This is slightly different to my usual posts, not just because it’s shorter (!) but to promote an initiative that I’ve witnessed first hand. Some of you will know that I went on mission to Spain last May. As with a lot of Europe, the global recession has hit Spain hard. Unemployment is at 35% but this figure rises to a staggering 65% among the under 30’s. Behind the popular tourist destinations, there are many communities struggling. We were told before we went that to be prepared to show our love to lots of very dirty, smelly people! We met a whole spectrum of people from all walks of life but loving them really wasn’t hard to do. They were so open and loving to us, we gave and received in equal measure!
Chris White is an inspirational guy. He hosted our team during our weeks mission in Spain and is doing an incredible job in building community and serving the poor and those that society would prefer to forget. His way of doing church is very reminiscent of the early church in the New Testament and is very ‘hands on’. One of his ‘churches’ was in a rural village where many of its members survived by scavenging for snails and/or eating bread dipped in olive oil. The church is church at it’s simplest level; it builds community with Christ at the center. It is small, simple, humble but has a servant heart and is extremely generous in both time and money. It provides a handsome food bank once a fortnight but Chris has also trained up a group of women to earn their own income by needlework whilst providing a sense of community and empowerment.
This is a very small social enterprise project with big rewards for its workers. All the money earned from their craft goes directly to the women themselves. This can literally mean the difference of food or no food and I was very humbled to hear that last year they ‘could even afford to have Christmas dinner’. It was such a privilege to meet the women pictured here:
As our summer rolls into Autumn, it’s easy to skip over the importance of celebrating harvest. These women are not sowing their harvest so much as sewing their harvest! I would like to celebrate mine this year by sharing this project with you. Would you like to join me?
Please have a look at their website and share with others:
They create gorgeous, bespoke T-shirts and cushions and fabulous Christmas decorations, personalised with name and image. The quality of their work is exceptional and they make fantastic gifts for friends and family so this year, you can celebrate harvest by preparing for Christmas as well!
(Cushions/T-shirts from £15, hearts £2.50 each or box of 5 for £10. Well worth every penny!)