Sometimes, someone leaves a lasting impression on your soul, and when that person leaves this earth, they leave behind a legacy that others can only try to fill.
This was the case of one such member of the McKinleyville United Methodist Church of the Joyful Healer. Teri Hawkins was a long time member who felt the need 3 years ago to show faith in action in a way that used her particular gifts and talents. She was a masterful seamstress/tailor and found the organization “Little Dresses for Africa” – a Christian organization founded in 2008 that aims to “provide relief to vulnerable children throughout the Continent of Africa and beyond” by collecting dresses, and other clothing items, made by everyday people, to send to children, most particularly girls and young women, to help them go to school, have confidence, and excel in life.
Teri was sick for quite some time, but defied the odds when she stopped Kidney dialysis and her doctors said she was on borrowed time. She was on hospice, thinking she would meet God earlier than she had hoped, and managed to prove everyone wrong by ending her time with hospice a year later, and living on for several more months.
One time, towards the end, her pastor and a couple church members brought communion to her, as she was no longer able to attend church. She told them that she was going to finish all the dresses she began with this ministry 3 years earlier. She never got a chance to finish her ministry, as she passed away 5 months later.
The McKinleyville United Methodist Church of the Joyful Healer decided to attempt to complete her ministry. On October 21, 2017, with enough material for about 50 dresses, several church and community members came together to not only complete Teri’s ministry, but to celebrate Teri’s life, love, and compassion.
The ministry is in no way complete. Nine dresses were completed on Saturday, and plans are in the works for this to become a continued ministry of the Church of the Joyful Healer, and the church is also looking into a partnership with Soroptomist International of McKinleyville.
The next sewing day is being scheduled for January 2018.