OAK RIDGE—As anyone with a house knows, when you start a repair project it will probably grow in magnitude the deeper you get into it. So it is with the Wee Witness Doll Project started here at First Baptist Church.
The project was started after seeing an article in Mission Mosaic magazine and it was decided to send a few dolls to Romania to spread the Gospel to the children there. Project Leader Wendy Metzinger was planning a trip to Craiova, Romania, where she had lived for six years previously, and which made her very aware of the need to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Romania has been the crossroads of many occupiers throughout history due to its location. With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 Romania has made great strides in economic and political reforms. Yet there continues today a need for more missionaries to spread the Gospel, as many there are hungry for the Word.
The Witness Doll idea was started in the 1980s by Robin Reeves, a member of Missionary Service Corps, who has sent dolls worldwide.
The dolls are made mostly by hand. A face is drawn on a cutout of material and sewn together with another cutout with a face and stuffed with fiberfill. Each doll has a different hair piece sown on. One face shows a sad face with its eyes closed. This illustrates the life before knowing Jesus. On the opposite side is a happier face with wide open eyes, the result of knowing and having Christ in their lives. The dolls have a necklace of “color of faith” beads with a scripture card attached. Plans for making more dolls are included in the package so recipients can continue telling others of Jesus though the dolls.
In the spring, a group of volunteers gathered together to begin making the needed parts for assembly of the dolls to be sent to Romania. Doll bodies were cut, sewn, stuffed and painted. About 30 church members participated in the different stages of construction. A total of 100 dolls were made. One of the volunteers, Jo Ann Hahs, showed some of the dolls to Pastor Dan Hale of Millersville Baptist Church who agreed with her suggestion that more dolls should be made for a November trip to El Salvador. So, in June, 34 volunteers, under Jo Ann’s leadership, came from both churches and met at First Oak Ridge to began the process of assembling 100 more dolls for the fall trip.
In April, Metzinger made her trip to Craiova, Romania and after arriving there went to the post office to pick up the box of dolls that had been shipped there. The ladies in the post office were impressed with the dolls, and after hearing the story of the dolls wanted one for themselves. Metzinger distributed some of the dolls to the English Baptist Church with the pastor’s wife, Lavinia Costea, and to a class in the Ion Tuculescu School #14 whose teacher is Larisa Caramavrov. During her trip Metzinger touched many lives through her faith and with the dolls, which showed the people there that others on this globe do care for them. As Metzinger began to prepare to return to the United States, the Icelandic volcano Eyafjallajokull erupted, and she was stranded for one week as the skies cleared of ash. During her wait she continued to witness to others, as intended, for God was not through with her mission as yet. Metzinger did finally get a flight home and learned the sovereignty of God even in this situation.
There are 15 team members scheduled for the Nov. 9-17 trip to La Iglesia Bautista El Sinai in Santa Catarina, El Salvador. Each will be carrying as many dolls as they can pack in their luggage. During the trip they plan on doing evangelism, Vacation Bible School, prayer walking, and ministry work at Apaneca, El Sinai’s mission. As the Cape Girardeau Baptist Association members prepare to leave for El Salvador, pray that God will use those making that trip as He has with the Romania trip of Metzinger.