SOWER Ministry Newsletter January 2024
Image by kjpargeter on Freepik
Dear Friends,
As we start 2024, at a time that is filled with all sorts of craziness, I think this hymn says it all! Regardless of what this year will bring, “Dear Father, let it be – on earth, or else in heaven, another year for thee!"


Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, another year with thee;
Another year of leaning upon thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness, and grace;
Another year of gladness in the shining of thy face;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving thy presence all the days.

Another year of service, of witness for thy love;
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven, another year for thee.
Frances R. Havergal, 1836 -1879

Happy New Year, dear friends! May this be a year filled with grace and mercy and a close walk with our LORD.

Walking with you and with Jesus,
Stephanie

Stephanie Conrad #2509
Editor
Progress at the new SOWER Building in Lindale!
With the outside buttoned up (and while waiting for the siding) work has moved to the interior. Here we are working on the storm shelter which will be located in the center of the building. God is good!
Wendell Ramaker [w.ramaker.52@gmail.com]
Just a Reminder

Starting in February 2024, all GL documents will be sent by email only. They can then be printed as necessary. If you do not have a printer, please contact the office one (1) week before the project begins and they will mail the information to you.

Please contact the office if you have any questions. 
Thank you!
903-882-8070

Newletter Notes
Does the newsletter ever seem short when it arrives in your inbox? Are you looking for the Sam & Sally column but can't find it? It's been brought to our attention that some email servers truncate the newsletter, not downloading the entire newsletter. So if that is the case, watch for the "View Entire Message" at the bottom of the screen (as in the screenshot above from last month's newsletter). Clicking on that should download the remaining newsletter content.
Dear friends,
As Gary and I enter our twentieth year of SOWER-ing, we're beginning to think about 'what's next'. We're working on some of those logistics, but it seems like a good time to also start thinking about 'what's next' with this newsletter. I've been honored to manage this publication - along with the help of so many of you who have made contributions - for the last 12+ years. And while this isn't a farewell message, it is a seed-planting expedition. If you have any interest in learning the ropes of this monthly newsletter, I'd love to talk with you about it! If you'd like more information, please contact me either by replying to this newsletter or giving me a call at 215.343.9678.
Blessings, Stephanie
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Here is a sampling of some encouraging words from our hosts:

Aside from the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, building, decorating, cooking, painting and the rest of what you've accomplished in the last couple of weeks... to have you show up to lock arms with this team, and serve God diligently every day, with a Spirit of unity and love in Christ is more encouraging than words can express. 
Thank you. Thank you for the work of your hands and your hearts. You have made a lasting impact; not only on this team but on the lives of the little ones that will call Stillwaters home. 
You have exemplified being the hands and feet of the body of Christ, for His glory.

David and Martha were fantastic to work with, and were a huge help here at Camp Westminster. Not only were they skilled and capable, they took care to do excellent work that has made our camp better. They are kind and gracious people, so working with them was a delight for me. I would be honored to have them return to camp anytime.

A great group. Very cooperative, hard-working, and fun to have. They went the extra mile. Enjoyed working with them.

This group always goes above and beyond to bless our ministry here. The metal fabrication work that the guys did on our waterslide was top-notch. The ladies did a wonderful job working on aesthetic work in some of our staff and student housing.
Area Representative Needs
An Area Representative is a SOWER (Active or Alumni) who checks in with a certain set of projects annually (in person or by phone), investigates any project-related concerns, and welcomes new SOWERs that are in their area. Essentially, they are the SOWER “boots on the ground” for their assigned projects and are a vital part of our ministry. 
If you have an interest in becoming an Area Representative in the future, please contact Gail Fieler for more information.
We currently need an AR (or several!) for the following New York and Western PA projects -

Shoshanah Campus, NY - 220
High Braes Refuge, NY - 251
Longview Camp, NY - 557



If you would like more information about helping with this area please contact Brad Smith.

South Texas also has some openings -

Camp Tejas, TX-240

Wendel Ramaker oversees this area. Please contact him if you are interested in covering any of the projects in this area.


We are also looking for a Western Canada Area Representative to visit or call on 4 projects at this time.

Stillwood Camp, BC-349

If interested contact Evan Asby.

