Forty-four sick children had a warmer Christmas this past year thanks to the quilting ministry of the Truro, Pugwash, and New Glasgow Seventh-day Adventist churches in Nova Scotia. Headed by Jean and David Streifling, the churches prepared the handmade children’s quilts in record time when an opportunity came to distribute them at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax—the largest pediatric hospital that serves patients in Atlantic Canada.
Although the church members couldn’t enter the children’s ward directly, they were told by the nurses that the children had loved their quilts and the parents had expressed sincere appreciation for the beautiful Christmas gifts.
One quilt that was given away recently went to an 18-year-old girl waiting for a stem cell transplant in the cancer ward. When she heard about the ministry and was presented with her own quilt, she was overcome with emotion, especially since the quilt had a Bible verse on it. This girl was trying to memorize a Bible verse before her transplant, but it was difficult. Now she was happy to have a Bible verse to take with her when she went into the hospital. The member prayed with her and assured her of God’s love.
Another recent story happened when two of the church members met a young lady in a store who had that very morning lost her home in a fire. She, her husband, her three young children, and even the pet birds had made it safely outside, but aside from a single box of precious papers, they had lost everything else. The smell of smoke was still noticeable on her clothing—all the clothing she had left. They had contents insurance but, because a renovation had been in progress, had no house insurance at all—basically a total loss. Touched by the devastation she clearly felt, the members raced to our church nearby and retrieved the one quilt we still had in stock there, also purchasing a gift card for her to buy other things they so desperately needed.
“Oh, you didn’t need to do that” was her response. Yet there were tears of appreciation in her eyes as the members replied, “This is our way of doing what we can to help out.” It was our way of giving her another “hug” to let her know that the community cares. The members headed home to make three more quilts, including a queen-sized one, so that each family member could have a quilt of their own which included a Bible message of God’s care (Num. 6:24–26) embroidered on its back. These, along with a warm coat, were given to the family the following day. This is the latest giveaway in a quilting ministry that has produced and shared over 450 quilts since its inception, including quilts for families who have lost their homes, for people who are severely ill, and for new mothers.
Each quilt we give has a Bible verse embroidered on the back as well as a message of love from our Adventist church.
—Alexandra Richards, co-pastor of the Truro, New Glasgow, and Pugwash churches