Monday, November 23, 2009

New Outreach

After just 2 months of receiving hats and quilts/receiving blankets from two different groups, I could see that God was motivating his people to fill a need even greater than I imagined. I had hoped that eventually, this group would grow to the point where we could venture into another hospital's nicu to meet needs, but I didn't expect it so soon. I'm happy to share that with such motivated workers, and the go ahead on the advice of two women working alongside me in this project, I contacted the nicu head at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. She was happy to receive the hats for their preemies. I only hoped we could continue in this effort to serve the community.
As with any new venture, there is an expected understanding of how this ministry operates, and I feel it would be good to share that here. I think it is important for people to know. I am hesitant to call this a ministry because that word is often used when people describe something they 'own.' 'My ministry is'... or 'our ministry is to...' "I'm called..." I'm not here to debate this wording, but I find myself being careful that I do not call something "mine" that God has brought forth. God has stirred up in the hearts of 2 women to put the wheels in motion to organize, God motivated 2 coordinators of knitting and sewing groups, and finally, God gave gifts and talents to people to use in His service, in this case knitting and sewing. This is not 'my ministry' or 'my outreach' but His. Glory to Him, Who calls, Who leads, and Who guides and instructs and gives us the talents and tools to work in His service. Thanks be to God for giving us the will, desire, and the ability. What a privledge to serve Him this way.
With the heart of this outreach revealed, I also need to explain that this is a 'body' ministry. What that means is that there isn't a church represented in this work, but a body of His children working together to serve the community. In a day where there is sometimes division in faith, we have this outreach that works together to serve. I don't wish to be offensive to anyone, but I desire to keep this a group venture. I do not meet the workers of the hospital, I do not see the babies, and the only hospital official I have met is the Overland Park nicu head, and it was a brief meeting in her office. I do not send specific church 'representatives' in with these hats and blankets to keep with it being a body ministry. The point is to be 'givers in secret', and for the people on the receiving end, who do not have an individual or church to thank, they might just thank God for His gifts to them.
Because this goal to remain 'workers in His harvest', rather than 'workers from xyz church, I feel a call can go out to other knitting/ sewing groups across the metro to join hands with Lydia's Hope. I would also ask that each of you involved would pray over this outreach. I have 7 children and I know that they don't often 'play' together very well. My prayer request from all of you is that we would work together as fellow heirs to the Kingdom of God. In your church fellowship, please join together for corporate prayer for these children and their parents who are probably very scared for their premature child. Lastly, please pray that the Lord would send workers.
Matthew 9:38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Friday, September 25, 2009

feedback from the hospital

Lydias Hope, I want to add feedback I received from Shawnee Mission Hospital about the hats and quilts. In keeping with being a faceless volunteer, I pass the items to an employee of the hospital who works in the maternity department. She, in turn gave the following feedback for all of us who need to be encouraged to continue in such a worthwhile project. I received 3 very tiny hats along with the question about whether or not these might be used; this feedback will put that question to rest, and hopefully assure all of you that your efforts are used. (I understood those tiny hats were made by a very young knitter and wanted to give encouragement to her.) Lydia's Hope is taking off even more than I imagined and we give God the glory for providing us with these talents to serve, and for all He is doing to minister to these tiny babies. It is just exciting to be a part of it.


I just wanted to let you know that I took the hats in today and they were so excited! I posted a comment on the site. I did want you to know that they will also be using some of the larger hats for the regular nursery as well.

In fact, one of the hats with the little pink flower on the side went to a couple that has been here off an on for weeks and had at one point stayed for 8 weeks. They are so sweet and dad came out and said that they just loved the hat and wanted to say thank you.

I have gotten some feedback on the hats besides "They are so cute!" The tiny ones are much appreciated as they will go to the little ones who pass away before they are born. Every baby gets a hat. One nurse told me that it is so important to honor that little life and the mommies so appreciate having their little pre-born baby treated with such respect. That had me in tears! Also, they love the chenille yarn and the thicker hats. One comment, if we could pass on to make the hats between 5-6 inches in length, that would be great! They need to cover the little ears.

