What is it exactly that you do?
Lots of folks that we meet along the way are curious about the work we do as SOWERs, so I thought I’d do a couple of FAQs about SOWERS.
In a nutshell, just what is SOWERS?
SOWERs– an acronym for Servants on Wheels Ever Ready – is a 501c3 ministry made up of born-again Christians with RV’s who travel to a variety of Christian ministries, i.e. churches, camps, conferences centers, orphanages, schools, missionary retreat and training centers, homes for abused children, and recovery homes for adults in the US and Canada, and provide volunteer help for three weeks at a time. These partner ministries provide an RV hook-up for the duration of the project, and allow volunteers to stay for an additional week if they so choose.
What are the requirements for becoming a SOWER?
The most important requirements are a love for Jesus and a heart for service. There is an application process, of course, which involves a form (to be filled out by both husband and wife) that includes your testimony, a letter of recommendation from your pastor, and an FBI fingerprint background check. Once you have submitted all of those items, that information will be sent to a Trustee (we are governed by a 9 member Board of Trustees), and he/she will set up a phone interview. Once all those step have been completed satisfactorily, you’ll be eligible to sign up to serve at our ministry partners.
How do you find out about different ministry needs, and do you get to chose where you go or are you assigned?
SOWERs has an online listing that is updated weekly, which details all the openings at our partner ministries throughout the US and Canada (about 170 total). It also gives a brief description of the type of work they are hoping to accomplish. Each SOWER couple is self-directed. Once we determine the ministry where we’d like to serve, we sign up through the SOWER office (via email), and the office confirms our placement and lets the ministry know that we are coming.
It seems like you guys work at a lot of different locations and most every month. Are SOWERs required to work a certain number of months a year?
No. You can work one month or you can work twelve! Most SOWERS still have a home, so they work 3-4 projects a year and then return to home base to take care of home-type business. We no longer have a home, so we tend to work more. But we are never obligated to sign up to work. For us, being a SOWER and serving at many different ministries has enabled us to not only see this beautiful country but to also see God at work all around the country. (Besides, Gary’s only good for about 3 days at a campground before he feels the need to fix something! It’s a ‘win-win’!)
What kind of work do you do?
Well, if you’ve read any of my SOWER related posts, you know we do whatever we are asked to do! We rarely work ‘in’ the ministry, but instead take care of the physical/maintenance things that get in the way of the ministry being able to do what God has called them to do. The men do a lot of construction and building maintenance, and the women seem to concentrate on painting, housekeeping, kitchen help, sewing and tutoring. I’ve occasionally worked alongside Gary as his helper, but that most likely happens when we are at a ministry alone. Every ministry has different needs, and we try to help out to the best of our abilities in whatever we are asked to do!
Do you get paid for your work?
Another No. All SOWERs are self-supporting, and receive no compensation for their service. We get ourselves there, provide for ourselves while serving at the ministry, and get ourselves to our next location (or home!). Our payment is immense, but intangible. We get to bless ministries by standing in the (maintenance) gap for them, and in return we are blessed by seeing God at work in these ministries. Like I said – it’s huge!
Do you have a question about the SOWER Ministry or our life on the road? Check out their webpage for some detailed info, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Just leave them in the comment section! 🙂