SOWER Ministry Newsletter January 2022
Dear Friends,
Raise your hand if you thought we’d be done with this pandemic ‘thing’ by 2022. My hand is up, that’s for sure! But God seems to have a different plan for us than we’d hoped, and so we continue on, placing our trust in the only person that is completely trustworthy – our LORD and Savior! 2021 has been a hard year – and incredibly hard for some of you. There have been joys and sorrows in each of our lives, and thankfully the LORD has been there through it all. I pray you have felt His loving care. So whether you are halfway through your January project or watching to see when the next snow storm will hit or just trying to find your ‘new normal’ after a difficult year, let’s all join together is this prayer by John Piper –

Lord, grant that we will love Christ above all things.
And may we spend our pilgrim life learning to love this world less
and heaven more. Put us out of taste with the delicacies of the devil,
and give us a liking for the solid joys of Christ.
Guard us from the allurements of the lodging of this journey,
and fix our eyes on the end.
And so, Father, make us useful to this world, loving, helping, serving here, while leading people up to God.
In Jesus Name,
Amen
Trusting Jesus with you,
Stephanie Conrad #2509
Editor
stephanie@rvthereyet.org
Are you a Second Generation SOWER (or other RV volunteer group)? If so, I'd love to do an article about that! Please contact me with your story! Thank you! Stephanie Conrad, Editor stephanie@rvthereyet.org!
Underserved Project Update
New Update List!
The office has put together an updated list of ministries that have received six (6) or fewer SOWER couples in the last 24 months. Click on the document to the right or the link below to download your copy - or check it out on the Members Webpage (coming soon)!


Francine Westphal (3778) recently posted the encouraging words below on Facebook, and it's a great way to encourage folks to work along side you at some of these underserved projects! If you sign up for a project that doesn't get many SOWERs, spread the word! "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." I Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
Do you have a testimony about the blessing of serving at one of our underserved projects? We'd love to hear from you!
COME JOIN US! We are going to be the GLs in June of 2022 at Brown City Camp (MI-286) in Brown City, Michigan. We served there last year and really enjoyed ourselves. This is an underserved project. Last year, the 3rd week of June was volunteer week, where many of their members come out to serve. During this time, we were invited to partake of the meals served to the volunteers. The fellowship time was very sweet.
While Brown City is in the middle of nowhere, you can use your 3-day weekends to enjoy Pure Michigan - Mackinac Island, the Upper Peninsula, Lake Michigan, Soo Locks, The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Quaint towns along our shorelines and our beautiful state parks. Michigan is beautiful during the summer....we hope you can join us!
Francine Westphal (#3778)
Time to Update your SOWER Gear?
Ladies Colors
Navy - Pink - Gray
V Neck
Mens' Colors
Maroon - Black - Gray
Crew Neck
Golf Shirts - Blue Only
Ladies - V Neck
Men's - Buttons
Back graphic on all Tee-Shirts. Golf shirt backs are blank.
The office is open and taking orders for this new SOWER gear!
Check out this updated order form with all of the colors available! Also available on this form (but not pictured above) are our popular long sleeved denim shirts. Simply print it out, make your selections and send it in with your check (US Funds please) to the SOWER Office.

