SOWER Ministry Newsletter January 2021
Dear Friends,
I’ve used this opening graphic before, but I think it really speaks to where our hearts need to be right now. When we look back, we need to remember God’s faithfulness. He’s brought us through an incredible (and for many an incredibly hard) year, and He’s been with us through it all! We need to look ahead and trust that He is indeed in control of our personal circumstances, and the situations in the world around us. And we need to look around, and see where we can serve HIM! Whether you’re midway through your January SOWER project, or watching the weather report to see when the next snow storm will arrive, I trust serving Him is still your top priority. Let us hold fast to the unchanging promises of our Savior today and in the days ahead. May we sing with conviction the following stanza from the timeless hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness -
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Serving with you in His Strength,
Stephanie Conrad #2509
Editor
stephanie@rvthereyet.org
Hats OFF!
 Note from Deanna Schoeneberger #2029
Many of our "Seasoned SOWERS" have retired in recent years, and I'd like to remember one recent ‘retiree’ couple who has meant a lot to me: Stan and Carlie Buttrick #327.
I believe that they have the ‘lowest number’ of any SOWER to be working during 2020. They joined in March 1990 and served over 170 SOWER months through the years, working their final project in February of 2020. They have served as Area Reps, and Carlie also served on the SOWER Board of Trustees from 2000-2006 (serving as Secretary for 4 years and VP for 1 year). Carlie said, "After 30 years we knew it was time; health issues have risen and we now have a wonderful apartment with our daughter. It was so difficult seeing our RV leave our property.  BUT, we have so many great memories."  One of their highlights was their trip to Alaska and serving there. She said that through the years they have met so many good friends and experienced seeing the State and National Parks and took many side trips.  Carlie fondly remembers all the SOWER Reunions where they could reunite with "old" friends, and make new ones.  Always ready to laugh, Carlie remembers when they dressed up as hobos for a skit! If you’ve ever worked with Stan & Carlie, I know you will join me in saying “Well done, good and faithful servants’.
So many wonderful saints have gone before us, I’m sure you’ve worked with a few too! Thank you Carlie and Stan, and thanks to all the retired SOWERS.

Hebrews 12:1-2a
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 
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 many opportunities to serve, especially during these pandemic-influenced days! Check out these ministries - and see where you can help!
AR-169 - Ecclesia College, Springdale, AR
NH-400 - Pilgrim Pines, Swasney, NH
WA-438 - YWAM/Discovery Bay, Port Hadlock, WA
MB-490 - Turtle Mountain Bible Camp, Boissevain, Manitoba
A SOWER Challenge
How about starting the new year with a SOWER challenge? My personal challenge is to work at least one NEW PROJECT listed in the PLS and one project that is underserved (less than 6 for past 2 years). Just think - if every couple would do the same what a blessing to the projects and SOWERs. So as you are browsing through the PLS pay particular attention to those marked ****NEW PROJECT****, and try to work it into your schedule. The underserved projects are highlighted in the past newsletters. Let’s make a difference in the Kingdom in 2021!

Nelda Thompson #3445 Trustee
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!
FLORIDA SOWER RALLY
CANCELLED
The FL Reunion Committee unanimously agreed to cancel the 2021 FL Reunion. This was a difficult decision to make but felt with the current state of COVID (especially in FL), it was necessary at this time. We'll be looking forward to 2022!
May the Lord bless and keep all of us safe as we joyfully serve the Lord wherever we are.
Bill and Ruth Stoll, Chairman of the Committee

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 Cindy for sharing about the work done at Heart of Texas Baptist Camp (TX-429). Good to see that the chilly weather didn't slow you down! Heart of TX asks for 3 SOWERS each month from Dec - June. Check it out!
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!
Encouraging One Another!
Our number of working SOWER couples is UP from last January!! We're giving God all the glory for his provision of servants during these unprecedented days!
Watch for more details in the President's Reflection in the Feb/Mar Sowergram!
Thank you to everyone who has given our SOWER Facebook Page a "Like". We're over 1100 "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!

