Sewing Mission October 2013
Report On Sewing Mission October 2013
This is an overview of the Sewing Mission, just completed, in Nandasmo, Nicaragua. The dates were October 19th through November 2nd.
Annette Vickers had previously met the Pastora Irene through her association with the church "La Iglesia de Dios de la Profecia". After visiting her Church, Annette decided that this was a very good fit for the location of the new Sewing Co-Op.
Annette's opinion of Pastora Irene was very insightful. She proved to be a delight to work with, always organized and thoughtful withour team and the student sewers.
As we worked withthem each day, we found these women were younger in age than most of the CoOps we have put together. They were very attentive and eager to learn. Most days when we arrived at the Church, they were excited to show us that they had continued sewing after we had left them the day before and made more hospital gowns etc. The Pastora was beaming one morning as she proudly showed us that they had sewn 40 diapers after we had left! We took these, together with the hospital gowns to La Mascota Children's Hospital. We also took in diapers, hospital gowns, crocheted and sewn baby blankets and prayer shawls made by women here in Canada. I would like to point out at this time,that there really is a large number of women here that take a great deal of delight in sewing for Nicaragua. As I speak to some of these groups and Church women, they feel that they are helping from here, even though they may not be able to go to Nicaragua themselves.
The student sewers also showed creativity and shyly displayed their new efforts to us. Our sewing teachers led by Nancy and Anna were Jane, Phyllis, Ginny were patient and thoughtful Our Children's Helpers, Kim and Judy were terrific with the children!
While our trip, as always, involved our visits to the Berta Calderon Hospice, La Mascota Children's Hospital, Remar Orphange and Pastor Benito's Feeding Centre (where we helped serve the nutritious soup he made from the Ontario Christian Gleaners soup mix), and the jail in Masaya, we were able to demonstrate to the new team members a more complete picture of some of the outreach programs that PAN is involved in. They were very moved, as this gave them a much larger and more accurate awareness of what PAN does to encourage people in their journey with God and help with basic needs....sharing with God's people in need.
We also visited briefly the Sewing Co-Op we had set up in Masaya with Pastor Gustavo and his wife Angelina. This is where Hannah decided to stay with Haidee to help her adjust some stitiches in her knitting/crocheting. Since this young woman has been a "star" in this Co-Op, we were delighted to give her further instruction. Some of her items are now in Canada to be sold in the PAN travelling store. We can all see a great future for this young woman. Nancy left, promising to visit again with the other "special" team in the Spring of 2014 to teach some advanced techniques.Also, we are blessed to have Renee to repair our sewing machines...this undertaking would be almost impossible without her efforts.
One the highlights of this trip was our visit to the "La Cosecha" Sewing Co-Op in Tipitapa. Since it's inception, 2 years ago, theyhave advanced quickly.We were blessed to be invited to their Fashion Show (the second one, I believe). Upon our arrival,we were amazed at the professionalism they displayed! First, we were greeted with music and a real "runway". After many hugs, we were seated for the show in 2 lines of white plastic chairs on either side of the"runway" As the models "strutted" out to the music, we were thrilled to see the style, the detail and the creativity they showed to us! Even the little girls strutted in their pretty dresses. Karla took the microphone to proudly announce to us that she has been hired to teach sewing in the local public school ciriculum AND that they will beopening their own retail store in 2014!!! This is a certain signal to us that these sewing co-ops are worth our time and efforts in many ways.
To continue with my report on this Co-Op in Nandasmo, from our first meeting with Pastora Irene, I could see that she was very caring, organized, focused and is a visionary. Since she is already an accomplished sewer and her adult son works for a Zona Franca ( a clothing factory), she has knowledge of the industry as well as skills. She will be a natural leader and has plans for the women in her Church. She has told Annette that she will also use this Sewing Co-Op as an outreach into her local Community.
After Samuel and I had a further meeting with Pastora Irene, I learned that she plans to start a Sewing School as well as start up more Sewing Co-Ops in the other Churches of her denomination...I believe there are about 500.
When we left Pastora Irene and her women,we all agreed that we can see a great deal of potential here and that the setting up of the Sewing Co-Ops is a very valuable effort for PAN in the coming years.
My thanks go to Annette for setting this up and working so diligently to bring it about and to the women on our team who were sewing teachers and helpers with the children (without whom we could not have accomplished what we did). I believe we all left some of our hearts with these people in La Iglesia de la Profecia in Nandasmo and look forward to our next mission.