Monday, September 12, 2011

First Sewing Class in Guyana Graduates!


Our Guyana Country Coordinator shares the accomplishments of our first sewing class.


The words of our sewing ladies tell the story of our first sewing course being so much bigger than learning to sew a skirt. As we gathered on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the completion of our sewing course I asked our ladies to reflect back to the beginning, the middle and now how they felt now.

Our ladies expressed that in the beginning they felt excited and good about being in the class. Our young mother shared how she had to fix her mind to do this course and complete it. In the course she hit some rough waters with her child getting sick on the days of the class. We also had challenges in the middle of the course with schedule changes, difficult waistbands and zippers, but six ladies stayed the course. When I asked them to reflect on those middle days Fifteen year old Annie shared how she was full of questions and discouragement. She put down her skirt for a few days intending to leave it undone and quit. Then she looked at Edna sewing hers on her porch and her cousin Karen sewing hers as baby Ceon napped. She found strength in their example and picked back up her skirt. When I asked them how they felt today smiles stretched across their faces, laughter was in the air and the word together rolled off their tongues. They were proud of one another, encouraged in finishing something that they started and glad to be together celebrating one another.

As the ladies spoke about their sewing experiences I used their words to form clouds on a piece of paper to tie in some life lessons. We talked together about how some days the clouds look like puffs of cotton that you can walk on and other days they bring rain and storms. We paralleled this analogy into our sewing course and into the greater spectrum of our lives. Then, tying in the words of Vincent Van Gogh and Job that were printed on their certificates, I highlighted the idea that big things are really just a series of small things that come together over time.

I asked them to tell me all the small things they learned in order to pull together their skirt. In those moments, they realized a life lesson that goes beyond just sewing a skirt. They heard the story of a man who had everything one could ever want and then lost it all. I shared how he went from everything to nothing and in those times of nothing he found out he had no real friends, because those who claimed to be his friends told him to forget God. I shared that some people are given everything and lose it, while others start with nothing and learn to value every thing they work towards. In the end they saw how Job’s storm passed and though he had no friends, he had a stronger friendship in God who was his best friend. He passed his test and did not give up on God and in the end he was given back all he lost plus more.

Friendship and goal-setting were two themes that emerged through the actual activity of the sewing course. Two months ago, thirteen year old Theresa did not know fifteen year old Annie, nor did twenty-nine year old Savitree know twenty-five year old Bonita or her Mother Edna. Sewing brought them together and made them friends. Together they set a goal and accomplished it. Now they are finishers and ready to take on a next challenge in sewing and in life.

The chatter on Sunday covered everything from sewing to PAL to school. It is very clear that our influence has reached a new level. We now focus our attention on advancing into the greater community with community meetings and presenting the model of Community Health Evangelism to all want to know about it.