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God's Divine Appointments

"It's social work."

I was away in Seoul, thinking I was there for a holiday. God surprised me by surrounding me with sewing paraphernalia, brought me shopping at Dongdaemon and Namdaemong and showed me how taking a course in apparel design can lead to social work.

I had been burdened to see how poverty can be alleviated in the developing countries I've been to on mission trips earlier. One particular 21 year old girl left a deep impression - she had lost some teeth at an age where appearances are deemed important in building self-esteem, she was illiterate, and she spends her time in the village with nothing to do. After that encounter, I had asked people what can be done. One person told me to bring a businessman there.

That answer did not satisfy me. However, God is so, so gracious to show me that I could learn sewing skills and impart them to the disadvantaged women in the developing countries I feel for. Not only does this give them an employable skills set, if they are good in their workmanship, I can even engage them as part of the production force for a label I would like to create.

It has been upon my heart to do something about the way women are being viewed and treated in society. I embrace the femininity that God has given us, but I do not appreciate how women are often seen as sexual objects and treated with less than the honour and dignity that God has created us with. Thus, I hope to design apparel that are simple, modest and yet tasteful. Especially in response to God's love for us as seen in Romans 12:1-2.

Along the way since December 2018, God has sent me many miracles. Recently, a friend I met without prior arrangement, encouraged me to pen down my journey. It was something on my mind, but I was somewhat hesitant as I'm not sure where all this will lead to. However, being prompted and confirmed by her words, I feel I owe God the glory in recording all that He has been doing in this endeavour.

Firstly, I had an image of a dress as a logo. However, despite my best efforts in using whatever software I could lay my hands on, I simply could not create the elegant yet vibrant effect I had wanted. In a chance search, I came across and felt led to check out a water colour application. Within minutes, the new logo with a rose and ring was born.

After settling the logo, I set out to create the Facebook page. Friends recommend using Canva and it has been very handy in coming up with the artwork for the page.

The next step was to come up with a website, as I realised it was critical in helping me gain access to certain resources. Thus, I again asked for recommendations and was directed to wix.

Simultaneously, a friend shared about her work on Facebook and it reminded me that she did design work. She was responsible for helping me with the layout and CMYK for the name card, and also gave me some input on what to exclude from it.

Classmates-turned-friends shared the printing services they know, and I called up a few, asking for raised print. The only company I found was in the US and there would be shipping costs incurred if I wanted that. While looking for a shop recommended locally, I actually came across another one that had the exact effect I wanted in their samples. And so, I had the card done. Another friend wanted to bless me by sponsoring the cards he did with his printer as a Chinese New Year gift, and so, I have more.

On the way to a marketplace ministry seminar, I was thinking to myself if this would ever work out. Yet at the seminar, I actually met three contacts who could provide some advice or input in this area.

And I would come across helpful resources while on Facebook or googling something, like Swatch On, a Korean fabric company, an online start-up course and Photoshop Express.

When catching up with friends, they often give me ideas or even link me up with people they know - one arranged for a meeting with an accountant, while another with a social entrepreneur.

And today, on my way to class, someone I got to know on a mission trip stepped into the MRT at Clementi. By the time she alighted at Redhill, she had already asked her friend in Philippines regarding some fabric sources. Another lady I knew on another trip linked me up with a Philippines local pastor whose network includes a vocational school for girls.

My dear friend, God cares for the people He has created, including you and me, and all the people who are suffering. Shall we do what we can to make their lives that bit better?

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