After a month hiatus from the holidays, February always brings to mind the gifts that we might like to give those we love…our sweethearts, wives, husbands and girlfriends. Even in countries where marriages are arranged and the celebration of Valentine’s Day is frowned upon there is still the fascination and desire to do something that expresses our “love”. The heart is the universal symbol for that expression displayed on cards, chocolate boxes, balloons and a hundred other ways. It’s an appropriate symbol because it is our heart that prompts us to love those we know and those we do not know.
I’ll never forget getting the email from our partner in Afghanistan on a Sunday morning asking if I would pay to send a woman “barber” to the village once a month so that she could cut the women’s hair…something that they had never had done for them before. My response was “absolutely”!! What a gift to them. He told me in that email that the women artisans we work with do not know what a “gift” is…they have no understanding of the concept. They have never been given a gift of any kind by their husbands, brothers or sons. It is completely foreign to them. One of the women later told him that when the woman barber comes to the village “it is one of her good days in her life.” Wow, I just had my hair cut Friday afternoon and it was more of an annoying errand I had to do!!
We’ve been thinking at Eternal Threads how we can bless these women with the gifts that we give for Valentine’s Day.
I’ll be going to Afghanistan again in March and I’ve made the decision that I will go to the village to visit the women. I’ll probably try and think of something I can take to them as a small token gift, but everything seems trivial compared to their needs.
What they need is light in the darkness. The women need hope that they can survive in a world where they cannot work outside the home. They can have that hope through skills that we can give them. This month we hope to start two tailoring projects in and around the city of Herat where we work. The hand crank sewing machines have been donated, but we need to provide the trainers and supplies for these six month training programs.
How special would your Valentine gift be if it helped to give these women the gift of hope they really need? The beautiful handblown dishes you see in the photo above are famous from the city of Herat. We are offering them as a special purchase for $10…ALL proceeds will go to the tailoring projects. Each dish will come in it’s own gift box with tea lights and a special message to the person receiving this as a gift.
You can purchase online or call the Eternal Threads office…888-487-4549. Supplies are limited!