Monday, June 22, 2009

Our cup overflows . . .

We were blessed this week to welcome two short-term volunteers. Sarah and Karen provided such wonderful service to our classes . . . which were full and only got fuller as the week went on!
Our sewing machines get a real workout. We have broken nearly all our needles. The next time I hear a ker-crunk, I'll know it's time for a new needle. Hope I have some by then! I must say I think our students are exceptionally beautiful women . . .
. . . both inside and out!
Karen, seamstress extraordinaire, serviced our old machines and got our newly donated metal ones into shape. She sharpened all our scissors, too.
Sarah, an MK from Tunesia, enjoyed speaking Arabic to some of our women. It was really cool to see that interaction.
It seems like every session we get to enjoy watching one or more of our expectant mothers blossom. We're having a girl in September! Can't wait!
Kelly's bead class made our very popular "Bhutanese Wedding Necklaces."
This is a tried and true art form for our Bhutanese women. I love their work.
By the end of Tuesday's class time, I began to think our little room might explode! We were crammed with women, volunteers, and visitors. I get so much joy from times like these when the room is full and everyone is working and chatting.
Have you ever seen such beautiful ladies? Somehow Somali women are able to wear the most amazing color and pattern combinations -- and they always look perfectly gorgeous.
Wednesday's visiting time was spent in various homes. I don't always take photos on those days, because it can interfere with ministry. But I couldn't resist snapping this shot of two brothers from Burundi. Aren't they precious?
Back to the sewing room for Thursday's advanced class. I am always surprised when I realize that many of our students are on the floor!
Yes, the best place in our small room for measuring and cutting is that beautiful hardwood floor. But how do these ladies manage to crouch so comfortably? Wow! I wish I was that flexible.

I got a big surprise the other day. It turns out our quiet and lovely Brittany is a business whiz! She keeps the books for a missions organization. So she was glad to create spreadsheets for us. She'll be entering data, and the women will keep their own records, too.Father's Day on Sunday brought much joy. I got to have a long phone conversation with my beloved father, Harold Cummins. I don't think a girl could have a better father, and I mean that! I love you, Dad!

Andrei created yet another cake masterpiece. In honor of Tim, he made a tennis court cake, complete with a chocolate-on-graham-cracker net.
Now if you'll notice, its kind of hard to get a really genuine smile out of Andrei. Sometimes, even when he's happy, his "photo face" looks positively glum.
When he started telling a story at teatime, I whipped out the camera and got some pix of the REAL Andrei. What a wonderful young man God gave us.
That evening, we went over to our Somali friends' home. They were celebrating the upcoming marriage of a family member. The walls were hung with fabrics, including a big piece with writing from the Koran on it. Sofas circle the living room, and the women gathered around in their finery. Then they began to bring out the food! They set it on the mat in front of us, and we enjoyed every morsel. Andrei said, "I feel like I've gone to heaven!" This picture only reveals about half of the total spread. Amazing!
Tim enjoyed chatting with the newest member of the family. He's gotten so much bigger -- and what bright brown eyes he has. His face reveals a lot of alertness and intelligence already.
Thank you, my beautiful friend, for welcoming my family into yours! I love you so much!

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