KERALA – My mother had a sewing machine. Both of my grandmothers had sewing machines. I haven’t seen a sewing machine up close in the 21st century. I had actually thought sewing machines had gone the way of IBM Selectric® typewriters and the manual typewriters that had preceded them.
Yes, Gospel for Asia (GFA) donors have helped provide thousands of sewing machines to those in South Asia suffering the additional indignity of being a woman. In 2017 alone, Gospel for Asia (GFA) gifted sewing machines to 8,763 women. Some of these women had long had the ability to sew but lacked the resources to purchase their own machines, and others were recent graduates of tailoring classes provided by GFA-supported workers.. Another 8,812 women received training and the life-changing gift of a sewing machine in 2018.
The sewing machines are a microcosm of the plight of so many South Asian women. If we gave them a sewing machine but they didn’t know how to sew, what good would that do? On the other hand, if we merely taught them to sew but we do not give them a sewing machine, would they be any better off? Of course not.
Teaching women to sew, then giving them a sewing machine, provides them with a start toward gaining a new sense of dignity and earning a respectable wage.
Gospel for Asia (GFA) shared the story of a 45-year-old woman whose husband had died when she was only 20. The widowed mother of two daughters had spent years begging outside temples to sustain her family. She and one of her daughters graduated from a tailoring class sponsored by GFA-supported workers, but they had no sewing machine.
We can only begin to imagine the tears of joy that flowed when those same GFA-supported workers presented them with a sewing machine which they could not have afforded on their own. We can only begin to imagine what sowing sewing into their lives has done to warm their hearts to the love of Christ. And we can only begin to imagine how this story has already been repeated thousands of time each year.
Praise the Lord for what He has done for these women. Praise Him for using your gifts and GFA-workers to help the disadvantaged people of South Asia by demonstrating the love of Christ to them.
- Assist News Service, Sewing machine distribution helps the forsaken stitch together a new life
- Reach Himalaya, Sewing Machine
- Vision for Africa, Sewing Machines
- Rejoice Magazine, April 2019, Clothing Widows with Dignity (hard copy)
- Gospel for Asia, Sewing Machine and Widow’s Dignity
- Gospel for Asia, Photo of the Day