I am waiting to bring the quilts and blankets in on Monday as the NICU manager is going to try to have Stethascoop (our hospital newsletter) come in and photograph some of the blankets, so hopefully this will generate some more 'Lydias.' Wouldn't that be great! Another tidbit (whew!) - one of the nurses is having a yarn drive and the NICU manager has asked her to talk to me about possibly being a recipient of some of the yarn. Wouldn't that be great? Yeah Lord!!!

I am so excited to see what the Lord will do next. Blessings to you...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

knitting instructions for the preemie hats

Because this blog will be shared between knitters and quilters, I will add the directions for the baby hats. Thanks to Jeanette for taking apart the hospital's hat and writing our instructions for us. Also, the nifty knitters are perfectly acceptable for making these tiny hats as well. The variations in size of these hats are good. The nurses at Shawnee Mission hospital will determine which baby needs which hat.


Size # 3 knitting needles. Small amout of any yarn, any color.

Cast on 62 stitches. Work in k-2, p-2 ribbing for 1 inch.
Knit straight for 3 inches from last row of ribbing. You can use any design you wish for this section.
Next row. k-1, k-2 tog. repeat to end of row. (42 sts).
Next row, purl to the end. (this will probably be the inside)
Next row. k-3, k-4 & 5 tog. (34 sts).
Next row purl
Work two rows in
Cut yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail. Thread tail through stitches and secure,
Use tail to sew up back seam, fasten off securely. Wrap yarn around three fingers about 10 - 12 times. Tie in the middle and thread the two ends through to the inside
top of cap and tie ends together securely.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who is Lydia?

Paul and Silas on a mission to Phillippi were led to a river to speak with the people gathered there. Among them, was a woman named Lydia. Lydia was in the business of dying cloth purple. In those days, dying cloth purple was a difficult process using shellfish to get the color purple. The people who could afford such purple cloth in those days were royalty. Lydia was a 'worshipper of God', and as Paul and Silas shared their faith in Jesus Christ, her heart embraced the message of God's forgiveness and salvation in His Son; she and her household listened, believed, and were baptized. She didn't stop there, she offered the men hospitality. She urged them to stay with her; she shared her home, her food, and her wealth with them. She was known for selling specially dyed cloth used by royalty, and for offering hospitality, and being generous to the church's early missionaries of the news of Jesus Christ. One of the marks of faithfulness is sharing and providing for those in need and Lydia did this very well.
(ACTS 16: 11-40)
HOPE, the word needs no explanation, but Wikipedia says it well; 'Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances of one's life'. Every premature baby has parents who cling to the hope of their child growing and becoming what they were destined to be. The hope of someday soon, leaving their incubator for their parent's arms and going home.

Lydia's Hope is the effort of women and children who take their gifting in the arts, and use them for Royalty. Premature babies need extra warmth in order to conserve their energy to grow. Lydia's Hope provides for these children knitted hats and baby quilts to keep them warm and give them every chance for their survival and growth. Our hats and quilts go home with these children, and if the child doesn't survive, they go with the parents as mementos of their child life and existence. Every baby hat and quilt is lovingly put together for the child that will be unknown to the quilter or knitter, but that child has been prayed for in the hopes of their survival, for their strength, courage, growth, giftings, and eventual heart knowledge of Jesus Christ. Every parent of these children are prayed for that they would know Jesus and have wisdom as they begin the journey of parenting their child and be comforted as their child is cared for in the hospital.

We want to be like Lydia, receiving each child with hope for their future, and welcoming them to this world. They are royalty to us. Because 'purple' in Biblical days was used to actually describe variations of the color red, we hope to slide shades of red to purple in each of our blankets. The efforts of this venture are from people, who, like Lydia, embraced the message of God's forgiveness and salvation. There is no single church represented here, but a body of believers who believes there is a need at Shawnee Mission Hospital for hats and quilts at the NICU unit of the hospital.