Living The Life That God Has For Us....

God's Plumbline Ministries is called to repair devastation in the lives of God's people allowing restoration both physically and spiritually. Providing creative solutions for employment, education and life skills allowing God to repair and restore hope.  Empowering each community to establish a secure foundation both inside and out, while keeping in tact God given talents and uniqueness, not focusing on man's ways but God's ways.  Developing working relationships within social and economic circles, working hand in hand with community leaders to bring the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5:00 a.m. wake up call (Madisen in Haiti)



So the batteries stop working around 4:00 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. and of course that is a total Haiti thing so I'm fine with it even though I'm sweating up a storm. 
Eventually I fall back to sleep. 
Then maybe, not even 30 minutes later, this guy is shouting at the top of his lungs into a giant sound system. 
I am guessing he is praying and singing to God and everyone, but honestly, I have no clue what he is saying. 
But 30 minutes after five this starts to get quiet annoying because I can start to smell the sweat coming off of my body in my tiny, hot, one window bedroom. 
Now, if you haven't ever had this, it is hard to explain, so just go and turn your ac off, lay on your bed with no fans or breeze inside the oven. 
You will start to get it. 
Maybe run outside a little bit as well.

And the other total Haiti thing is for the rooster to crow at all hours of the day (and night) which will sometimes get the dogs barking. 
And so, at 5:46 there are roosters crowing, rat dogs barking and a man who is probably trying spread the gospel to all mankind all going on at once. 
I have to give this guy some great credit if he is trying to spread the gospel, but OMG if I find out that he was trying to promote a political person, I am going to be one wicked annoyed lady! 
In all honestly his singing sounded more like a Mecca call. 
You know how they scream at the top of their lungs to sound like Tarzan. 
With the sun rising and me getting more antsy because of no power, 
I have to give thanks for the day because today the women are going to come in and learn something. 
If it's an old subject, then I pray it will be a refresher and help remind them. 
If it's a new subject then I pray it will save the life of a baby. 
Who knows? 


Esther 4:14 comes to mind when I type about learning something new or having a refresher. 

"If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. 
Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?" 

Queen Esther had to lead a people and learn from that. 
She also had to take a refresher course on faith in God. 
Maybe we also need to take that refresher course in faith too.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Even The Sparrow...


Even the sparrow has found a home, a place near your altar. 
Psalm 84:3

I have stood in this place before, this place of deep injustice.

Children and injustice.

It looked different, yet it felt exactly the same.
Like the leftover spin from the merry-go-round, leaving you off kilter.

We sat in the meeting called on our behalf.
The words coming from the man who sat behind the desk had been chosen to smooth and justify.
Justify why this place was here, why one hundred and eighty-two children lived in this place.
I knew the argument brewing in my head well.

"These children had been charged as criminals."

I had just watched four year old "criminals" who knew lessons taught with fists clenched, swinging with great aim and drawing blood.
There isn't a space for this in my head.
Was there a need for conflict resolution for three year olds?

criminal |ˈkrɪmɪn(ə)l|

His empty, hollow words with no weight floated, hung in the air.
I doubted he believed them. 
I thought he must have carried small lined note cards around in his pocket to memorize the words that floated out the windows with bars and no screens. 
Cards to remind him in case he forgot what to say when the things he must see every day jar the truth. 
The truth seemed to be tipping on it's axis so that it wobbled out of control like a top spinning, tipping from side to side or plates falling to the ground off their axis.
He had learned to walk the tight rope well.

He said things like, we don't want farming to be a punishment and we pride ourselves on hygiene.
Had he not just walked into this place?
I wondered if he was talking about here and now.

When he finished and had tucked away the imaginary note cards, he dared to ask if there were any questions, fool. 

fool 1 |fuːl|

 I raised my hand.
Just as I thought, he was at a loss for words. 
No cards. 
No answers.
Was he a fool, a puppet or just a man doing a job with his hands tied. 
Maybe he felt the spinning, the wobble and heard the crashing plates. 

Maybe.

No matter, the truth was speaking very loudly, yelling actually.
We had been dismissed and given permission to walk the property.

A tour.

I have done the "Long Walk to Freedom" on Robben Island, this left the same car sick, head pounding, need for fresh air feeling in my stomach.

However, this was about children and injustice not grown-ups.

It would soon be lunch time, a massive bell would ring as the children gathered in the court yard.
A foaming white watery mess of flour and water was served from a huge pot into colourful plastic bowls.  
I watched as one of the few older girls flip her bowl on the ground in disgust and walk away.

Good thing farming wasn't a punishment(or a privilege)flour and water seemed to me to be punishment enough.

