"Pad Mania"

by Marti Fisher

For the past two weeks, Dale and I have been in Cameroon. This was my first time and I loved the winding roads that took us up to 5000 feet where the clouds swirl around the mountains and the air is cool.

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Marti demonstrates what a handmade, re-usable, cloth menstrual pad looks like.For several months, I had prepared for this time. More than 40 women in Southern California helped sew washable cloth menstrual pads and then cut out more pieces or kits to make additional pads so that I could teach the women how to sew them by hand. Some of the women had small children at home and couldn't sew any pads. But they were able to cut out the pieces that fit together to make a pad. One mom said, “I feel such a part of your mission.” Wow!

I scouted all the thrift stores for flannel sheets and could cut out many pads from these very usable materials. I communicated with Mercy, the head of the women of the Cameroon National Baptist Convention by email. I told her that I could bring enough supplies for 70-80 women. On the day of the women’s conference, 150 women showed up! I had to do some fast recalculating. It was really a “pad mania!”

Orphanage girls and staff learned how to sew pads. I held 3 other “pad” parties while at the orphanage. The first one was with 16 young teens. I shared my God story and told them that I was an orphan too. I gave the Gospel and an opportunity to receive Jesus. Three of the young girls did! Please pray for their growth as they move through the harder teen years.

About a week into our trip, I went to market with some of the kids. I had grown to love a local dish called "fufu corn and pumpkin leaves." After getting the corn ground, we bought the leaves. The seller looked at me and said, “I was in your training and I am using one of the pads. I love it!” That really encouraged me so much. God had arranged this special moment just for me.

I have discovered that the pads are a way for women to connect. I always say at the beginning of our worship, Marti helps a mother sew her pad by holding the mother's baby.“If some month you find that you don’t have the money for the disposable pads which are imported, here is a way to cope.” The response has been so positive. One of the ladies named Theresa, went with me to some women from a another nearby tribal group. They were great and laughed a lot as they sewed. My job? As you'll see when you click the adjacent photo, I got to hold a precious baby so that the mother could sew. Theresa is a hospital administrator and she had met many of the women. Pray that she will visit them again and that God would use this simple thing to unite women and bring the lost to Jesus.

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We would ask you to join us in praying Colossians 3:17 for our team. It says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Thank you so much.



June's family photo pages:

† Dale: Photo Story of "Mission Cameroon 2010"

† Marti: Cameroon Women Experience "Pad Mania"

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