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At age 91, Wanda Hein has been sewing for all of her adult life. In May of 2015 Wanda attended an American Baptist Women's Missions (ABWM) spring rally in Winchester. The guest speaker that year was Dixie Koch, President of Children Are People, Inc. and a missionary to Africa. That year, Dixie was taking clothing to Africa and mentioned how some of the dresses she was taking back with her had been made out of pillow cases. That got Wanda thinking that she could use her gift of sewing to make some simple dresses too. As word spread of what she was doing, various people gave her material, zippers, buttons, lace and trimmings.
In 2016, Wanda made 100 dresses. Some went to Friendship House, in Peoria, an ecumenical ministry in the heart of the poorest neighborhood in Peoria. The rest went to Africa. One of Wanda's greatest thrills has been receiving pictures of little girls all dressed up in the dresses she's made. So far this year, Wanda has made 50 dresses. On her last visit to Africa, Ms. Koch took 700 pounds of clothing with her. When she returns to Africa in 2018, forty of Wanda's little girls' dresses will be a part of her load.
Jill Wright recently gave Wanda some material that is a colorful, wild, African print and Wanda is anxious to use it for her current project of making little boys' shirts, and some more dresses for the girls. Wanda says, "I'm not the best seamstress, but my service to God and the church is sewing." Those who know Wanda best also know that her service to God extends far beyond her sewing.
Pictured each holding one of the 57 shoeboxes collected are:
Linda Liles, Helen Burris, Wanda Hein, & Gloria Smith
A big Thank You to the ABWM ladies for organizing and to all the Virden First Baptist church members who donated to Operation Christmas Child this year (2017). A total of 57 shoeboxes were collected which will be taken to the Macoupin Baptist Association in Carlinville, Illinois.
What is Operation Christmas Child?
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Their mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. They ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.
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