Experiencing Unity

Where have you experienced moments of unity with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Last week while in Haiti I had this experience in worship as confession was professed aloud, while together singing one song at youth group but in different languages, and while working side by side with our new Haitian friends to brighten the interior of the cinder block school building with bubble gum colored paint. But one of the highlights of this experience for me was painting silk with the La Femme de la Croix (Women of the Cross). Monday afternoon found me under this tree in a patch of dirt and dust anxious to see how this project would be accomplished.

In no time at all the supplies had been assembled. A small table was found and covered with a large sheet of plywood and we were ready to create.

The group this time consists of young women ranging from preteen to young adult. They first wet the silk.

Then trays are set up with Dixie cups and recycled Communion cups (it's a sustainable project!) These circular receptacles will help establish the ringed designs in the silk.

Carefully the silk is placed on top of the tray and poked into the cylinders. Many hands make light work in this step!

And then the fun can commence! Paintbrushes apply the dye to the silk. The artists have a wonderful sense of color theory and there rarely is an end product that isn't stunning and bright. If I close my eyes I can still hear the chatter and giggling as the group worked together....and really, these joyful sounds could have been any women in community in any part of the world. Unity.

Get a group of charming young ladies together and what happens next? The boys show up! Trust me, they were quickly shooed away!

After several hours, the work was seen to completion and the silk was set on the rooftop to dry.

The next day the silk was ironed by Marietta, the lead of this project and her friend Jenny. 

All the artists get to keep one scarf for themselves and the remainder are brought back to the United States and sold through my home congregation. The monies are sent back to Haiti to support the education of these artists. Carrot Top Studio buys the silk and cuts it into symbols and images to applique onto ministry stoles. Our current collection is available here. We donate the profits back to La Femme de la Croix. 
Haiti silk is transformed into palm leaves on this Lent stole.
If you'd like to know more about the work that's being done through the ministry of Pastor Pierre you may read my daughters' blog from our trip last week, here. As for Haiti as a whole we were greatly encouraged to see fewer tent cities than we did on our trip in June and to hear Pastor Pierre speak highly of the work that the Haitian president is trying to do.