Friday, February 12, 2010


It's been quite a week!
Mrs Wumpus got a bag.

Another mama is surprising her child with a bag-gy birthday.

And I sold two tote bags yesterday!
(big deal, you say.)

Well, here's the thing.
I set up this blog in March of 2008. Before that, I'd sold a few bags on my Blunderview blog, just before Christmas of 2007 for a $15- donation. Then I moved into the larger bags for $25.00 donations. But in May of 2008, Dave Sanderson wrote a piece about the Darfur project in the Winnipeg Free Press that just kind of blew my little bag world out of the water.

Fifteen bags sold in five minutes.
I was a little overwhelmed and needed a new plan.

The 15 bags had required late nights and early mornings and sewing with a bag of frozen peas over my aching shoulders and neck. Posting the many photos of the many bags required sitting up until past 3:00 am and wondering whatonearth I had gotten myself into. I knew that this plan was totally unsustainable.

So, I decided on the auction format; one bag at a time.
It went swimmingly.
Although I did have a few e-mails from people who badly wanted in on a more affordable plan, and who could blame them? I assured them that the frenzy would be temporary, and the bags would settle back down into the $25.00 range. Meanwhile, I focused my head on the point-- which was to think of the people in the camps, and to raise as much money as possible so that they could eat.

And that's what we did.
And did very well. (thank you all, so very much)

It's been very nearly two years.
There hasn't been a day yet when the bag did not sell on the Darfur project auction block. (God is good).

And the camps have only grown larger.
The rapes have not slowed.
The wells are still fouled with the bodies of village children.
The cooking pots are still broken.
The women still forage for sticks to burn and cook their UN millet rations on.
Further and further from the camps, and closer and closer to the men who drove them there in the first place.
They suffer multiple, repeated attacks of sexual assault.
The women.
And the girls.

Yesterday, I thought maybe the day had come when the bag would "sit on the shelf". Maybe the day had come when it would not sell.

But then, anonymous came through and pretty well doubled the minimum bid.
And so I choose to say that God is good.
(anonymous; you're pretty darned good too....)

The thing is; I see the goodness of God in the goodness of his people.

I still don't know where this is all going to lead. I still absolutely love the adventure that fabric brings me on, and I am energized by the possibilities of cast-offs becoming...... something.
Something from nothing.

I often think of the faithfulness of my mother when I feel like being at all discouraged. My mother has tirelessly and endlessly and selflessly given her time, talents and resources to making something out of nothing and letting all the proceeds go to the worldwide work of MCC. She has sewn hundreds of blankets and potholders out of the mountains of denim pants that flood into the back door of her local thrift shop. Tirelessly, she stitch-rips those jeans apart, cuts them into panels, appliques bright and beautiful pictures on them, and hangs them in the store to sell.

Without a boo in her direction.
None of the encouraging comments in her non-existent comment box.
No bidding "wars".

She's eighty-one now.
And she's still sewing.

God only knows if I've got 39 years of bags left to go. ( I think I've got that much fabric.......)

I do know that I'm grateful and priveleged to have been a part of all this.
And I look forward to seeing where we still have to go.

xo and thanks.


Anonymous said...

Yikes you scared me I thought you were saying good bye and shutting down! I still need a bag for me! One day it will happen, the stars will align and the perfect bag will come on a day when the kids let me get on the computer and do some bidding. It will happen, I know it. Thanks for all the hard work!

Chelsea said...

:) eyes are too blurry to write..

joyce said...

nope. Not saying bye bye. Not at all. Even when/if that day comes when the bag stays on the blog... I'll not quit.

I can't.

Chelsea- awwww. really? so sweet. thank you.

Karen said...

You're awesome Joyce.

And your Mom's awesome too.

Karen t.

Janice said...

Yes, you are awesom.

Anonymous said...

All ways, always, you are so incredibly resourceful, generous & kind. Wish you could fully realize how truly special you are. Your talent for sewing items of utility & beauty has morphed... through your intrinsic artistic creativity & deep desire to help.... into saving lives, so many lives!
All Ways, Always A Fan

JayP said...

Could that be your Mom at the Sargent Ave. Thrift Store here in Winnipeg?

I bought/ordered a denim blanket from her/there like 10+ yrs ago and it is my most trusted companion for beach, picnic, camping and hockey. It has held up so amazing and I get asked all the time where I got it.

Janice P

PS Joyce I'm having major issues about giving up my chennille Missing Peaces bag I was going Pay Forward. I tell myself that I'm too old to be carrying around a bag with a Peace sign on it...but then how can a Peace sign age?

Anonymous said...

Reflect and rejoice in the knowledge that thousands of Sudanese have benefited from your generousity and talent Joyce. You are their hero.

Mary KG said...

Joycie, what a nice tribute to our mom. Schwester

mmichele said...

I am on a self-imposed no buying of anything plan, so hardly dare visit these days.

BUT I will be BACK!