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. 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Harley (a.k.a. Marmaduke) and Uno Update

Dan kept saying that Harley looks like Marmaduke.
I guessed Marmaduke was a dog, but didn't know what he looked like.
So I finally Googled the word Marmaduke and up came Wikipedia came up with this cartoon......

According to Wikipedia he is a Great Dane.
Harley Boy is a seven month old Mastiff that just thinks he is a lap dog, just like Marmaduke. He has no idea how big he really is. We know this because he tries to sit on Dan's lap and thinks that when he jumps up he isn't going to knock you over. This has been a real problem with little kids and Uno just eggs him on.

Ever since Uno got run over by the Tap-Tap in front of our house we have been trying to think of a way to "calm" him down. We have been talking about getting him "fixed". We thought this needed to happen since he thinks screaming children with arms flying in every direction are play toys he should be tackling.
No harm meant, he is a dog. But it lost it's cuteness months ago.
Our second clue was when Corrigan used our dogs in a sermon. This would have been a honor but the message was about the Lord not giving us "the spirit of fear", like happens at the Lynches house when you are three and come in the gate only to be pounced on.
We could get it.
Pretty soon our hand full of friends would hate us.
The writing was on the wall and Uno's days as a stud muffin where numbered.

Maddie says, it is just wrong to have a dog with a bucket on his head.
But, for the next week, until he gets his stitches out, he is lovingly going to be called "Bucket Head". I am sure the Haitians think we have lost our minds using a perfectly good bucket on a dog like this.

Oh, just in case you are wondering.....
No, it didn't stop him from running out the gate!
His first day home, he was out the gate checking things out, that was after Harley Boy pulled the bucket off.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grandma Florida

The average life expectancy for a woman here in Haiti is fifty five years old.
So last Wednesday when I told all the sewing ladies this was Mama Dan they all started laughing, clapping and jumping up and down because not one of them could believe she was sixty nine years old (or young).
As she unpacked her suitcase I started jumping up and down when she opened a side zipper compartment on her suitcase and pulled out a box of bullets that Jerry forgot to unpack before she repacked the suitcase. Actually, my heart sank and I could feel the blood drain from my face as I thought of her being taken directly to jail as she tried to clear Haitian Customs trying to explain how these bullets got in her bag. God himself must have walked you through today, I said.
As we drove in the truck Dan finally asked her what she thought about her trip and what she had seen so far.
The word overwhelmed came up a lot.
Haiti can be culture shock with out a doubt.
There are hundreds of people walking on the streets, it is hot, it is normal to see a goat hanging in a tree getting ready to butcher, there is so much trash and people are poor beyond what most people have ever seen.
But, she is doing great.
She is going with the flow, the pot holes and the bumps of our everyday life.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Maddie The Middle Schooler

Wednesday morning at 8:30 Maddie and her sixth grade class "Stepped Up" to be in Middle School.
We pulled into the school parking lot, she jumped out of the truck, ran over to me, hugged me and said, Mom, give me one last sixth grade hug because the next time you hug me I will be in Middle school.
I considered bursting into tears right in the parking lot, but knew she would hate it.
Several kids read poems, speeches or played a piano solo.
The whole class played songs on their recorders.
We are really proud of her for all her hard work and all that she has accomplished.
We want to say a big "thank you" to Miss Ann for all her hard work too. She helped make sixth grade wonderful for Maddie. She helped them learn to write wonderful stories with hamburgers and marshmallow treats and since we are "Foodies" that totally worked for Maddie.
Her fear of Middle school seemed to vanish this past week. That's a good thing!
Summer here we come!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

a.k.a The Deli Mart Lady

She has moved back to her side of town.
She was sitting close enough to the street this time.
I have always wanted to talk to her but I didn't want to have to go near the car catcher. I have issues with the car catcher. The smell and the garbage that surrounded her was one thing, the car catcher is another.
Today was the day, she was so close to the street and I wouldn't have to cross over the car catcher to talk to her.
I have tried talking to her, she talks very softly.
This was my chance!
Stop! Stop! I'm gonna get out and see if I can find out what her name is.
I have called her The Deli Mart Lady for months now and I really wanted to know what her name was.
People on Facebook started asking if I knew her name.
So, Calah......
Her name is Carmelle!
She is "officially" no longer The Deli Mart Lady.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grandma Florida

In just three short days Grandma Florida is coming to Haiti for the first will also be over for the year!!
We are counting down the days! We have sent her our shopping list and can't wait to show her the sites.

