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, April 30, 2009

Global Village

To better understand the makeup of the human race, imagine that all 6.7 billion people on earth could be represented by a singel "glogbal village" of just 100 people. Here is a snapshot of what a global village would look like:

Out of 100 people:
60 would be Asian
14 would be African
12 would be European
8 would be Latin American
5 would be American or Canadian
1 would be from the South Pacific
51 would be male; 49 would be female
82 would be non-white; 18 white
67 would be non-Christian; 33 would be Christian

We might summarize thing by saying we live in a world that is non-American, non-white, and non-Christian.

2.6 Billion people live on less than $2 per day...that is 40% of the world's people.

Family Care Foundation
August 5, 2008

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Tattoo

Anyone want to take a guess at who got a new tattoo?
We will talk more about who got the tatto and what it means after we have a winner.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Salt On A Birds Tail

"If you sprinkle salt on a bird's tail, you can catch it."
Meaning, if a bird sits long enough to put salt on it's tail you can take away it's freedom.

God made us to be free but what does that mean? Freedom can mean very differnt things....

Our Sunday school lesson was on oppression. Salt on the birds tail was the introduction to the lesson.
I thought I may need to try and explain the salt thing. I wasn't all that far into the lesson with my labored explanation, when one of the young ladies said... do you mean it is like when we buy a chicken here in Haiti and we tie a sting around it's leg so it won't leave the yard and after a short period of time even after you take the sting off of it's leg the chicken will not leave the yard even when it has the freedom to leave at any time.

Salt on a bird, sting on a chicken.

Freedom vs oppression. If you have never known freedom would you ever really know or feel bad about your life if you didn't know what it was like to really be free? Would you sit and wonder about life, always wanting something more?
What if you have always lived in an oppressive state would you know it?
Would you know what to do with freedom, power or money? What if you had an addiction to being oppressed? Would you know it? Wouldn't oppression be your "normal"? I dare say it would.

The Lord talks about oppression. The children of Israel lived in oppression for hundreds years, left slavery and wanted to go back. We can't imagine going back. As a matter a fact it sounds crazy. Yet hundreds of young women grow up around the world never really knowing emontional, physical or spiritual freedom. It isn't just Haiti. It isn't just something that happens to women. It isn't just a poor thing. I know women with the ability to buy anything they want, whenever they want and they are not happy or free. Why is that?

I remember being in South Africa and walking in Nelson Mandela's cell being very overwhelmed by the whole experience. Someone sure tried to put salt on his tail and yet he became President of South Africa.

What is the answer? Hope! Hopelessness is no longer seeing yourself as a people created in God's image with creativity, potential and worth.

Friday, April 24, 2009

What Are They Doin' With All Their Money?

I hope by now you know Vanette.
If not, everyone meet Vanette and her kids. Out of all the ladies we see, we have had one of the longest relationships with Vanette. We first met when she found out she was going to have a baby. She came to us each week for prenatal care.
Michael, the littel boy in blue was born in our program and spent one year with us each Tuesday in early childhood development classes.
Vanette graduated from literacy school, purchased a bio-sand filter so her family has clean water, graduated from sewing school, sews full- time for us each afternoon and has earned enough money to purchase her own sewing machine.

I thought you would like to know what she is doing with the rest of the money she is making from the bags she sells.

She is adding tile and new room to her house. Pretty cool, huh! We visited on Monday and saw the new construction and tile.

If you would like to see more of her work you can go to

check out the new Haitian Creations sign in the back ground

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Parts is Parts....

When I think of chicken nuggets or hot dogs my mind goes back to this old commercial that used to play on television in which this loud, really rude southern sounding man says, parts is parts! It is always the thought that goes through my mind when I see either of these foods. I can be here in Haiti or I can be in the States. It makes no difference to me 'cause parts is parts.

This is also the saying that has been going through my head as we search high and low for the burned out part we need to fix our generator. It will soon be a week that we have been looking for this part.
You would think parts is parts and we could just go to the hardware store. In this case, as is the case with many things here in Haiti, you must always ask yourself about the availabity of the parts for whatever it is that you are buying. If it breaks and it will break, can I get parts? If the answer isn't yes (because you have personally checked) - don't even think about buying it no matter how good of a deal it is.

In the process of looking for this magic part called an AVR something, something, something....we have had Dwight in Atlanta, Dan on-line with people in England and John in Florida all looking. I am happy to report that the part has been found and we hope that it will be coming in with John and Beth on Tuesday.

Until then we have the old Kabota from John and Beth's hooked up by-passing our part less generator so we can have fans at night and I won't have to write a blog on why we all have malaria.

