For the past 15 years, a group of ladies from Louisiana has been coming to the Mansion for several days to make clothes for the children and decorative items for our facilities. This group is known as the Dorcas Ministry. It is amazing what these talented ladies can do with fabric and thread. Sixteen ladies, under the direction of Gloria Chatagnier, came again this year during the second week of April. They literally took over the gymnasium and turned it into a sewing factory, with sewing machines strategically positioned and piles of fabric and cushion material stacked everywhere. In just four days, the Dorcas ladies used their skills to create the following: * 47 nap pad covers for Lower Elementary * 48 pillow cases embroidered for Lower Elementary nap pillows * 6 pair of tab curtains with cornice boards for Parks Hall (and installed them) * 6 boleros for girls to wear over dresses * 4 benches for Conquerors Hall upholstered * 2 sofas, 2 love seats, 4 chairs upholstered for SFC Hall * 28 pair of pajama bottoms for the boys * 16 aprons for the housemothers * 3 pair of tab curtains and cornices for Townhouse Hall * 12 dining chairs upholstered * 6 chairs upholstered for recreation room of Parks Hall * 24 pillow inserts made for throw pillows * 12 decorator pillows for Parks hall and Townhouse * 47 fleece throws embroidered for children * Windows for SFC Hall measured and fabric selected * Fabric for Townhouse sofas, love seats and chairs selected* * Numerous alterations * Lots and lots of hugs! Quite impressive, isn't it? This past Friday night, during our TCMM program at the Louisiana Campmeeting, Erma gave much deserved recognition to the Dorcas Ministry. Gloria Chatagnier on rightShe had all of the ladies stand that came to the Masnion while she read the above listing of accomplishments. After the service, Gloria told Erma that several ladies came up to her volunteering to come with the group next year to help with this annual project. We brought back from Tioga the completed window treatments for SFC Hall*. Thanks also goes to Bro. C. E. Cooley, TCMM Board Member, for the donation of tools and cross-cut saws. The Yukon was loaded "to the gills" and what boxes we couldn't get into the SUV were put on the tour bus. There was only one slight problem with the saws. Evidently there was some oil in the motors which caused an unpleasnt aroma in the vehicle all the way home. [I know about the typo in the previous sentence, but they tell me when you blog that you don't need to do much editing. It's supposed to be more effective and come across as being more real and transparent, or something like that. So I'm not going to go back and correct the mispelled word.] Anyway, back to my story...it definitely was not a "sweet aroma" and there wasn't much worship happening in the Yukon. It's sort of difficult to describe, but the smell wasn't anything like one of the fragrance choices that you have when you get your car detailed. We tried to air it out and thought the air conditioning would help, but to not much avail. The further we traveled, and the hotter it got, the worse it became. At one point, I thought about just dumping the tools someplace along the road...would Bro. Cooley ever know that they never did get to the Mansion? Just kidding! It's a good thing that I didn't dispose of the tools, because Bro. Cooley had already been on the phone with Bro. Mekash, our Physical Plant Director, to tell him about the donation. One thing is for sure—we had a memorable experience. The next time I see Bro. Cooley, I will have to joke with him about it. It really is kind of funny now, but I can assure you that it wasn't funny during the eight-hour trip home. I would imagine that Bro. Cooley probably brought the tools to the campground in a truck, rather than in his back seat. But it was worth it all, and our maintenance men will appreciate the equipment. I just hope the bad smell didn't leave a residue in the fabric for the window treatments. Oh, now that's a thought. I hope Erma (and Gloria) haven't subscribed to my blog!