City Life Sewing - Ministry That Make an Impactby Marilyn Miller
You’ve seen pictures of the dresses they make. You’ve heard about the trips to Nicaragua they’ve taken. But did you know that our ECC Women’s Ministry Sewing Team have taken on another ministry?
The ECC Sewing Team has partnered with Youth for Christ’s City Life Ministry.
What is City Life?
Youth for Christ’s website explains: “City Life is a relational, holistic, community-based ministry that desires to see deep change in an urban neighborhood through the raising of indigenous leaders from the young people in that community. Our vision is to empower urban youth to change their community for Christ.”
What are indigenous leaders?
“A young person raised in the urban community who has shown the desire to be taught in a seemingly unteachable environment, possesses the fortitude to lead in a positive manner even when it seems no one is following, and has the audacity to shine or reflect light in the midst of darkness.”
How did this partnership with City Life come about?
After one of Pastor Steve Fish’s REACH moments about local ministries, Kris Hittler, who heads up the Sewing Team, felt moved to action. She had seen the global impact that the sewing ministry was having and wondered if this same ministry could impact our community locally. After praying about this and meeting with church staff, the partnership with Youth for Christ’s City Life was formed.
City Life students, who were already involved in a program called “Leading Ladies,” were given the opportunity to sign up for sewing classes. These students earned the right be to in Leading Ladies and as a result, they are offered special opportunities to participate in extra programs, or “special ops” as they are called.
The journey began last February with the ladies in ECC’s sewing group coming together with 5 students. They meet once a week at City Life to teach the students how to sew.
How does sewing reach urban youth for Christ?
The goal of this partnership with City Life is to build relationships with students and to model Jesus’ love. Just as Jesus calls us his friends in John 15:15 and commands us to love each other in verse 17, these ladies are obeying the call to live as Jesus did. As friendships develop, their goal is to be good role models, teach patience, model consistency and follow-through on a project, and to emphasize that students should do their best work even if it means ripping out and sewing again.
The ladies who participate in this ministry are committed to being a part in raising up a generation of leaders that could someday have an impact for Christ in their world. Often these students have difficulties and inconsistencies in their lives at home.
Kris Hittler says, “We’ve had challenges, but nothing that will drive us away. We are committed to this ministry.”
These ladies understand that as Christ followers, they don’t have a job to do, they have a life to share. And they view it as a privilege to pour their lives into these students.
How was this ministry received by the students?
Check out what Tekamri has to say:
Here’s what Jazmine had to say:
Here’s what Tyra had to say:
And finally, here is Monica:
What’s next for this Ministry?
Because of the success of this ministry, plans are in the works to offer two summer outings with the students where no sewing will be involved, but rather to continue to build relationships. In the fall, both beginner and advanced sewing classes will be offered.
A highlight that was shared by Linda, from ECC’s sewing group, was that the student she worked with would like to continue sewing classes next fall, but only if Linda would continue to be her teacher.
Friendships are forming and relationships are being built.
Interested in this Ministry? Here’s how you can help.
Currently, the ladies are using old donated machines of different brands making it difficult to teach because of the inconsistencies in the machines. Some machines had to be discarded because of their poor condition, and some ladies brought their own machines each week. It is their dream to have 10 sewing machines of the same brand for ease of teaching. Monetary donations would be appreciated and can be designated along with your regular tithing to cover the cost of machines as well as the costs of needed fabric and supplies.
Also, if you are interested in being a part of this ministry, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have you join us in building relationships and speaking truth into the lives of these students, all through this sewing ministry that is impacting lives for Christ.
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