Grandma Florida is really Grandma Eileen but when Maddie was a little girl she always called her "Grandma Florida" because she lived in Florida......we never changed it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Published Copy

Madisen G. Lynch
May 12, 2009


Creamy, white, black, brown, there are many different colors of the skin.
What color is your skin?
We are all human beings, we are all people with feelings.
In 1955, a lady with brown skin named Rosa Parks changed every ones lives. She didn't not give her seat to a white man in the front of the bus.
She was tired of having to sit in the back of the bus just because her skin color was not white!
Rosa Parks got arrested.
No one should be arrested for their skin color or where they sit on the bus.
All people should have the same rights.
I respect what she did.

"You must do the things you think you can not do."
That was a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.
What would do if no one had respect for other people?
Would you step up and do something?
Do you know who did step up and help?
A man named Martin Luther King, Jr.
With his strong faith in God, Martin Luther King Jr. stepped up and helped the American people to have equal rights.
Later Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed.
I respect him and I say thank you to all who tried, especially God, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King,Jr.

*thanks for the picture Mama Beth*

Friday, May 22, 2009

Giving Back

I believe that one of the most important lessons we need to learn in life is that no matter how little we have, or how "poor" we feel, we still need to give back to others who are in need or others we simply want to bless.
On my first trip to Africa, I remember being in a great big tent meeting with hundreds of people. When it was time to take the offering, they began passing around these huge baskets.

My first thought was so cynical,I still cringe when I think back to that night.
I arrogantly laughed to myself thinking how badly they "missed it" with the size of the baskets, after all I just knew no one in that crowd had the kind of money needed to fill those baskets. I soon found myself wanting to bolt from the stage in tears as the congregation began to fill the perfectly sized basket with clothing, food and money. How small my view of giving was and they just busted me.

I believe giving is key for the ladies in this program.
They have been given a great opportunity to change their lives.
Some grab at that chance and run with it and it is paying off big time in their lives.
Our ladies are required to "donate" one out of every ten purses as their tithe/offering back into this program to create a benevolence fund to help other ladies in our community.
Every once and awhile we are also asked to do projects for different groups here in Haiti.
This past week they worked on folding chair covers for the high school graduation at QCS.
We purchased twenty yards of fabric and supplies, they gave their time.
As I watched them work, I loved seeing the ladies put all their skills together and work together on this project!

So as you give by supporting us as a family or purchasing a bag, please know that our ladies are giving back by "paying it forward" to another woman in need.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Alyssa Rae

Happy 20th Birthday Alyssa Rae.....

It's true I have been in denial about this day....
Alyssa is twenty today! Yikes!
Every year for as long as I can remember my mom has made her favorite cake - it has a Cool Whip frosting and really big red strawberries on top!
Next year she will be a Junior at Lee University, not sure how that happened either.
But, despite all the things that have passed so quickly, she has turned out to be a great kid.
She is one of my favorite people on the planet and that is a really great gift.
I hate not being with her today!
Happy Birthday "My Girl"!
Love you!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Deli Mart Lady

Dan came home and said, your lady moved to a new neighborhood.
I wondered, why she moved?
I had noticed a new lady in her spot a few days earlier and wondered what had happened.
I guess everyone needs a change of pace and scenery, even the Deli Mart Lady.
She had taken a few of her things and moved down near our house.
I needed a new picture of her.
Dan and I stopped and talked to her.
She let me take her picture and give her cookies this time without getting angry with me.
She didn't have all her normal stuff.
She seemed peaceful.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

All Things Maddie

Maddie will soon be finished with six grade and we will be going to her "Sixth Grade Step-Up." That means she will "officially" be in Junior High. She is eleven, twelve in August.

She is thinking about riding horses in the fall after we get back from our summer vacation. It would be something really fun for her.

This past Friday she and her buddies sang Amazing Grace at the QCS Talent Show. She is painfully shy so this was a really big deal for her. We are really proud of her.

*thanks for the horse picture Troy

Saturday, May 16, 2009


A few weeks ago I saw President Obama's picture painted on the back of a tap-tap and wished I had my camera. I laughed thinking about the President of the United States being added to the tap-tap Hall of Fame along with Bob Marley, Tupac, Jesus, Aristide and Moses. So, today as we sat in traffic on Delma 33 I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this new painting.

Recently, I saw an article in a newspaper comparing Haiti's President, Toussaint Louverture, with our first black President. He too, has made the tap-tap Hall of Fame and the Delma 33 open air art gallery. I wondered if Haitians are thinking it is about time we finally caught up with them and got a black President?

Toussaint-Louverture (May 20, 1743–April 8, 1803) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution. Born in Saint Domingue , in a long struggle for independence Toussaint led enslaved Africans to victory over Europeans, abolished slavery, and secured native control over the colony in 1797 while nominally governor of the colony. He expelled the French commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax, as well as the British armies; invaded Santo Domingo to free the slaves there; and wrote a constitution naming himself governor-for-life that established a new polity for the colony.

