By Kathy Waller, Brunswick, GA
For some reason, it has taken a little longer for me to process our recent trip to Honduras. Perhaps it's because over the past year, this trip was ever changing and continued to be so until the very end, making it impossible to do things independent of God. I speak the truth when I say I found myself leaning on God's grace throughout the entire endeavor, and He carried me as I knew He would. I would also like to clear my conscience and admit that I cannot sew and up until a few months ago, I had absolutely no desire to learn. I consider my meager attempt at sewing a God driven skill that I am working to conquer...and I humbly admit I have a long way to go. Not only does God call on those that have no idea what they are doing, but He has a sense of humor about it. Thus the "Rags to Riches Menstrual Mission" was born.
God's hand was there from the beginning, convincing a small group of ladies to take on a huge task of sewing a product so personal yet so necessary in a community with limited resources. Knowing that WOW, the women's group in our church, took it upon themselves to finance the sewing project made it seem more like a "sisterhood" for everyone concerned. Of course it didn't take much for the men on the team to embrace our project as they are unique in their own right and are careful not to take themselves too seriously. One fella even strapped on his tool belt and tried his hand at making a Mama cloth. (Rest assure Todd, construction is your vocation). Not only were we planning to teach the ladies how to make their own "Mama cloth" pads, but we traveled to Honduras with just shy of four hundred pads beautifully stitched for the women of Subirana by a women’s sewing small group in our church.
We were a mere party of three, no one person really proficient in sewing, and only one of us able to speak their language. We met with several shy but eager to learn women who had never touched a sewing machine, as well as several children that came along to add to the chaos. (Once again, thank you Lord for Jessica, the piped piper of children, who is fluent in Spanish.) Some of the ladies were able to catch on quickly and move on to other sewing projects. However, no matter the level of skill, I believe every woman was able to experience a sense of accomplishment for their effort. They were polite, patient, and graciously expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to learn something useful for their everyday lives.
Quite honestly, we had no idea what to expect. It turns out, there is at least one skilled seamstress among the ladies who was happy to continue the sewing group. I pray that this ministry will allow the women to continue to grow closer in Christ and support one another just like the small groups have in our church. It was through generous donations that we were able to leave two new sewing machines, along with a surplus of fabric and notions. Our final meeting consisted of twenty-three women singing God's praises, and ever since I have been thanking God daily for allowing me to be part of the "Rags to Riches Menstrual Mission of 2015."
Did you have an awesome experience on a recent UMVIM trip you'd like to share? Follow this link to submit your story!
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Below is an email from Jim Truitt, the Disaster Response Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Conference. He is currently seeking volunteers to help with the needs below:
In 2014 we suffered our states largest wildfire in history. 256,000+ acres were burned and over 300 homes were lost. 45 of those homes had no insurance and the Long Term Recovery Group has laid out a three year plan to rebuild the homes. We did not get a FEMA declaration so the materials have to be provided through donations and grants. UMCOR gave us a $270,000 grant for materials and we have pledged $237,000 so far. We are partnering with multiple faith-based groups and we are on track to complete the houses in phase one by next spring. We need skilled volunteers to help us finish the task.
Now, this year we suffered wildfires in the same general area that covered three times as much acreage. We don’t know yet how many homes were lost. We’ve heard estimates in the 200 range. The State and Federal agencies were in the field last week and will be again this week doing a preliminary damage assessment (PDA). We won’t know until the PDA is complete how many additional houses we will have to build but our guesstimate is in the neighborhood of 30. We also don’t know if we will get a Presidential declaration for Individual Assistance. Regardless, we are going to need financial assistance and volunteers to help us rebuild.
We would really appreciate your help spreading the word. Anyone that’s interested can contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ronda Cordill, email@example.com for additional information.
If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Wednesday, September 2, 2015