Tuesday, July 26, 2011
My friend, Trudy, over at Mulberry Lane Photography is hosting a giveaway that begins today! I am participating by giving one of my custom camera straps to the winner. Take a look at my etsy shop and see what I have to offer. I also have many other fabrics, so, if you are the winner, you can just let me know what you like and I can make it for you. So, go to Mulberry Lane to enter.
The giveaway ends on Sunday, July 31 at midnight, EST. So, go and enter, and you could be a winner!
Where do I begin? My last post was April 23, and I had every intention to begin posting more regularly. I had just finished the quilt I was raffling off to raise funds for our mission trip, and had left it in the quilt shop where I work so everyone could see it and donate to our cause. That was Wednesday, April 27. That morning I had gone in to work to print the raffle tickets and leave the quilt. I had no idea of the devastation that was headed our way.
All morning we kept getting reports of bad weather, and by 8:30am, our children had been sent into the hallways for safety because tornado warnings were in effect. Storms were hitting all around our little town, but every one of them skirted around us. By 11am, the schools had dismissed the children and I went and got my kids. On our way home, we had to take a detour because a tree was across the road. Finally, we were home. I turned on the TV, which is very out of the ordinary for me, to keep an eye on the weather. Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama were hit! Trenton and Sand Mountain and Flintstone, Georgia were hit! Chattanooga was hit! All around us, destruction. But, each storm that looked like it would hit us, kept veering north. By 8pm, I was full of nervous energy and was sewing on a project, but had my eye on the television because the warnings just kept coming. About 8:15, I had my kids and dog in our small downstairs bathroom and saw a storm cell was headed straight for us! My husband said, this one won't miss Ringgold. At about 8:30pm, we heard on the emergency radio that a tornado was confirmed in downtown Ringgold. Upon hearing it, my husband, who is our county manager, had to leave, assuring us we were in the clear now and would be ok.
After he left, we began receiving calls from friends, my son, the kids' dad who lives in town, and my daughter who lives in Atlanta and was frantically trying to reach her dad. Story after story, we heard from my kids' friends about how they were fleeing from the tornado and saw it destroy their home, how they were watching the tornado head straight for them and then it turned and went another direction, about how their dad was in his tub with his dog and heard the tornado go overhead! Ringgold was hit with a storm of massive proportions. An EF4 tornado with a path of 13 miles and a swath of 1/3 mile had wiped out much of downtown and then went over a ridge and settled in between two ridges and obliterated about seven miles. In all, 8 people died. After seeing the damage, it was a miracle more didn't lose their lives.
The quilt shop where I worked was destroyed. And my raffle quilt was in the shop under the collapsed roof.
The next morning, my kids and I were able to make it to our church by traveling back roads and we began working with other volunteers, helping clean up and providing meals to people in need. Within a couple of days, our church was designated as a distribution point for those in need on our side of the county. We were cooking 3 meals a day, providing disaster relief to those in need, and sending out work teams to help those in the community with needs. The outpouring from the surrounding community was incredible! We were able to share the love of Christ with those hurting by providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. We had so much donated for relief that our gym was half full. We had people coming from as far away as Oregon, Iowa and California to assist, and individual business owners in the area were donating truckloads of food and supplies! We never could have imagined this would happen! We were so thankful we had been spared and could serve our neighbors and friends this way.
We met so many wonderful people, and a storm victim even said to me, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm kind of glad for the storm because I was able to meet so many caring people because of it." Now, that sounds crazy, but I am convinced that the love of Christ will make you thankful for storms in your life!
When the building owner began demolishing the quilt shop, someone was able to save my quilt from the rubble! She has some wounds from the roof collapsing on her, but after a soak, she is still in pretty good shape. Vicki Bedford from Michigan was the winner of the quilt, and after thinking about it for some time, she decided she should let the quilt go to someone in need of it. So, I am prayerfully considering who that might be. We have so many who are having to rebuild their homes and lives, and I know God will lead me to the right person. Thank you , Vicki! This quilt will definitely have a story to tell!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
This summer, my daughter, Elizabeth, and I will have the opportunity to travel with a group of 11 people from our church on a mission trip to the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas! We will be assisting a local church in outreach to their community through a children's Vacation Bible School. Our family has been involved in missions for many years, but this trip is especially exciting to me because my 16-year old daughter is getting to experience an overseas trip with me! I know first-hand how a short-term overseas mission trip can impact your life and look forward to seeing how it will be used in hers.
We will be serving with Caribbean Ministry Association, hosting a VBS through one of the churches there, as well as serving through service projects in the community. Eleuthera is very beautiful, but in many areas of the island, there are third-world living conditions. We hope to be the hands and feet of Jesus and share His love with those we serve.
As you can imagine, we need people to commit to prayer for us and for our team. It is no easy task to step outside your comfort zone and give unselfishly of yourselves. We also need to raise money to cover our travel expenses, lodging and food. We need $1200 each to cover these expenses.
Here is where the quilt giveaway comes in! I have lovingly pieced and quilted this beautiful throw-size quilt and would like to give it away. Every donation of $10 will earn you a chance in a drawing to win the quilt. If you donate $20, you get 2 chances; $100, gets you 10 chances, and so on. All donations will be used toward the expenses for our trip.
You can either donate through the "Chip In" button in my sidebar, or you may give your donation to me.
The quilt measures 63" x 78" and is a wonderful throw size. The colors are bright and cheerful in coral pink and lime green along with aqua and yellow. Such summery colors just seem perfect for this time of year. I quilted it with an all-over meandering swirl design in a gorgeous variegated quilting thread. It is bound in a sweet polka dot that perfectly matches the rest of the quilt. All the fabrics are high-quality quilting cottons purchased from Sew Bee It, here in Ringgold.
The giveaway will be open until Sunday, May 15 at midnight. After the giveaway ends, the winner will be selected through random.org and will be notified. Please consider helping. By sharing in our need, you are sharing with the precious people of Eleuthera!