A year ago last fall, I spent a morning with this awesome woman who was in the process of adopting three, yes three, children. I left that morning with a strong conviction that just because we were not adopting didn’t mean I was off the hook in the arena of taking care of the poor and the needy. But what was the answer?
I couldn’t get Haiti out of my head. Who knew a short-term missions trip when I was 21 years old would leave such a lasting impression. Even 15 years later, I often think of Haiti and its people. The smell of diesel fuel on a hot summer day takes me right back to the streets of Port-au-Prince.
It was a crazy thought. My mom taught me to sew at a young age, but I am by no means a seamstress. I figured I could handle sewing a few dresses with her help, and we could send them to Haiti. I had stayed involved with Mission to Haiti, where I served when I was there, so I knew could send the dresses to them, and they could distribute them.
A few dresses turned into 121 by the time we were done sewing last year. My mom made the majority of them, but I found as I got started that other people wanted to get involved. About a dozen women helped in some way last year.
The one time dress drive has turned into something more. I’m not sure where it’s going, but my goal this year is 500 clothing items. Honestly, the goal feels a little lofty to me, but God is pretty big , so I’m not discounting the possibility. I have been completely amazed by the number of people who have stepped up to help. More than 50 people have taken part in some way.
After looking at all the dresses last year, my blue-eyed blonde (I love it that I have a blue-eyed blonde, by the way) said to me, “Mom, it’s not really fair that the girls are getting dresses, but the boys aren’t getting anything.” Thanks to Owen’s concern for the boys, we are sending shorts along with the dresses this year.
Why Should We Clothe Them?
Isaiah 58: 6-12
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
So there you have it. The story of the dresses.