Monday, May 16, 2011

Things I Made In the Interlude, Vol. 2.

Messenger bag for my sister-in-law, Mandy. I have to say that I was insanely fortunate to marry into the family I did, Brian's parents and sister are all really amazing people. Mandy and her husband Robert and their kids (Noah, Riley, Lily, Gabriel and Aiden) have been in missionary training for the past 7 years. This fall, they will be leaving for Senegal, to work as church planters in a tribal setting.
Now, I'mma gon get a bit serious here for a minute, which, not standard for me, but I promise we will soon be back to cat photos and craftastrophes. I met Mandy and Robert and the kids right before they started down their path to be missionaries, and it has been an extraordinarily inspiring and beautiful journey. When I met them, I wasn't even a Christian, but regardless of one's religious convictions, you really have to respect people who believe SO strongly in something that they will sacrifice an easy and comfortable life for it, despite numerous challenges. It can't be easy leaving all of your friends and family to begin YEARS of schooling that will then lead to YEARS of being overseas, all the while having to find support and also deal with those who don't understand what you're doing-- but I'm sure it's exponentially harder when you are a family of seven. Watching how God has always provided for their family, sometimes in bizarre and completely unexpected ways has really been awesome. In my opinion, they are doing the most important work that there is, and it is difficult and beautiful work. Like I said, I was blessed to have been made a part of this family, and am really excited to see them again this summer before they leave for West Africa.A few notes on the bag-- As far as I can tell, Mandy carries boulders in her messenger bags. This is a replacement for another I had made her, hopefully it will prove tougher than its predecessor, which came back to me looking as if it had lost the war. There is SO MUCH THREAD in this bag's innards, as well as LAYERS of interfacing and roughly 40 pockets. I'm hoping that now that they are out of school, this bag will not have to deal with the roughly 700 books that the other one had to carry. The fabric is a wax block print that I got in a local African grocery store, and it is lovely stuff.
If you are curious about Mandy, Robert and the kids' travels, you can follow their blog here.


Carla said...

Miss Lauren, What a fantastic post! As a gal who helps support several missionaries around the world and has a son who takes many short term trips to Napal and India, I appreciate your heartfelt words!

librariane said...

Yay for more folks involved with NTM! I know others who've gone through their program and are quite successful in their new countries (all with kids, too!).

And this bag is lovely. :)

Majid Ali said...
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Lori said...

Aside from the very beautiful bag, this post was just the breathe of fresh air and perspective I needed today. Too much in my head and not enough thinking of others.

Off to read about your sister-in-law's family. Thanks for talking about them.