SOWER Ministry Newsletter November 2023
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Dear Friends,
Scripture tells us that ‘For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven’ (Eccl 3:1). What season are you in this November? Perhaps a loved one has graduated to heaven this year, and your heart is broken with this loss. Some of you may be expecting your first grandbaby (or great-grandbaby!) and this is a season of new life for you. “A time to mourn and a time to dance.” Maybe you are just starting on your SOWER adventure with great anticipation, but maybe you have decided that this is the year you regretfully hang up the keys. “A time to seek and a time to lose.” Regardless of what season you might be finding yourself in right now, I pray that this November will also be a season of thankfulness. May these last weeks of November be filled with not only wonderful family gatherings but also a true sense of gratitude. How precious to know that regardless of our circumstances, our God is with us. Wherever He has led you this year, whether it's been through the valleys or up to the mountaintops, I pray you have felt His presence going with you. And how thankful we are for that assurance!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Praying with you, with gratitude,
Stephanie

Stephanie Conrad
SOWER #2509
Editor
Changing of the Guard!
You may have noticed some changes taking place in the office.
If not, you will!  

Ray and Alean Arthur (#2810) have served in the SOWER Ministry office for over 16 years and are ready to pass the batons. They will be ushering in the development of the new member site over the next 6 months while making sure the newbies Wayne and Gail Fieler (#3187) and Bruce and Katie Gay (#3659) know all the ropes. It’s a work in progress, to say the least, and they have some pretty big shoes to fill. The Fielers and Gays will be working in the office for 4-month rotations beginning this month. We ask for your patience while we all settle in and gravitate toward new technology. Growing pains and change can be challenging at times but we know in the end it will benefit the whole organization. God will see us through these developmental changes and we will give him the Glory.
Bruce & Katie Gay (#3659)
Wayne & Gail Fieler (3187)
Progress at the new SOWER Building in Lindale!
The Cold in the North is setting in fast. Maybe you should head South early this year! There are openings in December to help on the New SOWER Building. With materials getting delivered late, we need help to get back on schedule. Please consider joining the effort. Thank you!
Wendell Ramaker [w.ramaker.52@gmail.com]
Some Changes Ahead

  • Starting with the Dec/Jan issue of the SOWERGRAM and the 2024 Roster, there will no longer be a general ministry-wide distribution by mail. These items can be found on the Member Site, and if you would like a hard copy, please contact the office.
  • Starting in January 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

Project News and Updates
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. 
On the East Coast -
The Project Committee is looking for an Area Representative for our New England projects -

Pilgrim Pines, NH-400

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


In Middle America
There is an opening for an AR for our projects in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky
Twin Lakes Camp - IN-289
Spring Hill Camp - IN-354
Camp Nathanael - KY-570

If you would like more information about helping with this please contact Wendell Ramaker.

 

And in the West -
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 or Gail Fieler.

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!
Hello, fellow brethren in Christ,
For decades the SOWER ministry has been an integral part of Forest Glen’s rich history, and much of our ministry’s success arises as a direct result of your contributions. We are extremely grateful for the sacrifice and generosity of the volunteers. We wouldn’t be who we are today without the help of good folks such as yourselves. Our Day Camp program was phenomenal this past summer. Many children accepted Christ for the very first time, and some were even baptized. Our future endeavor is to expand our ministry impact by developing programmed camps for Junior High and High School students. As we continue in our mission to provide an environment where people can encounter God, we’d like to add more activities and intentional spaces for campers to experience. One of the major ways we seek to achieve this is by building several Hexagon Bench Swings with fire pits located all around the camp . One can only imagine the shared testimonies and the divine appointments experienced in such a setting. Other major projects include adding patio benches, bridge repair, deck replacement, adding water refill stations, and creating additional lighting in key areas. These projects are vital for the continued safety, ministry impact, and well-being of our campers. Volunteers of all skill sets are welcome, and any help would be appreciated. Thank you for all that you do!
Rance Hughes

New Projects!
A new project, Camp Nathanael (KY-570), in beautiful Eastern Kentucky, will be looking for SOWER help starting February 2024. Along with a summer camp ministry, Camp Nathanael has a unique ministry for the public school system. There will be a variety of typical maintenance work but also a special need for you “teachers”. The camp is looking for teachers to serve in the SOA capacity for the months of August, September, and October. Additional information on the PLS. AND, the RV sites are cement pads in a park-like setting. Beautiful!
Mark & Laurie Malone #3532
Timberlake Ranch Camp (NE-571) is our first Nebraska project! Their mission is to craft unique, nature-based experiences that share the hope of the Gospel and inspire imagination. They believe in the power of Christ-centered summer camp programming, where every child can feel safe and accepted as they build relationships and grow in their faith.
They are excited to be welcoming SOWERs and will be asking for six SOWER couples from April through October. Their primary needs are to completely rework the exterior of The Fort, and build nine new cabins.
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.


