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A woman smiles as she holds a Quilt she received following flooding in the Philippines.
A woman smiles as she holds a Quilt she received following flooding in the Philippines.

Being Transformed

By Melanie Gibbons

And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

— 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)

It snowed again in Baltimore this week. Even so, there have been recent days in the 50s, and more are predicted in the near future. Spring is almost here, and for many, the season of light and life has been a long time coming. Were ready to shed our winter clothes. We’re ready for the ice to melt, to put away our snow shovels and for no more school delays! We’re ready for the transformation of spring.

We’ve been reflecting on transformation here at LWR as we wrap up the 2013 Quilt Campaign. The challenge of 500,000 Quilts gave us a lot of energy last year! Quilters around the country doubled their quilting efforts, meeting more frequently, and invited friends to join the project and the fun. Camps in Nebraska and Texas jumped right in, making hundreds of Quilts over the course of several weeks of summer camp.

So, how did we do? Our warehouse staff and volunteers have been working hard to count and bale the thousands upon thousands of Quilts that came in through fall Ingatherings last October and November, with still more to count. As of the end of February, we’ve counted 401,931 Quilts, and we know more will come in this spring. More than the numbers, we know the powerful impact all this quilting is having on the world.

In Thailand, families sleeping in temporary shelters far from home are sheltered from the wind and rain, and protected from drafts that blow through the slats of bamboo that make up their floors and walls.

In Tanzania, people living in state-run elder care facilities are able to keep warm at night, and children recovering from surgery are comforted by soft fabric and bright colors.

In the Philippines, people who lost everything in Typhoon Haiyan last November have something warm to sleep under while they work to repair and rebuild their damaged homes.

Quilters from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover, NH, with some of the tools of their trade.
Quilters from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover, NH, with some of the tools of their trade. (photo credit: Robert M. Eddy)

And the impact isn’t just on the other side of the ocean, either. Over and over, we’ve heard how the Quilt Campaign transformed your congregations, quilting groups, communities and families. Through this project, we’ve been reminded that when God calls us to something, it not only transforms the world but transforms us, too. What a gift — to be able to give ourselves away and yet somehow not be diminished, but rather to grow.

In celebration of these transformations at home and around the world, many congregations will join LWR in celebrating the success of the Quilt Campaign this Sunday, March 2, Transfiguration Sunday. What a perfect day to celebrate the transformative ministry of quilting, and the way God is working in our lives through these simple gifts of fabric and thread. We invite you to join us, celebrating this week or any other week! You can find resources for your celebration Sunday at lwr.org/quiltcampaign.

So to you who have quilted, donated fabric or money for thread or batting, or transported Quilts all over the country — thank you. Thank you for taking the risk of giving so very much of yourselves away for the sake of the world, to embody the love of Christ that runs through your hearts. And thank you for sharing how God has turned those gifts into transformation and change and growth. We thank God for each and every one of you!

Melanie Gibbons is LWR’s Quilt & Kit Ministry Manager.

 

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