SOWER Ministry Newsletter December 2020
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Dear Friends

As we wrap up 2020, it’s easy to focus on the negatives we’ve experienced throughout this unprecedented year. We’ve lost loved ones, we’ve been denied the ability to support those we love in crisis, and we’ve watched our country divide over issues of justice and liberty. We’ve had to adjust travel plans, holiday plans, and even serving with SOWERs plans. What a year it has been! But even though this year has been challenging in so many ways, I pray you have also seen the hand of our sovereign God working in your life and the lives of those around you. May we never forget the words found in I Peter 1:6-7:

 "In this [being born again to a living hope] you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

One thing we haven’t had to adjust is the extravagant love of our heavenly Father, who while we were yet sinners sent His son to claim us as His own. How (and where) we celebrate Christmas this year might have a different look, but wherever we find ourselves Christmas morning may we still join with the angels as they sing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)

Celebrating the Joy of the Season,
Stephanie Conrad #2509
Editor
stephanie@rvthereyet.org
A COVID Testimony
Note from Doug Schneider
SOWER # 3704

Laurie and I are 30 days out from retirement and leaving for Florida soon. We have truly been enjoying following along with the SOWERS family on Facebook this past year as we have been waiting. Reading the posts by SOWERS and the work they're doing is always encouraging. Makes us ready to go!
I will say that God has been amazing in all that He has done to help us prepare. Everything that needs to be done has fallen into place and we are packed and ready to go. I spent the last couple of weeks packing the fifth wheel with what I think I'm going to need. And trying to decide what tools to take has been a fun challenge, but I believe I have what I need. All that's really left to do now is clean out the fridge, throw some travel clothes in a bag, turn off the lights and leave. Hopefully no snow before then so I don't have to dig out the fifth wheel!

God has provided for every need we have and He has been faithful. I just finished up four weeks of fighting a virus (probably COVID-19, but was not tested) and so maybe I'm now immune. Going to use our time in Florida to rest and get stronger for the work ahead. We are going to be at Camp Baldwin in February and March as our first projects! We are still waiting on several projects for next summer to get a GL so we can sign up. I'm already set as GL for our September project but wanted to have the July and August projects as regulars. God will lead us as needed and He knows where He wants us. Following where He goes is better than where I want to go.
The Project Committee needs your help! We currently have a prospective project that is in need of a Project Sponsor. A Project Sponsor is an active SOWER couple that is familiar (or willing to become familiar) with a potential new project and will commit to promote and work the project a couple of times for the first two years to help them get a better understanding of SOWERs and establish the project. Can you help? Contact Bill Myers for additional information.
Durango, CO
CBX has been providing youth programming and activities for socially and economically disadvantaged youth at our 150 acre facility in Durango, CO since 1977. The primary purpose of CBX is to provide high quality summer camps and youth services at a cost that any family can afford.
Their programs are designed to share the truth of Jesus Christ with every camper and help campers grow physically, emotionally and spiritually while having the adventure of a lifetime.
What's in YOUR Toolbox?
What's in Your Toolbox?
It's an age-old question posed by new and not-so-new SOWERS alike - What should I bring for tools? Here are some of the responses to the Great Toolbox Question-
• I don't go anywhere without the following: cordless drill, cordless driver, circular saw, 25-ft tape measure, speed square, framing square, utility knife, "wonder pry bar", framing hammer, chalk line, disposable gloves, assortment of screws, several pencils, and comfortable knee pads.
• I carry a tool bag with a ladies-size hammer scissors , bandages, hydrogen peroxide , a couple of rags, tape measure, exacto knife.
• This year I brought some extra tools because of the possible hurricane damage/clean-up - loppers, chainsaw, bar oil, gas can, axe, and rake.
• Sturdy ladder
• Good quality paint brush and wire brush for cleaning said brush!
• Basic hand tools – hammer, 4 in 1 screwdriver, various pliers, etc.
• Level
• Any tools pertaining to your ‘specialty’ – plumbing tools, electrical tools, etc.

If you’re a new SOWER, bring tools that are applicable to your skills and add more as your skills increase. Even experienced SOWERs are always fine-tuning their tool 'stash', weeding out what they find they are not using and adding the latest handy discovery!
SOWER, can you lend a hand?
These ministries, along with 27 others, have received less than 6 SOWER couples in the last 24 months (pre-COVID). As you make SOWER plans for the months ahead, consider these! There are lots of opportunities to serve, especially during these pandemic-influenced days! Check out these ministries - and see where you can help!
NJ-346 - Pilgrim Academy, Egg Harbor, NJ
NC-285 - Camp Living Water, Bryson City, NC
OR-295 - Canyonville Academy, Canyonville, OR
MB-534 - Roseau River Camp, Roseau River, Manitoba
Let us not forsake gathering together....
Whether you're an Alumni, a Seasoned SOWER or New to the Family, there's nothing like a SOWER gathering to connect with friends old and new and get recharged about the ministry. If you live in close proximity to a SOWER project, let them know you're nearby! There are often impromptu gatherings of SOWERS happening all around the country all year long! Whether you're camping together or just meeting for a meal at a local restaurant, a SOWER Gathering is always a blessing! 
With all that is going on with the Coronavirus, staying connected with SOWER friends is all the more important. Watch for details for upcoming events!
SAVE THE DATE!!!
FLORIDA SOWER RALLY

