As promised, we welcomed girls and their moms to the gazebo again Tuesday morning for one hour, and again they came like a flood. By this time there were very few dresses left in larger sizes, as the overwhelming majority of dresses donated were for the little ones. This meant we had to turn away a lot of disappointed ten, eleven and twelve year old girls, and I suspect we felt worse about it than they did. But for those we could accommodate, whether school age niñas or bebés in the arms of their madres, the gratis dresses were a blessing to both the givers and the receivers. And while there wasn't time right then to make a fuss over each girl due to the press of others waiting their turns, we knew we'd see them around the village in the days to come.
Names of some of the recipients of dresses
Before the trip, in anticipation of this happy event and wanting to show some love to the moms as well, I had prepared a letter that was printed on beautiful paper and folded just so, resulting in a lovely handout that they could read and then use the pretty paper for some other purpose if desired.
A message of salvation through Jesus Christ
"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"
At the end of the second day of passing out dresses, our supply was depleted. The few that were left were stashed in the storage corner of the clinic to be given to patients as they come in with their moms for medical care in days to come. But what a delight to catch sight of a girl wearing one of the Dresses of Hope dresses as we walked through the village! It would just light up my eyes and melt my heart, thinking of all the love that went into collecting and preparing them, praying that they would be a blessing to children who have so little. Even more thrilling was to catch sight of a girl wearing a dress that was donated in 2011! I found myself wishing that every person who donated dresses or participated in preparing them could have the blessing that God so graciously gave to me, of being there in person and experiencing this firsthand.
The little cards pinned to the dresses were a delight not only to the children but to some women as well.
Card has been recycled as a brooch for an older woman
In spite of the poverty and the dirt underfoot everywhere, the people of the DR take great pains to keep themselves clean and tidy. Those who are well enough off to afford mechanical maids to do the laundering for them will still need to find ways to get them dry. Freshly laundered clothing might be draped over a bush, slung over a barbed wire fence, or possibly flopped over a clothesline wherever such a luxury could be suspended, allowing the sun to do the rest.
Tiny washing machine
While the ladies were involved with girls and dresses at the clinic, the men continued on with the construction projects at three locations, digging, measuring, cutting, mixing, hauling, learning, blessing. Soon we would be back to the shovels and trowels as well.