What first made you interested in sewing as a hobby?
My grandmother and aunt both sewed on an old treadle sewing machine and made clothes and quilts for themselves and other family. I always thought it was fun to help them with whatever they might be working on at the time. My sister learned to sew in Home Ec. class, and it just seemed natural that I also would learn to sew as well. I’m still amazed that a big piece of cloth can be cut into smaller, often odd-shaped pieces and then put back together to form something entirely different.
Do you enjoy doing any other ‘crafting’?
In earlier years I’ve done many different hand-sewing crafts (embroidery, needlepoint, cross-stitch, knitting and crochet), but the enjoyment factor involved in those areas has waned over the years.
Project Patricia is a ministry that has used what many would consider a hobby to meet real needs and spread the gospel. What are some recent reports you have heard from missionaries who have used the kits?
The recurrent message from missionaries is that these kits are changing the lives of girls and young women. The most recent communication I received was from a team that went on a medical mission trip to Haiti. They sent additional info about two young women who prayed to receive Christ as their savior while the team was there. I’m not saying our kits had this direct result in a young woman’s life, but the potential for that is always there. Our job is to plant the seed. God gives the increase.
How many churches, in how many states, are now participating in the ministry?
I can’t give an exact number as it seems to change constantly, and I fear I’ll forget some of the groups. There are several “regulars,” though, that are constantly working and sending their work to me from at least six different states, and probably that many more states send work occasionally. Many of those states have more than one group working. Texas, for example, has about 75 churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area that work together several times per year for us. Wyoming has a group of retired folks who work constantly – yet not one of them sews a stitch! I routinely get packages delivered to my door, and it’s always a delight (and a surprise) to read the return addresses.
How has God blessed you personally in this work?
There are more blessings than I can count. It’s great to be able to use items people were going to discard to bless someone around the world who has nothing! It’s awesome to see the generosity pour forth from folks I wouldn’t have imagined would even be interested in this ministry. It’s heartwarming to read and hear stories from missionaries who have been able to distribute kits for us about the reactions of the women who receive kits. I’ve loved meeting other women who understand the need for this ministry and have become good friends of mine. But the blessing most dear is is the strengthened relationships I’ve experienced within my own family, particularly with my daughter, sister and mother. Each of them plays a special part in the Project Patricia ministry, and I simply could not do what I do without them doing what they do. We’ve developed a bond that surpasses simply being related to one another.