Mar 11 – Seeing Burkina Faso

I have just returned home from a 10 day trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. I saw hunger, disease, hope, joy, generosity. I felt hot, dusty, thirsty, loved, appreciated, encouraged, hospitality, inspired. I was filled with heart-breaking experiences that consumed my heart with compassion. I wish I could put it into one simple post and tell you what what all this means. But I cannot.

One of the joys of our trips was placing pillowcase dresses over the heads of the little girls at the Bible school and tying the laces to fit them…and then watching them smile.

DSCF3586On Sunday afternoon, we opened up several suitcases and pulled out hundreds of pillowcase dresses. We were hoping to find one to fit every girl in the school. In what seemed like chaos to some, we sorted and searched and tied a dress on everyone that we could.

We ran out of little bitty dresses early, so some of the babies went home with dresses that they will grow into. Some of the older girls took a dress knowing they could wear it as a top with a skirt!


This dress was sewn by my mom!!

We brought over 500 pillowcase dresses with us on this trip. They were sewn by ladies in several of our congregations: one was made by a 90 year old woman, one young lady sewed a butterfly on each one she made, some came with buttons or rick rack, many were made at craft night at our church, several were made by my mom.

As the crowd was dwindling down, I happened to come across one that my mom made and was able to tie it on a sweet little girl in her mom’s arms. My mom has sewn for as long as I can remember. She made my clothes when I was little and worked at a bridal shop, doing alterations, when I was in elementary school. I’ve seen her do her magic on wedding gowns, create every dance dress I ever wore, and make the bridesmaid dresses for my own wedding. She told me before I left, “It will be pretty cool to know that some little girl on the other side of the world is wearing something I made!” Well, mom, here she is!!

DSCF3593This is just one reminder that this trip wasn’t just about me, or even me and Pastor Herb.  It really wasn’t about our team either. It was about all of us. Every one of us: me and you. Each one of these 500+ pillowcase dresses represents someone, somewhere, having a vested interest Burkina Faso and the good works being done there.

Someone stopped me in church last Sunday and said, “Thank you so much for going for us.” I was moved by her sincerity. This trip was Clay Church, and friends, reaching out around the world to share God’s love and to meet the needs of others.

About Karen Grant

Children's Minister - FaithWorks! is the children's ministry of Clay Church in South Bend, Indiana.
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