Friday, March 6, 2009

An "Assam" Day!

On Fridays, The Refugee Sewing Society meets to create beaded necklaces and earrings. A group of Bhutanese and Somali refugees gathers inside the sunlit auditorium at Clarkston Community Center.Today as our beading teacher was showing me the completed necklaces, I kept exclaiming, "Awesome!" She showed me several fascinating types of beadwork. "Aren't these awesome?" she asked. "Yes," I answered. "They're just awesome!"I noticed that the ladies were talking among themselves and shaking their heads. "What's wrong?" I asked. They explained, "These are not Assam necklaces. They are from Bhutan!"
Huh? It took a few moments for us to realize that we had another funny ESL moment going on! "Assam," they explained, is a country bordering Bhutan, where they used to live. "Awesome," we explained is a word meaning wonderful, amazing, beautiful.

Laughter is what you'll usually hear if you pass near the ladies of The Refugee Sewing Society. But the women are serious about their craft. Most of them are newly arrived, still unemployed, and worrying about how to care for their families.They work very hard to create products we hope to sell for them at craft shows, fairs, Bible studies, and other venues.
Thank goodness the Lord sent a good beading teacher our way. She ran a small business and knows the ins and outs. She's making all kinds of charts and record notebooks to use as we teach the women the essence of microenterprise.

A great joy for me today was unpacking three black garbage bags filled with donated fabric. COTTON fabric! Our favorite! Fabric goes fast at The Refugee Sewing Society. We're now stocked to begin our new sessions on Monday.These are pre-cut patches -- from the newly donated bags and from the Women On Missions group at First Baptist Church, Camdenton, Missouri.

I can't wait to get started sewing!There's just no other way to put it . . . ASSAM!

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