Written by Jean Axtell
“By the way…”
These three words introduced an opportunity to 60 ladies in a small village in Gressier, Haiti, that has the potential of changing their lives immeasurably.
It was one year ago, in February of 2014, that a visit to Dr. Scott Horn’s office was meant to secure medical supplies and meds for the clinic in Merci’ de Dieu (“Thanks to God”) Village. God had a different plan for that visit. Dr. Horn’s parting comment was, “By the way, you should call Brenda Kingery and find out about her work in Uganda”. It turns out, Brenda, an internationally-renowned artist, is the founding member of Threads of Blessing and has travelled to Honduras, Mexico and Uganda to teach textile and design in workshops that encourage women in developing countries to use their indigenous artistic skills.
After months of prayer and preparing the necessary supplies for our First Haiti Threads of Blessing workshop, we arrived in the village on January 14th, 2015. Two members of our team were veterans at hosting such workshops but two of us had no idea what to expect!
Brenda and Linda prepared the two novices, Jean and Ellen, to watch the faces on the ladies faces as the project was being introduced by way of Joe, our exceptional translator.
Then Brenda and Linda told us to wait an hour or so and see what has happened in the room. . .
The people in the village are some of the happiest people you will meet. In spite of the 85% unemployment rate in the country each person would love to be able to work if there was the opportunity. To bring them hope for a means of providing for their families is priceless.
We soon discovered what we affectionately called ‘our Rock Stars’. Though all of the ladies denied having any embroidery skills, we soon discovered some amazing talent.
We also were on the hunt for local artists that could provide the drawings on the cloth for the ladies to embroidery. God was already out in front of us as the Good Shepherd always is and provided 6 young men who are being trained by Brenda.