When people ask how SEED started, I tell them it started organically and has grown organically. That’s important to us… and so is being intentional. Especially after having an urban gardener grow organic vegetables in our yard for two years, we know: the best produce come from seeds that are organically and intentionally grown. It is the same in God’s kingdom. God gives us everything we need to grow things well if we work intentionally alongside what he is doing organically.
SEED’s partnership with Firm Foundations Ministry to Widows and Orphans has grown organically and intentionally. Neddy Dingili leads Firm Foundations, and also the Kenya Free Methodist Bible School. We (Rose and David) had the incredible opportunity to teach at the Bible school in early 2010 and get to know Neddy, her husband (Bishop Nixon Dingili) and their wonderful children. Since then, the friendship between our families has grown.
When I (Rose) had the chance to spend time with Neddy at General Conference last year, she talked about her work with widows throughout the Kenyan FMC. She mentioned that she was hoping to teach some of the widows in her Nairobi church how to sew. At the same time, SEED was wondering which livelihood group could sew small gift bags to give away with jewelry purchases. An organic match!
We started with samples, and made adjustments. In January, I had the great honor of meeting the group of widows. These are wonderful, persevering women. By then, some of them were ready to start working on another project. We intentionally chose a joint project that worked with what their livelihood group can do in this beginning season — little girls’ skirts.
I took three sample skirts to the Global Outreach weekend at Wenatchee FMC, and sold two before they were even tagged! One little girl and her mom came up to me near the end of the event, and the little girl happily showed me that she was wearing one of those skirts. In my mind’s eye, I could vividly see the trip this skirt has taken.
The fabric came from a tiny upstairs shop off a side street in downtown Nairobi… then to Neddy’s home where she and a seamstress friend worked out the exact pattern with Alice and Marie (two of the widows)… then to Alice’s sewing machine … back to the States with me … and to this little girl in Wenatchee … and now proceeds from that skirt travel back with another order for Firm Foundations.
I couldn’t explain all that to the little girl, partly because the beauty of it all hit me so hard. She is a beautiful little part of something much bigger that God is doing. All of us are part of a bigger whole, where the Spirit of God is at work. He grows beautiful things organically, and we have the privilege of intentionally walking alongside what the Creator is doing.