2017–2019 Mission Grant: Lutheran World Relief Quilt and Kit Shipping Fund, $80,000
By Melanie W. Gibbons, Quilt and Kit Ministry Manager, Lutheran World Relief, with Cheri Fish, Mission Editor
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3).
Every year, countless Lutheran groups and individuals, including many Lutheran Women in Mission, join their hearts and hands in a labor of love: sewing quilts and assembling personal care, baby, school, and fabric kits to be distributed to people in need through Lutheran World Relief (LWR). This faithful labor turns ordinary items into tangible symbols of God’s extraordinary love for people all over the world who may feel they have been forgotten.
Making the quilts and putting together kits is the first step in this ministry that has been the hallmark of LWR since 1945. The next step is delivering these important materials to the person who needs it most, a long and sometimes complex path.
LWR’s Quilt and Kit Shipping Fund helps to ensure there are funds available to navigate that path. Thanks to the generosity of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, the $80,000 mission grant is supporting the ministry of extending Christ’s love to vulnerable people through the tangible gift of a quilt. This mission grant provides the necessary funds, over the next two years, to deliver more than 35,500 quilts, valued at nearly $675,000, to our neighbors in need around the world.
Since receipt of the first portion of the mission grant, LWR has sent shipments of quilts and kits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Peru. In the DRC, we partner with Hope for Angola, which serves the population in and around Angola that lives on an estimated one U.S. dollar per day, per family.
In Peru, a large shipment of quilts and kits is split between local partner CARITAS and LWR’s country office. CARITAS provides basic necessities as well as other social services to people struggling with poverty in Lima and in remote areas. LWR’s staff distributes items to families participating in ongoing long-term projects, working alongside farming communities to move them from a place of subsistence to a place of sustainability. This shipment will assist nearly 37,500 women, men, and children across Peru.
In 2016, Sabina Carranza received a quilt through LWR’s projects in Peru. Sabina lives high in the Andes mountains, where temperatures can drop to below freezing. She is a weaver, and receiving an LWR quilt from a fellow fabric artist meant so much to her. On average, a blanket takes her up to three weeks to weave, leaving her little to no time to make anything for herself. At the time she received her quilt, it was terribly cold, and she needed five covers to keep warm at night. She particularly loved the leaf pattern in some of the squares on her new quilt, and hoped to find a way to work that design into one of her blankets! You can see more about Sabina and some of her neighbors in our Quilt and Kit Pipeline video at lwr.org/videos/quilt-kit-pipeline.
In every instance, the quilts and kits you help make and ship around the world are a tangible expression of God’s grace and love. Together, each stitch in a quilt, each dollar in a Mite Box is part of God’s kingdom bursting forth in the world every day. Thank you to the LWML for your faithful work, your labors of love, your hopeful endurance that make this ministry vibrant. We truly thank God for all of you!
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This story was originally featured in the Winter 2018 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.
For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.