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, November 25, 2010


I always think it's good to be after Halloween.
In my mind it seems to get rid of the confusion we have over just what the heck is going on with Halloween.
It's purpose is clear, we are to be thankful.
Christmas gets twisted with spending too much money and the birth of Jesus.
The whole point gets lost.
Not so with Thanksgiving, it's simple and straight forward.
We look at our lives, acknowledging what we are thankful and spend time with our family.
The down fall is too much thankfulness when it comes to all the food we eat.

So, it seems to me, thanksgiving and thankfulness are a condition of the heart.
We finally get it, understanding we are blessed beyond measure.
Lacking in nothing.

We are thankful for family, friends and the goodness of God that we have seen, felt, heard and experienced this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Parker

Happy Birthday Parker Hughes Lynch - Number 11

Eleven years ago today, I was laying in Northside Hospital.
I was in labor, Dan was in North Carolina, trying to get a flight back to Atlanta.
I was hopeful, yet unsure with all of the holiday travel.
When he finally did get to the hospital, the room was empty, so he thought.
I was sitting in tub dealing with the pains of labor.

Not to worry, he had plenty of time, he even took a nap.
Parker would be born that day and we would spend Thanksgiving in the hospital.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


He was a contemporary of Smith Wigglesworth, he was from another era.
His words were a gift.
They were powerful, sometimes light hearted, yet relevant for today and life changing.
At the time, I was thinking, he was a neat old guy and I loved his stories.

He said,"...every time you walk away from the bar the price goes up".
I have pictured a high jumper in the Olympics giving it his all only to go higher at his next attempt, an alcoholic sneaking into a bar thinking he would just have one drink, never thinking about the consequences.
I even imagined a play for a youth group, it is simple enough, an old fashioned ice cream shop transforms into a seedy biker bar as a young, hopeful, teenager turns into an old, lost, biker guy with no family to speak of, starting a fight every time someone confronts him with the truth and the choices he made for his life.

For many, it seems, they do "just" walk away without consequence.
Yet, I have watched different situations play out in my life, the church, in politics and when the price goes up, it goes way up and is very painful.
But, pricey for who, those playing or those never knowing they are part of a game.
It isn't always clear to me that those in charge really ever care or are held accountable.
However, the Lord clearly says we will all give an account for our actions.

In Haiti's case, the price has gotten pretty high these days.
The game is being played harder and those on the sidelines are paying the price with their lives.

It was a Sunday afternoon, we had gone to church, finished lunch and would take a visiting team to "see" Haiti before the work week began.
I have been downtown hundreds of times and still go every chance I can when it comes to taking pictures.
It amazes me that after ten years, I still see something new every time I go.
At a certain point in the drive you leave what you know to be real and drive into a time wrap in a really bad dream.
The atmosphere changes, the people change and soon a weight is strapped to you.
You become numb, you are unaware of the changes in your emotions, nothing fits in your mind.
Pretty soon you are watching and not reacting.
Even the smell that took your breath away in the beginning has tamed itself.
You think you are processing what you see, but there is a level of poverty that you have only read about or seen on television.
A battle with God begins in your mind that you are not aware of.
Everything you believe, find value in and think you need is being challenged.
You shut down, you can't take any more in, your done.

As you drive out of the Port, you become aware something insidious has happened.
You are wondering what just happened.
How could that have been real?
You didn't give your permission, but you lost something while you went sight seeing.
You being to wonder if it was a good trip? You are not sure?
You are emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted.

In my reflection, something stuck out for me.
The mentally ill.
It felt like a line had finally been crossed for the fragile, those who walked a fine line.
The price had become to high.
Never had I seen so many clearly mentally ill people in Haiti.
Life had become so hard that those who normally would be living in one of Haiti's tight knit family communities, had fallen through the cracks.

