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. 

Thursday, July 31, 2008


It was a year ago in March that we first looked at this house for the woman's program. You needed a good imagination when you looked at this house to see that it could be a great place. It had sat empty for years and had not been cared for at all. A little old man named Alfred was living in the depot in the back with his dogs and would get the gate when we came to look at it. When we finally got ready to move in it took days to clean and paint it. Weeks would go by before the electricity, generator and inverter worked correctly. But as you know things have turned around and everything is going well. I hadn't really given much thought to how much this house has improved until I walked out on the side roof to start the grill and I noticed that the dried up grape vine was now covered with grapes. My heart skipped a beat to see fruit on the vines. Wow! How far we have come in such a short time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pestel Morning

I woke up at three o'clock in the morning to the sound of machants coming into Pestel to set up for market day. Most of them walk for hours each Saturday to sell what little they have to support their families and buy supplies. It was the perfect day to be in Pestel. The afternoon was a complete show with flying rocks, flying bread fruit, flying pineapples, flying coconuts and sticks in the middle of the market as two guys went at it. As fruit was flying, people went running everywhere knocking over stands and jumping into their dugouts to avoid getting hit. Everything really got wild when a shot was fired into the air to stop the fight.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sack Cloth and Ashes

I had seen a man walking down the street with burlap bags neatly folded and balancing on his head - suddenly I had a new idea for a bag. I would needed those burlap bags though. Etrinne went out and couldn't find them for me. Hmmm....what to do? Let's try Vadette. Off she went sure she would find them. The next day she came back saying that she had found them at the church. Excuse Me? I couldn't imagine what she was going to say. Yes, it was true, they needed them at the church so that everyone who was fasting could lay on them out side the church as part of the sack cloth and ashes that scripture talks about. Talk about literal! First I asked her to make bags out of old rice bags and now I am asking her to make bags out of something HOLY! Yikes!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


October 2000 was the first time I visited Haiti. On that trip we took a fourteen hour boat ride to a small sea port town called Pestel. Pestel and the surrounding area quickly became my favorite place in Haiti. Everything about the zone is beautiful - mountains with deep green palm trees and the ocean is more the color of turquoise than blue. It is a place that men still work the red earth with hand tools and push a plow behind a single mule or cow. Families still sit on the porch, sheets tend to blow in door ways during the day, grass less yards are swept clean each morning and naked children push bike tire rims down the road for fun, while others stand at the gate in the yard watching to see if anyone should come along.

It has been four years since my last visit. I have always wanted my family to see Pestel but honestly I never thought they would. I believe that when it comes to the desires of our hearts, God is quick to take note of these things and waits for the day He can fit it all together to make them happen just for us.

On Wednesday, as we sat and had dinner with two families here to finish up adoptions, Jori, who was adopted from here and has returned to do English camp started talking about seeing her family in Pestel. She had my attention! With very little effort, a quick conversation with John and we had a plan in place. We would leave for Pestel on Friday to look for Jori's bio family. In our prayer time on Thursday before the woman's program we prayed for divine appointments for the adoptive families waiting here in Haiti, including Jori.

Finally, I would go back to Pestel, but this time I would take my whole family. We packed as if we planned to go camping for a few days, took Alex to help with directions and language. We made our way across Haiti, it would take us about twelve
hours to get to Pestel. The first half of our trip was smooth and on good roads, the second half was what you would call a creek bed on the edge of the mountain.

When we arrived we put out feelers and the next day we had word that Jori's family had been found and would come to Pestel to meet her. It would take several hours for them to walk, we would wait. I was working on getting some information to help another family with a new adoption, so we would be busy. It was past noon when they got to Pestel. We had accomplished what we had set out to do. Divine appointment kept! The rest is Jori's story, maybe she will write it for me so I can share it with you.

For us, it was good to go and see the parts of Haiti that I fell in love with and remind myself how much I love these things. It was good to spend the weekend on an adventure with my family. As we drove home today I was thinking that sometimes it feels like we have gotten our feet knocked out from under us with all that we have been doing and learning just to live here. Getting away for these few days allowed me to focus on the fact that it is good to know that when you have your feet knocked out from under you and you get back up, you find yourself standing on something that you love. Divine appointment kept!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stocking Caps In Haiti!

No, Alyssa and Beth are not homeless bag ladies! What on earth are they doing would be the next logical question.

Our teaching today was for all the Haitian mothers who still believe that you have to wrap your baby in layers of extra clothes, hats, socks and blankets when it is close to 100 degrees here in Haiti. Being from Minnesota, I am not sure we even dressed our kids in that many extra clothes. We have told them time and time again.... DON'T DRESS YOUR BABY IN SO MANY CLOTHES! It wasn't working! We started praying for creative new teachings so we could breakthrough some of different cultural ideas here.