TRAVEL TIP

Here is a tip, not specifically for SOWERS, but good for anyone who RVs or even travels by other means.

Be sure to carry more than one credit card on your travels. Credit cards are easy to get. Be sure to get them from different banks. You don't have to use your back up card all the time, just occasionally and pay off the balance each month you use it. With occasional use and paying it off, you will build up an available balance that can be used in an emergency. Keep your backup card in your RV or somewhere separate from your wallet and normal cards. If your wallet gets lost or stolen or your primary card is compromised or canceled for some reason, you will have an alternate fund source to continue your trip.
With the heavy duty equipment we use in RVing, unexpected repairs can be very expensive. Having immediate access to a line of credit can be a lifesaver in an emergency.

Michael Barnes #965
Congratulations to the following SOWERS who reached the 100 project milestone in 2020!

John Flynn #2291
Bill & Sandy Ellis #1351
Ulah & Cheri Smith #2634
Harold & JoAnn Flaugher #629
RV Handrail Cleaning Warning
Emory Rockafellow (2559)
I found the following information in the Family RVing Magazine very helpful with our current need to sanitize due to COVID-19. Apparently disinfectants that contain alcohol can damage the handrails that many of us have on our units and make them unsafe. You can read the entire article HERE.
This month's Group Picture is from the December 2020 project at Indian Hills Camp (CA-213) in Jamul, CA. L-R: Carol & Jerry Chesser - 3508, Ed & Linda Comer - 3021, Scott & Heather Crawford - 3631, Wayne & Cheri Sitkei - 3714
And Huckleberry in front ;)
Submitted by Heather Crawford

(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 - Scene from Marshview Bible Camp (GA-549) in Midway, GA. Photo by Deb Peel (3128)
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
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". 

A note from Dick & Toni Howard (#2527)


"From our recent experience in the SOWER office, I would like to remind everyone to please include your member number on any correspondence you send to the office. This would include emails, checks, and any other correspondence. Many queries in the database are keyed on the member number. Also, the projects are keyed on the project ID so please include the project ID on any correspondence. Thanks!"

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 Happy New Year
above will take you to the Members Page, the Dec/Jan
Sowergram and the latest updates to our Project Listings (updated weekly).


*********************
The Members Page Password changed December 15th. The new password was included in the Dec-Jan Sowegram.
Contact the office with any questions.
*********************

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,
With all of the uncertainty from the pandemic going on right now, we are hesitant to sign up for a project for fear we will have to cancel as things unfold. What are the ministry policies for cancel-ling out of a project?
Uncertain

Dear Uncertain, 
Thank you for asking this timely question. With COVID-19 still on the rise, life seems to be taking a different turn almost every day! But there will always be times (even without a pandemic) we need to cancel out from a project we have signed up for. Here are the basic guidelines – If you must cancel out from a project, contact the office as soon as you are aware of the conflict. Cancellations that happen 6 weeks or more before the start of the project month are never a problem. The host has not been notified to expect you so it’s essentially, no harm, no foul. Cancellations are still accepted right up the start of the project, but it gets a little more complicated since at this point the host is planning on your arrival. Once you’ve contacted the office about the need to withdraw from the project (with the reason for the cancellation if possible) they will take care of notifying the host of the change. Always contact the office if you need to cancel from a project, even if it is at the last moment. 
On the flip side, if you find that you are unexpectedly available to sign up for a project, contact the office to see what openings are available. While the requested ministry has to give their approval for a late sign up, most are happy for the help. 
As always, please follow up any verbal requests for for cancelations, changes, and sign-ups with a confirming email and be sure to include your SOWER number. The office is working hard to be flexible during these pandemic days. Our bottom line remains to “serve and encourage Christian Ministries”, and thankfully we’ve been able to continue to do that throughout the last year, and will continue to do so in the upcoming days. 

Thank you for your service,
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