I Couldn’t Stop Crying
By Dawn Carroll—Texas
I started sewing in 9th grade when my elderly neighbor, who had no children of her own, eagerly taught me everything she knew about sewing. I loved sewing! I loved the creativity and the challenge of problem solving when something did not work with either the sewing machine or pattern. I carried that skill that she passed on to me during my high school years by making my own clothes and mending other people’s clothes.
In 1986, a month after our honeymoon, my husband and I went on an eight-week mission trip to Togo, West Africa. Our team leader asked me, since I knew how to sew, to come up with a craft that the African ladies could make to sell at their local market. I was delighted to be able to use my sewing skills in this way to honor the Lord. By the time our eight-week mission trip was over, my husband and I had fallen in love with the Togo people and did not want to go home. We hoped to return later as missionaries ourselves.
After returning back to America, I still had a burden for the Togolese people; but due to circumstances, my husband and I did not return to Africa like we had planned as missionaries. Through the years, I always had the desire to go back one day to Togo to serve, but did not know how or when that would be possible. I continued to use my sewing skills in various ways to bless other people from mending garments for people, to sewing gifts, sewing curtains and decorative items, to making costumes for a Shakespeare play and even teaching a beginner’s sewing class. But I still had a longing to combine Africa and my sewing again.
Fast forward to 2015, and I had begun to seriously pray that somehow God would enable me to minister again to Africa with my sewing skills. I did not know how God was going to do it, because at the time I did not know any ministries connected to Africa. I decided I would have to
just pray and wait on the Lord!
In September our family went to a business conference in Kentucky. I had no idea that the Lord was about to answer my prayers. When Jason and Cinnamon Miles presented their ministry with Sew Powerful, I knew the Lord had miraculously connected my sewing skills again with Africa! I could not stop crying. I was so overjoyed! I could not believe that the Lord had miraculously answered my prayer. Who would have ever dreamed that it was going to be through a business meeting that the Lord would answer?
When our family got home from the business trip, my daughter and I immediately began to get the details about making the purses for Sew Powerful. It is through Sew Powerful that I am so excited to be able to use my sewing skills to serve the Lord and Africa again! One day, I hope the Lord will miraculously answer my prayer to be able to go back to visit those African people that I realized the Lord had given me a love for back in 1986 on our mission trip; but until then, I will gladly support Sew Powerful!