‘New Thread Ministry’ supports the least of these

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 6, 2019

John Gunter, a former missionary to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, understands what it’s like to be poor and for a simple cotton dress to be a treasure for a little girl.

Gunther and his wife, Dana, and sons, Daniel and Luke, spent eight years sharing God’s Word and the Good News of salvation with the people in the Dominican Republic, where the majority of the youths are either poor or live below the poverty line, and in Haiti, the poorest country in the western world.

There, on “their” island, the Gunters chose to minister to the poorest of the poor.

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There is no way to describe the poverty those people have to endure, Gunther said, nor the blessings they receive when they accept Jesus Christ and are better able to endure their dire circumstances.

Gunter now lives in Dothan and works with the Spanish ministry in that area. He also speaks to area mission groups going to the Dominican Republic and Haiti and goes “home” to visit, often three times a year.

Gunter was in Troy to speak to the ladies of the “New Thread Ministry” at Southside Baptist Church and to thank them for their support of the people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The ladies’ group meets on Wednesdays in support or their “thread ministry” and for a time of sharing and fellowship.

The ladies make 100 cotton sun dresses for little girls, three times a year. “Simple and simply beautiful to them,” Gunter said.

“Unless you are there to see the happiness that these sun dresses bring to these little girls, you can’t really know what something so simple but yet so beautiful can mean,” he said. “The dresses are usually given out at the conclusion of Bible School and, for most little girls, those sun dresses will be their Sunday best.

“You can see the happiness radiate in their little faces. I would like for the members of ‘New Thread Ministry’ to experience the happiness they bring to those little girls.”

Gunter said there is no way he can adequately thank the ladies of the Southside Baptist Church sewing group for their continuing support of missions. But he was in Troy to simply say “thank you” from all the little lives they have touched in such a loving and personal way.

Anne Register, a relatively new member of the ministry, said she joined in support of the ladies and the wonderful work they are doing.

“I’m don’t sew much but I can use a pair of scissors,” Register said, laughing. “These ladies do wonderful work and what they do brings God’s love and happiness to others. I just want to be a small part of their ministry.”

The group includes Rita Shirley, Evelyn Henley, Annette Cordle, Janice Johnson, Ann McWhorter and Jean Fortune.

The late Jean Snoddy was instrumental in the organization of “New Thread Ministry” and her leadership and involvement continues to influence the ministry, the ladies said.

“New Thread Ministry” is currently involved in the Shoebox ministry by making jumpers for little girls and shorts for little boys. The ladies also support Sav-A-Life with layettes for the newborns and blankets and pillowcases for homeless veterans.