Children have a heart for others.
With hearts uncluttered by excessive reason and logic, they understand how it feels to be sick or cold or hungry. Children know how much they would miss their mothers and fathers if they were suddenly gone.
Back in 2011 at the age of 6 years, Isabelle Thompson, daughter of Jeff and Julie Thompson of Dayton, Ohio, decided one day to make blankets for moms and their babies in Eswatini.
It was the little girl’s idea, and she was confident her Jesus would help, even though those babies and moms were an ocean and a continent away.
The year before, Izzy emptied her piggy bank and took all her money in a Ziploc bag to The Luke Commission dinner and auction in Dayton. She met TLC directors, who said “yes” they could make sure the special blankets were given to needy mothers in rural Eswatini.
To help purchase fleece for the blankets, Izzy clipped coupons and watched sales events.
Izzy and her mother Julie organized a blanket-making party. Eight little girls tied tassels that had been cut out by Izzy’s grandmas. Colorful and soft and new, those blankets were. Those blanket-tying parties have become a tradition now.
During the last two years, Izzy and Julie, grandmas, friends and neighbors continued to make the tie blankets – dozens and dozens of them.
A “mature” 9 years now, Izzy’s missionary endeavors have extended to Haiti, Guatemala, and Dayton Public Schools. “She has a huge heart for those in need, particularly in Africa,” her mother noted.
Those blankets in Eswatini now are being distributed at TLC mobile rural outreaches where often mothers wait far into the night to get treatment for themselves and their babies. It’s cold in the mountains after dark, even in a land that is hot, hot in the daytime.
One mother cried when she was given a blanket for her crying baby. Another young lady threw up her arms and said “Siyabonga, siyabonga.” Thank you, thank you!
Emaswati walk miles to get to Luke Commission clinics. Graciously accepting the gift, a mother with three little children immediately tied the new blanket around her waist and hoisted her sleeping baby onto her back for the long walk home.
She had medicine for her children, thanks to The Luke Commission, and warmth for her baby, thanks to Izzy and her friends.
A little goes a long way in the hands and minds of children who love Jesus.
By Janet Tuinstra for TLC