Sunday, March 15, 2009

Crazy Daze!

Living on the front lines of a battlefield is never easy. The enemy is always lurking, waiting to attack. This week, I got clobbered. Figuratively and literally. (I'll spare you the tale of the unlicensed, uninsured teenager who backed into my car's rear door.)

I was already under a lot of stress as the week began -- Andrei has been struggling with many things in his life, my latest book is due at the publisher on March 15, the house we bought is being remodeled. AND I'm trying to devote as much time and attention as I can to ministry.

Last Monday, we registered almost 50 women for classes with the Refugee Sewing Society. Beading classes were to begin on Friday. On Thursday, I learned that we were losing our beading teacher. I didn't handle it well. The Lord forgave me and began to fill in all the gaps. At Tim's suggestion, we piled into our car Thursday night and drove to Walmart to buy $60 worth of beading supplies. By Friday morning, I had lined up our beautiful Bhutanese friend, Man Bista, to teach the two beading classes. She used to teach beading and all kinds of crafts in her refugee camp in Nepal. The twenty women registered for the two classes came pouring in and quickly got to work.
The women love to work and chat. I encouraged them to sing. Imagine my surprise when one of the women began singing a Christian hymn -- in English! She openly told me that she is a Christian. Two other women in the class said they were Christians, too. That turned a very bad day into a very good day! The Lord is providing a great foundation for our ministry, and I'm so grateful.
Man Bista worked with the women -- not only discussing their efforts but teaching some new skills.
My biggest shock was the sight of these women opening their bags and taking out huge handfuls of necklaces they had created after their previous class.I sorted the necklaces onto coffee filters and began to tag them. Some of the women had already attached prices they hope to get when we sell their work.The afternoon class was larger than the morning one. MORE NECKLACES!All day, I was thanking God for Man Bista's quiet service. I am praying that we can begin to pay her for the 4 hours she will teach each Friday. Like most of our new refugees, she and her husband are both unemployed and very worried about paying their rent and other expenses.
I love the faces of these strong, beautiful Bhutanese women.And I adore my jolly Somalis! This sweet friend is due to have her 7th baby next month. Every time I see her, I am sure she's just about to have that baby right there in the Community Center!We have so many necklaces now that we're going to have to work hard to find venues at which to sell them -- and the other things the women have made. One of my lovely volunteers has already stepped up to the plate and will begin working to reconfigure the marketing program that vanished with our beading teacher.

How about a beautiful afghan, anyone???
Or some gorgeous handmade vests and sweaters?
My beloved best friend from Africa days has purchased ALL the baby-doll caps our women made. Thank you, Janice!
Just when things seem truly overwhelming, along come the kids! This bunch of sweeties piled into my car when I dropped Kelly off at her apartment. Tim and I are really here for one thing -- sharing with people the amazing news of God's grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. When we get down to that . . . to PEOPLE . . . all the other junk just drifts off.

Please pray for these beautiful refugees who have come to America in the hope of a new and better life.When I get attacked by the enemy, my favorite thing to do is look at the faces I love so much. What could lift your spirits more?
May God bless and protect us all.

1 comment:

Inspired said...

I just want to let you know that I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for sharing your ministry with us. I am in awe at how God provides.
Do you know someone good on the computer where you could set up an ebay or etsy account where you could also sell the beads and afghans? Wish I lived in Atlanta to help but I will be praying and I know God will provide for His children.