Last February I was invited to speak at the New England Prayer Center's Christian Conference entitled "Let there be...Inspiration!" It was oriented towards finding or re-finding inspiration for your craft/creativeness through God. The conference alone was awesome. I got up for about 10 minutes after lunch and spoke about Dress a Girl, how I had become involved and how others could too. A gentleman whom I had met when he was a guest speaker at our church was the emcee. David Wagner, of Father's Heart Ministries in Pensacola Florida, took the microphone from me as I exited the stage-relieved that I was done & hadn't forgotten anything-then asked me for 10,000 dresses for upcoming trips to Africa and South America! I said "Sure!" before I really thought about it. We talked afterwards about logistics and then I got right on the phone with Rachel (head of DAGATW) and put her in contact with him. She agreed we could do this with the help of lots of people sewing and her inventory in Arizona. I was so excited (and a little nervous)! My first speaking engagement and look what had happened!
Well, since February, we have been sewing like crazy and I have put the word out that we need lots of help and dresses mailed to David in Florida. He had received about 2000 until Friday when Rachel mailed him 5000 dresses! Through the generosity of many companies, she was able to secure free transport of the dresses to him! He in turn knew someone who was traveling from the airport 8 hours away from him that agreed to drive them the rest of the way to his ministry. Isn't it great how people come together to help in a situation like this???
I have a few hundred dresses just about ready to be shipped to David also. I am hoping to get them out in the next week. I still need people to send dresses to him so if you are reading this and have finished pillowcase dresses that you could send, I would really appreciate it. We are slowly approaching the goal for all these dresses!!!
So, the story continues...This Saturday I participated in our town's Fall Festival put on by the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce. It is a heavily attended event in which local businesses, non-profits and charities come together by setting up a booth and talking about their business etc. My husband and I worked the booth for Cornerstone Church all day. It was fun, hot and exhausting. I handed out a flyer that I made up for Dress a Girl. It asked for donations to be dropped off at the church and for helpers to become involved. We talked about our wonderful church and all it has to offer. I had dresses hanging from the corners of the booth to advertise Dress a Girl. It was great!
When the day was over around 5pm, our Youth Minister, Don, asked Kevin and I if we'd like to go to dinner with David Wagner that evening. David was speaking at our Sunday service the next day. As wiped out as we were, I couldn't miss the opportunity to get to know David a little better and hear some of his amazing stories. We ran home, showered quickly and drove up to the hotel to pick David up. Don and his wife Jauneen, Kevin and I and David all went out for a yummy meal. On the drive to the restaurant, David told us a story about how the dresses have helped him share Christ on a few occasions that he might not have been able to otherwise. I was so overwhelmed that the dresses could be so helpful (more than just raise the self esteem of a little girl?). Because I couldn't remember all the details, I emailed him last night and asked him to recount it in his own words. Below is his story...
Isn't that just awesome??? He had other stories as well. In church on Sunday he told our church body how the dresses had been such a blessing to him and how what I was doing was affecting hundreds. But it isn't just me. I only oversee all the women and young ladies helping to sew. So, if you are one of those women who is making many or even just a few dresses, know that your efforts are so much more wide reaching than you know! God bless you for helping us Dress a Girl Around the World!