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. 

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Filters Are Here

Yeah!! The filters are here! Chris came in this morning and dropped off a partial load so we can get started on the installation! Clean water for our ladies and babies - this is so awesome and will make each life better. I think when all is said and done we are looking at seventy-five filters total!
Thanks Chris, Leslie and Olivia (Clean Water For Haiti) for all your hard work!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"A" is For Adventure

It is about 6:45 a.m. Maddie and Parker are waiting for Dan to come and take them to school. I am the one inside the bars, they are out on an adventure in the driveway. They are checking out what is next door which is a must see mystery to an eight and ten year old. I often wonder about what is behind the gates myself and am always in shock when I see someone has real grass and not concrete for a yard.

We already know they have an illegal limit of dogs behind the gate next door - if in fact it was a law here. I was thinking we could give the nineteen-time Emmy Award-winning former American television game show host - Bob Barker a job. After all my years watching the "Price Is Right" with my grandparents I can hear him say, "remember folks make sure you spay and neuter your pets!" A fact some how missed here.

As I listen to their conversation I hear Maddie say to Parker, "I wish she would stop having puppies, all these dogs are annoying"! Parker, with great authority says, Maddie, she has to she is a woman"!

Oops, I am now busted when they hear my camera click!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Make My Day...

I spent the morning and a good part of the afternoon getting some different fabric ready for Vadette (right) and Igmene (left) to work on while I am gone. I didn't really think that it would "make Dan's day" if he had to match fabric while I am gone. I think he will have enough on his plate and than some. It was good for me to be productive and get back on track after the past two weeks of ups and downs with Little Man.

Carine(middle)has been working on new price tags for me since my scraps of paper didn't really look all that nice or professional. To make it even better she came to help me remove all my ugly paper scraps since John is gone and not keeping her busy. As we sat and talked, out of the clear blue, she said to me..."this gives me hope for Haiti." I wanted to burst into tears but calmly said - really! She made my day and my week for that matter! No, not the Arnold kind of day, the kind of day that really matters and keeps you saying, I think I can - I think I can! It is one thing for us Americans to be thinking we are doing a good thing but for a Haitian to think it is good - that is even better.

Monday, May 26, 2008

No Words

I know blogs are about using words to express what is happening in our lives, but right now I am with out words. Today the plan was to get Rosie back to the AIDS clinic in order to get her test results back so we could move little man over to a different hospital so he would get better care via the free AIDS program here in Haiti. I had seen Rosie early Sunday morning before I left for church and had given her an antibiotic for little man. Now she is sitting on my porch, with out her Rosie t-shirt on, telling me little man had died yesterday after we parted company. My emontions are numb right now. What can I say - it is bitter sweet. I am thinking of the words Candra sent....there is no HIV in heaven. May my little man have a blast in the arms of Jesus - I know he has kissed him for me!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Not Sleeping

Right before I travel I end up in these bizarre sleeping patterns. I go to bed, sleep really hard for about four hours and wake up thinking about all the things I need to do while telling myself to go back to sleep. So, here I am again, a week before I leave for the States thinking about all the stuff I have to do at one o'clock in the morning. This time, however, not only am I thinking about stuff I have to get at Target (my favorite store) I am thinking about something Rod said last weekend at the youth retreat.

Everyone, I would like you to meet Rod and Brittany. Rod is a teacher at QCS and helps out with worship at our church. He does a great job! Brittany teaches pre-school with Bill and Sue a.k.a Ted and Lisa. It has been fun getting to know them and hang out with them. By the way, Rod said there is no restaurant called "Outback Steak House" in Australia.

Here's the scoop on what has been creeping into my sleep or my not sleeping I should say. As we sat and ate our hard boiled eggs, banana and raisin bread for breakfast Rod said something like... I think we are eating placenta's for breakfast. Our conversation made a wicked left hand turn down the road to midwifery leading us to the group of people who eat placenta's becasue, and I guote, "they have everything you need in them and are good for you". For a week now I have been trying to get this notion out of my head, but it isn't leaving any time soon as far as I can tell.
This isn't a good thing to have stuck in my head because we have eggs as a meal on a regular basis here since it is a very cheap meal.

I think this is one of those things you tell yourself not to think about and it turns into something you can't stop thinking about.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Broken Gate - Again

UPDATE: Rosie came to our gate around dinner time last night to get money for little man! I was really happy to see her. Yes, my heart skipped a few beats when I didn't see him with her. As I reviewed the paper work she gave me, I could see that it was dated for 5/21/08 - that is a good thing. I asked her if she understood what was wrong with the him, she didn't. She said he still wasn't eating. I gave her money for the meds, tap tap and food and sent her back to the hospital asking her to bring little man to see me when he got out of the hospital.

