SOWER Ministry Newsletter October 2020
“"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." (Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery)
I feel that way about October, too. How about you? Pumpkins, crisp apples (or maybe apple crisp?), hayrides and Fall Festivals – it is such a wonderful time of the year.”

Friends, that’s how I began last year’s October newsletter. But with our current state of COVID restrictions, there will be few hayrides (or sparsely populated ones!) and probably no Fall Festivals either. Thank goodness those crisp apples are still part of our lives! Even as our days begin to return, in a slow and measured way, to a sense of normalcy, there are some things that may not be returning anytime soon. Things like being able to watch our grandkids play sports (limited number can attend if they play at all), full pews at our local churches (keep your distance, please), even visiting loved ones in the hospital or nursing home. It seems that everywhere we turn there are new (and often inconvenient) directives. I know our Canadian brothers and sisters are waiting for news that they’ll be able to cross the border and head south before the snow flies. (Our winter projects that count on you are waiting (and praying) for that too! As are we!)

But even as the list of pandemic ‘negatives’ grows, there have been some positive lessons to be learned. We don’t have to rush from one activity to another – families are once again enjoying dinners around the table (maybe even with homemade bread) and game nights. We’ve discovered the world of Zoom, and easily accessed virtual visits. We’ve learned to adjust our priorities and rediscover what is truly important – Family, Faith, Fellowship.

The days ahead will continue to bring new challenges, of that I am sure. But through it all, we have a great and loving God who is not at all surprised to see us wearing masks to Walmart and stocking up on hand sanitizer! Let’s continue to lean into him, immerse ourselves in His Word, and trust in His never failing promises!
Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
Psalm 91:14-15

Resting in His Grace,
Stephanie Conrad #2509
Editor
stephanie@rvthereyet.org
Thank you all for your prayers for the annual Trustee meeting at the end of September. As you are probably aware, we were unable to have our traditional in-person meeting and ended up with some of us gathering in Lindale while others attended virtually. While there were some technical glitches, the meeting continued on! The full minutes will be in the Dec-Jan Sowergram, but meanwhile, here are your current officers of the SOWER Ministry: Gary Conrad, President, Bill Myers, VP, Jeff Brooks, Treasurer, Diane Zaharako, Secretary.
May God always get all the glory as our ministry continues to serve and encourage our projects!
Gary Conrad (2509), President
The Project Committee needs your help! We currently have three prospective projects that are in need of a Project Sponsor. A Project Sponsor is an active SOWER couple that is familiar (or willing to become familiar) with a potential new project and will commit to promote and work the project a couple of times for the first two years to help them get a better understanding of SOWERs and establish the project. Can you help? Contact Bill Myers for additional information.
Projects Needing a SPONSOR
Camp Siloam is a non-profit Christian camp and retreat center in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. For 97 years God’s name has been honored here and people have been encountering the Father on these holy grounds. In the summertime, the camp hosts seven weeks of camp during which gifted evangelists share the Gospel of Jesus with thousands of campers. During the fall, winter and spring, the camp staff hosts youth retreats and rents the camp to groups for retreats.

Longview Ranch in Mosheim, TN is a Christian Camp that is host to their own programs along with facilitating other group events. Located along the winding Nolichucky River, with beautiful views of the Great Smoky Mountains, the camp is eager to welcome SOWERS and the volunteer help we can provide.


Eastern Montana Bible Camp is located in Bloomfield, Montana. It is a non-denominational, nonprofit, Christian facility whose goal is to encourage young Christians to have a closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and to offer His saving Grace to those who don't know Him. They offer several youth programs along with also facilitating other area group functions.
Working at a New Project
Glorieta Adventure Camp (NM-544)
SOWERS Jim and Donna Dorroh (3385), Dennis & Lorree Johnson (3658) and Dan & Anita Brown (3464) have finished the first ever SOWER project at Glorieta Adventure Camp (NM-544). This camp is amazing! Everything was well organized and the individual projects went as smooth as silk. Every morning all of the necessary supplies were ready and waiting for us at the work site. The staff is very helpful and was always there to take care of all our needs.
This camp is not only organized but it is huge and very beautiful. The camp is 2400 acres and the main campus is 400 acres. There are over 200 buildings and 700 bathrooms (lots of painting)!
They average 2200 people on campus per week during a typical summer, sharing the gospel with each one. They are in the midst of a capital campaign raising $8,000,000 for the laundry list of projects that need to be completed. The camp is just a short drive from the beautiful Santa Fe NM. At over 7000 feet the air is crisp, dry and very pleasant. There is lots to see and do in the area, and the camp really appreciates SOWER help!
Submitted by Jim Dorrah (3385)
What do these projects have in common?
CA-304 - Diamond Arrow Conference Center, Nevada City, CA
MD-18 - Sandy Cove Ministries, North East, MD

