A stitch in time

written by Rebecca G

A devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 left many young people without parents or homes, so a Uruguayan church responded to the need and founded the children’s home Beraca Haiti. The orphanage has many self-sustaining projects, including gardens and animals for food and a carpentry workshop for producing furniture, but staff members are always looking for new opportunities.

For three years, Carolina Da Silva, a Uruguayan woman working at the orphanage, has been praying about the possibility of having their own sewing machines and learning how to sew uniforms for the kids. Not only would homemade school clothing save the orphanage money, but workers have plans to offer sewing training to other women from nearby mountain communities, which will open the door for them to share the gospel with Haitian ladies.

In response to the need, crewmembers from Logos Hope donated five sewing machines to Beraca Haiti and provided tailoring training for five orphanage workers.

“We have gone into the areas around our orphanage and shared the gospel with the ladies there, but now we will be able to invite them and build a deeper relationship with them by teaching them the skill of sewing,” said Maria Cabral, a staff member at the home. “We hope to share more about Jesus with them through these sewing machines.”

Before the children’s home workers came to Logos Hope for training, they gave Renske Cloosterman (Netherlands) a sample school outfit. “I spent several hours taking out all the stitches to see how the clothing was assembled so I could create a pattern to reproduce the uniform,” said Renske.

There are several volunteers on Logos Hope with experience in sewing, including married women who live on the ship with their families. Renske saw this project as an opportunity for the mothers to be directly involved in the ship’s ministry by teaching other women how to make school clothes for the children in their care. Using the pattern she had created, Renske taught the mothers on board the ship how to make the uniform so that they could teach the women from Beraca Haiti.

For two days, the women from Beraca Haiti sat with crewmembers to learn how to use the machines and patterns to assemble the uniforms through practical hands-on training. The ladies are excited to return to the orphanage and impact their community through the new skills they have learned.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti :: Catherine De Freitas (New Zealand) and Amy Strickland (USA) teach a woman how to sew a school uniform.