Prayer Answered: Beth came to the house and said, God answered our prayers! While I was running I found a lady on the street that sells stocking caps! Exactly what prayer was this I was thinking! Happily, she continued telling me she went back and bought everything she had so we could do a teaching on what a baby should and shouldn't wear. We are going to dress everyone in stocking caps and blankets she continued! With those words my mind slammed on the breaks telling me nothing sounded worse than putting on blankets and stocking caps in the middle of the summer here.
Well, cleaning the car catcher is pretty bad!
Part of living here is being covered in sweat all day, every day, but I try to avoid creating extra sweat at all costs.
Let's not forget ice is our friend! No, I don't want to ever live in Minnesota again but I love ice water and diet coke with ice!

You can imagine what began happening in the room as we dressed everyone in the winter hats and blankets that each mom dresses her baby in. Just to make our point we shut off the ceiling fans! Soon the room was soon filled with laughter as Beth and Katie walked our mom through why it isn't good for their baby to have so many layers on in the heat here.

As I write this, I think of how the layers of clothes seem to apply to the layers in the lives of these mothers and children that we work with each day. We touch one layer and in opens up two or three more layers that we have to deal with. None of them are ever easy. Some are things we can't fix. Adding humor to our teaching seems like it opens doors for relationship and communication for our ladies. Today they all stayed and talked with each other long after the teaching was done as they sat and ate their eggs and drank their milk.

Today was an answer to prayer! Even in a stocking cap in Haiti!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Literacy Graduation

This is our first class to graduate from literacy! I am really proud of these ladies! Five out of the eight students graduated and will get a certificate of completion and a bible. They have done some thing great to better themselves and that says a lot. They are working to make life better for themselves and their families. We already have a waiting list and will start another class sometime in September. We will also add Level 2 to our program, building on math skills and more language skills.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

English Camp

English Camp 2008
I think that this is our third year helping out with English Camp. Before we lived in Haiti this was always a summer event for us. We would come and stay for three weeks and help out with camp. This year it is different for us because God's Plumbline Ministries is partnering with Heartline Ministries here in Haiti to do the women's program. Heartline Ministries (John and Beth McHoul) sponsor fifty-six kids to come to camp. English camp is a great way for our kids to have their part in what we do here. So, everyday fifty-six kids head over to Shelley and Byron's (a.k.a "The Check-Check's" and part of Heartline Ministries) house for the next seven weeks from 9 to 3. They have worship, story time, English lesson, lunch, craft and free time. Maddie and Alyssa are helpers. Parker is a camper. Alyssa is called the "craft nazi" and Maddie is the nazi's helper. They are having a good time! It is a great experience for them and something that will change the lives of many children and build great things within our children as well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Love Thursday!

We had so much fun today! Thursday is always fun and one of my favorite days because all of ladies who are having babies come to our program! Today we walked them through the stages of birth, something not really talked about here. Beth explained so many things while Katie and I did role playing with Etrinne (one of my favorites). Some days it feels like we are a million miles away from making connections with the ladies and the topics we talk about that week leaving us wondering if we need to change what we are doing. But days like today are great reminders of why we do what we are doing here in Haiti. These are things that will save the life of a mother and child. It was not scary for them, it was easy and fun having Beth use a turtle neck as the birth canal going over my head to give a visual picture for them. Most of our mothers deliver at home with very little or no help at all. We talked about having a friend with them to help them with the birth process and what is normal and what is not normal. Talking about what is clean and safe and what is not. In our thinking we never think about these things because we see a doctor each month and go to a clean hospital with people who care for us and love us while welcoming our new gift into this life. It is always amazing to me to hear the birth stories of these ladies. It was heart breaking to hear about a sister and baby who didn't make it on Wednesday from one of our ladies in literacy class.
It reminds me what we do is so important and that education, eggs, milk and vitamins do matter a great deal!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


He almost made it!
As you know we are working with Clean Water For Haiti (Chris and Leslie Rollings) installing water filters for the ladies in our program. It has been a great learning process for Dan as he see where our ladies live. Part of the program is going to the Cap to install filters in a prison. Today, Dan was going to go on the U.N. helicopter to install the filters. When you travel as an N.G.O. type worker you have to go stand by. Today they had twenty-five other people going to the Cap for different reasons. So, Dan and the filters will have to wait until next week. Maybe you can hear a hint of sarcasm in my words as I tell you how sad I am that he didn't get to go without me and that I think it this is completely unfair. You see, I have always wanted to be a helicopter pilot so it only seems fair that I should be going. I will admit that when he called to say that he and Matt would be coming back I felt a little giggle float to the surface as I said, well, maybe next week! I am holding out for a spot to open for me to go!

