Today! Today is the day we were blessed to bless the new mothers with baby kits! The ideas for these baby kits started almost a year ago at First Bend UMC in Oregon. We had the pleasure of sharing our call story with their congregation. Later that summer, they contacted us and asked if they could raise some funds during their VBS. They wanted to come along side us in our mission at Chicuque Rural Hospital and do something to help the babies. We did not know what the needs were at that time but we willingly agreed to figure it out after we settled in Mozambique.
After we started working at the hospital, we discussed some possibilities with the head nurse in Maternity. I thought about how so many friends and family helped prepare us for welcoming a new life into the world. We hoped it would be possible to do the same for these new mothers! The nurse identified the items needed: cloth diapers, a onesie, socks, hat, and a capulanna. (A capulanna is a versatile piece of material used for everything….baby blanket, towel, a skirt, and even to tie the baby to the mom!) Later, another employee had the idea to provide a “saco de peso” – a weigh sack for measuring the growth of the baby.
I started to gather the items, which is more of a challenge than one might expect. During the process, I had a thought. It would be cool if there was more to the baby kit gift...a deeper significance that would be a greater gift. I contacted my cousin with an embroidery machine to see if she could make “Jesus Loves Me” patches. This truth that many Western church children grow up with is not widely conveyed here. This simple but important message could be shared with all of these Mozambican babies and their mommas. My cousin petitioned others to help make patches which were then brought to Mozambique with David’s mom. A local seamstress who was making the saco de peso was employed to sew the patches on. (The patches were very popular on their own and many people asked to have one.)
Last week, all of the items were assembled into baby kits. A prayer written by Rev Ann Sutton was attached. “May this gift of grace bless this child and mother with hope and health and the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord! Amen.” And today we got to share them with all of the babies born over the weekend. Fifteen babies (10 boys, 5 girls and a set of twins), received the baby kits this morning with lots of excitement. We will give more this week and will be able to continue to give these baby kits thanks to a generous donor who wanted to bless the babies born in Chicuque. Please pray these gifts not only help mothers care for their new babies but also that they know the deep love of Jesus.
You can connect with this project in various ways.
1) Pray for those who receive the baby kits.
2) Make “Jesus Loves Me” patches. Contact Jennifer Green for embroidery design where patches can be sent. (firstname.lastname@example.org) The patches are sent to Mozambique via mission teams coming this way.
3) Purchase a baby kit for around $15. Donations can be made through the Advance http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for-Projects/Projects/09734A.
Please send David and email and let him know you are designating for Baby Kits at email@example.com.