This morning Winter and I had the privilege of going to a village about 20 minutes from Dushanbe. We went with two ladies- Nienke and Marina who have a women’s ministry there. Nienke and Marina have been going to this village which is strongly Muslim for three years planting seeds of faith and helping the women there by providing work for them. The women of the village are victims of Tajikistans civil war which caused the deaths of most of their men. They had no way to provide for themselves and were struggling to survive. Nienke and Marina have helped by providing livilihood for these women. When we arrived, the women pause for prayer before heading through the gate to the sewing center. The sewing center is a unique building that has intricate wooden doors and the inside wall are either covered with beautiful wall hangings or painted in beautiful, intricate designs. As we enter the center, we removed our shoes and entered the main room where we proceeded to greet each woman individually. Winter even received a few kisses. The ladies liked that Winter and I both wore scarves on our heads and even thought that Winter looked Tajik.
After the greetings, we all sat on tooshaks in a circle and the meeting began. The first order of business was a report of how things were going. The second order of business included Winter and I. We had decided to have them make us each an outfit as a way to support their ministry. The process took awhile as I tried to communicate in my limited Tajik. Marina knows a little English so she helped some. The ladies also had many opinions on what the emborderary around the neck should be and what style would look best with the material. Even though I didn’t understand all of it, I enjoyed watching the ladies interact. With the measurements completed and the decisions made, they were on to the next order of business. Nienke had brought some material for them to make clothes for children in another village who were in need. After that, Marina told the story of Adam and Eve to the women. It seemed to be part of the routine because they started out by asking who remember what they had talked about last time. For the last order of business, Nienke went out to the car and brought in a suitcase and two bags. They contained socks, winter vests for some of the children, visors to keep the sun off of them as they work in their gardens, combs and few other items. Winter enjoyed helping pass some of the items out. See if you can find her in the picture. Our time there ended with good byes and smiles.
Winter and I enjoyed our time and a chance to peek at the incredible ministry that these ladies are doing. As we got in the car to leave, they asked me to pray and bless the time we just had. I was glad to oblige them. Nienke and Marina would treasure your prayers that their seeds of faith and love they are planting would grow and sprout. They are very patient on God’s timing and realized fruit may not come for a few years but they also know that God is faithful and is working among these women.