SOWER Ministry Newsletter July 2019
July - the month of flags, fireworks and fireflies! And maybe even a water slide!
I hope you've been staying cool while enjoying these long summer days. It's hard to believe the year is already half over, and yet even as we sip our iced tea we're beginning to think about those fall and winter projects and where we'll be serving in the months to come. Our winter projects are filling up nicely, but there are still openings available. May I encourage you to "mix it up a bit" this winter, and sign up for a project (or 2!) that's "new to you". It's great to get a fresh look at what God is doing through the many different ministries we serve.
The August/September Sowergram is getting ready to go to press! You can check out all of the GL reports, Trustee reflections and project availability. You will also find the 2020 Registration Form (formerly known as the Skill Sheet) tucked inside. Yes, it's ALREADY that time again! Although there is plenty of time to get it in (they need to be back to the office by October 1st) we highly recommend doing it sooner rather than later! Even if you do not anticipate being able to work any projects in 2020, it is still important to fill out and return the form if you want to continue to be part of the ministry. Feel free to change your status to Alumni if you won't be working - it's easy to return to Active status at any time by calling the office and filling in the "skill level" portion of the form. Choosing not to return your Registration form will remove you from the membership list and you will no longer be eligible to work projects in the future. And we'd hate to say good-bye!
So stay cool, drink plenty of liquids, and hug a baby! The LORD has great things ahead!

Serving with you - for Jesus!
Stephanie Conrad #2509
Introducing our 2019 SOWER Trustees
John Barber
Bill Myers
Cheri Smith
As the Board of Trustees prepares to meet together later in September, please remember these new members and the entire Board in your prayers.
Rallies Ready and Open for Sign-ups!
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!  
Click HERE for more information about special speakers, Southern Gospel entertainment, and other activities!

September 16th- 19th .

Registration: $85.00 
Cabin rate: $25.00
RV Campsite: N/C

The registration fee includes 10 meals @ $6.00 each. We have eight (8) cabins reserved, so if you want a cabin please advise us ASAP. If additional ones are needed, we will try to obtain them, but no guarantee!

Please contact Emory Rockafellow by email or call 810-869-0826 for more information, to register or volunteer, or with additional questions. We are looking forward to seeing YOU at Michindoh!!

Minnesota Rally

Lake Beauty Camp (MN-523)
Long Prairie, MN
September 16th - 19th

RV Sites - $27.00/night
Loon Lodge - $54.00/night
Third night (18th) free
if staying for work day (19th).

Join us for a time of fellowship and an opportunity to meet SOWER President Gary Conrad

Contact Bill Cairns (320-295-3031 (T))for more information or to register!
Special Needs and Special Thanks!
Greetings from Manitoba Canada!
   We are super excited to have Tom & Kathy Tucker joining us for July at TMBC (MB-490) and trust it will be an incredible experience for them as they serve along side us. We were so sorry to hear of the vehicle issues for Bruce & Betty Johnson and trust they can get that resolved when they get home.  
   With the new facility progressing, the board is hoping to tear down the old facility in September. With dismantling a lot of salvageable items from that facility, the normal things needing done for closing up summer camp and Lord willing moving things into the new facility, we would be so grateful to have volunteers during that time, so if you could increase our # to 3 couples for September, that would be wonderful. We realize many will have already made commitments for the fall, but thought we would mention it in case anyone's plans change or they might consider coming. THANKS so much for the encouragement of your ministry. We appreciate it sooo much. Blessings

Howard & Kathy Weir
Turtle Mountain Bible Camp (MB-
(204) 534-6844

Dear SOWERs,
I am writing from Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center (TX-406). We are located in the beautiful Texas hill country just west of Austin.
Over the years we have been incredibly blessed by so many of our SOWER volunteers as they have come to lend a hand with various projects here at camp. They have brought friendship, partnership and in many ways financial relief as we may not have been able to attempt so many projects were it not for the countless hours of free labor they have provided.
Here at Highland Lakes we know that God is in charge of which volunteers He plans to send to us just as I know you believe He leads you to each of your projects. It is so special to watch as He perfectly matches volunteers with projects!
Today I would like to highlight one couple from among you who came to Highland Lakes this Spring and we were their very first project after they became a part of the SOWER organization.
They are Dan and Kathleen Ruelle (3592)and they were SURELY the couple God sent in our hour of need!
 We were close to finishing a staff housing project and were praying for a plumber! When Dan arrived he was so friendly, eager to help in any way and a master plumber! It became evident quickly that helping us finish this project was right up Dan’s “alley.” He easily became a part of the team consisting of other wonderful SOWER couples and our own staff. Dan got to work and soon brought the plumbing part of the project to a beautiful completion and made it possible for a young couple to move into their new home.
Next we welcomed Dan’s expertise as we were beginning a new restroom building on camp. Dan jumped right in and drew up the plumbing diagrams and stayed on until the foundation was made ready for a big concrete pour and all the plumbing was roughed in. He did amazing work and did everything with such a joyful spirit.
During their stay with us we experienced a shuffling of staff and lack of a CPA/Bookkeeper. For the first part of her time with us Kathleen happily worked at any job that was set before her and blessed us in so many ways. As the need in our financial office came to a head we asked her if she would be willing to help in that office. She did and brought with her an admirable set of skills as well as a gentle and quieting spirit that kept staff steady as we worked to find better footing in the finance office. I truly cannot help you to understand how much we needed her at that very moment. In no way did she try to take control or boss anyone, she just brought excellence and a Christ-like character. Once again God’s perfect provision.