These three ministries, along with 28 others, have received less than 6 SOWER couples in the last 24 months (pre-COVID). A full list will be provided on the website in upcoming weeks. There are lots of opportunities to serve, especially during these pandemic influenced days! Check out these ministries - and see where you can help!
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!
Western Wound-up Recap
The Western Wound Up/Oregon Rally 2020 at Aldersgate Retreat Center in Turner, OR-320 FINALLY happened despite the obstacles that 2020 brought in our path - COVID and wildfires. God blessed us in so many ways. It was an action packed, never a dull moment event with 24 SOWER couples and one SOWER couple wannabe! Our tummies were fed with a Weiner roast, a delicious pancake breakfast and a specialty grilled cheese luncheon. Our brains were fed as we learned about other projects with six “One of My Favorite Projects” showcases. There was extensive Group Leader training and a Trustee Forum along with electrical and tech talk seminars and a “Hen Party” for the ladies! Games were plentiful and fun – Tinker Toy/ Lincoln Log design competition, a duck race and candy corn balancing play-offs to name a few! And finally our souls were fed with worship times led by The Salty Strings (John and Connie Nicholas (3322)) and by our speakers DonnaLee and Ron Velvick-Lowery from Hope House (ID-239).
So much information was shared, everyone was challenged to visit one of the projects showcased, and we all learned more about how to serve in these special times. Save the date - September 2022!

SAVE THE DATE!!!
FLORIDA SOWER RALLY

March 1-3, 2021
FL-143 Florida Baptist Encampment 
Groveland, FL

Stay tuned for more information!
SOWERS! If you are looking for a unique & eye catching business card, contact the folks at Tech Team Advantage in Longview, TX. They have everything you need for great looking business cards. The easiest way is to call them at 903-757-4530 and ask for the Graphics Dept. Tell them you are with SOWERS, and they will take care of you.
Mil Sutter (3317)
Seen recently on Facebook
Activity at Warm Beach Conf Center
Thank you, Lucille, for sharing the great work that is being done there at Warm Beach Conference Center (WA-255) in Stanwood, WA. Even though their "Lights of Christmas" will look different this year, we can still be praying it will continue to call folks to Christ!
Have you stopped by 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 gave our SOWER Facebook Page a "Like" last month! We're over to 1060 "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!

Do you have a Pandemic Testimony of how you've seen God working during these days? Especially in regards to SOWER projects? Send them in to stephanie@rvthereyet.org. We'd love to hear from you!
Have you returned your 2021 Registration/Skill Sheets
to be included in the 2021 Roster and to be able to work projects in 2021?. Even though you've missed the deadline, you can still send yours in. If you're not sure if you've returned yours, just contact the office - they'll be happy to check!
This month's Group Picture is from the September 2020 project at Aldersgate Conference Center (OR-320). The masks are both for the COVID pandemic and the smoke that was was so prevalent from nearby fires during September. We are giving God all the praise and glory that the conference center was spared, and the fires were brought under control.
L-R: Wayne & Gail Fieler #3187, Ulah & Cheri Smith #2634, Al & Lynn Manchester #3416, & Dennis & Susanne Sears #3356


(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 - Ridge Haven Conference Center (NC-294), Brevard, NC
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
 Wayne & Gail Fieler #3187
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". 
Clicking on the Fall Scene
above will take you to the Members Page, the Oct/Nov
Sowergram and the latest updates to our Project Listings (updated weekly).

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 whenever you contact the SOWER office! Thanks!!
Dear Sam and Sally,
 
I know we are coming up to some of the busiest SOWER months, and just looking at the recent PLS I can see lots of places are getting SOWER help. Although we may all have our favorite spots to serve, is there any way to see just which projects have not gotten any SOWER assistance lately? We’d like to prioritize some of those project as we plan for 2021. Thanks for your help with this.
Signed,
Looking for the less traveled road

Dear Looking,
Thank you for asking this important question! We love to hear that you (and many others) are looking to go to some of our under-served projects. Sadly, many of our summer projects go without SOWERS just due to the fact that we have less SOWERS working during the summer months. Any of the projects that only request SOWER assistance from May through September would be delighted to see some sign-ups. To help with a ‘backward glance,’ the Project Committee (VP Bill Myers and his crew) have put together a list of ministries that have received six (6) or fewer SOWER couples in the last 24 months before the start of COVID-19. They will be publishing that list on the Members Page in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, there are three projects highlighted in this issue of the newsletter, and that will continue for the next several issues. During these days of dealing with the pandemic and recovering from a closed or almost closed summer, any and all help is greatly appreciated by our ministry partners. 

Thankful to be 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  

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To add photos to our Photo Gallery, contact Ed Soltes