The Apparent Project

God's Plumbline from Corrigan Clay on Vimeo

The Apparent Project is the work of Corrigan and Shelley Clay who also work and live in Haiti full time.
We want to thank them for the time and effort in making this video project happen for us.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Liver Spots

So just when I think I am daring enough to say..."I get it", something like this happens and I know I don't have a clue.
This baby was born at General hospital on Tuesday and came with his mama on Thursday for his well baby check up.
He had no name, he had a fever of 101.8, yet he was wrapped in big blankets.
He had a wide linen band around his tummy to protect and cover the cord not allowing for any air to get in and heal it. His cord was tied off with an ugly old looking string and smelled really bad.
I can't say I understand, but in some respects it was all normal and could be fixed quickly enough.
I assumed he had a hard time getting here with the bruises on his body. Was her labor long?
No! No, problems!
Excuse me?
I was told those marks on his sholders are there because his mama couldn't get the food she wanted while she was pregnant.
No words came to mind. My radar was blank.
OK....I'll bite! What is it that she wanted to eat?
Still blank......
This gave a whole new meaning to liver spots.
I was now a deer caught in head lights.
Marjorie has no idea what a deer caught in head lights means but she didn't miss a beat and told me that if you can't get the food you are craving while you are pregnant and you rub your stomach touching any part of the baby you will leave these kind of spots on the baby.
Yep, that helped me alot.
Marjorie continued, Madame Sheila, if I wanted coffee with cream and I couldn't get it the baby would have coffee colored spots.
I considered saying something.
I thought of several things to say actually.
None of it would have really mattered at this point so I thought we should talk about a name for this little guy.
I was thinking Ti Bo a.k.a. little kiss since he seemed to have been touched by something special in his young life.
No! That wasn't a good name.
I will check him again on Tuesday.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Poulet 337

Our date night ritual has all but disappeared now that we live in Haiti.
It wasn't for lack of trying, it is just complicated.
I figure it can either be something that makes me really crabby or we can learn to be really creative and come up with ways we can spend time together. Since my love language is one on one time together crabby can knock on my door pretty often around here. It is my job not to answer the door.
Our days are very busy so it isn't always easy to get away.
After all we do have about one hundred ladies that come through our house every week.
Again a problem for the one on one thing.
We used to meet at Starbucks to get a coffee and talk for an hour or such thing here. We had our favorite dinner spots and I loved to go out for breakfast after car pool and before work at the gallery.

Going out to eat here just isn't really something I find relaxing. It can take alot to get where you want to go here. It took us almost two hours to get to the other side of town to see Margaret today. Once you get to your destination you can wait hours for food and fairly often they just don't have much of a selection.

Today was a creative date day...
I grabbed my camera, an arm load of new reading material for Margaret to help her pass the time allowing her back to heal and off we went. She hasn't left the house in weeks because of her back. We visited for awhile, prayed with her and got ready to make our way back. On the way home Dan asked if I wanted to try his "chicken place".
Uuummmm in a word, No!
I didn't want to wait an hour for rice, beans and chicken since it was almost one o'clock. He promised it wouldn't take all that long, he had eaten there before.
It was clean, quick and cheap! All magic words when eating out here. Much to my delight it was all he said it would be.

One on one time - check!
Date day a.k.a. Date night - check!
Poulet 337 - check!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Upcoming Elections

Today I randomly asked Marjorie about the email that came out about the upcoming elections this Sunday.
She started to laugh.
What was so funny?
She said that the rumor on the street goes like this...
Before you leave your house on Sunday you have to write your name, address and phone number on the bottom of your foot incase you get killed while you are in the process of voting.
This is 2009 and we live in a country that can restrict a private vechile travel because of elections. We are only seven hundred miles from Miami.
Alot of this is "talk" but it is a reminder that fear is a powerful thing.
Here is the email.....

U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince issued the following Warden Message on April 15, 2009:

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince is issuing this Warden Message to remind U.S. citizens in Haiti that Haiti senatorial elections are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 19, 2009. International election observers will be present to monitor the elections.

The Government of Haiti will be restricting all private vehicles and motorcycles from being driven on election day. All private vehicles and motorcycles will be banned on Sunday, April 19.

The U.S. Embassy does not have any specific information indicating that there will be violence or other problems during the elections. There may be large crowds or traffic disruptions in areas near polling stations. We continue to advise Americans to be alert, avoid crowds and political demonstrations and exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.
We remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. American citizens are urged to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

American citizens are also urged to register with the U.S. Embassy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Official...

When I was sixteen Dan asked me if we could date and be boy friend and girl friend. In the old days he had to ask my dad for his permission to take me out and date me. It was by far the worst thing that had happened to me. I was sick for days.
That was back in the 80's. This is the age of My Space and Facebook.

