Category Archives: SOWER Projects

Fifteen Years

Fifteen Years of driving new roads and old roads, and willing to be surprised about what’s around the next corner.
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Fifteen years of living in 300 square feet with this guy –
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and loving him more with each passing year.
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Fifteen years of following the LORD’s calling and serving Him at ministries all around the country. From little camps in Arkansas
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to rescue missions in Arizona
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to international ministries in Idaho
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to missionary training centers in Pennsylvania,
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we’ve been honored and blessed to see God at work.

Fifteen years – from the minutia
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to the top of the world.
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We never could’ve imagined all the places God would take us when we set out on this “One Year, maybe Two” journey on August 1, 2004.
To Him be all the Praise and Glory!!

Catching up by phone

First of all I’d like to say “Thank you” for continuing to visit this little corner of the internet!! My posts seem to get farther and farther apart – somewhat because our life seems pretty mundane these days but mostly because it’s easier not to write a post than it is to write one! Just trying to keep it real here, friends! Since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, I thought I’d just look through my phone to see what I thought was interesting enough to document. And in that looking back I realized I’ve done a really poor job of photo-documenting some of the really important stuff!
So work – SOWER work that is!
We ladies have been largely working with housekeeping – making beds and getting rooms ready for guests. No pictures of that, but surely you can imagine the whole bed-making process. =) On the Fourth we were pulled into the kitchen, and that was super fun!
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Did you catch the whole red-white-and-blue theme of our attire?? Always working on getting in the spirit! It wasn’t all work, though and we did enjoy a yummy chicken BBQ
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and later in the day sported our matching (though you probably can’t see them) flag earrings!
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The guys have been busy working on that walk-in room.
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Framing approved and on to the insulation

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Insulation approved and on to the drywall….
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The drywall has passed inspection and hopefully sometime this week they will actually be able to start constructing the walk-in!! (I’m home alone this lovely Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure that Gary is down tapin’ and muddin’ that drywall!)
So in a nutshell – this SOWER project has gone by in a flash, and with just one week to go, it will be sad to see our co-workers head off.
In Non-Work news, we took a little road trip last weekend up to the cabin (YIPPEE!!!!) for our annual Dwinell Cabin Association meeting. This is where I really fell down in photo-documenting it! No pictures of the cabin, no big group picture, no pictures of the friends we got to see along the way. Ugh. BUT – regardless of my sad photo taking, there were a couple of pictures on the phone from the weekend.
Like the produce at the Farmer’s Market in Ludlow, VT
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or the beautiful VT highway, with its lovely lack of traffic –
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or a candid shot from our meeting.
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What I failed to take pictures of are all the sweet moments we spent with friends and family. But maybe it’s just that I was too busy enjoying the time to get out the camera. Yep, I know that’s the case! Those wonderful memories are best stored in our hearts anyway, right?

Well, in the interest of getting something accomplished today, I’d best hit the ‘publish’ button on this.¬† I did just return from tracking down my sweet hubby, and sure enough –
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he’s been playing in the mud!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
 

Finally!

We weren’t sure we’d ever get here!! As our Waco Reno project stretched from April to May to June – we didn’t know when we’d be able to finally get to our summer SOWER project – Montrose Bible Conference. But here we are, and I’m happy to report that for the first time in a long time I’ve spent the last four days doing pretty much nuttin’. No alarms, no paint brushes, no trips to Lowes. We’ve been hanging around home, taking care of long-ignored house chores, doing a bit of sewing, and catching up on old episodes of Big Valley and Laramie. Ahhhh……

Back to SOWER work tomorrow! Yippee!! We’re working with two other couples so it should be a fun month. The guys will be working on the construction of a new walk-in freezer
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(Yep, there’s lots of steps to go to make it a reality!)
and we ladies will be helping out with housekeeping and kitchen work. I’m pretty experienced in that – and I’m pretty happy no one has mentioned the word “paint”.
Phew.

Have a blessed week, everyone!
Steph

Before we start April…..

Let’s finish up March, shall we? (Oh, you say, but it’s already April 6th! I understand your confusion. But let’s just say – for today only, that it’s the end of March. Please?)

