Wednesday, May 25, 2011

bags to africa

Some of our friends from Florida sold everything and moved to Africa.  They started a school for orphan children in Kenya called Springs of Hope.  It was clear for them.  It was what they had to do.   Awesome.  I don't think there are any other words for that than that, awesome.

I was ready to show you what I mailed to them, but I want to show you some of these beautiful children first (these photos are from my friend Molly's face book page, I assume she took all the photos herself).

Is this child not beautiful?  

Here are several children from the school.  Judging from the photos, they have lots of little guys all the way up through big ol' teenagers.

These little ones are precious. 

Someday, I'd love to go in person and love on the little ones.  I'm pretty content though, that right now that's not what I'm able to do.  But, I wanted to do something.  

"Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others."  1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

So, I emailed my friend and asked what I could make.  What could I sew for the kids, what could I craft or make that they would appreciate?  Molly said 'bags!'  The kids need school bags.  She said the kiddos are rough on their bags and they need replaced.  Ok, I could work with that.  She described the perfect bag; over the shoulder, sturdy material, pockets, big enough to hold books and supplies.  I was all set to work on these bags (slightly fearing the 'sturdy material' I'd be working with as that is what messed up my machine a year ago).  

At a race a few weeks ago I saw the exact bag I needed sitting on a table for sale.  I decided I should buy one to help me make my bag pattern.  When I got talking with the man at the table, he agreed to give me all the bags he had left for free.  FOR FREE.  For the children of course.  The bags were perfect; over the shoulder, sturdy, pockets, big enough, 19 bags for some little bitty people  in Africa.   I did see two drawbacks; they had a cancer logo across the front and they were all the same.  As a mama and teacher, I know that identical bags were not going to work.  I also didn't want the logo;  I didn't want it to feel like a surplus donation.

The bags were easily made unique and logo free by sewing a strip of fabric across the front. 

I picked out fabric for boys and girls and covered all the logos.

A large stack that didn't seem to end finally got finished.


I think they meet the requirements and turned out pretty cute. (10 points for my sister if she recognized the fabric in the top right corner of the picture under this.)

Yeah, pretty cute... did I say 19 bags?  No, I did send them all.  I can't wait to see pictures of the recipients with their new school bags.  Or just the recipients, I think I look at pictures of the children all day.

Ok, This is not bag related, but this is the photo of one of the kiddos that I saw on Molly's facebook page that made me start thinking I needed to do something.  I can't make shoes, I wish I could make shoes.  I want to put this on this precious child's feet.  It's one of those pictures that makes you stop.  and think.  and feel bad that you have a dozen pairs of shoes in your closet.  This sweet little guy has a new pair of shoes.  Wouldn't it have been cool to be there and give him the new shoes?  Someday!

edited to add:  One of my favorite blogs, Stuff Christians Like, has a nice post today about serving where you are.


Sara said...

Oh Beth, I'm praising God in thankfulness for your heart...the heart that HE is obviously speaking to! So excited that the man gave you the leftover bags to lessen the sewing...and really, what was he going to do with them? Sometimes these promo items seem like such a waste to me! As a momma adopting from Africa, I thank you for loving on these children in such a tangible way.

Melanie Cobb said...

This is amazing! I am currently working with the founder and a friend of "The Orbit Village Project" in Kenya which is a Christian School and Orphanage. Among all the ministries we do there the biggest one is Zawadi. I would love for you to check out my posts on Orbit, and David, my sponsor child in Africa and if you feel led to maybe even post about it to get the word out! Helping to send God's love and ours all the way around the world!
You can read more about Zawadi at
Join the Facebook page- Zawadi "The Gift"
Or you can read my blog posts on the Children of Orbit


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