Friday, August 25, 2017

ZAMBIA CHRONICLES 2.0 - The Sewing Program

Eight months ago I introduced everyone to a talented young woman named Matolase Lungu (Ma-toe-la Loon-gu) that was one of the original five members of my first sewing class in the village. I asked you all to pray that the Lord would move in her heart, and she would agree to become the permanent teacher for our tailoring program. I’m so pleased to tell you that Matolase has accepted the position. Praise the Lord! Because many of you donated fabric and supplies for the sewing kits, I was able to open the class to 15 additional students. We have 20 students enrolled in the program, representing 9 surrounding villages. I love that there is representation from so many parts of the community.
I began the class instruction with a simple embroidery hoop made from popsicle sticks and taught them how to hand sew several lines of the running stitch and backstitch. The former students also received a lesson in hand quilting. Each lady came to the class with a different level of skill. It was wonderful to hear testimony in church at the end of the week from one woman named Siberia Sakala. Siberia testified that before starting the sewing class, she didn’t even know how to hold scissors. Now, she has finished two sewing projects and knows how to sew by hand. Siberia is so excited about her new skill, and is looking forward to attending class and learning more. I set up the program to run for one year. Next August we’ll hold our first tailoring program graduation ceremony. It will be such a blessing to see all the wonderful items created by the students.
The ladies created stuffed dolls for their children, quilted toiletry bags, and over the shoulder tote bags. I heard from Robert Zulu this week. Matolase has assumed her role as sewing teacher with great enthusiasm and the class is running on schedule. My heart was especially blessed as the former students testified about the impact those original sewing kits have made in their lives these past 8 months. God is using this program to really make a difference in this community. I can only praise him.
SEWING MACHINES – I actually purchased two sewing machines from town and arranged to have them transported to the village. It is a bumpy and tenuous 45 kilometer ride over terrible roads. The machines appeared to arrive in good condition; however, I couldn’t get them to stitch consistently. One of the machines was a floor model that had a problem with the hand wheel motion. The other machine was brand new out of the box, but the bobbin winder mechanism was completely defective. I eventually received a refund for both machines from the store owner, so we’ll try to make a second purchase once construction at the resource center is complete. Thank you for giving!
She said "Yes!" Matolase has agreed to become the permanent sewing teacher. She is so excited about creating weekly projects for the students to create. For the next year, she will run the program. I covet your prayers for Matolase, the students, and this new endeavor.

Matolase is leading the class while I worked in the fields with the members of the farming co-op. The class was so orderly. I am thankful for the school desks at which each woman is seated. Many of you gave the funds so these could be constructed. The woman seated in the front row at the center of the photo is Siberia Sakala. She did a phenomenal job on her projects. Before she came to class, she didn't even know how to hold scissors. Praise God for equipping these women and putting the desire in their hearts to learn something new.

Our whole group - 20 women ready to embark on a new learning adventure.

Don't you love these faces - not to mention the poses. These cute skirts were made my the mother of these little girls. Her name is Shebita, and she is one of the original members of the sewing class last year. Shebita wanted to show me what she has been doing with the resources that were provided to her. I couldn't have been more proud of her effort and stewardship. To God be the glory! 

Doreen showing off her finished doll and toiletry bag.

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