Category Archives: SOWER Projects

A Quick Catch-up


I’m sitting here in McDonald’s in Kosciusko, Mississippi, taking advantage of some decent cell phone service and a nice clear WiFi signal. We’ve been having a great project, but with our limited connectivity I haven’t been able to do any updates.  Gary’s getting a bit antsy to get on our way so…..

Good News – the kitchen sink saga has been resolved without having to throw away the entire rig.
Everything seemed to spring a leak – incoming, outgoing, filter- during the repair, but eventually all was returned to normal.

More good news – the project is going very well. The rain finally stopped and we’ve been blessed a lovely string of beautiful days! Work is going well (more on that in a later post) and probably the hardest thing about work in that in the room right next to my work area THIS is happening –
Oh, the Smells!!!

Looks like my internet time is about to end – can you see that red truck through the window? Pretty sure the engine is running!

Thanks for stopping by (and for your patience between posts!)

From there to here

When it came time to move from our October SOWER project (Mercy Ships in East TX) to our November project (French Camp Academy in central(ish) MS) we had a little complication. It was a happy complication called an extra truck, but a complication nonetheless! Since there was no way to get the shiny new truck ready to tow in the three days between its arrival in our lives and our need to get to Mississippi, and we hadn’t traded in our trusty gray truck (planning to donate it to a favorite ministry), there was really no other option than to have me drive the new kid behind the rig, which was towing the gray truck.

We’d already moved all the components (RV and both trucks) to the office (about 2 miles from Mercy Ships) and were all set to hit the road at daybreak on Thursday.

And daybreak it was!

While my first choice would always be to ride in the rig with Gary, it was pretty fun to drive the truck. I figured out how to connect my phone so I could listen to my favorite podcasts (ah, the miracle of Bluetooth), checked out all the stations on Sirius (free three month trial – sweet), and even made a couple of phone calls (nothing like talking to the steering wheel!). It was a beautiful clear day, and probably the biggest frustration was not being able to take any ‘along the way’ pictures.
OK, so I did take one –
But it was super quick!
We made it to Madison, MS, where we settled into a Walmart parking lot for the night. Since we had a ‘loose’ truck, we even got to go out for a bite to eat(usually we stick to places within walking distance – i.e. Subway or McDonald’s in the Walmart!). (I did let Gary drive, btw!)
We returned to witness a stunning God painting, and once again were reminded of the majestic God we serve.

Friday arrived with the promise of rain all day, so we were thankful that we only had 70 miles or so to finish up our drive.
And I’m happy to report that we made it in with no problems. Since the rain (as promised) continued, we did a quick set up (just electric and water) and then started to address a little water leak problem we had noticed as we set out on our drive to French Camp. So although generally when we arrive at a project we’re nice and tidy, with everything put away in its place for a least a little bit, we got right to work taking EVERYTHING out from under the sink and remove the bottom drawers to locate and fix the problem.
Happy to report that the problem is remedied, and now we just have to wait until everything drys out. With all the under sink ‘stuff’ out in the daylight,  it has at least given me the opportunity to do a little purge of the forgotten vinegars that have been hiding out there (like the gourmet red wine vinegar that has a best by date of 01/20/11 YIKES!! Not sure just how “gourmet” it is these days! Well aged, at least!) Those Under The Kitchen Spaces can be pretty scary! Hopefully by the end of the day, the space will be dried out and all will be returned to their correct spaces. (Or put in the trash!)
So, enough of that ‘keeping it real’ story! The rain has continued today, so for now, this is all I can offer of our “New View”
Hopefully the sun will return by the time we start work (Monday AM), but in the meanwhile if you’d like to know a bit more about French Camp Academy, please hop over to my “So Where are we now” page or check out their website!

Thanks for stopping by!

