“Project Moses” — Protecting Newborns at Foothills UMC


Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see. Project Moses is the perfect example of putting our faith into action as we trust that God will be present in the lives of the babies who will be placed in little bassinets made out of laundry baskets.

In Project Moses, sturdy laundry baskets are lovingly transformed into safe beds for newborns of moms who don’t have the resources to provide perfect, color-coordinated nurseries. For too many young mothers, a separate place for their babies to lay their heads — one that will keep them safe from roll-over deaths — is not something they can provide. The bassinets provided by Project Moses are delivered along with prayers that God’s plan will be carried out for each baby who rests in one of the baskets.

At Foothills UMC in La Mesa, ten or so Moses baskets are given away each month, and more than 2,000 baskets have been offered to mothers since 2005 when the program began at that church in partnership with local hospitals. Supplies for each basket cost about $35.00, and the simple kits take about two hours to sew. A handmade blanket and baby book fill the baskets, as well.

Clarice Utt is the current chairperson of Project Moses at Foothills. Even with her busy life, Clarice has found a way to be active in missions work by choosing a ministry that both fits into her schedule and builds upon her commitment to be a disciple of Christ.

Clarice would be happy to share information about Project Moses with anyone who would like to begin the ministry at another church.

The name of the ministry reminds us that in the Book of Exodus, Moses’s life began as a journey of faith — his mother’s faith when she chose to trust God for the protection of her baby boy. In the story, the Pharaoh had ordered all Hebrew babies be put to death to reduce the number of Israelites. Moses’s mother did not have the heart to comply with the law, and instead made a basket, placed her beloved son in it, and set the vessel in the reeds along the Nile River in hopes that someone would find him and raise him as her own. We can only imagine what her prayer must have been as she asked God, and trusted in God, to carry out His plan for her son’s life.

Because Moses Baskets are most often given to families by social workers and case managers in hospitals, we will probably never know what becomes of the children who sleep in them. But, just as Moses’s mother had faith, we have faith that God will continue to protect every one of these babies, long after they have outgrown their baskets, and as they continue on their own journeys down the river of life.

 

 

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