it to