I needed to stop.
Stop throwing spears and daggers.
That is what my heart does when it is broken, hurls words at people.
Words that become weapons.
I would sit in silence, watch the children and collect myself.
As I sat, I was thinking about anything and everything all at the same time. There was no more room in my head for this place or the places I have been in other parts of the earth.
Haiti, Cambodia, India and Thailand.

Children and injustice.

As I looked out the window with bars and no screen a tiny bird sat alone. Honestly, it felt like the bird had the better deal and I wished I could join him. I had seen enough on my tour.

As my mind wandered aimlessly looking for the map out of this place I could hear the Lord say, 

"They are worth more than many sparrows. I know them by name and I have numbered the hairs on their head."

hope |həʊp|

I don't have any answers.
Just a warehouse full of unanswered questions in my head that I carry with me waiting for the day I will have an answer.
Understanding this may take a life time.

Here is what I do know. 
The earth is full of people looking, with me, to bring hope to these children. 
We don't have note cards with answers or quick fixes.
We are not willing to do these things the old way, we are looking for new wine skins and new wine, convinced that the old ways aren't working any longer.
They too, are willing to spend their lives believing and hoping.

Won't you join us.



















Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Perhaps...




Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.

- Maya Angelou

Midwife In Training (Haiti)

I’m back! Yes, you are all thinking correctly, it’s the crazy blonde woman’s child, Madisen. Now, you might be thinking that I need support for Costa Rica, but this isn’t the case 
(caught you off guard there, didn’t I).  
But I do need support this summer because I’m going to Haiti in July for my SENIOR summer! I am going to be there July 20th - 30th.  I’m going to work with Beth McHoul and the Heartline Ministry women’s program. Beth runs the program and helps the women down in Haiti with giving birth in a safe, clean and loving environment and teaches them to make healthy choices with their children until they are six months old. I will be shadowing this program because I want to be a midwife after graduation from high school and I am considering attending a midwifery school in the Philippines next year. I have known Beth for a long time and I feel very comfortable with her and her teaching me about a women’s body and process of childbirth.  Because this isn’t a “traditional” path to education I am looking for as much hands on experience as I can get while I pray about my choices for education abroad and the future. I feel very blessed to have this door open for me and am looking forward to learning a ton this summer. I have booked my ticket and am ready to see what God has for me on this trip.
The total cost of this trip is expected to be about $1500. This includes airfare, room and board at the guesthouse and transportation while in Haiti.  This is the part where you my audience come in. I really need y’alls help with me going Haiti.  I feel like this is what God is calling me to this summer.  Now, if you cannot give money I completely understand.  All I ask is that you pray for me and with me that the money will come in for me and for my safety and protection on my trip.  If you can send money, I ask that you send it to God’s Plumbline Ministries so we can track your tax-deductible donations. I have enclosed an envelope for you to make it easy for you.  
I want to “thank-you” so much in advance for all of your support and prayers for my trip and for me while I move into my Senior year of high school and plan for my future.

Sincerely,
Madisen Grace


Monday, April 28, 2014

I Dare You - Invest With Me


I dare you to invest in humanity with me.
To close your eyes and see... 
See with me a place where others have the resources to provide for their children.
Where fathers have ways to express talent.

See a place where idle hands find fulfilment.

Help create a place to extravagantly dare to invent in humanity without a threat of the bottom-line.

Those crushing numbers squeezing out hope. 
The lives of people getting lost in the margin.

The hope to believe that the investment in humanity can be a beautiful thing.

Something worth giving your life for...


Hoping..

Believing..

 Let's hope and believe together in something greater than ourselves. 


Finding the desire to create communities with hope.


Empower people with skills and resources to birth a generation that is not looking at poverty, orphans, malnutrition and AIDS as "normal" or just a way of life.

Usher in a new generation... 

A generation with hope for a future.


I dare you to extravagantly invest in humanity.
Dare with me to believe in something more.

This is "Commonality".


Finding what we have in common, but never being common.



You Aren't Just Buying A Thing


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Levon




Levon wears his war wound like a crown
He calls his child Jesus
'Cause he likes the name
And he sends him to the finest school in town

Levon, Levon likes his money
He makes a lot they say
Spend his days counting
In a garage by the motorway

He was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas day
When the New York Times said God is dead 
And the war's begun
Alvin Tostig has a son today

And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
And he shall be Levon
In tradition with the family plan
And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
He shall be Levon

Levon sells cartoon balloons in town
His family business thrives
Jesus blows up balloons all day
Sits on the porch swing watching them fly

And Jesus, he wants to go to Venus
Leaving Levon far behind
Take a balloon and go sailing
While Levon, Levon slowly dies
- Elton John