Hands that rock
“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” This popular line is found in a poem in honour of women, and I have thought of it so much the past few months as I’ve been engaged again in the women’s ministry here in Mozambique.
As we’ve launched into our new program for 2015, we’ve been very busy learning new crafts which will help earn an income not only for the women involved, but for the literacy program as well.
Here, women sit on a veranda and hand-sew small stuffed made from colourful African fabric. While they work, there is much chatter and laughter. And babies on their backs either watch with great interest, or sleep!
Inside, we make machine-sewn items on our state-of-the-art vintage Singer treadle and hand-crank sewing machines. They make their own special noise so the conversation and laughter has to go up a pitch in order to be heard. We hope to increase the number of machines in operation, but for now they’re very busy!
One of the beautiful aspects of teaching these women and watching them learn is to see their level of enthusiasm. They live in a very challenging setting and face so many limitations, and yet they are gentle, happy, and keen to take everything in and put it to practice. Regardless of age!
But even more important than the crafts is our weekly classroom sessions. I regularly meet with about 16 local area women’s leaders and train them how to use the new literacy curriculum so that they can in turn help many other women learn how to read. Vital components in the curriculum are the Bible and health lessons as well as the Bible verse memorisation.
We come from different cultures and backgrounds, and there are several language barriers to cross as well as we interact. We have taken some huge steps together of late, these women and I. But despite the long hours of planning, preparation, translation and program implementation, my heart glows at the end of each week as I witness them “get it”, nod their heads in comprehension and chatter excitedly among themselves. They are excited to learn, and I’m excited about that! Anyone excited to learn has the potential to change things not only in their own lives but in the lives of their children, family, friends, community–the whole world, in fact.
We request your prayers for us as we strive to grow in our understanding, skills, and as we serve the Lord in sharing hope to those around us through loving them.
Women, how divine your mission!