Especially between the years 1800 and 1802, Toussaint Louverture tried to rebuild the collapsed economy of Haiti and reestablish commercial contacts with the United States. His rule permitted the colony a taste of freedom which, after his death in exile, was gradually destroyed during the successive reigns of a series of despots. Translated from French, his name means "the awakening of all saints" or "all souls rising".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Outrageously Loved - Color Outside The Lines

One of the scariest things about living in Haiti is not that I feel unsafe, it is the stuff that happens in your heart.
It is the thought of losing my passion, my vision, my joy.

More than once I have over heard someone talking and thought, wow, they need a break. The thing is they didn't know they needed a break and telling someone they need a break can be tricky. They didn't just go to bed one night and wake up the next morning a jerk. It happened gradually and they got used to the person in the mirror.
You don't just move here because you think it will be "fun", you believe it is a "calling", not a vacation. They too, packed up all their junk and came here to do something good, just like you did. They even thought it was a "God thing" just like you did.

My fear is that one day I will hear myself talking and wonder how on earth did I get to be the scary jerk?

Let me give you a picture....
Pretend with me that you are at a shrinks office, he holds up those cards in front of you that really just look like big ink spots. He is holding them up to see what you are gonna say to evaluate your responses. Then he decides if you are or could be crazy based on your answers.

Card # 1 - Woman has HIV and stands in front of the mans house who she thinks gave it to her telling everyone he and his family are all positive. He sends a letter to you that says, "Please tell her to stop bothering me, I can be violent. God Bless You." Now you must confront her. She says, she knows this man wasn't the little girls father, but still wants him to take her because she can't take care of her anymore.

Card # 2 - Every single car, truck or tap-tap that breaks down in the middle of the street holds up dozens of cars for hours rather than moving to the side of the road because "where God breaks it, we fix it".

Card # 3 - You can be so hungry that you are willing to eat mud pies but you won't eat "free" rice with protein powder creating a complete meal because you don't like the kind of rice they use.

Card # 4 - A HIV positive woman can have five children who live in the village with her family, but she has to sell her body to send money to help take care of them while she is pregnant with number six.

Day after day you see the cards and most of the things on the cards don't fit in your mind. They are unfair and honestly, the injustice could drive you to drink if you didn't have something bigger to hold on to.
That's how it happens....the cards keep flashing and your mind and heart can't handle it.
Pretty soon you have built really big thick walls so you don't see the cards anymore and you have quickly become the jerk. You now justify your actions pretending "THEY" don't have anything to do with the fact that you lost your passion and joy a really long time ago. You now have your own version of normal and are unable to see that you are doing more damage than good.

I say all that to say this.....

I was listening to my new favorite singer, Jonathan David Helser when these words came through the air like a hammer breaking through to my heart keeping me from hopefully becoming the scary jerk. They reminded me that He created me to be loved.....loved outrageously.
It was a good thing to be a person with passion and a person who colors outside the lines.
After hearing these words I cried for two days.
The crazy ink spot cards had nothing to do with who I was and it wasn't my job to change the things I saw on the cards, it was HIS.
My job was to live with passion, live with joy, be loved and to love.......

It is your job to be outrageously loved, that is why I chose you.
That you would live as one who is outrageously loved.
That you would receive a radical love, so radical that it would blow all paradigms of what you think love is.
Know this says the Lord, that I will love you outrageously all the days of your life because I don't know how to be any different.
This is who I am.

Jonathan David Helser
The Awakening

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

John's New Tatoo

Most people said it must have been Dan who got the new tattoo.
Everyone knew it was John's saying..."Lose Sight To Gain Vision".
Even Dan's mom wasn't sure who's arm it really was.....
The winner was Jes with one "s".
We give him a lot of crap about his hair, his clothes, his food, well, just about everything.
I said, I think we all need erasers. We have to erase everything we think we know in order to live here.
John says, we must "Lose Sight To Gain Vision"
I agree....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Green Almonds

According to Wikipedia, Foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news.
I think that might make us "Foodies"....
Last Friday we tried green almonds.
If you are a "whole foods" type person, I think these are more raw than "raw almonds".
Not roasted or salted, but you do put salt on them before you eat them.
We talked Tara and Beth into trying one with us.
Beth said, "you can get worms from eating them that way, but we have worm meds".
Tara said, "with the fur on it?"
Dan and I both thought they tasted something like a grape and crabapple mixture without the sour part.

