March 6, 2006
Comfort in the form of quilts
By Kristen Miller
The Mission Guild Quilters, along with women of an Ojibwe tribe, combined efforts to make quilts and send them with the Minnesota Katrina Relief Effort last week.
With each blanket packed in Minnesota, was a picture and a letter explaining the woman’s efforts, and a self-addressed stamped envelope in hopes of hearing a response.
“We want to know who they are and what stage they are in rebuilding and what else we can do to help,” said Konnie Miller, one of the Mission Guild Quilters from First Baptist Church of Cokato.
Members of the church spent six days at the Nett Lake Ojibwa reservation in northern Minnesota for an adult outreach program.
The group of men and women stayed with a tribe who belonged to the Nett Lake Baptist Church.
Last summer, the church’s youth group spent time at Nett Lake and Pastor Kevin Lasley is a missionary pastor for the Nett Lake Baptist church.
“Building relationships is very important to them. They want you to listen to their story not try to change them,” explained First Baptist Youth Pastor Steve Stahl.
For this trip, the Mission Guild Quilters taught the Ojibwe women how to make quilts.
Miller guided the women with a devotion by speaking of hardships in her life and what God had done for her.
Every time she said something the Ojibwa women related to, they put a block onto the quilt.
Miller brought home those quilts unfinished and did the reverse for the ladies of the Mission Guild.
For every hardship or experience the Ojibwe women had that they could relate to, they put a tie on the quilt.
The finished quilts, along with others from area churches, were donated to the Minnesota Katrina Relief Effort, and for every person who helped, a quilt was given to them.
Responses from the people of Waveland
The people from Waveland were overjoyed when they received their quilt and gracious for the kindness shown them.
An elderly woman, who the group helped, said to one of them, “I heard about a group from Minnesota who gives out hand-made quilts…hand-made quilts,” and the worker replied, “Yes, and we are right here.”
Their gratefulness shows through their tears that they received a gift all the way from Minnesota.
One of the women from camp went with Shirley Martinez of Waveland to Mass on Ash Wednesday. After Mass, she was given one of the hand-made quilts.
She explained how she always wanted a homemade quilt. It just so happened that the colors in the quilt she received were the colors of her bedroom that was destroyed.
With all the quilts given away, each of the people has been touched in a unique way.