By Kimberley Minch
Do you ever find yourself exhausted after reading the news? Are you overwhelmed by the barrage of problems in the world? I know I am! It can be an emotional rollercoaster, and sometimes it can be tempting to get off the ride – to disengage and retreat back to my close group of people. We’ve got plenty of problems to navigate ourselves! As I walk through this life filled with chaos, terrorist attacks, poverty, sickness, political unrest, injustice, and oppression, I switch back and forth between wanting to save everyone and wanting to hide under a blanket with Netflix and a cup of tea, because I’m just one person. I can’t meet every need that exists in the world even if I want to! Sometimes, it seems like I am too small and the world’s problems are too big.
But we serve a big God. A God who has given us the gift of empathy, even when it hurts, and gives us the strength to push through. This empathy is not just a feeling to be felt, but a feeling to be acted on. While it is important to feel empathy, to view people with the love that God views us all with, it is even more important to act and to join in on God’s redemptive plan, even in small steps. God has shown us what is good: “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). We want to invite you to push past empathy fatigue and join us at our 2020 Retreat as we take action by serving women around the world through our LuoPad breakout session.
In Greek, Luo means “released” or “set free.” In developing nations around the world, women are hindered by their monthly menstrual cycles. Without access to feminine hygiene supplies, women in developing countries cannot leave their homes. They are often shunned during their monthly cycle, and many girls miss 20% of the school year. GAiN USA’s LuoPad design is a washable feminine pad that helps restore dignity and improve the quality of life for women in places like Africa and Central Asia, and you can be a part of this amazing mission.
This service project begins even before the retreat! We will need two types of material for this project: towels/washcloths (new or used) and flannel cloth (like flannel sheets). We would love for you to gather some of these materials to bring with you to the retreat, whether you join this breakout session or not! During the session, we will have multiple stations where we will trace patterns, cut out fabric, sew the pieces together, and pray over these LuoPads that will be sent to women all over the world. So if you can use a marker, wield a pair of scissors, or do a basic stitch, you can be a part of providing women with the opportunity to reclaim control of their lives and health and learn that Jesus loves them.
Please check out our Retreat breakout sessions page to read more, and for more information about how you can make a difference in the lives of women around the world!
Kimberley Minch is a student at Northeastern University majoring in Architecture and minoring in Songwriting. She also leads a Bible study and plays on the worship team for a Christian fellowship at school. In between traveling the world for school and work, you can find her searching for the perfect color swatch and feeding homemade cookies to whoever will eat them. Kimberley is a member of by design’s WeConnect Leadership team.