On Sunday evening we gathered to spend our money… and have fun! We were about to enjoy a dinner/auction for missions. Many of us had saved donations for this purpose, and the handy small appliances, craft items, furniture, artworks, and vouchers from local businesses were all displayed on the church stage.
I wondered how my handmade cushions would go. Someone was sure to like them. People don’t always understand how much crafts cost in the way of time, materials, or creativity. At the first auction we attended, I took note of the things that brought the fastest and best prices: homemade lasagna went quickly for a high price, and bidding was keen for the gardening, house-cleaning, and car-washing services.
So this time I gathered all my selvedges together. Selvedges? Those strips that run along the edges of fabric; they often have a hard feel and incorporate advertising and the name of the designer. They’re cut off before using the material. Some people even make complete garments out of them. That’s a bit much for my liking, but I still keep all of mine in a bag, and eventually I use them to create purses, cushion covers, or quirky pot-holders. So here we were, waiting for the selling to begin.
After many interesting items had been sold, one of my cushions was held up. The amateur auctioneer-cum-pastor described it, telling the audience that I’d made ‘lovely soft cushions’ as his wedding gift! Soon this one was sold for $25! I was flabbergasted. Later the other two went for $15 and $20 each. I’d expected them to raise at least five dollars, but now I felt I’d made a worthwhile contribution to a good cause! I hoped the buyers would enjoy them. They may have bought them as gifts, to use in their own home, or to find out how to make one like it!
What else was on the list? Three pine folding tables, for a start. One of our clever sons had made them for our family Christmas dinners years before, and we didn’t need them now. They went for $60 each! Someone will make good use of those, I thought. They store easily in a small area, and can be unfolded quickly. My husband nodded to me, ‘Paul will be pleased’, he said. Yes, our son’s a generous man. At this rate, we were all wondering how much money would be raised this year.
The enthusiastic auctioneer began to shout. ‘Here’s some of Maurie’s honey!’ People jumped to their feet and pumped their arms up and down! Maurie and I looked at each other across the table and grinned. This would be interesting. There were four buckets, and in the end, they had to tell the bidders to calm down while they decided whether to sell them singly or as one lot. Finally, common sense prevailed and four of the lucky ‘gymnasts’ were able to carry off one trophy each at $40 a kilogram – twice the normal price! That honey will build up their strength!!
The ‘losers’ can still buy it for the correct price, but anyway, that wasn’t the purpose of this auction, which was to raise funds for African Bible Schools. People didn’t mind paying more than each item was worth, if it meant the precious Good News about Jesus would reach those who were desperate for it. As the apostle Paul quoted Isaiah in the Bible:
How beautiful are the feet of them who bring good news of good things ~ Romans 10:15.
Oh, and by the way, $12,600 was raised that evening to send to Africa. It was money well-spent. Wonderful! Praise God!