For those of you who don't know, we have a fake mine here at camp for kids to learn about gold panning, but somehow we've stumbled onto a real gold mine with SOWERS "Servants On Wheels Ever Ready". This organization has numerous members who travel the country in RVs helping out at Christian camps, schools, churches and other ministries. They are all retired and pay their own way to get from project to project. They bring to us the expertise and skills that they have acquired throughout their lives such as carpentry, plumbing, sewing, electrical and office work, and the best part is... it's free!
So far this year we've had SOWERS every month and they have been such a blessing to us at camp. They pick up the slack when our maintenance department needs help, doing anything and everything that is asked of them. In January they completely remodeled our kitchen office and did a fantastic job. February's crews was small, only one couple, but that didn't slow them down one bit. There were so many little things that "we just couldn't get to" that Bob (the sower) accomplished for us. He built cabinet doors, touched up paint in every cabin, replaced electrical outlets, and the list goes on and on. Then in March we had four couples and they literally tore the place up... in a good way! There were two heavy equipment operators and we put them to work on our new backhoe. They fixed the drainage on our ball field, added parking up at the Hilltop cabins, enlarged the area around the sand volleyball court, and a lot more. Also, while the men were busy tearing up the camp grounds, their wives were hard at work sprucing up the cabins. They painted and sewed new valences for Acorn meeting room, and sewed new curtains for the Hilltop cabins.
Last month in April, we had four new couples come and serve here with us, and just so you know, that's exactly how we look at it. These men and women are coming along side of us to serve as part of our team. Even though they are only here for a short time, their work and impact will last a great deal longer. This past month they finished up the new Hogan that was built in Frontier Village in March, re-roofed the Hungry Bear Cafe, continued sewing and hanging the new curtains for the Hilltop cabins, made new parking spaces for spruce cabin, repaired chairs for the Chapel and widened the road behind the Hungry Bear Cafe. Next time you are up at camp, be sure to check out the new landscaping and flowers around the grounds that this group worked on.
I suppose our only real challenge this year regarding the SOWERS is going to be..."How do we keep them busy?" We all know that the economy is hard right now, and trust me, it's no different at camp...money's tight! But so far God has given us the right people for the job at hand. We've been able to keep them busy doing things that cost little to nothing, but make a big difference. Working at camp is sometimes like floating down an unfamiliar river. You're not sure where you're going all the time, but you're still moving ahead. As long as God continues to send us SOWERS we're going to assume that He has a plan for them here. It's kind of exciting knowing that God has a plan... it makes out life a lot easier, and we can just enjoy the ride.