Gifts are wonderful to give, and to receive. I had that privilege this Thanksgiving weekend. Steve, the kids, and I went to Iglesia Biblica Hogar de Fe on Saturday to deliver gifts from our ministry. I had no idea I would receive anything in return, other than the blessing of being a blessing to others.
Through generous donations from a handful of ministry supporters, we were able to deliver ten sewing machines to the women’s ministry of a church here in Costa Rica. These women were celebrating their end of year party. They have met for Bible study and fellowship for the past year. “Mujer a Mujer (Woman to Woman)” is a ministry of Hogar de Fe (House of Faith) that reaches out to one of the poorest areas of Costa Rica. It is in the town of Desamparados (by no coincidence, this is the same town where our adopted daughters were born).
The Brook was able to meet the dream of several women. One older lady gave testimony that she had worked as a seamstress all of her life. She had never had the hope of owning her own machine. In tears, she was both grateful and excited to be able to provide more for her family through this ministry. One woman said her dream was to just be able to put bread on the table for her children. She left with a greater vision of reaching out and making a difference in her community, going beyond just her family’s needs.
The more learned seamstresses will teach single mothers in the community how to sew. They can then sell their items to make money to get themselves out of poverty. It was quite a moving experience to witness.
The most moving event of the evening was something I have witnessed a few times before back in the States. In the past, there have been times when women of the church–some that I knew, some that I didn’t–for whatever reason, have felt led by the Lord to present me with gifts of jewelry. I’ve received two necklaces, three bracelets, and a ring. Both in conversation, and out of the blue, women have taken off the item they were wearing and given it to me. It is a very humbling moment. But it has never been my place to question their actions. I’ve just known that God used these women to be a blessing to me.
Last night, after a time of prayer, I sat down at one of the tables. A lady (unknown) came up behind, whispered words of encouragement in my ear, over my shoulder she placed a wrapped bundle in my hand and walked away. With prayer continuing, I just gave the lady a smile and put the item in my lap.
At the end of the evening, I opened the wooden, beaded necklace that was wrapped in an inexpensive Christmas napkin. I don’t know who this woman is or why she gave me what she did. What I do know is that God put it on her heart, and I humbly receive the blessing.
The pastor and his wife then presented us with embroidered aprons (his and hers) to show us examples of some of the women’s work. We went to be a blessing to this group of women, and came away being blessed to be part of such an awesome ongoing opportunity. We still want to raise enough money for 16 more sewing machines. To be a blessing yourself, if you’re interested, you can go to www.thebrookministries.org or my husband’s blog www.yesterdaylucas.com to learn more.