Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Refugee Sewing Society . . .

God is blessing our sewing circle in so many ways. On Monday, we started new 6-week classes. Lots of women signed up, including this lovely woman from Somalia. Many of our Bhutanese women returned, as well. Several have found jobs in daycares or grocery stores. I'm happy for them -- but I miss them, too! One of the things I love most about The Refugee Sewing Society is watching the women help each other. Here Leela helps Dhaka with the sewing machine.Kelly is always ready to lend a hand . . . or two!
We're very excited to welcome this Bhutanese woman (below) into our group. In her refugee camp, she taught sewing, crochet, fabric painting, and many other crafts. Her students used foot pedal sewing machines because they had no electricity. She's learning the ins and outs of our electric machines now -- and she's already producing beautiful handiwork. Leona returned to teach crochet. During her free time, she organized all our baskets of thread and other supplies. A major undertaking! Thanks, Leona.
Margaret, a woman with a servant's heart, dropped by to see how she could help out. We look forward to working with her!
BIG NEWS! One of our students got a paying job. This wedding planner, a beautiful Ethiopian (right), brought fabric for Leela to hem into napkins, tablecloths, and table runners. Leela has proven herself a skilled seamstress, and we're so proud of her!
With our shelves of donated fabric . . . . . . and our sewing instructions in place, everyone concentrated on working hard. Some stayed from the start of the morning class all the way through the day until the afternoon class was over. These ladies are amazing!Lest you think it's all work and no fun, I'll end with this photo of my two new Somali students. They get a big kick out of everything from pinning and ironing to ripping fabric and sewing it back together again. I can't express how much I love all these women. They have experienced more pain and heartache than most of us could imagine in our worst nightmares. But their zest for life and determination to succeed give testimony to the endurance of the human spirit.

May God bless them all with His grace and love!

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