Monday, November 23, 2009


The Augustine United Church in Osborne village hosted a two part lecture series on the "Responsibility to Protect". Part one was the Christian considerations for peacekeeping and peacemaking; exploring Christian traditions of just war and pacifism in light of the united nations responsbility to protect.
I missed that part.
But I made it to part II: Christian Responses to Stories of Genocides & Massacres with:
Waldemar Janzen, refugee from Soviet oppression.
Evasio Murenzi, survivor of early Rwandan massacre.
Marceline Ndayumvire, survivor of Burundi genocide.
Henny Paritzky, Holocaust survivor.

There wasn't a speaker who didn't squeeze some "hmmmmmm's", or "huhhhh's" out of me.
But the one that stands out in my mind is a young man who survived the massacre in Rwanda.
You may remember me mentioning a book by Evangeline Iilibagiza called "Left to Tell"- which was her unbelievable account of survival in that Rwandan genocide. So, coupled with what I remembered from her story, I found Evasio's to be profound and remarkable.

His earliest memories; at the age of five; are of witnessing men setting fire to houses in his village. He was excited and intriqued at this "bad boy" behavior and wanted to join in.
The memories that followed were of people killing neighbours. Machetes. Guns. Death. Flames.
I find it remarkable that anyone could emerge from those scenes in their formative years and be whole, even in the slightest of ways. That he could be upright, law-abiding, peace-loving. That he could have escaped severe mental illness, and sociopathic behaviors.

This is a great mystery.
So, then, this bag is dedicated to Evasio- and all survivors. And to the people they left behind.
The bag measures 8" x 10".
Pockets number four- as photographed.
(and by the time I got back here to add some words; I see that the auction has begun.)
Auction concludes this evening at 9:30 pm, central standard time; November 23.


Jobina said...

I've been following for a while...this bag is GORGEOUS! One of the nicest I've seen! If it was diaper bag size I would be bidding.
You really do beautiful work!

PamJ said...

<3 button tree love <3
i need to come see you. my sick kids are getting in the way of that...

Janice said...

OMG in your world of beautiful bags, this one is STUNNING.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful bag, and beautiful to dedicate it to Evasio and the others. I am very sure I won't be the worthy one hearing the word "SOLD", but I have to contribute to the cause so I will jump in at $40. My the lucky owner consider the peace we are fortunate to know.

joyce said...

ah, thank you. And welcome- Jobina! That makes me realize that the tree bags have never come in that large size. I must change that.

But with great privelege comes great responsibility. We are the ones who must move towards change. Peace. equality.
"To seek justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God".

Heather Plett said...

It's been awhile since I visited and I'm so glad I stopped by today! What a beatiful bag. And I LOVED Left to Tell - what an amazing story!

I want that bag. $50

(Unfortunately, though, with a busy soccer/volleyball-mom schedule tonight, I won't get back here and some other lucky soul will probably snatch it.)

PamJ said...

$60 please!

PrairiePeasant said...

What a powerful story!

This bag is one of my favourites so far.

Have you heard of the new website:

Anonymous said...

Oh my Joyce, what a beauty. Trees AND leaves mixed in with peace. This is good. I'm not surprised you have a few shoppers here. Love,love,love it.

Leaf Lady

I'm going to make some cookies now.

Janice said...

$65 and I am done Christmas shopping

Karla said...

I was so thankful to sit with you and Arianna yesterday to be witnesses to the stories that were told... There is no conspiracy of silence here, dear Joyce.

joyce said...

Janice, you are precious. Too bad I got your other bags in the mail on the weekend, or I could have done a threesome! i'll e-mail you with shipping costs ASAp.

perrygirl :) said...

Too bad I was out all day/evening. I came to see what I missed and I was so busy following the story that I had to go back over the post to REALLY look at the bag. The bag is beautifulness! Your writing always entertains me, in all kinds of ways.

tanya said...

Crap! I've been waiting for a brown tree bag and I missed it!

Mary KG said...

Wow!! that bag is "drop-dead-gorgeous". If I hadn't just recently purchased a bag, this would be the one. Schwester Mary

Anonymous said...

Can you....pleeease make another one like this. I'm missed it ...while at hockey. Heather Plett and I will have to get USB drive internet keys for 'on the go'


joyce said...

I wouldn't tell this to just anyone.... but I have another one nearly completed.

And perhaps I should busy myself making a few more?!