Our gate is broken - again! This seems to be an on going issue for Dan. Almost like clock work each month the gate breaks. Why? I am not really sure. Well, I have a few ideas but it shouldn't really be all that complicated, but it is for many reasons. One of them is our yard guy, Billy. He seems to have a natural skill for breaking it. Not that he means to, it just happens. Like the time he forgot to close the door on the gate and opened it with the door wide open. So, each month Dan learns a new skill for fixing the gate. This months lesson was welding. John and Dan spent a good part of the morning welding the gate back together. Plumber, service engineer and now welder!
I can now also add carpenter to the list since he just finished a new shelf for the store we have here for the women to sell their things.
You just never know what God is doing in your life when he pulls all of our random talents together to complete the big picture. He is the guy who keeps the house running while I do all the other classes. Team work - OK, that is a whole different blog.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Little Man

I am sorry I don't have an update for everyone on how little man is doing. I have requested for some one to check on him for me but have not gotten any word back from them. I have not had any family come to my gate looking for more money and that could be a good thing or a bad thing - I am praying it is a good thing. Rosie and little man did not come to our early childhood development class either. Again, it could be good thing or bad thing.

Thanks for your great word Candra!

I will keep you posted!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Alyssa Rae

Today is Alyssa's nineteenth birthday - Happy Birthday!!!
We Love You and Miss You!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rosie's Baby

He is a cute little guy isn't he? He and his mama are very sick. You have already met his mama. Her name is Rosie, his name keeps changing. My day with Rosie and baby started at 6 a.m. when they showed up at the gate for an appointment at the AIDS clinic. Yes, she and baby are both positive. She didn't need to be here until 7 a.m. with a family member that she seemed to forget. I sent her back home to get some one to go with her to answer questions since she isn't able to provide them with the information they need to treat her and baby. Finally, she and baby would leave with an escort for their appointment. They returned about one o'clock and there would be no denying baby was very sick. He has been very sick for days and I have been holding my breath every time she comes to the gate. I keep hoping she is suddenly going to connect the fact that he isn't doing well, but it isn't happening.

So, Jes (with one s) and I spent her last day in Haiti trying to get him to eat one milliliter at a time from a dropper. It wasn't staying down and his fever was 103.3. I called Dr. Jen, she told me what I had known since 6 a.m., he needed to go to the hospital. John came down, looked at him and said, he is going to die. Within minutes we got in Juniors car and headed out. We would come up with a plan as we drove. The first hospital wouldn't take him because he was too young. Off we went, downtown to General Hospital. I have been there before and didn't have a good experience, so I didn't really want to go again with little man. But, we have very limited options with the cost of medical care and no budget for these kinds of things. General Hospital is a large complex of many white buildings with forest green trim. It kind of reminds me of an old church camp with a blue and white Catholic church off to the side and people praying at the locked gates. There is one main street inside the complex littered with trash, people waiting, eating and sleeping. While you are there you are responsible to have someone stay with the patient at all times, empty the bedpans and bring in food and water. When you get an actual visit from a doctor and medication is needed you must leave the compound, walk down the street outside filled with pharmacy after pharmacy looking for the meds that you need. There is no a/c, no padded chairs, no clean towels or sheets, you get what you can carry in with you and that is it. So, while you are out it is good to get a bite to eat from the street vendors and a bottle of water and prepare for the long wait.

I will just say that this visit wasn't going well either because as we walked in the front door my foot landed in a pool of diarrhea and I almost fell. If you have ever been to Haiti you can now join me in saying - sick. You understand that the diarrhea was now dripping in my shoe and on my foot since no one wears closed toe shoes here. I wanted to pour water on my foot and erase what was happening, but I couldn't bring myself to waste clean, cold drinking water in front of anyone who would see me. It would have to wait and I would try not to think about it.

After sitting for a while Junior would go and find an official type looking person in a white lab coat to do a quick exam, finally he would agree to move us up in our number assignment. I was so thankful, but felt it was unfair. It didn't seem right to move ahead when so many needed help. To be honest, after the third time little man stopped breathing the feeling of unfair was quickly gone and I was pretty sure the guy in the white lab coat was a friend of God. The next time I saw him he was clocking out for the day, he waved good-bye leaving us sitting inside where we would get a bed and not be in the waiting room any longer.

Time moves so slowly when you are watching a sick child take every breath, not sure if that will be the last one. The room was small, filled with too many beds and people but I was happy to be in the same room with a doctor and a nurse. I was happy Rosie finally connected long enough with what was happening to give us the blanket she was holding to lie on the black plastic mattress. The room was filled with other mothers begging for help. To say we stuck out like a sore thumb would be a gross understatement, we were screaming for attention by now. We only added to the chaos of what was already happening and everyone wanting to know what the two white women are doing with that baby as the mother with a blank stare stood in the hallway watching. I held back the feelings of wanting to run from what was happening remembering my first trip to Haiti when another little boy died on the boat with us and I prayed this would be different.

