Here is a Christmas tale involving soft wool, magic sticks and a sense of loving duty.
A missionary working in Shichigahama, Japan, a place devasated by the tsunami in March 2011, instigated an outreach program called Yarn Alive that brought thousands of skeins of donated wool and a little knitting instruction to the people of the area.
The displaced, mainly elderly women who met weekly were living in shelter situations, with no personal possessions and little privacy, having lost loved ones and having had nightmarish experiences during the disaster. Now, according to one of the participants, they “knit and chat and comfort each other one stitch at a time.”
It’s a fellowship. And the ladies are not only creating sweaters for themselves but gifts for others – cozy afghans laid across the chairs of the local postal workers, for example.
Now, as their brilliant 2013 Christmas gift to the world, the women of Yarn Alive have turned their sights farther afield – they’re helping the children of Syrian refugees in Jordan, sending over 200 articles of clothing to keep them warm.
Not only that, plans are underway to send knitting supplies to the Syrian ladies in Jordan so they can stay busy and productive too in their own difficult time.
United States, Japan, Syria, all knitted together by the willing hands of women who are helping each other, helping themselves.