Transformation
Wayne Fieler #3187
There are times that our work as SOWERS reflects our spiritual journey. While at ALERT Academy (TX-410) in November, the team was given a couple of projects, both of which were due to extensive termite damage. The beginning and ending photos show the before and after of the project. What a transformation.
The bathrooms were in the auto shop and the termites had taken over the place. They had eaten the wood and even the paper off the sheet rock. With the paper of the sheet rock gone, the paint had nothing to hold to and the paint was just hanging off. The hot water heater above had tilted over because the ceiling joists were eaten under it.
The SOWERs had to remove all the sheet rock and eventually all the walls and studs. The rebuild started from scratch. New walls, sheet rock, insulation and rebuilding the plumbing all took place after this. A pallet of tile was found in an old barn and it was used to totally redo the floor.
How does this represent our spiritual journey? Satan had taken everything from us that we had built our lives upon. Our lives were in tatters. We could not just clean up the mess; we needed a total transformation. That could not come from within. Jesus is the only one that can make such a change.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev 21:5 (ESV)
SOWER PROJECT MANAGER PROGRAM
The SOWER board is considering the establishment of a new program somewhat like the SOA program but would be designed specifically to provide oversight for larger construction and remodeling projects such as cabins, staff housing, kitchen and dining facilities, etc. This program could be called “SOWER Project Manager” or SPM for short. The program would be intended to offer our Project Hosts individuals capable of the oversight of SOWERs working on larger projects to provide continuity from one SOWER group to the next. The SPM would work much like the current SOA program except that the SPM would have oversight responsibility for SOWER groups coming to work on project. Much like the SOA program, the SPM assignment would be for three to six months and possibly longer depending on the projects. Projects of longer duration could be split between two or more SPMs.
Before the program can be established the Board would need to know from our membership those members who have had project management experience, general contracting experience and/or sufficient construction experience to be capable of construction project management. A list would be compiled of interested and qualified members and then the program could be made available to Projects Hosts considering a larger construction project.
At this point, Trustee Roy Olson will be the contact person for those with questions or interest in the program. There is still time to contact Roy if you are willing to be considered for a SPM assignment should a Project Host request one.
Roy Olson  # 2964
Phone # 503 689 0799
Email : Roylola@q.com
SPONSOR (still) NEEDED!
A Project Sponsor is an active SOWER couple who will sign up for a few project months at this new project during the first couple of years to help the ministry get a better understanding of SOWERs and also to encourage others to sign up.
All new prospective projects must have a Sponsor before they can move forward in the application process. Please contact Dick Howard for more information!
La Canada, CA
Angeles Crest Christian Camp is a beautiful wooded campus located at the 6,000-foot peak of a crest of the San Gabriel Mountains, just an hour and a half outside of LA. We are dedicated to giving kids and adults alike a place to reconnect with nature, make new friends and worship in a Christian community.
Area Rep Needs
A SOWER Area Representative (AR) is a vital part of our ministry. The Project Committee (Vice President and two others) works with the ARs to stay connected to our various ministries. Essentially, the ARs are the 'boots on the ground' for the ministry, mainly checking on existing projects periodically and taking a look at prospective projects.
Here are our current needs -
Southern CA
CA - 145 Grace Fellowship & Cherry Valley Brethren
CA - 461 Father's Heart Ranch
CA - 481 Coachella Valley Rescue Mission
CA - 500 Forest Homes Millcreek Canyon

MN, IA, WI, IL
IL-543 Ridge Haven Cono
IL-249    Lake Williamson Christian Center
MN-371 Trout Lake Camp
MN-523 Lake Beauty Covenant Bible Camp
WI-466 Lake Lundgren Bible Camp
WI-493 Timber-lee Ministries
IL-540 Oil Belt Christian Svc Camp (On Hold)

NY, PA, NJ, MD
MD -18 Sandy Cove Ministries
NJ - 3 America's Keswick
NJ - 346 The Pilgrim Academy
NY - 220 Shoshanah Campus
NY - 251 High Braes Refuge
NY - 306 Odosagih Bible Conference
NY - 379 Lighthouse Christian Camp
NY - 284 Sacandaga Bible Conference
PA - 514 Miracle Mountain Ranch

Please contact Dick Howard for more information!
To all our current ARs - Thank you for your faithful service to SOWERs! Let's help each other out as we travel around the country serving our Lord at various projects. If you are working at a project that is not one of your AR assignments, check to see if an AR visit is due and contact the assigned AR and see if it would be OK to do a visit.
Let us not forsake gathering together....
2023 National SOWER Rally
March 30 - April 4, 2023
ALERT Academy (TX-410)
Have you marked your 2023 Calendar yet???
Plans are moving forward with our 40th Anniversary National Rally scheduled for the weekend between the March and April 2023 projects! We know it's still a long way off, but the committee had its first meeting recently and the excitement is mounting! If you would like to join the committee or have suggestions for activities and speakers, please contact me! I'd love to hear from you!
Gary Conrad (#2509)
2022 Florida SOWER Reunion
FL-143 Florida Baptist Youth Camp, Groveland, FL
 February 28 - March 2, 2022, Monday – Wednesday

Register TODAY!
Text or call Diane Ramaker
 920-946-3345

Theme: No Matter What, Trust God!
CLICK HERE for the full brochure!