After a few hours, we still had not been seen, but our house girl, Nedage, was now on her way to help Rosie and take our place for the evening. We would leave money for the meds needed and some baby Tylenol for little man. Rosie was now finally willing to come in and care for her baby. We prayed over him for the last time leaving him in the Lord's capable hands. My stomach was sick, I could not cry if I wanted to. We had just seen a mother with a tear stained face carry her dead baby in and out of the room looking for some one to help her, while another family would carry their dead baby out of the room on it's tiny bed almost rolling the baby off on to Jes' lap by tipping it too much in order to make it out with out hitting anyone. I wanted out, I wanted to run again, but I had to give this sweet little guy a few more kisses and we would go. Go back to our lives that seemed so rich and full of everything we needed while Rosie and all these families sat and waited. The sweat would run down their back and face all night long as I slept in clean sheets with a fan keeping me comfortable. How good God was to me and I knew it.

We met up with Junior in the parking lot. I would make one last call to John so I could double check myself. Should we leave or should we stay. We should leave. With little to say, I was happy to have the a/c on and to be headed home. Well, sort of headed home, because the story doesn't end yet. Several blocks away as we rounded the corner the engine would stop! Just stop with no warning. Just stop in the middle of the turn leaving us blocking traffic. Junior, who says, he is always in his office and travels with envelops and a stapler in his bag, said, why did it do that? This time, however, he didn't have something in his messenger bag to fix this one. We would have to try and push the car out of the intersection and wait. As we sat and waited, I told Junior, no one will believe me if I wrote a blog about this one. We laughed about the stuff that is a part of our everyday life here that no one would really think is funny in the States. But, because things like this happen everyday here, it has become normal. Soon John and several of Junior's friends came so we could pull his car back to get a new timing belt put back on, only breaking the strap once leaving Junior behind us in the middle of Delma, again blocking traffic.

It is a new day! Jes, with one s, went back home to Michigan and little man has made it one more day.....

Saturday, May 10, 2008


As we get ready to say good bye to Jes on Tuesday - she made us take her to the beach again today! As we sat soaking up her last bit of real sun before she heads off to Michigan where they have fake sun, we both began to ponder why on earth these guys got paid to spend the whole day shoveling the rocks from the beach on to this raft. I am thinking it has some thing to do with the whole concept of golf. You hit the ball away from you with no one on the other end trying to get it away from you, so you go get it yourself and hit it away from you again, repeating this process until you see a flag that has the number eighteen on it. It seems like these guys have the same idea. They shovel the rocks on to the raft, take them out about twenty feet into the water returning them to their starting place where eventually the waves will wash them back on shore repeating the whole process. Dan didn't agree with me, he said golf is fun. As far as I could tell these guys seemed to be having fun. Maybe it was fun because they know they job security.

Friday, May 9, 2008


If you are Haitian you would call him Joozzzeph! If you are American you would call him Quincy M.D. (for watching the whole series on DVD), Joe, Texas Walker (again,for watching the whole series on DVD),Joseph or under the radar. But, today, he earned a new name, Radio. He rode up on his bike with this speaker attached to his Walkman. Of course, I didn't really think that it worked, I thought is was for looks, so I made him prove it to me. But, he proved me wrong because it did work.

From my experience Haitians are one of the most creative people I have ever seen. I have seen so many halves of things put together and driving down the street I lost count long ago. Half a bus, half a truck, half a pick-up truck it really doesn't matter it will serve just fine as a tap-tap. They are masters at making things work and to an American who knows very little of this gift that can be a good or a bad thing depending which end you are on. Are you buying or are you broken down on the side of the road. But in the case of Radio, it was a good thing. He is a great kid and will be leaving for the States soon. He knows to look for real Mexican food and not Taco Bell.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rosie The Riveter

In the States I have a fridge magnet and photo album with Rosie The Riveter. I understand she started as media propaganda for WWII, but I still like her confidence and her get it done vibe. My photo album is special because Alyssa gave it to me. Over the years, I have collected the history of some really special kids here in Haiti in my album.

So, when the girl, who I will call Rosie, showed up I noticed her right away. To say that from that day forward has been heartbreaking and difficult would be a gross understatement. Her life, from what we can tell, has been a string of worst case scenarios. Some of these things are very private and need not be talked about, but are things that we are dealing with in order to save her and her babies life. It has been very hard to connect with her because she is in such a bad place and honestly we don't have the answers she needs. This morning in my prayer time it hit me, I prayed for her to come to my gate! I said, yes, Lord I am willing. What on earth was I thinking! Seriously, what was I thinking? I might be white, I might be American but contrary to popular Haitian belief, this is not the combination for bringing the magic answer to everything here in Haiti. Rosie looks good on the fridge, but now Rosie is sitting on my porch and I don't have a clue what we should do next.

Lord, we need you and your wisdom! We said, yes and now we wait on you! Come Lord!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Debate

I wanted the picture...
She wanted money...
The Great Debate... To Look or Not To Look?


(T)here is but one coward on earth,
and that is the coward that dare not know.

-- W.E.B. DuBois