Saturday, November 10, 2007

the nativity project

i have a really great missions project to share with you guys (all 3 of you who read this... ha). my cousin, teri rae, told me about this project and i absolutely fell in love with it. the elim christian center in poland began the nativity project about 3 years ago to help the needier families in their church. the inspiration came about during a time when the church was experiencing a 90% unemployment rate. many women in the mission had never sewn nor constructed handicrafts before, but classes were held and the women learned. they now sew and handcraft nativity sets. beautiful nativity sets. i had seen the pictures on the website and thought, "these are cute," but when i unpacked the box -- i was simply blown away by the detail, the craftsmanship, and the overall beauty of each individual piece. and i think the stories of the women are even more beautiful than the sets themselves.

i want to share one woman's story with you...

this is iwona, standing in front of her home and holding her contribution to the nativity project --the mary dolls. quoted directly from the website: She has 7 Children, and God has
blessed her so much through the Sewing project. God has also provided her family
with a proper stove through the Nativity Sets, which works on bottled gas. (She
previously had a wood stove, and one hotplate).

the steps leading to the children's room, just inside the home.

iwona's old wood stove.

iwona's new stove. one thing that strikes me in this photo -- notice her newfound pride in her kitchen area. before, there was no hanging rack for her dishes, no cloth or backsplash covering the counter and back wall.

the old toilet... basically a hole with seat. and no running water.

her new toilet. and a bathtub!

even a washing machine!

iwona and her family are so grateful for the items they have been able to purchase with her earnings from the nativity project. her story is far from being the only success story stemming from this project. please click on this link: to read about two other ladies named iwona (apparently, a popular name in poland!) and a lady named basia. one has come to know Jesus as her Savior through the project, one bikes 12.5 miles round trip to deliver her dolls and restock her supplies and one supports her children and her mother through her nativity earnings.

i recently received a box of 10 sets that cassidy and i put together. i've sold about 5 of them so far. if you are interested in purchasing one for yourself (or maybe for someone for Christmas!), please contact me. the sets are $130, but they are worth every penny. between the beauty of the set itself and the stories of the ladies who pour their hearts into handcrafting each one...

the contents of each box can be seen in detail here:

on a side note... cassidy and i had a blast (as usual) putting the sets together. even through the point that we realized we were on box number 7 and we had 4 baby Jesus' left. ha. that was fun. since baby Jesus is packed on the bottom of the set and we had to open 6 boxes to locate which one was missing a baby. need i even say that it was the last box we opened?

here are our doll assembly lines: