The story of Abby...
Early in October of 2017, I flew out to the west cost to help my cousin pack up and sell most everything she owned. She was a professional grower, but had recently been arrested in the state of Florida with about fifty pounds of medical grade cannabis. This was her second trafficking charge and she suspected she was about to do some serious time in a Florida prison. She had supported me while I was serving on the mission field in Guatemala, so I felt a little obligated to go out to Fort Bragg California and help in any way I could. When we started packing up all of my cousins things, we made piles on what to keep, what to sell, what to give to a local thrift store, and what to take to the dump. After spending a few weeks packing up and taking stuff to the dump, one day I noticed a stuffed bear that had been tossed into the “give to goodwill” box. The box was full of old shoes, clothes, and other miscellaneous junk from around the house. Abby (well she didn’t have a name then) was destine for the thrift store. Maybe she would find a good home if someone purchased her, it didn’t matter to anyone around, it was just a stuffed animal that nobody wanted anymore. A couple of days later I noticed that the stuffed bear had been moved from the give away pile, to a nearby trash pile in order to make more room in the box for shoes or whatever. This little stuffed bear wasn’t even considered good enough for resale, she was on her way to the dump. Nobody wanted Abby she had fallen about as far as she could, it was the end.
A few days later I passed by Abby, she was half in and half out of a pile of trash. The dogs were using her to lay on for a dog bed. I looked down at Abby and said “I will save you, I will make you beautiful again, you will be loved and adorned by many peoples. You will be more special than any other stuffed bear around. I just can’t leave you in this pitiful state.” I pulled Abby from the garbage, I took her upstairs to my bedroom, and even though I didn’t know it at the time, it would change both of our lives forever.
The transformation begins….
Over the next few days I started thinking about how I could make this stuffed little bear beautiful again. It was not enough just to shake out the dust and sew up the tears in her fur, this change needed to come from the inside and that is exactly were I started. Each day after I finished helping out with packing up the house, I would spend time with this bear checking out the holes, looking at the stitches and thinking about how to make Abby live again. It was not okay for her to be just another stuffed animal, she needed to stand up on her own, she needed to be able to hold things in her hand and she needed to be beautiful and more special than anything even I could imagine at the time. I would spend my nights making a wire frame and modifying it as needed. I went to a sewing shop and got thread, needles, everything I would need to sew with. I’ve never sewed anything in my life but I was learning. I started on the inside and after several weeks - Abby stood upright on her own two feet. It took several attempts to get the wire frame just right, covered in elastic tape so she could be bent and moved to hold different positions. Now Abby could stand up and actually hold things in her hand. This was only the beginning. Each night I would think of ways to make Abby different, and beautiful. I made several trips to the thrift store punching Abby some kids clothes to wear. It took me a couple of months and the work was difficult, but she begin to take shape and this little stuffed bear that no body wanted was beginning to be noticed by others. I dressed her up and gave her jewelry to ware. I removed the entire head and made it to where Abby could move her head in any direction. I built a wire frame that goes to her nose where I could put my hand in the back of her head like a puppet and make her face and nose wiggle. I ran wires and tubes up her back so even her ears could wiggle and with a little help, even her eyes would light up. Abby was named after Abishag in the Bible. Abishag was a beautiful young princess to King David. She was the very last wife he would ever have before he died. Now that you can stand, and your so special and beautiful, it was time to go to work…..
Abby NewAge Bear!
Out in California almost everyone is into some type of new age thinking or beliefs. No joke, most kids carry around decks of tarot cards, crystals, or some other type of new age stuff. I had planned on using Abby to attract people like this, I would listen to what they believed as long as I could share my beliefs when they were done. People around me said it would never work, how ever while making Abby some signs at Taco Bell one night, even before the signs were done, I had a new age guy join me for dinner when he saw the signs I was making. I managed to collect a few items from around the house I was helping to pack up to help Abby attract folks. She has a bag with a crystal ball, some other crystal, even a deck of tarot cards she carries around with her all the time. The first time I set Abby out with her sign they called me to the desk at the bus station. I put everything back in her bag and ran for the counter. She was only out less than five minuets in a very busy bus station but it was enough to attract a greyhound employee back to Abby a couple hours later. But I soon learned that I didn’t need that stuff, Abby alone was enough to start so many conversations. Its not every day you see a bear fully dressed, usually holding a candy bar, and standing upright wearing a pair of shoes. She even sports a real quarter carrot diamond ring now. Yes this silly bear is loved, and yes, Abby gets noticed.
Abby’s face book page…. the adventure continues.
One night another idea came to me. What if Abby had a fb page and I could take photos of so many people holding her. What if she could share the message of Gods Word with those she came into contact with? And that my friends is exactly what she does. I seriously doubt that a person can go to her page and read only one post. This is different, a little strange, so folks are curious about other post and before you know it, they sometimes are reading Bible verses thanks to a silly but somewhat beautiful little stuffed bear that was destine for the garbage. The Bible says “My Word will not return to me void, but will accomplish what I want it too” Every time Abby shares the gospel she/we are doing Gods work and sharing the Love.
But…. the price for this bear was so high…. check back later for more.