My Sarong Sisters and The Sacred Sarong Sisterhood
Author: Melissa Barber
Happy Eighth Day of Thanks Everyone!
Today, I give thanks for my “sarong” sisters and friends around the globe who do the wonderful work of saving the lives of women and babies.
If you were part of last year’s journey, you’d remember that on Day 25, I told you about my kick behind sisterhood of women (and men) from the Birthing Project USA, who is building our national and international underground railroad for new life, saving women and their babies. (If you missed it, don’t worry! You can buy the book, which is in the publisher’s hands as I write and will be released soon enough, to catch up.) What I didn’t tell you is that, during our annual conferences our sisterhood has a secret, special ceremony. (I won’t tell you the details of our ceremony-nosey!- because then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.)
Close your eye. (Of course, after you read this paragraph.) Just trust me! Imagine walking into a room that is decorated with a huge circle of chairs. Each chair is filled with one sarong with the most beautiful color patterns that you have ever seen. You are bound to find one with your favorite color or colors in it which perfectly match with an outfit or coat of yours. The sarongs are made of a thin layer of the most fluid cotton material that waves with the ocean breeze. Some of them even have an added finishing touch of frills. Within the circle of chairs, you see at least two or a maximum of three sarongs that match each other. You have no idea what to expect because you have no idea what the details of the ceremony are but you just feel a nostalgia of excitement in anticipation of what’s next, hoping that what’s next is that you get to choose which chair (with your favorite sarong) you can sit in.
What you don’t know is that you have to choose your chair (and sarong) wisely. When you choose to sit in a seat with a particular sarong, that sarong is choosing your soul SisterFriend for life. Your soul SisterFriend is the soldier with whom you will walk out life. Not only will you save other women and babies together, but you will grow together, pray for each other, and do ministry together. You will give each other advice, wise counsel, and even help raise family together. You will be anything, everything, and sometimes all things to hold up the arms of your sister and give her strength. The Sarong Sisterhood is a sacred sisterhood whose mission is binding. (So choose wisely!)
I met my first sarong sister (I think over seven years now) and we are exactly like what I have described to each other. We live in two different time zones and have a great physical distance from each other, but in the business of our lives we make sure that we do life together. I’m pretty sure we’ll keep doing life together until one of us takes our last breath. She is superwoman! She holds down full time ministry, her full-time job, her earring making side hustle (she loves big earrings like me!), and her husband and five children, two of which just got sent off to college. She manages to empower women and girls every day while still looking like she is not a day older than twenty five. (She is my inspiration.)
Every annual conference that I have gone to, without her there, she makes sure (basically, threatens) that I don’t bring our sarong to gift to another SisterFriend (sorry Mama that sarong is on lock!) During last year’s ceremony, I was so proud of myself. I was able to let go (you all know my issues with letting go already from Day 9 of last year’s journey. If not, you gotta get the book!) and gift my second favorite sarong to a new international soul SisterFriend. When I explained to her the importance and sacredness of our sarong sisterhood and what that sarong meant to me, she pledged to take good care of our sarong and continue to do the bad-ass work she is doing with her sister, Ms. Zubaida Bai, at the company AYZH. They provide thousands of Safety Birth Kits to women in the most remote places in the world so that they can give birth to healthy babies in non-sterile conditions. A SafeBirth kit is a small pocketbook that contains all the essential medical supplies (a plastic mat, gloves, soap, razor, and clamp) which allow for a clean, safe, childbirth when there may be no hospitals around for miles.(Remember this work is important because every two minutes, 60 women die in childbirth due to unsanitary conditions and infections.) I know that my new international sarong sister (soul Sisterfriend) is upholding and uplifting the sacredness of our Sarong Sisterhood tradition of loving and saving women and children’s lives wherever she is in the world. And I’m proud to be her Sarong Sister. Today as I give thanks for my sarong sisters and pay homage to our sacred sarong sisterhood, I’m sure you have already guessed that I am highlighting the Birthing Project USA: The Underground Railroad for Life (Birthing Project USA)
Birthing Project USAWe envision a world in which we have the freedom to define ourselves, birth our babies, and live our healthiest …
I am asking that each of you sponsors at least one SafeBirth Kit for $5 (a cup of coffee) so that a baby somewhere in the world can enjoy a safe, healthy entry into his/her life.
Have A Great Day of Thanks!