Friday, January 7, 2011

A long time coming

So, some of you may remember the craziness that was me trying to make five bazillion quilts for our church's mission trip to Swaziland last fall. Some of you even got involved, sending me quilts and dolls that made me smile so big it wasn't funny. 

Well, the team went. And the quilts were distributed. Most of them went to the orphanage, with some of the larger ones being given to grandparents who are caring for their kids and other people's as well. I admit I was hoping to see tons and tons of pictures of kids getting quilts, so that I could post them on here and let all you who helped see your gifts in action. But there are only three. Three little pictures. See, (and I know this from personal experience) nothing really goes according to plan when you go on a mission trip. All your preconceived notions go right out the window when you exit the airplane and realize that, WOW, this isn't America and I really had no idea what I was getting myself into here. But that is almost always for the best, because God knows better than we do exactly what people need. 

The team who went to the hospital that day found themselves pretty overwhelmed. We're so used to the bright, sterile hospitals we have here that seeing a place like this, with so many abandoned hurt kids, is staggering. From the stories I heard nobody was unaffected.  

The nurses had asked the team to wait to pass out the quilts till the last minute--I think because they were afraid they would get mobbed and all the quilts would be taken away rather than go to the kids they were intended for. Which is sad to hear but really, that's just human nature. I would love to hear that the people around were overjoyed to see these sick kids getting something nice, something personal, but life isn't always a picturesque story of innate goodness. The rushed nature of the distribution is part of the reason there are so few pictures. 

Here's the thing I keep coming back to--I made my part of the giant stack of quilts because I wanted to use my skills and resources to bless others. Not so I could feel warm and fuzzy seeing gorgeous pictures of smiling happy kids enjoying my gift. I mean, that's great but it's not the reason I did it. So to all of you who helped with this project, who blessed me, my church, and the kids at the orphanage, I hope you aren't too sad to not see your creation in these few pictures. And I hope you know how much your efforts meant to somebody, somewhere on the other side of the planet.

“'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” 
Matthew 25: 36-40


Rachel Hauser said...

Just having any picture is something. And, these being so REAL touch my heart in a way that smiling postcards pictures never would. May God have the glory!

Melanie said...

Thank you for this lovely post! You and your fellow church members are an inspiration!

I have long admired your blog and I have nominated you for an award. See the post here:


Jenn Grigoryev said...

Thanks both of you. And thank you for the blog award nom, Melanie, that's awesome!

Susan said...