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Stitch by Stitch, Prayer by Prayer
By Diane Hoskins - March 23, 2009

Courtney was struggling. It was Fourth of July 2008, and she was sober, which wasn't something she was used to being on the Fourth. But she was determined to make it through the day honoring her commitment to sobriety and to God.

The barbecue party was in full swing at the ABC Sober Living residential recovery facility. In walked Teresa Church, leader of the Rock Church Quilting Ministry, with a surprise gift for Courtney, whom she had never met.

"It was so beautiful and it even had my favorite verses on it. What was also amazing was that they used all my favorite colors in making the quilt, without even knowing it would be going to me…but God knew," said Courtney, who has continued to stay away from substance abuse.

"I kept that quilt on my bed and I found it opened up so many opportunities to pray with other girls in the house. New girls would arrive and ask me about the quilt and I would share about God's love and how He put me on someone's heart and they responded by making this quilt for me."

Courtney has been sober a year now. "And every time I look at this quilt, I'm reminded of the power of prayer and how far I've come with God's help."

"And every time I look at this quilt, I'm reminded of the power of prayer and how far I've come with God's help."

Here's the story behind Courtney’s encouraging tale.

* * *

Making handmade quilts take hours of creative thought, design, hard work and love.

According to Teresa Church, members of the Rock Quilting Ministry pray over every quilt during each stage of the process.

"Prayer is an essential component of each quilt," says Church. "We pray for the person who will receive the quilt…that they will be blessed with God's peace, mercy and love. We want them to feel the comfort and warmth of God's love through the gift of a handmade quilt created especially for them."

Over the past four years, the Quilting Ministry has given many quilts to people who are often in the midst of a serious illness or recovery from addiction.

"God has been faithful in bringing the needs to us," says Church. "Last summer, a member of the Quilting Ministry called to tell me that her quilt was finished and that she believed the Lord wanted it to be given to a female in the Rock Recovery Ministry. I called David Powers, the head of that ministry, who agreed to pray about it. He called back and said Courtney Rogers was the one who should receive the quilt. We got her life verse, Psalm 139:1-14, and added it to the quilt label. Then we made arrangements to take it over to the ABC Sober Living residential recovery facility and present it to Courtney."

* * *

Church says the focus for the Quilting Ministry in 2009 is children. "The Lord spoke to my heart during the February prayer-and-fasting ASK event at the Rock. He just kept reminding me of all the hurting, neglected, and disadvantaged children in San Diego," said Church. "He confirmed it with scripture found in Mark 10:16 '…and He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.' "

"We want to be a part of the Rock Church's commitment to community service hours," says Church. "There are so many hurting children in San Diego that would be blessed by the gift of a quilt of their very own. We would like to be able to complete and deliver at least 50 quilts this year."

There are so many hurting children in San Diego that would be blessed by the gift of a quilt of their very own.

One of the first children this year to receive a quilt was Zara, a 2-year-old diagnosed with leukemia. "We found out about Zara at the Ministry Fair where we shared a table with the Cancer C.A.R.E. Group," Teresa recalls. "We had a completed quilt that was perfect for Zara…so we lifted her in prayer as we tied the colorful threads of her special quilt. We then delivered it to Zara and her mother at Children's Hospital…she loved it! We hope Zara will someday be able to memorize the verse on her quilt, 'We love Him because He first loved us'."

In addition to ministering to others, the Quilting Ministry is a place where members can find healing.

Jackie is a nurse and has two patients that the Lord has laid on her heart to make a quilt for. "My mom and dad both recently died of cancer," said Jackie, "and the last place I wanted to be was on a cancer ward. I am a "float" nurse…and I kept getting assigned to cancer patients…I finally accepted it as the place where the Lord wants me right now. Each day, I have been able to encourage patients and their families as I share my experiences and love with them. The gift of a prayer quilt is something I know they will cherish and I'm so excited to be involved in making it for them! It's amazing how God ties our lives together!"

In addition to creating quilts for those who are ill or in recovery, they will be donating a quilt to be auctioned at the Rock Academy Benefit and Dessert. The quilting ministry is also looking for other fundraising opportunities where they can raffle or auction a handmade quilt to raise funds for quilting materials and equipment.

For more information about the Quilting Ministry, click here »