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Cancer patients are encouraged to lay down in peace and sleep by the inspired works of the Girls in Action (GA) pillowcase ministry of Taylors Grove Baptist Church, 2382 Charlotte Highway.
The Pillowcases of Hope Ministry recently sent 20 pillow covers to the oncology children’s ward of an Atlanta-area hospital, said Linda Wilson, GA leader at Taylors Grove. GA’s is a missions discipleship organization for girls in grades 1 through 6.
“I love to sew and this has been a blessing for me,” said Wilson, who learned to sew as a young girl while watching her grandmother, Jessie Wyke and aunt, Reba Boston.
“I’ve made pillowcases for my children and grandchildren and I said, ‘Lord, there has to be something you can use me for to help other people,’” Wilson said. “I know it’s God’s will for us to do this ministry because he’s provided the donations through other people who have given the materials.”
Wilson said the Pillowcases of Hope Ministry started as the result of a song service benefit fundraiser for young cancer patient Austin Taylor of Georgia held at Taylors Grove this past summer.
The first pillowcase was made for Austin and the ministry grew from there, she said.
Soon after, the GA’s received a donation of 85 yards of fabric and as a seamstress, Wilson knew exactly what to do.
“I feel God’s given me a passion for sewing and it’s something I need to share with other people,” she said. “We started out making pillowcases for children but everybody needs to be given some hope so that’s what we do with this ministry – we plant a seed of salvation – it’s about what the Lord has done for us and what he can do for them.”
The pillowcases are made of colorful fabric s, such as John Deere and Winnie-the-Pooh prints, Wilson said.
The scriptural passage, Psalm 4:8 (NIV), “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety,” is sewn inside each pillowcase. Each pillowcase also contains an anonymous card of encouragement.
“It’s not important they know us, but God knows who they are,” Wilson said. “We want God to work through the dark moments of that person’s life.”
Wilson said she tells the GA members to “put forth your very best effort.”
“We’re praying throughout the construction of these pillowcases and asking the Lord to do a mighty work in that recipient’s life,” Wilson said. “I tell the girls don’t be afraid to pray, they’re just carrying on a conversation with God.”
Wilson said she is very grateful for the donations of money, fabric and more the ministry receives.
“A member of the church, whom we’ll call ‘Mr. Larry’ gives his $5 each week for this ministry,” Wilson said. “A company in Monroe heard about the ministry and donated fabric, trims and thread. It’s special to me that these people took their time to donate those items to this ministry.”
Suggested fabric donations for the Pillowcases for Hope are polyester/cotton blends, Wilson said.
“Cancer patients need a softer fabric because chemo makes their skin tender,” she said.
The GA’s ministry has plans to take pillowcases to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. and also share them with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Wilson has friends who soon will travel to Siberia as missionaries and she plans to send flannel pillowcases with them to share.
This ministry is one Wilson would be very proud to share with other churches and organizations.
“A pillowcase ministry is a way to bring comfort and hope to each person that receives a pillowcase,” she said. “We don’t want to say this is our ministry – it’s God's ministry and he gets all the glory, honor and credit.”
Contact reporter Denyse Clark at (803) 283-1152