We have just completed our third Sower Project, and what a special time it was! When 14 couples (most of whom have never met before) live together for three weeks it can go many different ways. It could be a time of working together on the tasks at hand and then going more or less our own way. It could be a time of personalities vying for attention and control, with little sense of community at all. Or it could be a time of sweet fellowship, whether you’re working in the thrift shop, doing dishes in the kitchen, clearing debris from the hurricanes, painting 20,000 gallon water tanks for fire prevention, or trying to remember just what exactly a Greatest Common Multiplier is (and why anyone would care!). We truly had a special, special time with our co-labors at Green Isle. It was a very diversified group – four couples had done 2 or less projects, some 15 or twenty, and some had been doing projects for many, many years. The diversities became blessings as we all recognized again and again the precious bond we have in our precious Lord and Savoir. I was pushing for us all to remain and form a commune, but reality set in and slowly the RV’s began heading on to their next adventure. Some are going right to another project, others are heading for medical treatment, some are off to see family and friends. It is sad to think that we may never get to work and live with these dear friends again, but the sadness is tempered by the joy that we have in knowing them. God is Good – All the Time!
Here we all are – What a Crew!
We’re heading south. We’ll spend a couple of days at a beautiful county park outside of St. Petersburg (Fort DeSoto Park), and then head to Punta Gorda and Ft. Myers to see Gary’s sister and other dear friends. We really regret missing the blizzard in PA this weekend. NOT.
We’ve had a good week here at Green Isle. It’s been a week of watching acquaintances grow into friends. As we share our “stories” and look into God’s Word during our devotions, work together on projects, get together in the evenings for a game or two, and come together for a meal or two, folks that were strangers just two weeks ago are now dear friends. It certainly is one of the beautiful side effects of the Sower concept!
The weather was lovely until Friday when we had our first rainy and cold day since our arrival. Since it was our “day off” it was nice just to sleep in, do some chores and take naps. Gary worked on reorganizing a couple of cupboards while I sewed to my heart’s content. I was able to finish piecing Hayley’s quilt, so it was a good day indeed (at least for me!). We joined several other Sower couples at the Honey Pot Eatery (a local hot spot!) for their Friday night all you can eat fish fry. Yummmm. Saturday we drove to St. Petersburg and spent the day with my niece Christiana, nephew Mike and his wife Robyn. We hit the downtown market and wandered around Fort DeSoto. The weather wasn’t all that Florida-like (we have been very spoiled!), but we had a grand time none the less. Mike managed to fit in some fishing (he’s addicted), but after our outing we just hung around, ate pizza and watched Pittsburgh beat the Jets. Yes, a good time!
This is our last week here at the Boy’s Ranch. The tutoring is going pretty well – if I could just convince my guy about the value of reviewing the material before he takes the quiz. (Since I’m learning it at the same time he is, the review is pretty helpful (no, necessary) to me too!). Gary’s been tuning up all of the HVAC/R equipment, and that’s going pretty well too. (Here’s a “small world” event – when we went to the supply house in Orlando for parts, who should be working behind the counter but a fellow that had worked for us back in the eighties! My oh my!)
Did I tell you the Disney Truck delivers leftover Disney food here once a week…….we’ve had some pretty nice treats! Ah, sweet Charity!
We’re here just west of Orlando in Clermont, FL. We (and 12 other SOWER couples) are spending the next three weeks at the Green Isle Children’s Ranch – a residential school for boys ages 12 – 17. Gary is doing what he does best – checking out and repairing all of the A/C and refrigeration units, and I am doing tutoring. OK, stop laughing! All the work is done on computers, so at least I’m good with that! The weather has been beautiful (sunny and in the high 70’s), the fellowship great, and the work rewarding. This weekend we’ll check out some local sights – hopefully ones that do not involve the words “theme park”. Surely there must be a nice quiet State Park around somewhere! We’ll let you know……
We had a great time at this Sower’s project. The staff was great, the work interesting, and while we didn’t have too much opportunity to get to know the kids, we did have a final BBQ dinner on our last night there. Here’s a shot from that evening – the food was great, and the fellowship was even better!
Can you pick out the other “Sower” couple – Bill and Barbara Starrett?
Our December Sower’s Project
Only one more week for us here at The Youth Academy. (We leave on Friday to travel to Lancaster for Josiah’s graduation on the 11th!). All has been going well – Gary gets started on the A/C in the house project tomorrow, and I’ve been busy redesigning forms for the office. The folks here have such a vision for helping these kids – they’re friendly and enthusiastic and confident of God’s blessing in this ministry. Along with working with them, we’ve worshiped with them the last two Sundays – and it has truly been a blessing to us. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to take some pictures before we leave so you can see these new friends of ours!