If you walked into the sewing room at Iglesia Gran Commission last week, you might have seen fabric strewn about.
You would have noted the threads on the ground interspersed with discarded scraps of fabric.
You definitely would have seen chairs askew, scissors misplaced and bolts of fabric on the cutting table, not nicely folded.
But let me tell you a little bit about what I saw (before I cleaned it up).
I see opportunity. I see the chairs where Gaby, Kimberly and Leslie worked so hard to make extra scarves and some special orders two days last week. I see where Sylvia was sitting, smiling and sewing with precision.
I see all of the donated machines, and the donated fabric, buttons, thread and so much more…. that makes me smile so huge.
Once in a while, I get to be a part of something so completely amazing.
Last January, I told you about an idea… to find our girls in La Libertad a way to go to the University someday.
In less than 48 hours you fully funded our Sewing School.
In March, 6 girls earned 1 month of tuition each by sewing infinity scarves and selling them to a church women’s ministry in Toledo, Ohio.
In June, they sold more scarves to visiting short term missions teams. I haven’t done the math yet, but it was about 20 more scarves.
In September they have an opportunity to fill an order for another church in the U.S.
Last week I shared with them what had been put into the account for them, and their jaws dropped. And oh the smiles and looks of increduality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because of your generosity, a local woman and member of our church is earning a little bit of money to teach our girls important sewing skills.
But Tuesday was one of the very best days ever in ministry. All along, the idea has not just been for the girls of our Development Center to be able to go to college, but also to minister to the women in our community as well.
Tuesday I invited a woman I know, to come in and learn to sew bed sheets for the bed donation ministry. In a nutshell, people from anywhere, can donate the funds for a bed. In that bed donation is the money for the materials to build a cedar bed, a mattress, pillow, sheets, small stipend to a local we trained to make the beds, and a small stipend to someone we train to sew the sheets.
Yes, we could go to a store in San Salvador and buy sheets and pillow cases. We could also buy a bed. But we want to help more people than just the bed recipient. We want to hire three people in the process 🙂
So Tuesday arrives, I have a game plan. I made a list of words I would need to know to teach her sewing skills. (p.s. Senora Clifford of year 4 Spanish… my education in did NOT include sewing terms, you might want to consider adding it to the curriculum).
I am all prepared to teach her basics and maybe get to the fabric later on in the afternoon. She comes in, and after I briefly introduce her to our machine, I take her over to the cutting table to show how I cut, and pin the fabric.
She asks me if the pinning process is really necessary. I say yes.
She asks for a scrap of fabric to try out the machine. I say yes.
She expertly folds and doubles the fabric to create a beautiful hem….. as she guides it through the machine.
I think “so when you say you’ve sewn a little in the past, what you really meant was I’m an expert seamstress and I’m about to knock your socks off.”
So I worked on some fabric cutting, and she commenced sewing…. for 5 hours. I forced her to take a break for lunch. By the end of the time she had sewn 9 sheets and 7 pillow cases.
In one day at her regular job, she makes $7/day. For 12 hours of work. In 5 hours of sewing, and because we pay per item, she earned $45. And she was proud. I oooohhhhed and awwwwedddd and gushed over her meticulous work and then I took her to Pastor Giovanni to tell him, and gushed to him about her.
I cannot even begin to tell you all of the feelings about seeing her face and her pride in her work that day.
When you sponsor a child here, or you sponsor a bed, you are not just feeding a child. You are not just putting a person into a bed off a floor. Those 2 things alone are HUGE!!! But you are also creating opportunity for God to do abundantly more with your sacrificial gift. Having a child in our program means them learning skills to help them earn a college education. Having a bed donation means hiring 3 local people who desperately need a good, fair job. That is what your gift does. That is what God accepts and stretches and grows, and molds into His ultimate plan.
And as Alex would say “How the hickity heck do we beat that?!”
Oh, and that incredible woman who will return Saturday to do more fulfilling, well paid work? Her sweet daughters received beds last week! So there is that too 🙂