It's official! We have been Facebooked by Alyssa's new guy, Scott.
He sent me a "friend request" asking to be friends.
But that didn't get him off the hook.
Dan sent him a message telling him we would be available to talk via Skype so we could get to know him better and he could ask permission to date our daughter.
I am sure he is wondering what on earth....
He said he was ready and to give it our best shot.
He has no idea - poor guy!
Parker said, I am gonna kill her!
Maddie said, Mom she kinda has her own life now, she is in college!
Ha! Forget that!

p.s. this is Scott's picture of Alyssa...I stole it off Facebook! I accepted his request!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Growth demands a temporary surrender of security....
- Gail Sheehy

Matthew 25....
For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison , and you said I was getting what I deserved.
(RESV - Richard E. Sterns Version)

What Does God Expect of Us?
The Hole In Our Gospel
Richard Stearns

Friday, April 10, 2009

Igemene's Wedding Day!

I got back to Haiti on the four o'clock flight Wednesday just in time to celebrate Dan's birthday!

Happy Birthday # 47.....!!

Thursday morning we got up and out the door so I could go get my passport renewed but that didn't work because I needed an appointment. I will be back to renew my passport on May 11th...

Next we went to a Passover Seder meal with Maddie's class. Mr. Day (Papa) walked us through our passover meal. She had been planning a birthday surprise for Dan. He wasn't sure why he had to stop and buy the whole class "treats" when it was his birthday? The whole class sang Happy Birthday.....Maddie was very happy!

We made a quick stop back here at the house, I got my camera, had some ice coffee and off we went to Igemene's wedding.
Igemene's day was really special....
She was so pretty!
Out of all the things that she could have spent her money on here in Haiti she made the choice to get married and have a church wedding.
It is hard to describe a Haitian wedding. Haitian weddings are known to be very loud, long and drawn out events. No one is on time and they can take hours while every one dances coming down the isle. This one was no different. The three white people had books with us to read while we waited for hours. Dan and John went looking for the guy who sells ice cream.
It was fun to see all the sewing ladies come to the wedding and celebrate with Igemene.

I don't often think about what it looks like to the Haitians for a white person to be living in their country. I know we are different, we are white, they are black, we don't think the same in many ways, but I am not really ever thinking about color.
I am thinking about finding solutions to life problems.
So when I saw Dan sitting at the reception it was so funny to see him sitting alone seeming so out of place.
Here is a big white guy sitting in the middle of the room in a little chair surrounded by black people. To make it even more odd...they asked us to get up and take all the food we wanted in front of everyone. After we finished they handed out styrofoam containers of food to everyone with chicken, rice and beans.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Girls From Faith Academy

1982's Best Picture Oscar Winner: Ghandi
1982's Grammy For Best New Artist: Men At Work
1982's Grammy Record of the Year: Rosanna - Toto
Yearly Inflation Rate: USA 6.16 %
Average Cost of new house: $82,200.00
Average Income per year: $21,050.00
Average Monthly Rent: $320.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas: 91 cents
New Car Average price: $7,983.00
US Postage Stamp: 20 cents
If you go back to May of 1982 I was just graduating from high school at Faith Academy. I was seventeen. I saw Ghandi and remember the songs but very little of the other things mattered to me. I just wanted OUT of high school. I met Dan when I was fifteen at Faith Academy - that is a whole different blog.
When I think back to the friends I had I believed we would be friends forever. I did stay connected with a hand full of them. But for the most part we all went our seperate ways.
Last night I had dinner with that hand full of friends and a few others. It is simply amazing to me that the same girls I hung out with in high school are now mom's, wives and people I still think are pretty cool.
We talked about where our lives have taken us and all that we have done. We talked about funny things and a few sad things. We got caught up on kids, jobs, husbands and loved every minute of it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

4th Annual Women's Night Out

Thursday was the 4th Annual Women's Night Out at Lisa's Country Gallery in Kimball, Minnesota. Lisa Crayford and her gang put on a great benefit for our women's program in Haiti.
The first fifty ladies in line got goodie bags full of things from all the vendors. Plus every vendor donated something for a silent auction with all the proceeds going to benefit the work we are doing in Haiti. By three o'clock there was a line outside the studio with ladies getting ready to shop.
Ginger and her daughter Lauren came to help me in the booth. Ginger and her husband Dale have a real heart for Haiti. They are in the process of adopting from Haiti. With adoptions taking two years, they have been coming to visit.
I am thrilled that found our program and when they visit they have been helping with fabric and supplies for sewing school.
For me a benefit like this one is a great picture of how women help change the lives of other women.
If you are in Minnesota I would encourage you to check out Lisa's work and her studio. She has really beautiful work and she too has a heart for the women of Haiti.

Country Gallery
31770 MN Hwy 15
Kimball, MN 55353