Reaping the Benefits of SOWERS

March 20, 2007

Reported by: Britney Glaser

Driving on the highway, you will see recreational vehicles frequently, but have you ever thought that the drivers of those RV's might actually be on a service mission?  KPLC's Britney Glaser has the story of one group that is doing just that.

Talk about retirement and you might already hear the sounds of relaxation in your ears.  But for some, their golden years sound a little different.  "Once we approached retirement," says Ron Peterson, "we felt that we had to do something rather than just sit and play shuffleboard."  Phyllis, Ron's wife, says, "The time is our own now and we can do as we wish and it's wonderful to serve. We need to focus in our lives even in our retirement."

Ron and Phyllis are from Michigan...but they spend the majority of their time traveling the country and working at project sites along the way.  This couple is just one of many couples known as "SOWERS," or "Servants On Wheels Ever Ready."

SOWERS travel throughout America in RV's to work at project sites with the sole payment of an RV hook-up.  Jean Gregory, a SOWER from Pennsylvania, says, " We don't worry about payments, because we'll be paid in Heaven."

For the month of March, there are twelve SOWERS working construction and cleaning projects at Dry Creek Baptist Camp.  David Baham, project director at the camp says, "We could not afford the labor to pay people to do the work that they do to re-model buildings and the other projects they do for us. They're very vital to our well-being."

The SOWERS say this work is vital to their well-being, as well, keeping them more active than fellow retirees slowly passing the time.  Grant Gregory, another SOWER (and the husband of Jean) says, "They're sitting in the rocking chairs getting old.  The Lord has given us extra time that we can do this...and we love it."

Al Birdsall, a SOWER from Florida, says, "We travel with a purpose-not just travel and sit around...we have something to do."

Next week, Dry Creek will say goodbye to these volunteers that have given their time and their unique passion to a site in need of a helping hand.

The work sites can range from painting orphanages to construction at recovery homes for adults-all the way to camps just like the one in Dry Creek.