My grandmother was a quilter. She grew up in a time and place where it was a necessity of life. She would have been proud of me today. I went to a quilt camp. It was fun and it took me four hours to do one little square. That was with a machine!
My friend, Beth Weaver, has invited me several times to see how this activity is used as an outreach to women. Currently there are 21 quilting clubs across the country. The ladies meet once a month to work on a quilting project. About twice a year they come together for a retreat. A group of quilters come from the US with a quilting project that is done over a three day period. It is not just about quilting, or learning how-to in my case, it's about sharing, laughing, eating, and being together. Testimonies and devotionals are given. Sitting around the tables one can observe a wiser, older woman listening and giving counsel to a younger woman. Stories are heard about jobs, children, husbands, parents - common themes for women around the world. Laughter is present and sometimes a tear or two.
I went to see what a quilting outreach was all about. I wanted to see if it might work among the Roma women. They need times of encouragement and fellowship. They also need times of testimony sharing and ways to invite their non-believing friends to hear the gospel. Pray with me that God would show us if, how, and when quilting might be used among the Romany women of Hungary.
A side note: It was market day outside of the church where we met. So the sidewalks were filled with people hustling and bustling to buy vegetables, fruits, clothing, etc. A man, claiming to be a sidewalk sweeper, must have observed this room of at least 30 women each sitting at a sewing machine. He came in and asked one of the Hungarian ladies if she would repair the rip in his pants. When she agreed he promptly striped them off and handed them over. Luckily he had on boxer shorts! After she finished he put them back on and went on his way. It gave us all something to chuckle about the rest of the day.