This week I had the privilege of participating in the 10-Year Anniversary of “Sewing Seeds of Kindness” ministry. One morning in 2009 I received a call from then Appalachian Regional Ministry Director Bill Barker that he was leaving the North American Mission Board in Alpharetta, GA and headed through Kentucky. He had a van load of clothes and 2 boxes of homemade witnessing dolls for a ministry in Appalachia and was looking for a place that could use them. I met Bill in Corbin, KY and we unloaded the clothes and dolls to Mission Service Corps Missionary Robin Reeves, with Christians by Choice Ministry. Little did Robin, Bill or I know what God was about to do through something as simple as a homemade doll.
When Robin’s friend saw the dolls she wanted to take them on an upcoming mission trip to Nicaragua. Since these dolls were particularly donated for children in Appalachia that was not possible. Robin, a professional seamstress since the 1980s, had an idea. She shared the need with her church and a group of about 30 ladies volunteered to help. Together they made 470 dolls and 55 baby blankets to send to Nicaragua. This was the beginning of the new “Sewing Seeds of Kindness” Ministry. From that time the ladies met once, twice, or even more times, each week to sew witnessing dolls and other items for ministry. The ladies in Nicaragua also began making the witnessing dolls from the same pattern.
In an article written by Shirley Cox for the February 2010 issue of Missions Mosaic Robin and the ladies had sent over 1000 witnessing dolls to 15 states and 5 countries. Robin’s 2018 report noted that over 22,000 witnessing dolls have now been made, have gone all across Kentucky, to children in all 50 states and 30 countries.
Thousands of children around the world have heard the Gospel message through a homemade doll, made from colorful fabrics and yard, with a necklace of salvation beads and a card that explains what each color represents. On one side the eyes of the doll are closed, representing one’s lost condition before coming to know Christ. On the flip side the eyes of the doll are open, representing how our eyes are opened when we come to know the Lord. A red heart, with a cross painted inside, is a reminder that once we accept Christ into our heart He is always with us.
In addition to the dolls, “Sewing Seeds of Kindness” Ministry now makes prayer squares, baby quilts for a Crisis Pregnancy Center, lap quilts for the cancer wing at Baptist Health in Corbin, and dog/cat beds to Knox Whitley Animal Shelter.
Recently Mrs. Robin has partnered with Anchored Ministries, a rehab facility in Williamsburg, where she is teaching ladies in the rehab how to sew, even helping one lady to begin a sewing business that will support herself financially.
There are many amazing stories of how God has used this ministry to touch the lives of people of all ages and in many places. If interested in learning more about the ministry, or to get the doll pattern, please email [email protected].
Thank you, ladies, for giving to the Lord. Many lives have been changed as a result. Keep on sewing!!