Delaware stitches love into gifts
A dozen disciples at Delaware UMC have wrapped God’s love around 730 people near and far away.
In those numbers, we are reminded of God’s power to multiply our gifts.
As a mission project, 12 women of the church — ages 15 to 91 — began making blankets in January 2010. The church was helping more than 200 children in an area of Zambia, Africa, by collecting school supplies, clothing, and funds for a building, through a penny campaign. Church member Ruth Spurgeon said a large number of the children were orphans.
The women learned many of the children did not have a comfortable place to sleep. That inspired them to design a larger blanket, 5 feet by 7 feet, from durable double-knit fabric, to serve as both bedding and bedcover for a sleeping child.
But manufacture of that fabric ceased years ago.
Undeterred, the women began sharing their goal to make 220 blankets, and they were covered up in double-knit fabric donations. Twice monthly, they met to sew at the church. In September 2011, the goal was met.
As they explored shipping options, the women continued sewing for missions.
They made and delivered 160 lap blankets to the Claremore Veterans Center, 150 lap blankets to the Muskogee Veterans Center, and 50 more to a veterans rehabilitation center in Tulsa.
During 2013, Delaware UMC found a viable way to transport the blankets to Zambia and raised funds for the cost. The shipment went out on Dec. 16 — 14 boxes, packed with school supplies, the special blankets, fabric, and clothes, weighing almost 800 pounds — and arrived in January.
By then, another 150 completed lap blankets awaited delivery in Oklahoma.
"We have found that, when you help others, you also help yourself," Spurgeon said.
In far northeastern Oklahoma, population is 417 in Delaware, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The United Methodist Church, pastored by Darrel Cox, averages 14 in worship on Sundays.
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Women at Delaware UMC spread blankets they made for Zambian children.