The following is insight to a program that Diane Rochford, the WOW Team and I hold dear to our hearts.
It has been an adventure & an experience of a lifetime.
The Mustard Seed Communities opened an orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua (circa 2000) to assist the handicapped and/or mentally challenged children throughout Managua. It was a last resort for abandoned children. But there was another group equally desperate. A group comprised of 300 families mostly consisting of women and children living inside the city dump, La Chureca.
From 2004 Mustard Seed had a feeding program within La Chureca, to aid the many desperately poor. This was only a temporary fix. La Chureca has since been closed but tremendous poverty still exists outside the dump.
They say that if you give someone a fish you feed them for a day but if you give them a fishing pole you feed them for a lifetime.
A volunteer daydreamed about an education center where women could learn to sew and thus help support her family. It takes Only a Mustard Seed!
In 2006 a group of dedicated individuals found a vacant building, and after a week of renovations and sewing classes we had our first classroom. A teacher was hired before our departure to insure that the classes would continue. Fast forward 9 years … today this center has become a force with momentum, growing on its own. A new reality has unfolded where women can come to meet free of charge and learn to sew, tailor, alter clothing, and simply support one another in fellowship. Baking classes and English lessons have also been added to supplement the sewing curriculum. Upon graduation, the sewing graduates are given a sewing machine and the bakers are given a mixer.
The Rags to Bags program is an auxiliary program. One of a kind handbags are made from otherwise discarded fabrics from the states. Think of all that drapery fabric that might be otherwise thrown into landfills all for the sake of a new homeowner’s style preference! Expired sample fabric books found in upholstery shops is another resource for great fabrics. In the words of the ladies constructing the handbags . . . “We love working with such exotic fabrics!” In the words of the many repeat customers . . . “We can’t wait to see the new styles!”
So, for the past 9 years Diane and I have gone down once a year, and sometimes twice a year to help bolster the programs growth. Mostly now the program runs itself and we come to celebrate the graduations each October. It’s been a joyful adventure. From the orphanage we have seen a small seed take root and blossom into many beautiful branches. In the Sewing Center We have witnessed women realize their self-worth, bloom with self-esteem and re-discover hope.
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Join us a one of the up coming Trunk Shows where “Rags 2 Bags” items will be on sale.
I look forward to meeting you.
- November 4 / Queen of Angels Sale – Roswell, GA
- November 12-13 / Holly Days @ St Brigid – Johns Creek, GA
- November 21 / Holiday Marketplace @ St. Pius X H.S. – Atlanta, GA
Contact Janet Weidmann with the WOW Team to learn
more about Mustard Seed Communities.
Thank you — Janet Weidmann | Team Leader of the WOW Team