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NAC quilting project teaches teens new ministry, empathy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–A stitch in time could save lives as a result of the National Acteens Conference.
Missionaries around the globe will benefit from the work of the teenage girls who brought cloth and sewed quilts during the July 1-4 conference on missions and Christianity at Louisville’s Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.
Each of the nearly 11,000 participants were assigned a time to work on the quilts, said Trudy Johnson, special projects manager for Woman’s Missionary Union.
The 18 Southern Baptist missionaries who helped with the massive project received most of the quilts for use in their work, Johnson said.
As they worked with the teens, the missionaries also explained the work they do, teaching the young women how the quilts will be used in ministry to a variety of people, from homeless men and battered women to families in poverty or victims of natural disasters.
“We want them to learn the joy that comes from giving of themselves to someone in need,” Johnson said. “We’ve also taught them a very simple, easy-to-do project that they can do in their community.”
Several groups said they wanted to go back home and duplicate the work for a ministry project in their area, Johnson said. Some asked for leftover cloth and supplies so they could work on quilts during the ride back home, she said.
The experience was designed to educate them about a variety of ministry opportunities.
Each workstation profiled an area of ministry emphasized by Project HELP, WMU’s emphasis on ministering to people in a variety of issues, including AIDS, spouse abuse and job training for low-income women.
The Baptist Nursing Fellowship sent thousands of bandages with the fellowship’s name and address for Acteens to use, “in case the girls pricked their fingers while sewing,” Johnson said. “We really did try to get everybody involved.”
Even the setting where they worked, the hard, cold concrete floor of the convention center, was meant to educate Acteens, she added. “We want to help them have some empathy for some of the people who will get their quilts.”
Kentucky Women on Mission worked long and hard to organize the supplies and work area. Eveleen Caudill, of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, said she hopes young girls learn about Women on Mission and consider doing similar projects when they get older to mentor young women.

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  • David Winfrey