The HOPE Doll Project
The project started from a deep sadness and hopeless feeling in my heart when reading story after story about the plight of the Syrian Refugees. Stories about babies born on over- crowed dinghy’s, children falling overboard and washing up on beaches, women being raped, fear enshrouding families and a desperate loneliness and sense of loss. People who fled for their lives, leaving literally everything behind. As an immigrant I know these emotions, except that of running from death. In agony I called out to God, “How can I help?”
After days, I woke up one morning remembering a time that I said to The Lord that I do not want to work with the brokenhearted. I saw how He changed my heart. My heart was engulfed in tenderness not just for the refugees, but for those that hurt for a myriad of reasons, in my city, my country, my homeland – all over the globe. What can one woman do for a world in pain? Then the picture of the HOPE Tea Doll danced in my thoughts. Joy flooded my soul and immediately I drew her, found tucked-away fabric, sewed, wrote the note, added the tea and there she lay! A soft little ray of comfort to hold close to a heart with the calming fragrance of lavender and a message of HOPE and encouragement. Bringing a touch of HOPE when needed most.
The next day as I looked at her with the how-it-all-works plan configuring in my head, I thought, “How silly. Really now!” Doubts, fears and embarrassment declared this foolishness. I ran to Jesus. He simply said: “It’s not silly. You know I use who you are and the details of your story to share my love and HOPE in dark places”. Yes, tea is so much part of my story . . . asking women to set aside the hurried cup of coffee for the quiet, languid sipping of tea. Catching and sharing stories is in my genes. (My mom wrote children’s stories for the radio in South Africa). Giving gifts is my love language and making them by hand a passion. So yes, it’s what I have to offer. I would do it no matter how odd or difficult the task. It was obvious – this was not my grand idea, it was His – our creative God. So in obedience to His leading, the project began.
What a privilege it is to bring God’s HOPE and light where it is needed! It truly is a project that sends HOPE all over the world.