All posts by steph

These Guys

Dundee thrift shop
I am often quite apologetic about the lack of pictures I have of our SOWER men working, but this month since we’re all working at the same location (though in different areas) I’ve been able to snap some photos of the guys. Plus – my co-workers are also good about sharing ones that they’ve taken!!
So the men are in the back of the warehouse constructing these giant shelves to help organize the incredible amount of donations this thrift shop received.
Dundee thrift shop
As you can see, they’ve gone to new heights and depths to complete these shelves!
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After two weeks (and a new shipment of supplies) everyone is getting into the rhythm of team work!
Measure, Cut, Construct. Measure, Cut, Construct.
Men working


And when they have a unit complete, they all work together to get ‘er upright!
Shelf lift
It truly is amazing what a bunch of four old dudes can get done! (OK, so one of the guys is just 60, but three of them are 70+). My mama used to say, “Many hands make light the work”, and that is so true with SOWERS (even if the work isn’t light at all!).

Thank you, LORD, for these willing hands!

Sabbath Rest – The LORD is my Salvation

These days especially we need to remember the LORD is our salvation!

The grace of God has reached for me
And pulled me from the raging sea
And I am safe on this solid ground
The Lord is my salvation

I will not fear when darkness falls
His strength will help me scale these walls
I’ll see the dawn of the rising sun
The Lord is my salvation

Who is like the Lord our God?
Strong to save, faithful in love
My debt is paid and the vict’ry won
The Lord is my salvation

My hope is hidden in the Lord
He flow’rs each promise of His Word
When winter fades I know spring will come
The Lord is my salvation

In times of waiting, times of need
When I know loss, when I am weak
I know His grace will renew these days
The Lord is my salvation

Who is like the Lord our God?
Strong to save, faithful in love
My debt is paid and the vict’ry won
The Lord is my salvation

And when I reach my final day
He will not leave me in the grave
But I will rise,
He will call me home
The Lord is my salvation

Who is like the Lord our God?
Strong to save, faithful in love
My debt is paid and the vict’ry won
The Lord is my salvation

Glory be to God the Father
Glory be to God the Son
Glory be to God the Spirit
The Lord is our salvation

Glory be to God the Father
Glory be to God the Son
Glory be to God the Spirit
The Lord is our salvation
The Lord is our salvation
The Lord is our salvation

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Getty Keith / Getty Kristyn Elizabeth
The Lord Is My Salvation lyrics © Capitol Cmg Paragon, Son Of The Lion

Week one and some fun!

I think we finished our first week strong.  We ladies managed to keep ahead of the customers (in inspecting, sorting and hanging clothes) even through the half-price day on Wednesday! Phew, that was crazy!
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I’m happy to report my ‘take home’ pile has remained manageable, and I’ve been doing a pretty good job of following Gary’s rule of “One in, Two out.” Pretty good.
The guys are ramping up their shelf building system, and actually ran out of materials by the end of the week.
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These are massive shelves – but then again, there seem to be massive amounts of donations!
It was a good week, but we were ready for the weekend! (I know, I know. We’re quite spoiled with these four day work weeks. But at this point, we’re pretty used to it!)
Saturday One (aka Friday) began bright and sunny, and the perfect day for a sweet golf cart tour of the campground where we are parked – Lake Aurora Christian Camp.
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This camp has a rich history (founded in 1947 as a youth camp) of presenting the gospel to youth (and eventually adults) in this central Florida area. Oh, and it’s quite beautiful also!
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Lake Aurora is considered alligator free because it is spring fed with no outlet or inlet. And that’s a really good thing!
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We can only imagine how amazing this beach area must be when all of their ‘water toys’ are out for the kids!
Our tour also took us by some amazing live oak trees.
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Probably the most spectacular one was actually too large for my phone camera to capture (from my spot in the golf cart!), so here’s a shot from my SOWER friend, Deb –
Live oak
Since the Care Center really has no place for us to park, we are blessed to be able to park here at Lake Aurora! There are many other volunteers here and they’ve been welcoming and helpful as we learn the ropes. God has certainly provide a ‘place beside the still waters’ for us this month!
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Saturday Two (aka Saturday)
We had hoped to catch a Farmer’s Market in Lake Wales, but alas had the wrong Saturday. (Thankfully there are lots of great produce stands around, though, so we’re staying stocked up on cucumbers and broccoli!) But we did make it to the Sunshine Flea Market just up the road a piece.
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We weren’t looking for anything in particular, but found a couple of treasures nonetheless! And some interesting characters too!
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Our ‘out and about’ was complete with a quilt shop stop (for me) and a truck wash (for him!). Of course. We were home in time for a nice afternoon snooze and even got a couple of chores in before one of us headed to bed!