For me, it was Sunday, a day of rest.
Now, in yet another way, the price had become too high for me as well.
Again, understanding doing nothing was not an option, needing to rest in Him and what I was called to do in Haiti.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


He was running.
He may have been the Papa.
Maybe she was maybe two, dressed in fuchsia.
Her body lifeless.
He was running.
His arms full.
She was a rag doll.
Beth could see him in the rear view mirror.
He would pass us soon as we sat in traffic.
We pulled over on the side of the road to offer help.
As he got closer we could see he kept looking for signs of life.
He turned, running in the opposite direction before he got to us.
We could say nothing, offer nothing.
Where was he going, there was no hospital that way?
Just like that, in your mind, no way to process what was happening.
Gone from our sight, not from our minds.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Haiti and Hurricanes

Before I left for Haiti I heard a report on the news stating, "everyone in tent cities should move".
I wondered just where they wanted them to go.
It is true that many who live in the tent cities have houses, but are fearful to sleep in them.
They return during the day, but sleep in the tents at night.

Another article I read said, "They're very entrenched here," and many worry about losing their possessions.

For days the tension built, fear was spreading on the streets as everyone listened to the radio.
Prayer requests went out from everywhere asking God to intervene.
The rain came, the wind came.
It was not good for anyone living in a tent.
Late Thursday, we did a medical transport for a young mom needing a c-section, knowing that if she had any kind of complications during the storm it could be a life and death situation.
When we finally got home we thought about an emergency grocery store run, too late.
It did take me awhile to fall asleep, feeling the guilt of laying in a bed with four pillows and a fan.
The ceiling did leak, I rolled over onto the other side of bed, thanking the Lord for a bed and a roof.
One report said, 100 miles one way or the other could have made this situation horrible for Haiti.
He said, in the terms of the space we are talking about, one hundred miles is really like a hair.
It reminded me that the hairs of my head are numbered.
For this I am thankful.
The next morning, as I drank my coffee, rain still pouring down.
I heard these words singing on my computer...
"He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am tree bending bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy."
The words, they seemed different to me.
My life and time here felt different to me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something Old - Something New

I am getting ready to head out again.
I will be back in one of my favorite places doing something I love.
Women helping women.
I have had this idea in my head for two years.
We are going to take something old and create something new.
What is the idea?
Making cloth beads out of scrap fabric.
We will start creating jewelry from the beads.
Marjorie has six new ladies that will be joining the program.
We will also hire one lady to make "gift" bags for the jewelry.
Seven women will start the process of changing their lives, making beauty from ashes...

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor

Isaiah 61:3

Monday, October 25, 2010

Whatever happened to....Couple still helping Haitians long after earthquake

Whatever happened to....Couple still helping Haitians long after earthquake

By David Wickert
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When an earthquake killed more than 230,000 Haitians in January, many in this country wondered how they could help.

Dan and Sheila Lynch of Marietta didn’t have to wonder. They’d already spent nearly a decade helping Haitian families escape crushing poverty. So with a borrowed plane and other assistance, they flew medical supplies to the Caribbean nation.

But it’s what they tried to bring out of Haiti that made headlines. In a land where thousands had suddenly become orphans, they targeted 22 children whose adoptions already were pending when the earthquake struck Jan. 12.

Today, 20 of those children are with their new parents in the U.S. The Lynches are still keeping track of the other two.

It’s that kind of focus – concentrate on helping a few people – that has guided the couple since they founded God’s Plumbline Ministries 11 years ago. The organization gets its name from the Bible, from the book of Amos, chapter seven: “Then the Lord said, `Look, I am setting a plumbline among my people.’”

Builders used plumb lines to show vertical direction. Dan and Sheila Lynch try to give direction to Haitian families by teaching skills that translate into income.

The ministry consists of Dan and Sheila and their three children. Working with other groups, they provide health education and vocational training to Haitians. In February 2008, they started a sewing school that helps women earn a living. It’s grown from 15 women to 57.

“We wanted to be part of a solution,” Sheila said. “Our solution was to help children. The best way to help a child was to help his mother and to keep a family intact.”

The ministry grew out of a church mission trip to Haiti in 2000. Sheila saw a child die on that trip and saw many others who were severely malnourished.

“I realized I was less than two hours from the United States,” she said.

When the earthquake struck, they used a corporate jet donated by Duluth-based Kids ‘R’ Kids child care centers to fly $75,000 worth of medical and other supplies to Haiti.

They twice tried to bring those 22 children to their adoptive parents. But they were turned away as Haitian authorities became concerned about child trafficking in the wake of the disaster. Authorities later arrested 10 Americans for trying to smuggle 33 children out of the county.

Eventually most of the children Dan and Sheila Lynch tried to transport made it out of Haiti by other means.

