Rainbow quilters were back on Monday! I could hear their wonderful chatter and the purring of their sowing* machines and it filled me with hope that somewhere in the world, someone would be comforted by their compassion.
According to the Mennonite Central Committee website, last year over 51,000 comforters or blankets made by Mennonites were shipped to Jordan, Ethiopia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Ukraine, Serbia, Iraq, Canada, the U.S. and more.
On a more lighthearted note, this is my favorite story about Mennonites seeking to comfort others. I believe this particular story comes from Barbara Chappell via Ben Chappell. (Like the gospels, I believe several versions of this story are floating around.)
A social work professor who travels to Darfur, Sudan, shared stories at a recent church gathering. In the midst of recounting the horrors of the genocide there, he related this amusing story.Mennonite Central Committee has been sending blankets and comforters to Darfur where they are greatly appreciated. There is no Arabic word for “comforter,” so the people just called them “Mennonites.” Until he figured this out, the traveler was totally perplexed to hear these very appreciative people talking about how they always like to have a Mennonite on top of them to keep them warm at night, and how they hang the Mennonite on the wall in the morning because, in the morning Mennonites look so nice hanging from a hook!
*Apparently I’m of the Mennonite generation that does not know how to sew. At least I sure don’t know how to spell it.