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Give and Take The Lord’s Way

by Joyce Broyles

Several decades ago, in 1993, ladies from our congregation who loved to sew banded together to make new clothing for missions we supported.  Usually, the missionary barrels or boxes are filled with used clothing.  Our friend, Director of Remember the Children, Andy Baker, who takes the clothing to the orphanages in Tanzania, Africa, told us that when the children see him coming with our offerings, they actually squeal!  That makes the efforts all worthwhile.

                Next to reading, writing, and traveling, sewing is my other great passion.   I often groan about "so many books, places and fabric, and so little time!"

                With designs swirling in our minds, the ladies of the Dorcas Group gather daily in the classroom where the church leaders permit us to work.  Some of us go every day, some only once or twice a week, but the fellowship is wonderful.  Instead of stay-at-home lonely old women, we share news and comments on God's Word as we sew.  We are blessed, we believe.

                At first, we used donated fabric remnants for our creations.  We matched pieces of like colors or designs to make ensembles, trying to make something from nothing!  It took extra time to make patterns fit on the scraps.  After a while, we decided it was easier to purchase necessary yardage ourselves instead of depending on donations; however, the donations continue to come in, and some have enough yardage that we do not have to struggle with fitting the patterns any more.

                When others come to see our work and exclaim about the pretty dresses, we show them the pictures Andy sent of some of the girls dressed in our creations.  Some people are surprised that many of the garments are made from scraps of fabric sewn together.

                As I think of the comments, I realize that my sewing is much like my writing.  Just as I take scraps of fabric to create a dress or a quilt, my writing develops as I take scraps of my life and put them together to create a story.

                Sometimes my creations are not beautiful.  My dresses may have uneven buttonholes or crooked zippers.  My stories may have split infinitives or lack parallel sentence structure.  Always, though, both my dresses and my stories are created with love.

                Affirmations keep me sewing and writing.  When my sister wears a dress I made or someone tells me she enjoyed an article I wrote because it gave her such hope, I am overwhelmed.

                Of course, not all of my creations appeal to everyone; however, when I receive a note or a call about one, I cannot explain how wonderful those kind words make me feel.

                Elizabeth Bibesco wrote, "Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting."  I pray that I will never forget those who have encouraged me through the years.

                As we sew these garments to share with others, we are the ones who are blessed.  We let the recipients know that we do this because we love Jesus and we love them.   We put tags on the garments that read "Jesus loves you!"  If we can give without remembering, many will gain from our labor, and it will not be in vain.


Joyce S. Broyles is a retired Library teacher and serves the Lord in Jennings, LA.

One Response to “Give and Take The Lord’s Way”

  1. Stanley Fernando says:

    Mrs Broyles, what a great ministry you all are doing to share the wonderful love of Jesus Christ. God will bless all of you richly at the proper time

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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13