First Week and Saturday One

Well, we just finished our first week here at Mercy Ships! It’s been a good week, and even the work has been pretty mundane –
it’s still been pretty exciting to be part of this international ministry. It’s a bustling campus as they are gearing up to launch a brand new ship in the next 24 months (or so!). Thursday we were privileged to attend their community meeting, where folks were updated on what’s happening on the African Mercy (currently docked in Senegal where severe storms hit recently), and other items for praise and prayer.
Those folks standing in the front are part of the newest “On Board” class. About half of those folks are recent hires that will continue working here in Lindale (this campus is called the ISC – International Support Center). But the rest are training for work on the African Mercy – nurses, technicians, pipe fitters, etc.

African Mercy

It was exciting to be part of this initial introduction and see how varied the needs (and jobs) are in this ministry. At next week’s community meeting we’ll actually be (though the miracle of the internet) speaking directly with folks on the ship. Pretty cool, right?

Today we are enjoying one of the first ‘no agenda’ Fridays we’ve had in quite awhile. Gary’s changed out the water filters, gotten the suitcases put away (requires getting up on the roof!), installed our new propane leak protector, and got a haircut! On my end, I’ve ordered business cards with our new address, finished putting together our “Year 15” photo book (the coupon was about to expire! Always a good incentive!)

did a little research on why our weather station wasn’t working (I really wanted to believe it was only 84 outside, but it sure felt like it was 94!) and even did just a bit of cleaning. (I know, crazy, right?) All in all, this Saturday One (as we like to call it) has been quite successful. Gary may or may not’ve just retreated to the back to do some reading (um, snoozing), and I’m pretty sure my sewing machine is calling my name!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Montrose Memories

SOWER Board meeting –
SOWER Newsletter done (for the moment)
Settling in at our October project 

Must be time to do a bit of catch up! I just checked back and my last “This is what we’ve been doing at Montrose” was back on July 13th. Yikes! So let’s just do a couple of final thoughts about our time at Montrose Bible Conference.
First of all – it was way shorter than usual. We were scheduled to be there from May through August, but were delayed by our Waco house project until early July. But even though it was shorter, we still had a great time serving there. We worked with two couples in July – The Westgates and the Griffins.
We were all kinda kindred spirits, so it was a joy filled month. We ladies did a fair bit of housekeeping (read making beds and folding linens) but also helped out when we could in one of the dorm renovations.
Gary got the Walk-in Freezer as far along as he could, but some missing panels prevented actually getting the job all the way done.
Thankfully he was able to complete the actual refrigeration part of the installation
so hopefully when the walls are completed they will just need to pull the switch and it will start cooling. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
I was also able to attend parts of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, which once again inspired me to do a better job at carving out time to actually write. While I can’t say I’ve made any great strides in that department, it still was a great week filled with great speakers and writers. So glad I can be part of this! I highly recommend it to other aspiring (or published) Christian writers. Fiction, non-fiction, anthologies, children’s books, poetry – even song writing was covered this year! It’s a spirit filled week indeed. Now to just get moving on that writing thing!

We wrapped up time at MBC by working with our buddies the Schoenenbergers.  Love them!
More beds were made, more walls were spackled, more memories were made. We worked with a super crew this summer –
and it was great to be part of the Montrose Team!

Although our Montrose Summer was shorter than usual, it was still filled with all good things. Once again we felt we were where God wanted us – and that’s always a very good thing!
Thanks for stopping by!

PS – the sweet pregnant couple on the left of that Montrose crew picture are now the proud parents of a sweet baby girl.
PPSS – (not sure if that is a thing but) There are more pictures of our time in Montrose (and other adventures during that time) HERE!

Fifteen Years

Fifteen Years of driving new roads and old roads, and willing to be surprised about what’s around the next corner.
Road to Hoover Dam-8
2011 Calendar saguaro-1
2011 Calendar7
Road Shots New Years 2016-33

Fifteen years of living in 300 square feet with this guy –
cfc 36
and loving him more with each passing year.
Gary Auction

Fifteen years of following the LORD’s calling and serving Him at ministries all around the country. From little camps in Arkansas
to rescue missions in Arizona
Morning Commute-8
to international ministries in Idaho
Nate Saint Plane
to missionary training centers in Pennsylvania,

we’ve been honored and blessed to see God at work.

Fifteen years – from the minutia
Walk to the Pond-13
to the top of the world.
Top of the World Hwy-5
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!!