01 March 2010

Journey Bags

I would love to introduce you to my friend Janel via her blog. When we decided to adopt, a friend connected me with Janel's blog and I've kept up with it ever since. Over New Year's Jake and Janel were in Ghana, Africa working on their Kingdom Hoops project. While there they met Samuel, the boy they're adopting, and gave gifts to the children in his village. When I read her journal entry from day six and saw this picture, the bags immediately caught my attention. I left the following comment for Janel: "...then I read of the bags. The first time I saw the bags I knew it was likely something that would not get recycled or thrown away here. And as I read on about how you wish you would have bought better ones, I automatically thought of how simple it would be to sew some. Maybe we can get together and sew up a bunch of bags to take with you when you go to get Samuel. That would be awesome!"

That was mid January. Fast forward a few weeks and the bags are coming together. It has been a fun and a huge blessing to work on these bags. I wanted to do this project with a couple of us girls. On Saturday I started to do a sample bag just to see how they would turn out, how long they would take to make, etc. I used one of Ryan's old veterinary scrubs that he hardly used. One scrub made two bags. That was pretty simple. I added a little embellishment to one and gave it to Bethany. I did a few more for fun and then decided to cut into my good fabric. It's very cute asian fabric that I picked out specifically for bags. I pieced it together and added an embellishment to the bottom specifically for Addy and was proud of my own little creation.

In the process of making these smaller bags, I realized I would quickly run out of the much needed black fabric I used to line Addy's bag. With a quick phone call to my mom who was out shopping, I asked her to pick up more fabric. That afternoon when she and my visiting Aunt showed up to the house, I got them involved in my little project. Aunt Janie had found canvas and purchased 5 yards of it for my project. We decided that on Sunday after church, we would dive into these bags.

Sunday afternoon we did just that. We cut canvas for 16 bags and started designing them with a little color. I picked out the colors and designed them and Aunt Janie helped out and surged the ends. Mom and Ryan chased my kids while we worked. As I worked, I prayed for those who would receive the bags, those who would deliver the bags, and those others who could use a simple gift that would potentially be life changing.

These bags that we're sewing together will have quite the journey to Ghana. With our own personal interest in Ethiopia, I might have to make extra so I can take them there. In thinking about these simple bags, the journey they will make from my house, to Janel's suitcase, to the hands of a Ghananian, I started referring to them as Journey Bags. I'm excited to see what journey they'll go on and also what Journey God will take me on as I seek to give of my gifts and talents for someone else.

Friends, I'm headed back to the sewing machine to finish up this little bag...


J.B.'s Blog said...

Awesome! This is really cool. That bag is really cute! Good work!

Tamara B said...

and the "j" bag is done. Yipee.

Lori said...

Great project! I read your comment on Janel's blog and couldn't wait to see your journey bags! I love them.
~Lori (Janel's mom)

Janel said...