“10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” ( Luke 3:10-11 NIV)
Our pastor wanted our congregation to be involved in mission and worked to help us understand mission as an act of worship. To reinforce this principle, we actually assembled various UMCOR kits as a part of our worship service. After we had successfully completed several types of kits, the pastor challenged us by asking what we planned to do next.
In conversation regarding this challenge, I asked him what would coordinate best with his plans for worship. He said the only kit we had not yet constructed was the Sewing Kit and that would be appropriate.
I called Mission Central to ask if they needed Sewing Kits and find out how the kits were distributed and used, so I could share the story with my congregation. I was told that Mission Central was always ready to receive kits. They had reports of missionaries using the kits in women’s Bible studies to develop rapport with the women and keep them engaged while they shared the gospel story. They also knew that they were used in refugee camps in some countries when people arrived with no clothing.
With this information in mind we selected Sewing Kits as our next project and began collecting items needed to prepare the kits. On Pentecost Sunday, we assembled 43 Sewing Kits during the worship service!
Two days later, I received a call from Mission Central. I was told they remembered our interest in making Sewing Kits and wondered how that was going. When I responded that they were completed, I was asked how soon could I get them to Mission Central. A shipment to the Ivory Coast was scheduled to go out at the end of that week and there was a specific request for Sewing Kits for women and children receiving the shipment.
Our church was able to get the Sewing Kits there to be a part of the Ivory Coast shipment. Although, we did not have a specific reason for choosing to make Sewing Kits, God had a plan and God knew how much they were needed. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of God’s larger plan of reaching out to serve others.
Creator God, we are grateful for Your love that surrounds and embraces all Your children no matter where they live in our world. We thank you that You choose ordinary people to do humble meaningful tasks that bring provision, hope and the possibility of change into the lives of those who are hurting and in need. AMEN.
(Jeanne Earnshaw, Northwest District HUB, Cleona, PA; Immanuel UMC)
December 16, 2015: A Church in Cleona Meets Needs on The Ivory Coast (downloadable .pdf)