Yep, we are "Foodies".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Technically speaking, everyday is Mother's Day at our house.
We live at the women's center and see close to 100 women every week.
They are all either mothers already or soon to be mothers.
Even if we didn't live here in this house and today wasn't Mother's Day I would still be passionate about the women in our program."No tool for development is more effective than the empowerment of women"
- Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General

There is a saying in many parts of Africa:
"If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation."
When a girl is educated, her income potential increases, maternal and infant mortality are reduced, children are more likely to be immunized, the birth rate decreases, and the percentage of HIV infections is lowered.
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Seeing Starfish

One early morning, after a fierce storm had hit the coast, I strolled to the beach for my morning walk. Horrified, I saw the tens of thousands of starfish had been washed up on the beach by the winds and waves. I was saddened by the realization that all of them would die, stranded on the shore, away from the life-giving water.

Despairing that there was nothing I could do, I sat down on the sand and put my head in my hands. But then I heard a sound, and I lifted my eyes. There, in the distance, I saw a man bending down and then standing up, bending down and standing up. Curious, I rose and walked toward him. I saw that he was picking up starfish, one at a time and throwing them back into the sea"What are you doing?" I yelled.
"Saving the starfish," he replied.
"But don't you see, man, that there are tens of thousands of them?" I asked incredulous. "Nothing you can do will make a difference."
He did not answer me but instead bent down, picked up another starfish, and cast it back into the water. Then he smiled, looked me in the eye, and said, "It made a difference to that one!"

Friday, May 8, 2009


Kevin and I have been sending emails back and forth for about a year trying to hook up, but it never seemed to work out.
(Before we go any further, yes, Kevin is a girl.)
Last week Dan went to meet Amelia from the UN to get a copy of the story she did about us a few months ago along with some other educational stuff she had done on HIV, HIV stigma, treatments, medication and domestic violence for us to show the ladies who would be waiting while we did fifty ultra sounds last Thursday with Dr. Parks.
Late Wednesday night Sarah and I previewed the videos and guess who's story was also on the same DVD as ours?
Yep, it was Kevin.
I emailed her the next morning and said it must have been a sign and we really should hook up.
Last night she had a small get together at her house for a Mother's Day sale.
It was fun to finally connect and see what she has been doing.

If there is something Haiti doesn't need it is more trash on the streets. I love that she is doing something about it in such a positive way. So, what is a RARA bag....
RARA bags are constructed from up to 100% re purposed post consumer and industry waste materials.
Each bag is handmade and helping Haiti reduce waste while building income generating skills.
They collect and use plastic screen mesh used on packages of fruits and vegetables, potato chip bags, pretzel bags, coffee bags, cookie packages, metallic butter packages, granola bar packages, bottle labels and pet food bags.

If you would like more info on what Kevin is doing you can find her at:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Generator Update

Turns out the part we shipped to John and Beth wasn't the right part needed to fix the generator after all.....
After a few more days of working on it with David, Byron and Kurt.....we had to send it off to be "rewound" - no idea what that means!
We hope it will be back on Monday fixed and ready to go....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hangin' With The Peeps


No, not the really nasty yellow marshmallow candy you can buy at every CVS for 90% off after Easter.
I always wondered who eats that stuff. I always wonder why they make so much of it every year. It's like fruit cake. Only ten people on the planet eat that stuff.

Anyway - These are the peeps that have made life feel normal when there is no such thing as normal.
These peeps laugh at your really crazy life stuff because they know what you are talking about and chances are something worse happened to them that morning.
It has now become normal that none of their stuff works right either, they never have power, they have gross bathroom stories that they talk about at dinner, they have big dogs, they have scary skins stuff and random sickness just as much as you do, they have the same bugs and rats at their house and don't think it is normal and they always run out of gas right in the middle of cooking dinner.

We can have a laugh attack at things that are not funny and cry so hard we pee our pants.
We can cry together at the drop of a hat on any given day.
If we are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire we always have someone to call for help.

Soon it will be summer and not all the Peeps will stay. Some will be moving on to new parts of their lives.
Some will be having babies and yet some will stay. This is one of the hardest parts of living in Haiti. You must love deeply to stay and live here, but you must love with the ability to let go and have people in your lives only for a season.
Yet, there is a funny thing that happens here.
It is a cement of sorts. You can't buy it. You can't order it and you sure can't fake it.
It will cost you a lot - trust me!
Sometimes you aren't so willing to pay the price and it makes you crabby, really crabby! You had no idea how much it would cost, neither did they. Some how in the midst of all the crazy stuff, bugs and bathroom stories you become someone different and you know this is now who you are and you can't turn back.

You traded "normal" in a long time ago and in return you get something that will last for eternity - crowns to throw before his thrown.

Thanks, Peeps!