March 1-3, 2021
FL-143 Florida Baptist Youth Camp (FBYC)
Groveland, FL

Stay tuned for more information!
TEXAS ROUND-UP
March 28-31, 2021
Alert Academy (TX-410)
Big Sandy, TX

Northeast Texas is a natural stopover from winter projects to summer projects, so please plan to join us in March.

Cost:
$15 Registration Fee/couple
$35/night camping fee
2 lunches at $8/person/lunch
1 supper at $12/person
If not bringing your RV, call for lodging information.

For more information, or to register, contact Dwayne and Margaret Gearhart #3263
Phone:970/214-4626
2021 SOWER Project Dates
Click on the calendar to download a one page PDF calendar with all of our project start and end dates.

Seen recently on Facebook
Thank you Sandra for sharing about the work done at Youth Haven Ranch (AZ-471). Looks like there was lots to do - and lots of different things to do too!
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 the 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 1085 "likes" to date! 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!

NEW NAME BADGES are now available through the office! They can be ordered using the merchandise order form in the back of the Sowergram or the form on the Members Page.
P.S. - The original logo badges still work fine! However, they are no longer available.
This month's Group Picture is from the November 2020 project at Highland Lakes Camps (TX-406) in Spicewood, TX. L-R: Matt & Golden Phillips 3708, Dave Pincus & Laura Clark 3663, Dana & Jodye (and Glory) Sharp 3648, Tony & Marci Santacruz 3501

(Do you have a favorite Group Picture (past or present) you'd like to share in the newsletter? Send it in!! Stephanie@rvthereyet.org)

Header Photo - Lights of Tejas (Camp Tejas - TX-240), photo by Dennis Johnson (3658)
SOWER Blog Roll
See what other SOWERS are doing around the country! 

Ed & Patty Soltes #1864
 Gary & Stephanie Conrad #2509
Paul & Juanita Alton #2766
Bruce & Katie Gay #3659 
Terry & Alice Burnett #3071
 Wayne & Gail Fieler #3187
John & Connie Nicholas #3322
Jim and Cathy Fry #3564
John & Druann Bauer #3521
Conrad & Pam Popp #3652
Dennis & Lorree Johnson #3658

 Do YOU have a Blog you'd like to share? Send me the link, and we'll add it to the "Blog Roll". 
Looking to make a change in your RV?
Don't forget to check the "RV's for Sale" listing on the Members Page.
If you have previously listed an RV, please make sure your listing is up to date and remove any units that are no longer available.
Thanks!
Contact Ed Soltes to make any changes.
Clicking on the Christmas Decorations
above will take you to the Members Page, the Dec/Jan
Sowergram and the latest updates to our Project Listings (updated weekly).


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The Members Page Password changes December 15th. The new password is included in the Dec-Jan Gram.
Contact the office with any questions.
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NOW AVAILABLE

Found on the Member's Page, the Wait List details those folks who are either waiting for an opening at a project, or waiting for a GL to sign up since they are new SOWERS. It will be updated automatically each week as the PLS is updated. Check it out!


Memo from the Office

Effective with the Dec-Jan SOWERGRAM, the Gram and PLS will be published as two documents. Beginning with the February-March SOWERGRAM those receiving a printed SOWERGRAM will only receive the Gram portion. The PLS is updated weekly on the member website.  The printed PLS is a minimum of two weeks out of date by the time you receive it in the mail. If you wish to continue to receive a printed PLS you must notify the office via email or in writing.  As the Gram is also on the member website if you do not need a printed copy you are encouraged to request not to receive the printed version.



If you have any questions,
please contact the SOWER Office  
 903-882-8070
Dear Sam and Sally,
Now that we have the new 2021 Roster, is it OK to just throw last year’s away?
Wondering

Dear Wondering,
Great question! Since the Roster (and even parts of the Sowergram) contains personal information about our members, just throwing these booklets in the trash could open the door to identity theft. While it’s unlikely, there is still that risk. We always recommend that you either shred your old rosters or perhaps throw them in your next campfire. We often keep the current one in our RV and last year’s in our drive-about vehicle. We also like to keep older Rosters to find info on old friends who might not be in the new Rosters. With the new online Roster (available on the Members Site), staying in touch with our fellow SOWERS can always be at your fingertips!

Have a Blessed Christmas Season!
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-
 
To contact the office -
903-882-8070  

To submit something to the newsletter, send it to

To submit a SOWING TIP, send an email to

To add photos to our Photo Gallery, contact Ed Soltes