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!
SOWER Anniversary Quilt Update
The SOWER 40th Anniversary quilt is nearing completion! The top has been pieced with all of the squares that have been signed (all 165 of them!) and the back has been pieced with some of the extra squares so many of you contributed. Right now we're looking to have it machine quilted. If you have any suggestions for a long-arm quilter, please let me know at stephanie@rvthereyet.org. Thank you!
Stephanie Conrad (#2509)
Seen recently on Facebook
Thank you, Joe & Rae, for sharing about the work being done at Camp Living Water (NC-285) in the beautiful North Carolina Mountains!
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 who are SOWER members or project hosts, and couples who are whointerested 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!
IT'S NOT TOO LATE!!
Maybe it got lost in the pile of Home Depot flyers. Or maybe the new puppy ate it! But for whatever the reason, if you haven't sent in your 2024 Skill Sheet/Registration Form there is still time! And if you can't find it, click the link above or call the office and they'll send you a new one! Thanks!
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 pumpkin pie above will take you to the Members' Page, the October/November SOWERGRAM, and the latest updates to our Project Listings (PLS)
(updated weekly).

The December/January SOWERGRAM will be available on November 17th.

If you have any questions,
please contact the SOWER Office  
 903-882-8070
2024 Work Date Calendar
Click on the Calendar on the left for a downloadable color-coded calendar of 2024 SOWER project dates and other events.
This month there are 93 SOWER couples (or singles) serving at 45 different ministries around the country. Praise God for all the work that's being accomplished! Check the PLS for openings in the months ahead!
Registration is open for the Florida SOWER Rally!

February 26-28, 2024
Florida Baptist Encampment
FL-143
Groveland, FL

Contact Wendell and Diane Ramaker for more information!

Would you like to help? We need a pianist/song leader again this year. Thank you!

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 - The Long View Ranch (TN-441) October 2023 group.
L-R Jerry & Gena Lester (3840), Robyn & Dave Koppin (3847),Sharon & Warner Sawatzki (3967). Photo by Robyn Koppin
Header Photo - Camp Grace, CBM (NC-527)
Dear Sam and Sally,
Can you explain the mechanics of the prayer chain? We're honored to pray for our brothers and sisters, but we'd like to know how it all works!
Pleased to pray

Dear Praying SOWER,
What a great question! Prayer is SO important to our ministry. We're happy to share some of the nuts and bolts of the process. First – who’s on the Prayer Chain? When you join SOWERs you are automatically added to the prayer chain list. It is separate from our regular database in that it also includes other believers who are committed to praying for our ministry, such as project hosts and past SOWERs. So how does it work? When you send in a prayer request (prayer@sowerministry.org), it goes to the prayer chain ‘moderator’ with a backup copy going to the office. Once the moderator verifies that it’s not spam (yes that happens even on our prayer chain), it is then sent on to you, our prayer partners. Here are some Prayer Chain insights -  
• Generally a prayer request gets out to our praying members within 24 hours. So if you don’t see your request come through the chain within a day, please send it again.
• Please feel free to use the ‘reply’ function when responding directly to someone requesting prayer. But do not use the “Reply All” function since that sends your reply not only to those requesting prayer but also to the entire prayer chain.
• Don't forget that our prayers need to include praises also!! Please send follow-ups so that folks who have been praying can also be praising when those prayers are answered.

Sometimes the prayer requests seem to come fast and furiously. Other times days go by without a prayer need. Thank you for taking the time to remember these dear saints in your prayers.

How thankful we are for the SOWER Prayer Chain. For we know that “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16). Our Lord eagerly awaits our prayers as we lift our brothers and sisters to the Throne of Grace. 

Joining you in prayer,
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 a SOWER story or a photo to the newsletter, send it to