“Many children are doing well,” Sheila said. “Many children, however, are struggling with a lot of trauma issues.”

The same can be said for Haiti, where hundreds of thousands remain homeless. Sheila has visited six times since the earthquake.

“It’s almost criminal to me that there are still people sleeping in tents,” she said. “It seems so cruel to me that the whole world has donated so much and it’s still so broken.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Season

The smell of rotten fish had gone, my heart was swelling.
I sat and counted.
The women's program has grown from fifteen in our first class two years ago to fifty-seven.
Fifty-seven women come to the women's program every day.

Today was a special class, they would hear about family planning.
The message was loud and clear
"Yes, children are a gift, but have the number you can care for on your own.
Have the number you can clothe, feed, and send to school while taking care of yourself."

Spacing children out and planning for your future - all new thinking.
Not easy concepts, here.
There was laughter, questions and lots of resistance.
Nevertheless, this was a new season.
They would be given information, an education and a chance to learn new skills.
There will be new courage, new thinking, new self-confidence and yes, a new season.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lessons From Psalm 23 and a Comma

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

6 Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD

I have know these words since I was a little girl.
Even non-Christian types know this scripture, maybe the whole world.
As I listened to a sermon on these familiar words they became so alive for me when the speaker paused after the word surely.
It was as if he added a comma and it changed the meaning of the whole thing for me.

Sheila, surely you know goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.

It was no longer a lyric in a song from my childhood, it was now truth.
I owned it.
Goodness and mercy are mine for the rest of my life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Funerals and Rain

"If it rains on a funeral, it means the person was cheap"
- Haitian Proverb

Well, that puts a whole new spin on it now doesn't it.
Third world country, worst earthquake in history, rainy season, tent cities and to top it all off, people think you are cheap because it's raining on the day you are being buried.

I wonder what it means to be cheap in a third world?
Is it the fact that a guy on the street, working in a tent made your casket?
Even when you are the poorest of the poor, you can still be cheap?

I wonder how?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jonah In Miami

I wasn't running away from God because I didn't want to preach against great wickedness.
I was, in fact, headed to a strange land that would lead to what one could call a crazy "fish story".
A "fish story" being a tale that continues to grow with greater and unbelievable details each time it is told.

My tale started in Atlanta.
I told myself that I would put the past behind me, not thinking about my trip in April that landed me in the Bahamas, sitting on the tarmac for five hours with no food or beverage service. I wasn't going to dwell on the fact that my plane was struck by lightning putting me in the middle of a plane full of screaming, swearing, praying, truly ticked-off people or the fact that I was stranded in Miami spending the night with friends, arriving in PAP the following day.

I really should have noticed a faint fish smell in the air as I made my way just East of nowhere in the newly remodeled Miami airport to hook up with a friend to collect tuition money for kids and a large zip-lock bag of cell phones to be given to the kids as well.

Truth be told, I didn't really get that over powering fish smell until much later.

I was also meeting up with a friend from high school who would travel to Haiti with me.
Once on deck, so to speak, we sat on the tarmac talking, catching up on life, exchanging books, filling in the blanks about what happened to our old high school friends never moving off the tarmac, unaware of the storm brewing around us.
The crew didn't start throwing cargo off the plane or ask us to pray to our gods, they just kept repeating they would try to fix the mechanical problem.
American Airlines flight 575 was beginning to look, smell and sound a whole lot like the ship Jonah boarded headed for Tarshish.
After two and half hours of trying to fix the mechanical problems and some FAA guidelines now kicking in we got tossed.
We debarked the ship sitting for yet another hour, while the murmuring, complaining, texting and phoning began only to hear the dreaded words...flight cancelled.

We had now been tossed into the sea of mass chaos, mad dashes, swearing and the surrealness of a happy faced first time missions team. Bags in hand, all in matching t-shirts calmly declaring God had a plan and it was just part of the adventure.
I however, did not have on a happy face or the matching t-shirt and was not part of that crowd.
My t-shirt said, been there, done that.
I began to wonder about the ten pounds of frozen cheese now thawing in my carry-on, sweating all over my clothing.