TEXAS RALLY
Cost:
$15 Registration Fee/couple
$35/night camping fee (30 AMP)
$40/night camping fee (50 AMP)

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

We need a pianist and music leader for the Rally. Can you help? Thanks!
March 27-30, 2022
ALERT Academy (TX-410)
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.

Save the Date!!!
Oregon Western Wound Up Rally
September 18-21, 2022
Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center, OR-320 in Turner, Oregon.
More information to follow!
If anyone would like to help with planning
please contact Gail Fieler #3187 at gailfieler@gmail.com.
Seen recently on Facebook
Thank you, Don & Betty Spitler (3624), for sharing about the work that was accomplished at Deer Creek (TX-404) in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas!
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 1370 "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!


2022 SOWER Work Dates
Click on the calendar to download a one page PDF calendar above with all of our 2022 project start and end dates.
Group Picture this month - the December 2021 group serving at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove (NC-498). L-R Jim & Linda Knapp(3242), Bill & Barb Kray (3620), Dick & Dianne Dalke (3633)

Header Photo - SOWER RV parking at Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch (FL-479)
Verse Photo - High Braes Refuge (NY-251)
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
Sondra Smith #3779
Spencer & Lorraine Saints #3574
Mark & Jeanette Sheler #3782
Doug & Laurie Schneider #3704

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


The MEMBER ONLY Website password has changed as of December 15th. The new password was included in the Dec/Jan SOWERGRAM that was mailed to all members.

If you have any questions,
please contact the SOWER Office  
 903-882-8070
You're more than a number to us, but please include your SOWER number in ANY communication with the office! Thanks!
Dear Sam and Sally,
I’ve been watching the “Sponsor Needed” articles in the newsletter with interest. Sometimes a project that needed a Sponsor previously isn’t listed in the current newsletter, but I don’t see where they actually become a “New Project”. So I’m confused. Could you explain the process of how a ministry becomes part of our Project Family? 
Thank you,
Confused but interested

That’s a great question about how our ministry works, so we went right to the Vice President, Dick Howard, who is the Chairman of the Project Committee. Here is his reply -

On the public SOWER website under "contact us" there is a "request services" tab. On that page the ministry fills out a short form and submits it to the office. The office then sends the request to the Project Committee to do a cursory review to determine if an application should be sent to the ministry. If it appears to be a viable project, the office sends out a full application to the requestor. When the completed application is returned, it is forwarded to the project committee for a more detailed review based on answers to the questions. If the ministry is still seen as a good fit for SOWERs, the application is sent to the Area Representative for a site review and a request for a sponsor is advertised. The Area Representative will send back a checklist recommending approval or denial based on the site review. If approved and a sponsor has volunteered, the project is entered into the database and will be listed in the PLS once all information is confirmed from the host. Occasionally a sponsor has volunteered before all of the other steps have been completed, so when this happens the request is removed from the newsletter awaiting final approval. The entire process can take up to one year or more depending on response time from all involved.

I hope that clarifies the process. We currently have 166 active projects with 12 projects “on hold” for one reason or another. There are 14 prospective projects somewhere in the process – from waiting for a returned application to waiting for the final review and sponsor. In 2021 we averaged 103 projects requesting SOWERs each month of which only 43 received SOWERs. There are lots of opportunities to serve, so check out the PLS, and sign up for a "new to you" project today!

Serving with you in 2022,
Sam & 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