Dan and Kathleen are special people who not only worked with us and beside us, but they are our friends who we think about often and hope to see again should the Father allow.

This couple is only one of the hundreds of amazing people that we have had the pleasure of laboring alongside of thru the years here at Highland Lakes.

May the Father bless each of you as you pour your lives out for the sake of the cross!

Diana Voges  
Administrative Assistant to:

Mike Voges
Assistant Executive Director -(New Construction and Maintenance)
Seen recently on Facebook
Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing about the work and ministry at Roseau River Bible Camp (MB-534)! Looks like there's lots to keep you busy! RRBC asks for 5 SOWERs every month from April through October!
Have you stopped by lately? Please use caution and respect when posting. This is a Closed 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. If you invite other interested folks to join the group they will still need to answer the membership question. Thanks!
While you're on Facebook, don't forget to check out your favorite ministries. 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!

We've reached over 830 "Likes" on the SOWER Facebook Page ! 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. 
Do you have a question or concern for the Board of Trustees? 
If you'd like to contact the Board of Trustees, please send an email to Gary Conrad, President, and he'll be happy to direct your question to the entire Board or the appropriate Trustee. 
Of course, you are welcome to contact any member of the Board individually by phone or email using the information in the roster.
I'm still waiting for YOUR story!!!
Do you have sweet memories from your first SOWER project? Or maybe you'd like to share how you learned about SOWERS and how the LORD led you to this ministry?
This newsletter is always looking for SOWER testimonies, God Stories, project highlights, group pictures, and more! And Bill Myers is always on the look-out for some great tips! Submit stories, ideas and photos to  Stephanie Conrad .
This month's Group Shot is from the May project at Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove (NC-498). L-R are Mark and Laurie Malone (3532) and Anita and Mike Westgate (3535). It was the first project for the Westgates!
Photo submitted by Anita Westgate
(Do you have a favorite Group Picture (past or present) you'd like to share in the newsletter? Send it in!! )

Header Photo - Lake Williamson Christian Center - in full summer mode! Photo by Don Schager (2961)

Opening Paragraph Photo - Camp Baldwin (AL-420) Water Slide

All winter project sign-ups are
first come - first served.
There is NO LOTTERY this year.
What are you waiting for?
The office is waiting for your email request!
SOWER Blog Roll
See what other SOWERS are doing around the country! 

Jeff & Mary Peace
Ed & Patty Soltes
Bob & Billie Wakeman
 Gary & Stephanie Conrad
Paul & Juanita Alton
Don & Jenny Rasmussen
Terry & Alice Burnett
 Wayne & Gail Fieler
Robert & Shana Carman
John & Connie Nicholas

  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 
Fireworks above will take you to the Members Page, the June/July Sowergram and the latest updates to our Project Listings (updated weekly).

Don't forget our Member site also contains other useful information, such as Project Work Dates, RV's for Sale, minutes from previous Trustee meetings, and the 2019 Roster!
If you have any questions, please contact the SOWER Office  

The Aug/Sept SOWERGRAM will be available by the end of July.
Dear Sam and Sally...
I love your articles in the SOWER Newsletter. I would like to share a tip from long ago that may be useful. Please check with the Project Host before performing a "helpful" task. Things may not be what they seem. 
The story behind the tip: Near the edge of an open area the SOWERS were asked to mow was a depression in the ground. The grass was high and the hole was easy to miss, resulting in the mower dropping a wheel into the hole and getting stuck. It took some work to get the mower free and our intrepid SOWERS took it upon themselves to fill in the hole, which took them the rest of the day, making the ground nice and smooth. No more stuck mowers! Unbeknownst to them, that depression was the outlet of a drain from another part of the facility that suffered from flooding during the rainy season. Unfortunately, they had very effectively blocked the drain. Further, they failed to mention their "Good Deed", which went unnoticed by the Project Host until nearly the end of the Project. Subsequently, the Project Host had to clear out the fill and restore the drain functionality after the SOWERS left. While the ingenuity and desire to help with little "fixes" is to be applauded, please do ask before doing so.

A Former Project Host

Dear Host,
Thank you for this valuable insight! It's a wonderful reminder to always ask before we tackle something that we think will be a 'good thing' for a project. Every month we read in our opening meeting that we will do what the host wants and the way he wants it done. Sometimes our enthusiasm gets the better of us and we step outside of this directive. Thank you for this example of the possible consequences of not asking before doing!

Thankful for His Grace,
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 -   
To send in a prayer request or praise item-
To contact the office -

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