I am pretty sure the voice over the loud speaker said, "welcome to Nineveh, the land you so desperately tried to avoid".
It was decided that said friend would leave me in Nineveh, not to make the rest of the journey with me due to the failures of traveling to Haiti on a "bubby-pass", always risky.
There were no casting of lots to find out who was responsible for this calamity, only food and hotel vouchers given to those of us who stood in the cattle line at the American Airlines counter in Concourse "D".

I would be spending the night in Miami, alone, eating a $16.00 cheeseburger.
I was happy I didn't have to collect my one hundred pounds of cargo.
I made a few phone calls, some to vent, others to a hand full of travel buddies who would find great humor in this journey.
Two calls to see if I had really lost my mind, now doubting that I should be making this journey.
I found the ice machine, unpacked my thawed and sweating cheese, poured ice over it in the sink to keep it cold for the night and went to bed.
It says, Jonah was in a deep sleep during the storm, this is where he and I differ.
I am not a fan of getting up at 4:00 a.m. two days in a row and don't sleep well when I have to fly.

The seas seemed rougher in the land I had desperately tried to avoid.
I wanted to be in a place that didn't always move so much, a place I could control.
I was praying a pray that sounded much like the one Jonah prayed.
He said: "In my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave, I called for help
I needed help, I knew it and I was asking.
Part of the asking and attitude adjustment would hopefully come after I used my five dollar breakfast voucher for a triple shot, two pump vanilla latte at Starbucks.

By the time I made it to the gate, it smelled like an open air fish market all around me.
I didn't want to admit it was just the rotten smell of my attitude.
Not even strong coffee could fix that.
I should try to read.
Then I noticed the happy faced matching t-shirt people talking happily.
I still wasn't wearing the t-shirt and wondered if I had forgotten deodorant.
Maybe I should check.
It was once again, time to board.
It got worse when the gate attendant took my personal carry-on with the now sort of cold ten pounds of cheese, the zip-lock bag of cell phones, the new lap top away from me.
My protests went unheard.

I found my seat.
Thankfully, it was not next to a happy t-shirt person.
I was sitting next to my kind of traveler, quite and reading.
I sent a few text messages to say it looked like I would be leaving soon.
After thirty minutes the door should have closed, but it didn't.
No messages played about breathing devices falling from heaven to save us.
We had, you guessed it, mechanical problems.
All signs were now clear, I was Jonah.
I was sure of it.
Maybe if they tossed me off the storm would become calm.
I texted friends who I told I was leaving to say, I was not leaving.
I was trying to make lemonade.
I looked at the quite, book reader next to me and said, "can you say, Jonah?"
He didn't get it.

I wondered why after ten years of doing this I didn't find the humor in the darkness of traveling in a whale to a strange land.
How it was that the words, "we have to manually close the electronic door and fill out paper work" felt as repulsive to me as God telling Jonah to go confront wickedness.
I am not a big throw a fleece before the Lord kind of person.
But, I had determined if they couldn't close the cargo door, I was done.
I was torn, half of me wanted off, the other half wanted to get on with things.
I had things to do and people to see.
A miracle happened and we left for Haiti an hour and a half late.

Jonah's journey was three days and three nights, mine only two.
We landed in Haiti and as I walked off the jet way I could hear men singing to greet us.
I would fight the crowd to see if my hundred plus pounds of cargo actually caught up with me.
To my surprise, they didn't end up tossed over board in the Bahama's because of the defective cargo door issue.

Bags on cart, happy to be the ground, I searched for a familiar face to pick me up.
After all the confusion I wasn't to surprised I didn't see my ride.
I made a few phone calls on a borrowed phone since my phone was saying "invalid Sim card".
I did try the taxi route, but refused to pay twenty-five dollars for a three mile ride.
I argued about the cost of fuel and time it would take, finally telling them to take my bags out and forget the whole thing.
I would wait.
All the happy t-shirt people had loaded their bags into several vans.
I was now the only white face in a sea of black faces surrounded by cargo guys wanting to know if I liked the sun and why did I keep standing in the sun looking for a ride?
Finally, another white face and a ride.

This, however, is not the end of my fish tale.
I learned a long time ago never to say, "what else can go wrong"?
Especially when it comes to Haiti.

