Grace Life Community Church in Bristow, VA wanted to do something good for children across the world. They wanted the children in their congregation to send something nice and handmade to a children’s home in Bali. When the children’s ministry director contacted me, of course, I suggested a making a quilt. The director thought a quilt would be a great project for the children at Grace Life to create, so we started planning one to donate to the Bethel Children’s Home in Klungkung, Bali.

As with all my sewing projects, my mind was going a hundred miles per hour during the planning process. I wanted to create something that would be very special and personal to allow the children right here in Bristow to reach across the ocean to the children in Bali. I thought a design with bright, primary colors was a must to appeal to the kids. I started planning and layout work on graph paper. I like to plan my quilts using colored pencils to see how the colors look together, then I can change them if I don’t like the way they look. After the layout process, I knew a good way for the children to personalize this quilt would be to draw self-portraits. I got all of the white material we would need to do the self-portraits and treated each with a stabilizer so that the children could draw on them. After the children completed their portion of the quilt, I assembled and sewed everything together. The results were absolutely adorable. The kids at Grace Life put their hearts into their drawings and it shows.

In July, 2011, a pastoral team delivered the quilt to Bail and gifted it to the children’s home. The children at Bethel Children’s Home were delighted to see the beautiful artwork the children at Grace Life created for them. Children in this home are often far away from their families for long periods of time, so it’s nice to bring some hominess to their everyday environment.

Bethel Children’s Home serves as a home away from home for many children in Bali. Many are from families either on the island of Bali or close neighboring islands. The economy is not great in that region, so the home exists to educate the children of the region and give them a brighter future and teach them Christian faith. Graduates have gone on to great careers in business, the hotel industry, agriculture, education and to raising happy families of their own. Many of their graduates go on to seminary and serve at evangelical posts and churches in the area.

I am so proud to be a part of this incredibly special project. The children worked so hard to bring joy to others, and it makes my heart happy to contribute to that.

-Teresa

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