The plan I have for this set of letters for the theme of Peace came about this way.
I have been hearing more and more about the way people in certain countries are subjected to mistreatment. People with Christian beliefs are specifically targeted, often being accused of being a threat to the state. The more I hear about the human rights violations taking place, the more it weighs on my heart.
For instance, in northern Nigeria, there is an organised group sending suicide bombers into churches on Sunday mornings. Many have been killed. In another place, girls from Christian families have been abducted and forcibly married in order to 'convert' them. In Iran, friends got together for a Christmas meal in a home. However, the police came and all were arrested and thrown in prison. Most were released, but one lady is still in prison 2 years later. She has not been able to see her 2 young children in all that time.
There is an organisation (Open Doors) which each year publishes a World Watch List of the top 50 countries involved in human right violations of this sort. Their goal is to make people aware of what is happening. Sometimes the fact that the world at large is aware of the plight of certain people has been enough pressure on governments to cause them to release someone from prison or at least allow them medical treatment.
SO, I am challenging myself to make more people aware of these atrocities. I don't often go on about my opinions, but this grieves me deeply.
At our church, we know of several people who work to help those being persecuted. I thought this letter project would be an opportunity to create a display as a visible reminder of these issues. Rather like prayer flags in the sense that the purpose of the flags will be to remind people to pray for Peace for all the citizens of these countries. I hope they will make more people aware and will cause people to think about what they can do to make a difference.
What I have chosen to do is to print a square flag version for each country from the 2013 World Watch List onto fabric. I intend to stitch a 'barbed wire' letter onto the first 26 country flags. (I am also printing out the rest of the 50, but am still thinking what to stitch onto them.) For the final presentation, I am going to string them along like bunting to hang in our church.
Remember yesterday I mentioned cutting fabrics to make my own printer sheets for A Letter A Week (ALAW)? Well, thanks to a comment from one of the other members, disaster was averted! Instead of 7inches square, it is meant to be 7cm square!
So, I was able to readjust my flags to print 6 flags per page. Then, I realised I could get all 50 flags from the list on the fabric sheets I had if I printed 2 of them onto the bottom of the sample sheet. (I had 9 fabric sheets to start with.)
I had to swap placement for a few to get a flag with black on the bottom at the right, because there was a black letter B under the sample 7in square flag. A bit of reformatting, but they printed fine! just slightly darker in the corner on the one which overprinted the letter.
So, bit by bit I printed each sheet, hoping I’d not have to redo a page if the ink ran out. Amazon were out of stock of the ink, but my husband found some at Tesco. This printer needs something like 6 cartridges. 3 of them were low.
And you know what? I was able to print all 50 world watch flags at 7cm square using the fabric sheets I had on hand! And the ink didn't actually run out til after the last flags had been printed!
This post is already lengthy, so I will show some of the process tomorrow.