Cut of the Same Cloth

There were bluebonnet flowers and horses and cowboys and a big map of Texas.

The indigenous Zapotec women swarmed around the quilt, touching it, handling it, turning it over. “Can you teach us how to make one?” they asked. I hadn’t been expecting this. But then, I hadn’t been expecting any women to be present at all.

Let me back up. Some five years ago, Robert was driving and noticed a sawmill in a small town called Lachixio. He stopped there to buy some cut wood, and at that moment the mill stalled. Robert offered to help get it fixed, and there began a five-year relationship with the men that ran the sawmill. They call Robert “the Engineer.” Throughout the years he has serviced their machinery several times, and in this way has developed a relationship of trust with the people of that town.

One day Robert spoke about the Zapotec of Lachixio with our friends in North America, and a group of women in Fayetteville, Texas, felt led to send a gift to the people of that town. Aware of the heightened political tension between the US and Mexico over border issues, these Christian ladies wanted to show that they recognized the Mexican people as fellow brothers and sisters, created in the image of God. And so, they made a quilt. A handcrafted, expressive gift meant to communicate God’s love, sent from one small community to another.

Robert decided to ask his sawmill friends to set up a meeting with the five town authorities, so he could present them with this gift formally. But when he got to Lachixio, he found not just the leaders gathered, but many women as well, all interested in seeing this curious artisan object made from fabric from a foreign land. In all, there were about fifty people present!

Robert gave a speech and made a public presentation of the quilt to the town authorities, as well as some audio devices that had the New Testament recorded in the Zapotec dialect. In return, they took us out to lunch. It was the only restaurant in town!

Pray with us that God would open up even more opportunities to speak of Jesus among the Zapotec of Lachixio, piecing us together in love just like that quilt.

By Anne Thiessen