We had a drastic change in the weather on Saturday morning. After several weeks of really warm weather where it has been a pleasure rising at 6am and taking an early pre- (horse)breakfast ride. Saturday I found myself reluctantly dragging myself from bed to look out the window. What I saw, misty, overcast sky and ‘guti’ weather made me climb straight back into bed for another hour! This morning (Monday) the above scene greeted me as I walked the horses to their feed troughs and I thought I would like to share it with you! Even the birds remained in their nests for a while longer – do hope they didn’t miss the early worms! The horses were skittish and blowing through flared nostrils, expecting the unexpected to leap from the mist! It was lovely! I am writing so soon after the last Newsletter to update you quickly on the fantastic Sewing Workshop we have just completed. I picked up Bianca and her mum, Ali, on the Monday afternoon and we arrived on the ranch (after yet another puncture on the way home!) just before dusk. We spent the evening looking over the resources I had here and planning the next day. Tuesday arrived with the ladies arriving enthusiastically before time, bringing their vegetables for our lunch relish and oranges and lemons for making citrus syrup to drink. Bianca leapt in with both feet and soon had the ladies making handmade patchwork bags. She refused to have the machines out, saying we all had to learn the right way first. By the end of the day most of the bags were almost finished and Bianca was impressed with the work that was being produced. 3 o’clock arrived, our usual home-going time, and then 3.30……. Finally at 4pm the ladies dragged themselves away from their work to tidy up and head for home!
Wednesday arrived with everyone arriving even earlier – Bianca barely had time to finish her coffee and toast! All the bags were completed before lunch and Bianca had prepared cushion covers with an appliquéd picture on the front for this day’s project. Within this project she had organized several skills to be mastered, which the ladies picked up very quickly. It was so good to ‘feel’ the atmosphere of concentration as everyone endeavored to do their very best. I commented to Noma that everyone was working so hard and her reply was that no-one wanted me to be embarrassed by them! How on earth could I be embarrassed by them! I felt like crying! I certainly had no idea how well this workshop would be received, but by Thursday I was beginning to think I was in trouble because there was no chance I could continue in Bianca’s footsteps. She is very organized and firm but all the time encouraging and praising. What a relief that she fell in love with the ladies and she and her mum want to take turns in coming out weekly to continue ‘the good work’! Please pray for this as we can achieve much with their input. It will mean several more trips a week to town on our very bad road, but it is so worth it. With Christmas not so far from our doors and several upcoming craft markets in town, it may be a good opportunity for the ladies to make some well needed income.
Thank you to the people who have given us so many scraps, material, buttons, etc. We only had to purchase thread and a few pairs of scissors for this Workshop. People from as far as South Africa sent through material to help this happen. Bless you for your generosity.
And a very special thanks to Bianca and Ali. They live in Bulawayo and Bianca struggles to make a living by sewing for people. They are excellent seamstresses, but still have not been able to keep Bianca’s eldest daughter in school. I don’t think we will ever know just how far the economic problems of this country have reached. She is unable to give materially, but is so keen to share her time and talent. It hit me hard yet again that those with much give less than those with little. Please God don’t let me fall into that trap. Please pray for Bianca and Ali’s situation. Thank you, God, for every fresh day to do even better than yesterday! Be blessed in Him, stay whole in Him and reflect His glory as He shines on us. Love, Norma