August 26, 2018

Do the Mat – By Lee Seese

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A group from the Meyersdale church making mats

What if there was a free activity that could connect four generations from your church, be good for the environment and a blessing to the homeless? What if it did not require another program but simply people and plarn? You don’t know about plarn?! Neither did Meyersdale Grace Brethren Church (MGBC), Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, Youth Pastor Aaron Schafer and his wife, Tess, until they were on their way to the National Youth Worker Retreat last spring. That is when they saw a colorful, unusual, six foot mat made of plastic bags. The crocheted product is easily made with plastic yarn (plarn) and lots of love.

Thanks to her Aunt Carole’s instructions and encouragement, Tess returned home with the idea of their youth ministry helping collect bags and cut them into strips. They would then be turned over to mature, ministry-minded ladies including Tess’s 88 year old grandmother! The women who had made afghans and baby blankets for years were now on a mat mission. They are known as “bag ladies”! This fall these beautiful bed rolls will be distributed at Urban Hope to those who are used to a cardboard bed.

It takes over 500 bags to make one mat, which also includes a handle and a tie. Up to 40 hours are needed for each person to crochet a comfy pad. This can be done alone in one’s spare time at home. The MGBC bag ladies get together most Thursday nights so they can chat, cut, and crochet. They pray over them as well, knowing they will benefit someone who is in great need, both physically and spiritually. So far, over fifty ON MISSION Meyersdale folks have teamed up in the last few months. Could you be the one to get the mat rolling at your church? Go to YouTube to find out more or contact Tess at tesselizabeth3@hotmail.com.


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