Thursday, September 17, 2009

Scarves for Romania

On the night before we left for Romania, Jeff and I stuffed about 350 "scarves" into our suitcases. They were every color, pattern, and style imaginable, representing the equally wide variety of women and girls who made and/or gave them. Truly beautiful.

The Scarves actually began quite a while back, though, when I was studying an Old Testament passage about how God used a sash ... a scarf, to show His people how they were to be woven throughout their culture and reflect Him. Jeremiah 13 says the sash illustrated how God's special ones are to adorn His name with "renown, praise, and glory," wrapping around the lives of the people around them.

So when the ministry trip to Romania began to take shape and the opportunity for me to equip and encourage nearly 50 pastors/leaders wives, the perfect gift became clear: scarves. They would meet a need for many and drape our sisters in Christ with encouragement to be steadfast in living out their faith where they are. Many serve in multiple churches or village works, but all face challenges that stretch them personally and in ministry. My hope was that I could give a beautiful scarf to each leader and maybe another one ... a "tag, you're it" gift to take and pass on, along with the challenge, to one of her ministry partners back home. I asked my sisters at my church to help me gather scarves ...

... and that was beautiful. I was amazed as the scarves began to arrive. More varieties than I ever expected. Young and old crocheted and knitted and did things with yarn I've only dreamed of doing. Others shopped or brought personal treasures. I began to pile them on my guest bed, and as I watched the pile grow, I began to anticipate the beauty of encouragement to pass from sister to sister, even across oceans.

On the Sunday before our departure, an array of women and girls chose a scarf and lined up all across our sanctuary in a visual display celebrating the gift, a beautiful visual reminder for prayer. We gave a bookmark with the names of the Romanian pastors and wives. There were so many beautiful names, a hint of the beauty of the women behind the names. Nadia. Cristina. Florica. Liliana. Talia. Artimizia. Gabriela. Luminita. Adela. Adriana. Mihaela. And others ...

The scarves stayed hidden in my conference room until my final session with the women. By that time, we had peeled back the truths of First Thessalonians and uncovered rich answers to the needs of women in every place, answers to the challenges of leading and living as a follower of Jesus in the world. The stage was set to deliver the gifts ... the scarves and the accompanying words of encouragement. I love being the one to deliver gifts. It's a privilege. It's humbling. It's a responsibility. Tomorrow I'll share pictures, glimpses of the sweet time we shared.

4 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kristi_runwatch said...

What a beautiful gift, Julie. You have such a special way of demonstrating rich spiritual Truths in heartfelt and tangible ways - you are full of the aroma of Christ. :)

Heidi Pocketbook said...

Very interesting, Julie. How cool that your home church was so generous in the giving and how special that you had the idea.

Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Heidi, yes - our church gave generously and with great joy. It was so much fun to go look inside the basket and find it full each week (sometimes day to day) with new, beautiful scarves. I received so much encouragement.

Kristi, thank you for your sweet words of blessing. Isn't the Spirit just good to shine a spotlight on the "common" things in our days that point to God's truths? I love that!

Wendy Blight said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

How I wish I could have been present to experience what you shared today. In all the reading of Scripture I have done, I do not remember anything about scarves...what a wonderful Truth you taught me today.

You can surely attest today to God's Truth that incredible blessings follow obedience! So thankful I stopped by today to read this story.

In Him,