100-year-old seamstress makes dresses to pack in shoeboxes
Samaritan’s Purse
October 16, 2017

100-year-old seamstress makes dresses to pack in shoeboxes

100-year-old seamstress makes dresses to pack in shoeboxes
Samaritan’s Purse
October 16, 2017
Most mornings 100-year-old Eva Bossenberger wakes up between 3-4 a.m. and heads for her sewing machine. She’s a woman on a mission with no time to waste.

At the end of last year, Bossenberger’s pastor asked her to make about 180 items for girls that could be packed in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Bossenberger didn’t have to think long before she knew what she’d do.

Bossenberger is making dresses that will soon be packed in shoeboxes and distributed to little girls across the world who need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Samaritan’s Purse photo

Eva Bossenberger makes dresses to be packed in shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

“At first it took me a day and a half to make a dress. Now, I can get three done in a day,” said Bossenberger, who lives in Zionville, N.C.

The member of Brushy Fork Baptist Church in Vilas turns 101 Oct. 28.

Bossenberger’s pastor, Johnmark Brown, challenged the congregation to come up with 180 of something to place in these boxes as the church strives to reach their goal of 1,000 shoe boxes this year. She knew exactly what her 180 would be.

Recently, the church’s Woman’s Missionary Union ladies joined her for lunch and to help her press these dresses for packing.

As of press time, she had surpassed 120 dresses.

Bossenberger works hard but said she doesn’t mind – she’s grateful.

“I love it. The Lord gave me hands with no arthritis. I’m doing what the Lord has asked me to do.”

Her mother’s daughter

Bossenberger learned to sew while growing up near Detroit, Mich. Her father worked at the Ford factory and her mother was a furrier and seamstress. Bossenberger spent many hours watching her mother at the sewing machine, fascinated by her ability to make just about anything. She practiced and practiced until sewing eventually became second nature. “I make everything I wear,” Bossenberger said. “I made [my daughters] their clothes from the time they were born.”

Samaritan’s Purse photo

Some of Bossenberger’s dresses have already been distributed, with this young girl in Tanzania among the first to receive one.

Bossenberger’s mother worked hard to help support the family. Her busiest time was October through December, when winter threatened and warm coats were in high demand. She worked hard all day, but stopped when Bossenberger’s father came home from work and spent the evenings with her family. Bossenberger’s mother and father raised her in church and taught her about God. At age 13, Bossenberger prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior.

Serving God

Widowed at age 36, Bossenberger worked as a police officer and grocery cashier and in other jobs as her children grew up. She’s also been a Sunday School teacher, church choir member, missions supporter and now dressmaker.

Accustomed to working hard, Bossenberger seeks to bring God glory in everything she does.

“Every day needs to be lived serving the Lord,” she said. “When I get up in the morning, I read God’s Word. I try to be a witness where I can.”

Bossenberger prays that the dresses will bring girls across the world much joy. She encourages Christians, no matter their age, to do whatever God has called them to do. “I don’t think you’re too old to learn a job,” she said.

Bossenberger said she plans on serving God until He calls her to Heaven.

“I can’t even imagine how wonderful [Heaven] will be,” she said. “I’m not afraid of dying, not one bit. When Jesus says, ‘Eva, come on home,’ I’ll go. I know Jesus will be there.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE – This story originally appeared on Samaritan’s Purse website, samaritanspurse.org. It is printed here with permission. Dianna L. Cagle, Biblical Recorder production editor, contributed to this story. National collection week for Operation Christmas Child is Nov. 13-20. Be sure to check the website to see appropriate gifts by age and sex for each box.)