Love in the Details

A few months ago while traveling I was missing Wanda’s birthday and dreaming about what I would do to make it up to her. Wanda is the manager of our workshop and one of my dearest friends. 
I knew how much she loved the idea of a tea party, but had never had one. At the very mention of it, Allison, a dear friend and co-laborer on the island, wanted to help.  “Really, you want to help? You live so far from us. How would we pull it off?”  We began to dream about what it could be and when it could be.  I was thinking my team of eight leaders around our regular coffee table in the terrace like always, but instead with pretty tea cups and cucumber sandwiches.  Allison, said “leave it to me.” And I did.

I have heard it said that love is in the details, Allison LOVES BIG! 

Allison thought of details I never knew to consider and the love and care she put into each and every one completely blew my mind.  She immediately began scouring thrift stores for special tea cups she would haul back to the DR in her suitcase. Every niche and pound that goes into suitcases returning to the DR is precious and her choice to use her suitcases for us, was not lost on me. 

She created hats to match the ladies outfits, and personalized gifts were wrapped as part of the table setting, each woman’s name was written in calligraphy, the edges burnt and attached to a hand made pair of earrings noting their place at the table.

With her she brought her own Wedgwood tea set and trusted us to use it while she and her best friend served and provided education on the etiquette of tea while rolling out the different courses of salty and then sweet treats she had made from scratch even having special ingredients imported to get the recipes right. 

We laughed and took pictures with the “queen” finally saying goodbye to our spectacular host who just swooped in to bless us extravagantly and was so excited to do it.  Wanda, who was the inspiration of it all, was emotional about it. “I can have tea one thousand more times, but it will never match this moment.  My first tea, created with so much love and care.” 


Sometimes someone goes so far to do something so special that it actually throws you off in the best possible way.  This wasn’t a gift from the back of the closet thrown into a gift bag. This was personalized, intimate and the investment of time and resources were poured out of love and friendship. 

We were all so moved by it, that the words “thank you” didn’t seem enough. But, WE PROMISE TO TRY TO LOVE THAT BIG FOR ANOTHER.

Allison: Thank you for being an example of what that can look like!  


Allison Hodges Hale is founder and executive director of Mercy Workshop in the Dominican Republic, serving women from dark places and providing them with a safe refuge, loving community, job training, therapy and the hope found in Christ alone.