Attention ALUMNI - Becoming an Area Rep as an Alumnus is a great way to continue to serve in our ministry! So if you've hung up the tools, but still want to serve, consider becoming an Area Representative for projects in your area!
New Project!
Cedar Springs, MI
Pine Ridge Bible Camp has been functioning for about 75 years and consists of 120 acres with multiple cabins and a large lodge/motel. The heart of the camp and the reason it began was to teach children God's Word. They are very focused on Biblical truth, sharing directly from God's Word and in Bible memorization. They have lots of competitions with their campers about Bible verses and fun challenges to encourage the kids to be in the Word. (like; if they memorize a certain amount they can put a cream pie in the counselor's face!) While they have all the "fun" stuff, like High Ropes, Climbing Wall, Zip Line, and Lake activities, the ultimate focus is God's Word.
Along with camps and retreats, they are also very involved with Home-school camps. They have many home-school groups that come monthly for the entire day to do outdoor activities, hands-on training, Chapel, and Bible training. That impressed us because there are a lot of homeschoolers in our area/state, some of them unbelievers who take advantage of this program.
The RV sites are nice, clean, and private with 50 AMP service.
We are excited to have Pine Ridge join our SOWER project family and would love to see you there this summer!
Tim & Ginger Hock, 3489
Project Sponsors
The Beauty of Winter is Calling you!
How about experiencing a winter wonderland in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado at YWAM in Cimarron, CO (CO-517)??
  WE DID IT AND LOVED IT!!
Driving up the San Juan Mountains in December with the white snow-covered peaks on the curved gravel road was a breathtaking experience. Everywhere you look there was God’s beauty.  Each trip we made to town and back was just as beautiful with a different view around each corner.
And as we entered the YWAM campus we saw the mountain stream rushing down the creek from the mountains.
We were greeted by Curt & Michelle’s family with delicious hot soup for our first evening meal. Tom had built a fire to warm our Isaiah house that they had prepared for our housing.
While we were there we received another 20” of light snow. With no wind the snow just sat on the evergreen trees, waiting for us to go “poof”. Watching the children go down the hill on their sleds was so much fun. Each morning we marveled at the beauty outside our window while doing our devotions in front of the warm fire that Dick had built.  A wild turkey came by and was scratching under the evergreen tree looking for morels to eat. A bird would land on the Evergreen tree and a bit of snow would land and sparkle on the way down. The mountains were so beautiful each morning!
Wes and Dick were able to help with electrical, carpentry, and plumbing in a staff house. Billie and Carolyn were able to prepare meals each day and freeze meals for future use. We enjoyed going to the root cellar to gather vegetables and other items.

We encourage you to go to YWAM in the winter months and enjoy GOD’s beauty. What a wonderful experience we had.
Curt, Michelle, and their children have taken on an enormous task at YWAM in Cimarron, CO, as they are doing some restructuring at this time. They have many interior projects, are very flexible, and provide housing in the winter months. You will fall in love, we sure did!
Godspeed,

Dick & Billie Mondello #3923
Wes & Carolyn Strausser #3369
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 11/14/23

Let's try to shorten up that Underserved Project List! Send in highlights about your favorite project on the UPL along with a couple of pictures to stephanie@rvthereyet.org to help get it OFF the list!
Seen recently on Facebook
Looks like December was a productive month at Ironwood Camp (CA-464)! Praising God with you for all of the work accomplished!
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 an Administrator will approve you.
Since the SOWER Facebook group is a ‘private’ group, we try to limit our members to folks who are SOWER members or project hosts, and couples who 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!
Congratulations to Norm & Lois Leonard, #1625, who reached the 100 project mark earlier this year! Well done, good and faithful servants!
Thank you to everyone who has given our SOWER Facebook Page a "Like." We're well over 1600 "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 Fireworks above will take you to the Members' Page, the December/January SOWERGRAM, and the latest updates to our Project Listings (PLS)
(updated weekly).

The February/March SOWERGRAM will be online January 25th.

 903-882-8070
This month there are 134 SOWER couples (or singles) serving at 44 different ministries around the country. Praise God for all the work that's being accomplished! Check the PLS for openings in the months ahead!
2024 Florida SOWER Reunion
If you're in Florida, you won't want to miss this!!
There is still room for YOU!!!
Staying Strong in Today's World
FL-143 Florida Baptist Youth Camp
Groveland, FL
February 26-28, 2024
Cost: (Cash or check only)
$80/rig   W/E 30 amp; dump;     Early Arrivals: $15/night
Room Rent: $80/couple;
Walk-ins: $20.00/couple for 1 day; $30.00/couple for multiple days
(Lunch provided for walk-ins) (Linens & towels not provided in rooms)
Meals included: Supper on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Potluck)
Breakfast: Tuesday and Wednesday

Register today with Diane Ramaker @ 920-946-3345 or email dramaker.52@gmail.com.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the Reunion!
Wendell & Diane Ramaker
Jeff & Barb Kaiser
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 - Father's Heart Ranch (CA-461) December 2023 Group - Doug Petkau and Tammy Neal #3950, Earl & Judy DeVries #3812. Photo by Tammy Neal

Header Photo - Realife Camp - Blue Springs (FL-563) drone photo by Tom Selvidge #3868
Dear Sam & Sally,
Every month as we begin our SOWER project, we read that we are not allowed to go into projects as independents. We’re not sure exactly what that means. Can you help?
Confused Just a Bit

Dear Confused,
Thank you for your question. Here’s an example of what “going in as an independent” looks like – You want to serve at ABC Bible Camp in May, but you see that all of the requested SOWER spots are full. Since you really want to go and you know they have additional RV sites, you call the host directly and ask him if you can come that month anyway. If you go under those circumstances, you would be considered an independent and that would violate SOWER guidelines. However, if you want to go to ABC Bible Camp in April (or any month) when they are not asking for any SOWERs, the host approves your request and you go, then that would be fine and would not involve any SOWER guidelines since there are no SOWERs involved. If the following month is a SOWER month, you would need to leave the project before the arrival of the Group Leader. 

We hope that helps! If you would like to have more information, you can check out Admin Policy #5 and the Unscheduled Work Project Participation found in the Guidelines (page 3) both on the Members Only site.  

Serving with you,
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 a SOWER story or a photo to the newsletter, send it to