{what I found at the market.}

A little girl reached for my pink sunglasses and put them on so quickly that I knew deep in our hearts we were sisters. In one swoosh the glasses were on and so was her sass. I think when you’re a fun, spunky girl you gravitate towards other fun, spunky girls. Because that’s clearly what happened –wink! One North American girl and one African girl ~ normally separated by 8,000+ miles just five days ago but this week the same “ness” and standing under the same shady tree, giggling over a pair of pink sunglasses.

My new friend is 12 and I’m 26. What I noticed about her pretty quickly is she already knows her purpose ~ and there I was, standing next to her, still half-looking for mine. I think being in Africa is showing me a very clear personal direction.

Let me share with you what I mean…

Our group went to the local market yesterday. Mary is our trip leader, helping us get to the different Child Development Centers ~ she’s like our personal travel guide and we love her! Naturally we said YES when she asked if we wanted to go to the market. Mary knew I wanted to shop for African fabric, I think I hinted just a few times that I was looking for local fabric, so once we found some at the market I just about died of happiness.

Plastic tarps were spread like a roll of carpet. Every square inch of the dirt-packed ground slash market was serving as a table, a makeshift table.

Women were peeling vegetables and cutting the heads off sardines while sitting on the ground; babies were crawling behind them, babysitting themselves. Handbags and shirts and dress shoes and hand-carved trinkets alternated between the foods that were for sale.

Everything was for sale.

And guess what else I noticed? Everything was handmade.

But wait, there’s more :)

Everywhere, seriously — I am not making this up! Everywhere I looked I saw foot-pedal sewing machines. Scissors were clicking and the presser bar lifter were gently tapping the throat plate. So many familiar sounds in a very unfamiliar place.

We walked a few streets over and still, the foot-pedal machine madness continued on. At one point Scott pointed upward. My eyes followed his hand and I sew a dozen sewing machines sitting on the roof of a 3-story building. Blue and black tarps overlapped each other and served as a makeshift roof.

And right there, another glimpse of the Lord and how He’s always nearby, He always has a plan and they are always good plans.

Spending all week with the Compassion kids has been such a blessing to me.

For just $38 a month you can be a blessing to these kids. Want another nudge? See what my fellow bloggers are experiencing + sharing.

Back to the market — Mary {remember, she’s our awesome trip leader} wanted us to move quickly throughout the market. If we weren’t stopping to shop we needed to be on our way.

The people working + shopping at the market have a purpose and they know it.

Just like my 12-year-old friend at the Child Development Center we visited today.

Just like you, you have a purpose to do good to others…

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth, Exodus 9:16

Just like me…

Oh and look. ANOTHER glimpse of the Lord: while at the Child Development Center (CDC) today this woman named Mable gifted me with a cut of Africa fabric :) I bought some at the market, our entire group was given some as a thank you gift from yet another CDC, and now Mable gifted me with another cut.

I sense a limited edition Gussy + Africa line coming soon, yeow! ;D

So here is my question for you: Do you feel like the timing is right for you to sponsor a child? I know this trip to Tanzania was perfectly tailored just for me. Because we all have purpose and because the Lord has perfect plans {perfect timing} for us. But there was a moment where I thought of saying no. One thing I’m fearful of is missing out on these perfect plans. I mean, I know if it’s His will it will happen ~ but I’d be super bummed to think that there was some opportunity that He set up, and I missed my chance.

If you took a moment to look for a glimpse of your purpose, would you see it?

Pin It


  1. 2


    Every time I’m overseas I’m just in awe of how gracious the Lord is to us. In the midst of the hard times, there’s familiar grace. (Mine came in the form of smoothie and a rooftop porch)

    Praying for you and everyone!! :)

    CAN.NOT.WAIT. for some African Gussy Ruffles! Put me on the wait list! :)


  2. 3


    The two of you with those pink sunglasses are super cute! I love it!
    I don’t own a Gussy bag yet and if an African Gussy appears there is no way i could pass that up! =)

  3. 4


    Love that I keep on seeing those pink glasses pop up in photos! Love this Guss! Love that your time in Africa is tying in so much to your business and your life story. I feel like at this point in my life {newly married, w/o kids, 27 year old} I too am trying to figure out my life story and purpose. I love that Africa is a part of yours! Thanks for sharing! xo

  4. 5


    I told you on Twitter that you’ve already inspired me to make my first Gussy purchase this week and knowing that there’s a chance I could be supporting Africa at the same time is priceless. And I too have been thinking and reflecting on my purpose in life – so this blog post just really resonates with me. Thanks for continuing to share how you’ve been inspired and how God is using you this week!

