Seventy-five-year old Vivian Davis is constantly looking for ways to help people who are in need. People who know this drop items off at her home because they know she will get them into the right hands.
Despite knee replacement surgery, she has traveled to Togo and Honduras in the last few years. Her heart breaks when she sees the needs of the poor, especially the needs of children, and she has done what she can to help them, shipping t-shirts to Africa and having clothes made to go to Honduras. She takes Jesus’ words to heart, “When I needed clothes you clothed me” (Matthew 25:36).
Vivian met a Honduran missionary who prepared her for the poverty she would see if she made the trip to her missionary post. She was told that most children owned a single dress or pair of shorts.
She brought the need before the Women’s Missionary Union of her church at First Baptist Church in Jefferson, GA and the women decided to form a sewing group. A house on the campus of the church was used for space and the women began to meet regularly to make dresses for the girls and shorts for the boys.
A dress made from a pillowcase was designed with a pull ribbon at the top. The ribbon was designed so that it could not be pulled through. The bottom of the dress was fancied up a bit and for the cost of a pillowcase a really nice dress was made.
Shorts for the boys were designed with a drawstring, which also cannot be pulled through.
After some experimenting, it was discovered that cost for these items could be held down if the material was donated, so the women made these items for less than fifty cents apiece.
Vivian carried 100 dresses and 100 pairs of shorts with her to Honduras. She said the children were very excited to receive their gifts. Older girls that were too tall to wear a dress pulled them up past their waist and wore the dress as a shirt.
Word made its way to a local minister about the women’s talent and he boldly asked them if they would make him 1000 dresses for his Peru mission trip. 1000? Are you kidding? Most women would have scoffed at this kind of request.
Each dress/pair of shorts takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to make. That’s at least 30,000 hours of sewing. However, these women did not back away from the challenge. A year later this monumental task is almost complete.
While they are feeling the satisfaction of completing this monumental job, they are already dreaming and looking forward to the next one God leads them to.
What talent do you have? What passion do you have for others? What task have you been asked to do that seems so large that you are afraid to start it? What can you do to make a difference in someone’s life?
If we look around it doesn’t take long to find people with needs. We can’t take care of every need that comes our way, but we can use what we have been given to help someone if we choose. When we combine our talents and resources, amazing ministry is done. Church happens!
These women dusted off their sewing machines and they have created a ministry that is helping children in other countries understand that we love them. It is also bringing people together right here in Jefferson. As they stitch together their friendships, they are teaching us what it means to be clothed in mercy and love and what it looks like to clothe others in the name of Jesus.