I started making prayer quilts after we made a visit to our good friends, Bob and Sandy Anderson in Hutchinson. She was battling cancer, had lost her hair and was sitting on the couch covered by a gorgeous prayer quilt. After I exclaimed how beautiful it was, she said, “This was given to me by women from another faith – I don’t know why our church doesn’t do this!”
The light bulb went on in my head and I said, “Why not me?” I went home and surveyed my vast collection of fabrics and said, “So this is why you gave me this stash, Lord!” Donations of more fabric and thread began coming in and it mushroomed into a beautiful ministry with many joining me. Some volunteers are from our church, some from others.
There are approximately 20 helpers on the Prayer Quilt team, not named lest I forget someone. One is as important as another in the assembly and prayers for whom these quilts are made. God knows them all, but many we do not. By word of mouth we’ve been given names, addresses and the illness or accidents of these ailing ones. It’s like having antennas out for the Lord’s work. We say, “We are about our Father’s business”.
Many prayer warriors lift them up in prayer: some as they tie the quilts and some write on the encouragement cards notes of hope and reassurance that God loves them and that we care. After they go out they are added to our “blanket prayers”. God knows their needs and He remembers them all by name.
I have four donated sewing machines plus four of my own. Servicing the machines is also donated. And without the Dorcas and monetary donations that pay for the batting and postage we couldn’t continue this ministry.
We have made and delivered over 1,000 Prayer Quilts, using eight yards of fabric for each one. This would equal to 8,000 yards or a little over 1 1/2 miles. Each quilt is 5′ x 6′ and is big enough to wrap around the person who is usually sick and cold. They are warmed as they feel wrapped in prayers, they say.
Two of us pin about seven quilts once a week and 3 to 5 of us sew together 2 to 3 hours a week. Four of us usually sew, cut and assemble nearly 40 hours a week each on quilt tops. The others dedicate hours off and on with the various parts of the assemblies and completions.
My husband, Max, has been “Grandfathered” in and is indispensable! He delivers and picks up quilts from the prayer warriors and boxes them up and sends them. He also cooks, washes dishes and cuts strips which gives me more time to sew. He’s a “Keeper”!
At this point my stash is full, but in the future I will welcome more fabric. The batting is stored in our second bathroom shower/tub area with curtains pulled, of course, and our holding area is our spare bedroom and computer/sewing room which leaves limited space at our house. A heated, lighted building close by would be handy, but we make it work. We are immensely blessed and get thank-you notes in the mail every week. One said, “I don’t even go to church and all these people I don’t even know are praying for me….Amazing!”
Please pray for these souls – this may be their last chance to know their Savior!
Rita Tasche, Brainerd SDA Church
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