Monday, July 7, 2008

He Gives Us Everything We Need

Some times God can use such a little thing to speak to us and it can be very powerful. We are dealing with many things being handed to us as we get used to living here in Haiti. Some things you don't really talk about because it isn't always easy to find the right words and honestly everyone is in the same boat here. While other things seem like we should know them already since we are Christians - right! Why do we let them sit on our shoulder like the little devil in the red suit talking trash all day long? I don't know, but we do. The little red guys keeps reminding us we need to sell our house. It is one of the last things we need to do so that we can be rid of the little red guy. So, while we sat in church on Sunday, Parker Boy handed Dan this little boot he had made with the words...He Gives Us Everything We Need!
With these few little words we have given the little red guy the "boot" and put the boot on the bathroom mirror so we don't forget that the words of a child can change everything while reminding us that the Lord is in control.

Hey, why don't you join us in giving him the boot!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hope Walk Haiti - 2008

We will be working with Heart of Jonathan (Ted and Lisa Hojara) for this event.

This will be our first annual "Hope Walk Haiti"
We are very excited to share our experience with those who come to join us.
The walk to Jacmel is a breathtaking and challenging walk across some of the highest mountain ranges in the Caribbean. At 6000 feet elevation you will enjoy one of Haiti’s most hidden treasures. As you walk amongst some of the country’s poorest you will gain insight into the daily lives of the Haitian people, as well as their culture .
Our hope is that the participants who walk will gain a real understanding of life in Haiti and their hearts would be opened to the people and to the country and the great need here. It is a great opportunity to see and experience the diverse extremes that this country has to offer as you witness not only extreme poverty, but amazing beauty!

It is bound to be an experience you will not soon forget...

Dates: October 10-14, 2008

Cost: $500.00 US per person
Please submit a $50 deposit to hold your spot by the first week in September!
Please see the link to Ted and Lisa Hojara - Heart of Jonathan for forms of payment.

Transportation to and from airport in Port au Prince, Haiti
Transportation during your stay
2 nights @ Jacmel beach resort
All meals

Not included:
Each participant is responsible for attaining their own passports and purchasing their airfare to and from Port au Prince, Haiti.


You will need to arrive in Port au Prince, Haiti - October 10th. You will the evening with the kids at the orphanage.

We will be driven to our starting point, a 2 hour ride into the mountains and begin our hike at approx. 6 a.m.
We will picnic along the way and be met by truck at our finishing point - 6 to 8 hours later.
We will spend Saturday evening through Monday at noon in Jacmel, enjoying the beach, shopping and relaxing.
We will return to Port au Prince on Monday afternoon.

At this point your are free to depart or make arrangements to stay and visit other ministries at your own expense.

We would encourage you to ask people to sponsor you as you walk. This will be an easy way to bring awareness to your church, friends and community opening doors for you to share your experience with others who would like to help us with our many programs here in Haiti. We are working on providing a video for you to share with those who support you as well.

Important Note: This walk in NOT for those who have any physical limitations. This will be demanding and challenging on every level. This event will be limited in the number of people who can participate and will be on a first come basis.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Vanette - Igmene - Vadette

I feel like I get to show every one pictures of my kids! These are some of our ladies in sewing school who have been doing fantastic! I am really proud of them! They are busy selling lots of things in our store and have been able to help pay for some of their family needs with the money they are making. They have been staying after class and working so hard. I can't help but brag on them! OK - just one more thing! Each of these ladies will has enough money in her business account to get a sewing machine! Woot! Sorry, just one more... the other ladies have all taken a test to start sewing after class and should be up and sewing soon! Woot! Woot!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


We seem to be having food issues on many levels at our house.
I am not sure what is going on between Billy (our yard guy) and Nedege (our house girl), but it is very clear that they are having a food war.
Here is what I know.
Billy is the keeper of the food bag and dishes sent over every day from Evos because he gets the gate all day, every day. This gives him first dibs on the food. Nedege has her own set of food dishes for our house. Out of all the employees she has different food dishes since she is the newest employee. Billy, as the big chief, has taken it upon himself to inspect all of the food that comes here for all the workers to make sure he gets the most food, maybe because he is a guy and needs more? Don't really know. He can't however just switch bowls with Nedege because, you guessed it, she has different dishes.
Billy's Solution: Take a few spoonfuls, while she is watching, out of her bowl so he gets more food. Nedege may be smaller, but let me just say this will not allow Billy to win this one. I don't know how she will get back at him but I promise you she will.

Now the the next food issue.
Couscous! It is a real food that I made for dinner since our rice had bugs in it. I considered just making the rice because I would have technically killed the bugs and they wouldn't hurt any one. We keep our rice in a Tupperware so these kinds of things won't happen, but if you buy the rice and it has bugs in it before you put it in the Tupperware you still get bugs in your rice.
Sheila's Solution: Couscous. Just like Billy, I didn't win this one either. After a few choking motions and large gulps of iced tea Dan and Parker got up from the table and went to have Haitian spaghetti at Visa Lodge with Cindy (an adoptive mom here from CA). I have been sick for the past few days so I was thinking it was a great idea to have couscous with stir fry. I guess not!