Church Focus: Words of prayer in every stitch

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yards of material are spread out across tables and chairs in an extra room at Fourmile Baptist Church in Wilsonville. Before the night is over more than a dozen hands will touch the patterns, whether it is to cut out the shape, sew the seams or iron out the wrinkles.

&8220;We have from the young children on up to the oldest adults in the church who come all working on it together,&8221; Janet Parson said. &8220;For me it&8217;s been a very uniting ministry. One of the things we do, as we work, is we pray over each dress and the child that will wear it.&8221;

The Hemmed in Prayer group is working on a batch of dresses to send to orphan girls in Nicaragua.

The ministry started when several young members of the church attended a young girl&8217;s conference called &8220;Pizzazz&8221; where more than 500 girls worked on this project.

&8220;We started out doing it just as a project once a year,&8221; Renee Wilder, one of the members who attended the conference, said. &8220;We decided we&8217;d do it once a month and then when the missionary had a need we would already have some ready.&8221;

Since the group has been involved in the ministry they have made more than 300 dresses that have gone not only to Nicaragua but also to other countries around the world.

The dresses are sent through Mary Beth Tuberville who lives in Phenix City and runs the Children Hemmed in Prayer ministry.

Many of the women joined because they enjoyed sewing as a hobby.

&8220;When my children was small I made all of our clothes so I already knew how to sew,&8221; Janice Key said. &8220;I&8217;ve been involved ever since we made the first 50 dresses one Saturday.&8221;

Several members noted though that it doesn&8217;t take sewing skills to be a part of the effort. Jimmy Jones, a lifelong member of Fourmile Baptist and Renee Wilder&8217;s father, said he got involved in this mostly female ministry because he saw a great need.

&8220;I&8217;ve been to Guatemala two different times,&8221; Jones said. &8220;I can imagine the little girls down there that don&8217;t have hardly anything getting a dress like that.&8221;

Each dress is sewn with two patterns so the dress can be reversible. Ministry members said it&8217;s not always easy for a dress to be washed every day just because it has a small stain on it.

Making the dresses reversible is almost like giving each girl two dresses at once. Once the dresses are complete the scripture &8220;Children are the heritage of the Lord,&8221; Psalms 127:3 is sewn into the dress in the orphans&8217; native language.

Other churches in the area have heard abut the ministry and have even asked Hemmed in Prayer members to visit and teach their church members how to make the patterns. The group meets once a month to work on the dresses.

For more information,

contact the church at 669-6681