Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas sewing projects by Lori Dec. 2012

This week's sewing classes were filled with 5-9 students during the morning and afternoon sessions. I focused on reaching out to invite new students with posters in a couple of local stores and churches as well as personal invitations. Nine new participants came by and created an assortment of Christmas items that included napkins, stockings, and aprons. I designed these aprons using pre-printed holiday fabric panels for vests. For two years I offered for ladies to sew vests for themselves or as gifts. But, the response was "no one here in the community wears anything like these vests". So, I decided to re-purpose the vest fabric into aprons by adding pockets along the bottom edge. There a hit. I often have to think "outside of the box" to find uses for some of the items that are donated. "Brainstorming" a mandatory skill for mission work.

Camelia's aprons by Lori

Camelia (pictured in the center) is moving onto her next product in launching her own home-based sewing business. This past week, I taught her you can get a variety of aprons by just choosing different fabrics and trims. What a lovely batch of aprons she sewed. She is hoping to sell enough of her three current products, small zippered bags, aprons, and hand-sewn bookmarks to be able to purchase a used sewing machine at the beginning of the new year.

Albina's new jackets by Lori

This past week was filled with long days as new projects were launched into the micro-enterprise area of our ministry. It required advancing the sewing skills of Albina (pictured on left). She needed to learn about body measurements and how to determine the size of clothes as well as how to make adjustments for a better fit. Oh, and of course how to create requested additions like belts and belt loops. There were lots of challenges. The biggest one being that Albina still lacks the self-confidence to represent her sewing business to others. So, after teaching her how to make two different styled coats that were for her daughters, I gave her homework. She was asked to show her samples to at least five people with the goal of getting some orders while I was in town. Well, she received an "A" for her effort as she talked with eight people and received orders for two coats. As you can see above, some pretty cute styles.
 Much of my work with Albina is discipling. We had a long time of sharing about past hurts in her life. I know the Lord is breaking through and bringing healing.  Pray I find a good balance between encouragement and pushing one forward.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Be Blessed!! 02 Dec

Chris here...
Since I spent 2 months in Ndola, Zambia in 2009, I have had regular email communications with some of the amazing friends I made there. One is Peter, who I had the joy of recording with, and another is Pastor Chris, a wise Christian leader with a beautiful soul and a kind heart... they recently sent me this amazing 'Be Blessed' bit, which reflects a bit of the JOYFUL heart of Zambian believers... enjoy...