Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The hands of my students always fascinate me. When I sing the hymn, "He's got the whole world in His hands," I always try to picture God's beautiful hands. We are made in His image, and how lovely are our hands.This young woman decorated her hands for Eid, the Muslim celebration that ends the month of fasting known as Ramadan.
All day long at The Refugee Sewing Society, I watch hands at work . . . reaching for yarn . . .
. . . gathering fabric for a puffed doll sleeve . . .
. . . snipping thread . . .
. . . turning a hem . . .
. . . measuring carefully . . .
. . . threading a sewing machine . . .
. . . and, of course, sewing . . . May these hands fold in prayer to the Creator God, lord of heaven and earth.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Buzzin' with Baptists!

September 3, 2009, was a really fun day for everyone! The entire staff of the North American Mission Board came to Clarkston for their Spiritual Focus day -- all 270 of them. They rolled into town on buses and set off to begin serving. This event was bathed in prayer from beginning to end.
A great group came over to Clarkston Community Center to meet the women of The Refugee Sewing Society. I had the opportunity to show off the work our ladies are doing -- our cloth diaper initiative, our gorgeous beaded jewelry, our crocheted doll blankets, our tote bags, and much more.
The NAMB staff had brought 40 kits to make beaded watches. Our women really enjoyed the time they spent making this craft. We invited members of two ESL classes for senior citizens to join the fun. It made for an interesting mix of men and women, Bhutanese and Somalis, young and old.The focus and concentration these refugees dedicate to every task is always an inspiration to me.
Afterward, the women gathered in the hallways to greet the incoming NAMB staff for lunch.
The men waited to greet guests, too.While our guests shopped in The Refugee Sewing Society marketplace, the dedicated Chik-Fil-A people brought in the lunch.NAMB people covered Clarkston that day, but we RSSers think we got the cream of the crop! They really blessed us with their willingness to plunge into this new world and make a difference in the lives of Atlanta's refugees.

As I was driving one of my students home, she got a very worried look on her face. She pointed to the beaded watch on her wrist and said, "Teacher . . . watch . . . for me?" When I nodded and told her that, yes, she could keep the watch, her face filled with emotion. "Thank you!" she said. I know that came right from the heart.

Hello Dolly!

We are excited about dolls! Our awesome partner, Todd Harrison, was offering three sizes of dolls to the daycares his business serves. But he eventually had to stop selling the dolls because he couldn't find clothes to fit them. Along came The Refugee Sewing Society!I really enjoyed watching the women in my advanced sewing class when they saw the dolls for the first time. They hugged and cuddled those babies. They dressed them up. They rocked them. I guess girls are the same all over the world!
I was excited about the opportunity to sew clothes for Todd's dolls, and I decided our new Iraqi student could take the first try. She was a seamstress before coming to America, and she can make anything. Surely she could make doll clothes, I thought.
Wow -- was I ever right! One weekend at home sewing on her machine, and here came EIGHTEEN adorable dresses. And bloomers to match! Aren't they cute?Please pray that all the women can learn to sew these dresses -- perfect training for them to make clothes for themselves and their families!