Sewing and Reaping Eternal Rewards

When I was a young girl, I remember visiting my grandma who did most of her sewing on an old Singer pedal machine because it was what she grew up with. In her day electricity wasn’t afforded for every home, so it was the peddle machine or sewing by hand. It was pure entertainment for me to sit on the floor and help her by pushing the foot-pedal up and down as fast as my small arms could move. I’m sure, though, it wasn’t always helpful for grandma. It was a wonder she didn’t have a finger or two sewn together. This was my early introduction to sewing. Many years have passed since then and I’ve not seen anyone else use a peddle machine, until my trip to India in 2014. One of the awesome things Apple of His Eye Charity does is equip women with skills who would otherwise not have any means of income. With a sewing machine and lessons in how to sew, they can make a living on their own. Most of these women are either out-casts because they are widowed or because they have HIV. 

Upon graduation, they are awarded a brand new peddle sewing machine! It was truly a festive occasion when we arrived at their school to personally present them with their very own sewing machine that would provide them with independence and a sense of self-accomplishment. These talented women fashioned lovely saris, a variety of children’s clothing (called pattu langa) as well as exquisite doll clothes.

Another thing that struck me about the women of India is how stunningly beautiful they are!

No matter how poor, they are draped in the most brightly colored garments and every hair in place. I never saw two women wearing saris of the same fabric either! 

Clearly, the most beautiful thing about this sewing program is that while they are learning to sew, they are also learning about the One who loves them unconditionally and forever. Jesus is the focus of every sewing session and many former Hindu women have given their lives to Christ through this program. The celebration these women enjoy and deserve goes beyond the accomplishment of learning a skill that will benefit their livelihood. It extends to the joy and celebration they experience knowing Jesus loves them and will never leave them, no matter what! It was a joy and a pleasure to be part of such a wonderful occasion with women who are culturally different, and yet the same as me. They clearly enjoy the pleasures of sisterhood. Relationships are important to women in any culture, and these ladies are no different. In this program they encourage each other, support one another, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Even if one never learns the skill of sewing, they grow and heal through a community of women who have a purpose and who care deeply for each other. I have been challenged by these beautiful women of India, to step out of my own comfort zone, to develop skills within my own community and to encourage others to join me in my journey with Christ.

I smile at the possibility that in that sewing school, there is a youngster right now having the time of her life sitting at her mama’s or grandma’s feet pushing the pedal of a sewing machine as fast as she can. There’s a good chance that an early introduction to sewing a sari may just be an early introduction to sowing a seed for Christ.

Connie McClellan – Supporter and Missionary of AHEC

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