One Sunday morning at church, Stephanie McMahan asked me to join her on a sewing trip with One Vision. At first I said no, but here I am, 8 years later, still doing these trips. The first one was honestly a disaster, simply because we didn't know what to expect. But as we persevered and kept going to the DR, we now have 11 women that we work with. We started out by taking down sewing machines and a few supplies, but with each trip we continue to bring new things for the women to work with. We've taught them how to make things like aprons and tote bags, and now they're making purses and dresses and are even selling them!
On the last trip, we began to work with different women than the ones we started out with, and they can really see how much learning to sew is helping them. They make things and sell them to help support their families, and one is even making clothes for her two little girls! For these women, knowing that they can do something that helps their families is tremendous. They're just so excited and appreciative, and we constantly get pictures of what they've been working on since we saw them. Watching them work together and cooperate to help one another has been incredible. That's not something that we do here. But I love to sew, so I love to see them love to sew.
Above all, I just love going down and building relationships with these women. After one trip, I felt like I knew them all! These people are just so special, and I love seeing them every time we go. It's not about teaching them something else, but just spending time with them. Despite the poverty they live in, these women are just so happy. They aren't expecting anything from us, they're just content to spend time with us, which gives us a chance to really show them God's love. Sometimes we even get to spend time with the kids in the community, and there's one little girl who's considered a problem child. She told me once that she doesn't like many people, but she loves me. And I just have a deep love for her too.
These trips aren't something I ever imagined myself doing, but they're something that God's called me to do and I can't wait to go back.
- Jackie Beckner