VILLA FRANCA, Spain - Even when verbal communication seems impossible, there's one language that is spoken by all: love. It can be spoken through hugs, laughter and 60 quilts hand-made by Texas Baptist women.
The quilts were a part of Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) of Texas initiative "Covered with Love" in which they presented the request for 50 quilts for the Evangelical Baptist Retirement Home in Villa Franca, Spain.
Together women within WMU, Texas Baptist staff, and local Baptist churches, donated their time and their stitching skills to the cause. Within five months, they finished more quilts than needed and prayed over each one before being packed and shipped.
Nine women boarded the plane to deliver the blankets. What they thought would be an opportunity to cover retirement home residents with love turned out to also be an eye-opening experience for everyone.
"Spain is very under-evangelized," said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, WMU executive director. "There's less than one percent evangelical Christians in Spain."
Four of the 44 residents from the retirement home and four of the 34 workers were Christian, she said. For that reason, the women were even more encouraged to show the residents and the workers the love of Christ through the quilts, handmade bracelets for the staff and flowers around the retirement home.
Pam Poole, WMU special projects coordinator, said often times people think sending the materials is just as good as delivering them. However, this trip proved that theory otherwise.
"Missionaries need others to come under them and lift them and carry them for a few days when their work becomes too much and they are discouraged by little progress," she said. "Sometimes mission trips are not about what you can do for them but what God can do for you."
From the smile of a 104-year-old woman to the tears of an elderly man, the women were touched by expressions of gratitude for the gifts made with love.
"My time in Spain was not about quilts or bracelets or things," Poole said. "It was about encouragement and love and friendships."
WMU of Texas seeks to reach, teach and disciple the nations through projects much like "Covered With Love." To learn about more of their ministry opportunities, visit wmu.texasbaptists.org or wmutx.org.