As I’m writing this all out, some of it seems pretty ordinary.  And it is.   I believe God  graciously gives us these “ordinary days” to refresh us and I’m so thankful that He does!
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…and now it’s time for the other one of us to head to bed! =)
Steph

Through Day Two

Well, friends, we are through Day Two of our January SOWER project and I thought I’d give you some insights into how this month is shaping up. First, the ministry where we are serving. To say that Lake Wales Care Center is a ‘multi-faceted’ mission is quite the understatement. What began as a clothing closet and food pantry in 1985 has grown to include family services and resources (short-term financial assistance and tangible resources such as clothing, food and furniture), transitional housing (support for homeless families while they work through a structured program to “get back on their feet”), a free health clinic (a valuable resource to community members without health insurance), a pregnancy care program (providing support and appropriate services for women facing unplanned pregnancies), Holiday assistance (where parents can come and shop for their kids), tutoring (all ages and ESL), financial counseling, life-skills counseling, home repairs assistance done through a “Stay at Home Mission” program with local youths, and because they don’t seem busy enough, they have also started a community garden.
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Yesterday (our first day of work) we met the director at one of their locations, and he gave us a walking tour of their different buildings in town (offices, warehouses, bookstore, “Christmas Store”, etc.) and then took us on a drive to show us their different transitional housing options. I have to tell you, it took my breath away! They also have two large thrift stores which along with generating needed income for this ministry, also provides quality items at reduced cost to the community.  Phew.

With our heads still spinning over the breadth of this ministry’s positive influence in this community, we loaded into our own trucks and headed north to where we would be actually spending our working days – their new(-ish to them) 36,000 square foot building in Dundee which houses their second thrift shop and more donations than you can imagine!
The guys are building massive shelves in the back
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(Can you see how they’re already filling the shelves even before the guys are done with the section! Crazy!)
And after a two months of painting and one month of siding installation helpering, I’m happy to report that we ladies are working in the thrift shop. (Yes, I’m pretty happy about this!).Untitled

We’re sorting through donations, putting them on hangers, delivering them to the correct sections in the store and then when we need a change of pace, we head to the ‘floor’ and “police” the racks to keep them neat and in order. It’s a big job, friends, but someone has to do it!! Of course the biggest challenge is not filling up my own basket with items to buy. This could be a very challenging month, indeed!

We’re working with one couple we’re very fond of and have worked with before and one couple who are on their very first project. So fun! This project is a little different since we’re not parked right at job site (and in fact have about a 30 min drive to our Thrift Store),  but so far even with the travel time, it’s been a wonderful experience.  God is at work here in Lake Wales, for sure!

Oh, and Gary found a car wash that’s just off the road from our drive to and from work, so he signed up for the monthly pass. So we’ll be havin’ a shiny truck all month too!

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your support as I find my blogging ‘rhythm’ for 2021!
Steph

Sabbath Rest – O Come All Ye Unfaithful

So thankful that Jesus is calling the unfaithful, the weary and broken.
Like me.

Official Music Video | Sovereign Grace Music
Written by Lisa Clow and Bob Kauflin

O come, all you unfaithful
Come, weak and unstable
Come, know you are not alone

O come, barren and waiting ones
Weary of praying, come
See what your God has done

Christ is born, Christ is born
Christ is born for you

O come, bitter and broken
Come with fears unspoken
Come, taste of His perfect love

O come, guilty and hiding ones
There is no need to run
See what your God has done

Christ is born, Christ is born
Christ is born for you

He’s the Lamb who was given
Slain for our pardon
His promise is peace
For those who believe

He’s the Lamb who was given
Slain for our pardon
His promise is peace
For those who believe

So come, though you have nothing
Come, He is the offering
Come, see what your God has done
Christ is born, Christ is born
Christ is born for you
Christ is born, Christ is born
Christ is born for you