Following our March SOWER project at Panfork Camp, we hit the road for Big Sandy, TX where the 2019 Texas Roundup was being held. We pulled in a couple days early
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but before long the campground was full of rigs (and SOWERS ready for a great Roundup!).
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A SOWER Rally (or Round-up as we like to call’em here in Texas) is simply a gathering of any SOWERS who can make it – whether you’re just starting out on your SOWER journey or have been serving for decades – for a time of fellowship, fun, and ministry refreshment. For us personally it’s a wonderful time of reconnecting with folks we’ve worked with in the past and also an opportunity to meet some of the new faces that we hope to serve with in the future. Between the speakers and the activities, it’s always a great reminder of just why we do what we do. This year’s Round-up was no exception! Here are just a couple of the highlights –

  • We were blessed two mornings with messages from Lew Sterrett and his team from Sermon on the Mount.
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    So many Biblical lessons were shared – if you ever have the opportunity to hear him (or someone from his ministry) I urge you to take advantage of it! He was excellent!
  • We shared lunches and dinners together – always a great time of fellowship! Whether it was catered by ALERT or a good old fashioned (and always delicious) SOWER potluck
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    (Oh yeah, baby. Desserts!)
    Or the beautiful banquet ALERT put on for us –
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    (Don’t ask me what I’m doing in this picture – I haven’t a clue!)
    the fellowship around the table is always sweet!
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  • Our days always started with a time of worship, and we were led by the incredibly talented Salty Strings.
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    John and Connie not only share Christ through their music ministry, they are SOWERS too!! We loved getting to meet them and get to know them!
  • Another tradition at SOWER rallies is the auction. While it’s true that we are basically just trying to sell stuff we don’t want to other folks that don’t really need any more stuff, we certainly do try to have a good time while we do it!
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    Money was raised – and laughter did happen!
  • But of course, the main attraction and true blessing of any SOWER gathering are the people!

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Oh, my! When we all joined hands and sang our SOWER theme song, the room resounded with “Hear Ye the Master’s Call!”
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(If this picture is just showing several blurry white balls, and you would like to actually see the picture, just click on the picture. ūüôā )

We can’t thank enough all the people that worked to put this most excellent Roundup together and ALERT Academy who once again so graciously hosted the event! What a wonderful way to finish up our busy winter season!
We pulled out on Wednesday, delighting in the spring green, and ready to tackle our next project!
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Wrapping up March

OK, so March isn’t actually OVER, but our March SOWER project at Panfork Camp has come to a close, so it seemed a good time to give a little review of our time there!

Since you already know about the De-Bunking we did-
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and the Great Lifeguard Chair Challenge
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I thought I’d give you some details about the other major job that was tackled during our project.
One of the staff houses sustained some major water damage over the rough winter just past. Plumbing need to be repaired/replaced, drywall needed to be removed and flooring needed to be redone. It involved a bathroom, a closet, a laundry room and of course, the room that all of those doors opened up to!
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It was a mess, and with the new director and wife moving in  (hopefully)  by April 1st, the timing was critical. Lots to do, but the guys were up to it!
They started with the floor
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(though in hindsight, they would recommend doing the floor AFTER the drywall, etc. You know, construction dirt).
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Work progressed at a nice rate,
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while we ladies were busy painting the trim for them to re-install,
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and doing any other painting we could do while not being in the guys’ way!
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By the end of the three weeks, the room was finished, the plumbing worked, and all was good!
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Of course, there was other work that was accomplished. While the guys checked off several other maintenance jobs (which included, but was not limited to, pulling up more carpeting in another building)
Dorothy & I did some spring cleaning in one of the guest houses –
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and Larry spent some more time under sinks and behind toilets.
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It was a rough winter on the plumbing at the camp!
We ladies also tackled the job of sorting all those screws, nuts and bolts that came off those bunkbeds!

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It’s all about organization, folks! (And not being afraid of getting dirty!)

This really was a sweet project! Although Panfork Camp has been around since the 1940’s, this was the first time that SOWERs were here to help. We were honored to be in that first group!
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I’m not going to lie. The Texas Panhandle is not the prettiest part of Texas.
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This time of year it looks pretty barren. And brown.
But I sense, that when the trees break out of their winter mode, and the kids start coming here to learn about Jesus and the Hope that is in Him, this will be hallowed ground indeed!
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(If you’d like to see some more Panfork photos, you can check them out here!)