Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2019

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!)

 

 

 

 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to…

Build a Lifeguard Chair.
We had a prototype.
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We had 20 pages of instructions and a variety of tools.

We sorted our pieces
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and counted our screws.
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Let the building begin!
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There were a couple of areas where we needed a bit of man power,
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but for the most part, this was a Girl Power project from start to finish!
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We might just have to update our skill sheets!

Baby, it’s Cold outside!

Which makes me all the more thankful that our first day on the job involved inside work!! There is a lovely long list of jobs to do here at Panfork, but with temps starting out in the teens today, we made sure that we started with IN rather than OUT.
Our job today was to disassemble 22 sets of bunk beds.
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All four of us were busy with screwdrivers and power drills and after the first couple of sets we had a pretty good system going.
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By the end of the morning (ok, it was closer to 1 PM) we had all the beds apart and neatly piled.
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The guys went back after lunch and took down the cubbies on the wall and the job for the day was complete.
And tomorrow?
There’s an identical room, with identical bunk beds on the other side of the building.
And since it’s going to be bitter cold again tomorrow, we will once again be thankful for inside work!

February, Oh February…

Where have you gone!! I know it’s only the 21st, but, oh my, this month is going by fast! Today is the last day of our February SOWER project here at Forest Glen Springs. It’s been a busy month! Gary’s been doing some remodeling on a house on the property and Daniel has been using his welding skills on their new gate. Kristy and I have been Painting. And painting. and painting. Pretty much the interior of a three bedroom/two bath house got a nice fresh coat of khaki paint with white trim.
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There was a little delay on some parts for the projects the guys are working on, so we’ve had some extra help with our projects!
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We ladies were more than happy for the extra help. Plus, Daniel is WAY better at painting ceilings the we ladies are! Kristy and I finished up just in time to get it all back together, and while I don’t have an official before picture, we were happy with the results.(Almost) before
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to all tidied up and (mostly) ready to go!
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Better, right?
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Here’s that corner Gary was painting!

Although we had some health issues (Gary’s back had him down for a day or so and Kristy lost some time with a nasty ear infection) and we were a bit distracted with working on our Waco project at the same time, it was still a good month. We were not only the first SOWERS to work at this camp, but our co-laborers Daniel and Kristy were on their first project.
Here’s the first group shot of the first group to serve with a first time serving couple!
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So many firsts!

This afternoon we pack it all up, and head to Waco.
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We’ll be camping at our favorite campground on Waco Lake for a long weekend, and it will be nice to have ALL of our life with us as we continue on with house projects and spending time with the kids.

Yep, we just keep rollin’ on!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Great East Texas Area Rep Road Trip

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Five Nights
Five Beds (one motel, two projects, two friends)
1387 Miles
Eleven Projects

It was ambitious plan. As East Texas Area Reps, we’re “responsible” for the fourteen projects/ministries in our East TX/LA area. Being “responsible” means that we visit (or at least call) every year or so to check that all is well and we also handle any problems that may arise (like questions about the RV sites, how the ministry operates, that kind of thing) during the course of the year. Gary decided that with a little planning we could visit eleven of those projects during our week ‘off’ between our January and February projects. So the planning began, and all the puzzle pieces fell into their correct spots, and oh-so-early on Friday morning (was that just a week ago??), off we went!
(Did you know that Google Maps limits the number of destinations you can put on a map? Hence the skinny blue line, where I had to approximate the trip from our final group of projects in the Lindale area back to our house in Harper. We did manage to squeeze in a quick stop in Waco, though, for some hugs and our mail!)

But back to the trip….
Although we were quite exhausted at the end of it (more the five different beds than the trip itself), and quite honestly are so thankful that we took notes during each visit because already we’re trying to remember who said what, it was a great trip. We have worked at most of these projects, so we already had some relationships with the staff going into the visit. It was lovely to touch base with folks and as an added bonus we got to catch-up with many SOWER friends who had been working at some of the ministries we visited. I’d like to say I took gobs of pictures at each stop, but the reality is I did not. (I know, it’s a major failure on my part.)  As we visited with the hosts at each ministry, it was such a blessing to hear of the “God Stories” of blessings and lives changed through their ministry.  I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but one of the best parts of this journey we’ve been on is seeing just how BIG God is!  Our little group of projects include many camps and retreat centers, a training center and seminary (geared largely to men leaving prison), an international medical ministry and a discipleship training facility.   How humbled we are to be able to serve at each one!  (I’ve included links to each project at the bottom of the post if you’d like more information about any of them!)

So since this was a Road Trip, it only makes sense that most of my pictures were of The Road.  Although we’ve traveled most of these roads before (who can forget I10 across the bottom of Louisiana), we did take a different route going from Gulf Coast Church up to Acadian Baptist Center.  We took the FREE ferry out of Galveston
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and traveled up Bolivar Peninsula instead of fussing with Houston and I10! It was a beautiful drive and well worth the few extra miles that it added to the trip.
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If you’d like to see a few more photos from the road trip – you can check them out HERE!

After we got back to our rig in Harper (you know, that skinny blue line), we packed up and headed to our February SOWER project – Forest Glen Springs – outside of Rosebud, TX. Now that we’ve had two nights back in our own bed, we’re beginning to get ourselves back in order! First up was getting this blog updated, and now I’d better get those eleven Area Rep Reports actually written up and sent into the office!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Here are those links I promised:

Camp Tejas, Victory Camp, Gulf Coast Foursquare Church, Acadian Baptist Center, Dry Creek Camp, Camp Cho-Yeh, Forest Glen Camp, Trinity Pines Camp, Calvary Commission, Mercy Ships, YWAM.