  5. 6


    i love the line “So many familiar sounds in a very unfamiliar place.”
    thank you for being our listening ears this week and sharing with us what He is doing there.
    love you! prayers continue!

  6. 7


    LOVING your updates, lady! How awesome to be able to bring back fabric from your time there. I hope you’re going to make something for yourself from it first. :) Praying!

  7. 8


    You look like you are having an amazing time. I cannot believe you get to have such an eye opening experience. Like you said, it was your time.

  8. 9


    M – I spent a month in Ghana working in a hospital. Your posts are making me crazy jealous and dying to go back.


  9. 10


    This reminds me of Ecuador when Ann and The Farmer met the woman with the pigs – the pig farmer meets a pig farmer, and just like that it’s all personal.

    I think of that when I see you there with the fabric and the sewing machines. I’ve never seen sewing machines on trips before! I mean, maybe they’ve been there, but this? Is too much. I love how personal it is, how you can see it all with your eyes because it means so much more knowing that it’s personal to you. So glad you said yes.

  10. 12


    We have loved our experience with our compassion child. We started sponsoring him over 3 years ago at Thanksgiving. We wanted to teach our son about giving what we have to bless someone else, to show God we’re thankful for all He has provided for us to help provide not just health and educational resources, but SPIRITUAL resources. We landed on Broakline, who shares a birthday month/year with our son and also happens to be in Tanzania ;). So you know I’m delighted to be ‘joining’ you on this journey. XOXO

  11. 14

    Nadir@StitchSense says

    What an experience. Thank you for sharing these details, its life changing, even for me! :-)

  12. 15


    Every time we go abroad, the market is one of our favorite places. It is such a good picture of the culture…the food they eat, the interaction relationally, the very fiber of what makes that area of a country tick. I love it! We are praying for you and your team. Love following the stories. Keep them coming!

  13. 16


    Just before you posted this I asked you on Twitter if we could see a tiny peek at the fabric and I SEE it in your hand!!! We really are like sisters, I asked about something you were about to post but I had no idea you were about to :)

    And I would also “be super bummed to think that there was some opportunity that He set up, and I missed my chance.”

  14. 17


    Oh my, those sewing machines are like personal love notes from God. I love how He is all over the details, showing up in the most unexpected yet tailor-made ways. So thrilled to see how God moves through you, girl. You are doing beautiful things…


  15. 18


    Your face in that picture…amazing! The love I can see radiates! You are truly doing the Lords work Mag! I love it! He is using you in mighty mighty ways!!!! Can’t wait to see what you make with the fabric! Better hold one aside for me! ;)


  16. 20

    Mindy Kral says

    I have wanted to go on a mission trip for a few years now and I believe the Holy Spirit is working through you to get me there. Thank you so much for your posts through out your trip. It has blessed me!!! But I would have to say the best part is how you are glorifying God through it all. God’s blessing on you <3

  17. 21

    Cindy says

    OOOH! Nothing like African markets. I remember I picked up amazing fabric when I was there too. They have great Batiks and all kinds of prints! I can’t wait to see what you create for your limited edition!!! blessings

  18. 24

    Marcie Seery says

    So excited for you and your trip to Tanzania with Compassion! I’ll keep an eye out on the limited edition line. We’ve been sponsoring Daniel in Ethiopia since he was six – he turns 15 next month – and we continue to sponsor him and pray for him. But I’ve wanted to visit him for years and you’re inspiring me to pray more about that. (We have two young girls (5 & 7), too young to go on a trip with Compassion, but I continue to hope I can go soon.)

    Again, so excited for you guys and will pray for a safe trip home.


  1. […] You know that friend who is cool in the way you wish you could be cool and yet is still your friend? That’s Maggie. And when the Compassion children see her they all immediately want to be her friend, holding her hand, wrapping her in their arms, playing with her hair.  She has brought such a uniqueness to this experience, not just because of her infectious personality, but also because of her blogging background.  Maggie is the owner of Gussy Sews, part blog, part tutorial, and part store front.  This has allowed her to have an interesting perspective on what we are doing here, and I’d love for you to hear her powerful voice in her post “What I Found at the Market.” […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>