Ringing wet from my new love of the sun, happy to be in the comfort of friends, I had to get the ten pounds of cheese of out my suitcase.
I opened up my carry on to find that I had been robbed.
Half of the cell phones had been taken out of the large zip-lock bag along with the envelopes of money.
My heart sank, $1200 was gone.
Never mind Jonah confronting wickedness, I wanted to swear.
Instead, I put my face in my still cool suitcase, trying not to cry and throw up all at the same time.
Didn't they understand, they didn't steal from me, they stole from their own people.
My mind started to race, how could this happen, I was never away from my bags.
I replayed the trip in my head over and over again.
I would have to send an email and try to explain what happened.
You know the part when Jonah says, he would rather die, me too.

The next morning was like salt on a wound.
As Marjorie unpacked the supplies and fabric, she found the empty money envelopes in a completely different suitcase.
Even though I had placed two fifty pound bags on top of "the" suitcase, they still found the money and cell phones under the ten pounds of sweating cheese.
They even picked the phones they wanted leaving me the ones that they didn't want.
My conclusion, it had to have happened while I used a cell phone.

It was good it stormed that night, reminding me of those in the tent cities and choices made for survival.
My heart softened for this country that made me want to swear.
There would be no word from the Lord allowing me to go to the airport, proclaiming a great message leading to repentance, sackcloth, ashes.
It was done and over.

OK, so I don't know what the inside of a whale technically looks like.
I do know what it is like to stink.
I don't really like the end of my story.
I do however like the way Jonah's story ends.
So, I will end with his and not mine.

Jonah 4:11 - The Lord said,"But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well, Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

Fair Trade

* 1.4 billion - estimated number of people in the world existing on less than $1.25 per day, according to Bread for the World

* 2.7 billion - estimated number of people in the world existing on less than $2 per day, according to the World Bank

* 30% - women in non-agricultural conventional production in developing countries in 2004, according to the United Nations

* 76% - women engaged in non-agricultural fair trade production in 2008, according to the Fair Trade Federation's 2009

* 284,000 - number of children in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon working in hazardous tasks on conventional cocoa farms, according to a 2002 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture study directly involving 4,500+ producers.

* 15,000 - number of children aged 9 to 12 in the Ivory Coast alone who have been sold into forced labor on conventional cotton, coffee, and cocoa plantations, according to a 2000 US State Department report

* 7.5 million - individuals in 2008 that directly benefit from Fair Trade Certified production, according to the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September Newsletter

September 2010

Dear Friends and Family:

10 is said to be one of the perfect numbers and signifies the perfection of Divine order. Noah was the tenth generation from God. There are Ten Commandments, ten Lords a leaping, October is the tenth month and hopefully we all have 10 fingers and toes. This October will also mark 10 years that we have been working in Haiti.
In ways too many to count, it is both hard and easy to believe we lived in Haiti for two years and have worked there for 10. In preparing to write this “anniversary” letter, I got out my first travel journal. I saw names of places we traveled to, clinics we held, adventures we will never forget, hand prints of children I had traced as we sat waiting and waiting for our rides to come, supply lists of things needed, names of doctors, some crazy ideas that really worked, carrying a child, who should be walking, in a basket that now sits in my house, laughed at some of our made up songs, cried over people who have died and cherished the people who have become life long friends. I think about the boy who died on the boat with us on that first trip, the little girl who looked like a walking skeleton who came to clinic with her grandmother in funny, black high top tennis shoes that were meant for a boy and about they boy who stole my heart 10 years ago on that fourteen hour boat ride back from a place called Pestel, who is now a grown up and calls me “Mom” and my children call “brother”. He changed the way I see God, gave me the courage to believe in healing and showed me that the scripture about having the faith of a mustard seed that can move mountains is really true.
Yet, in all of these memories, it was the journal entry a month after I had been home from my trip that stopped me.
“I have come home a different person, I now understand men who have been at war coming home. No one from your everyday life comes with you to this place you visited or to the place you went spiritually. You think to yourself, ”what is wrong with everyone” and then it clicks, they can’t come with me and I have to give them grace. I will never be the same, and for good or for bad it feels strange to be in this body. There aren’t words to connect these two experiences and trying to put them together is culture shock that causes me to cry often. You really feel like you left part of your soul there and now something is missing. Is this a soul tie or burden for the groaning of those held captive? Somehow the saying, “the carpets been pulled out from under me” comes to me and I have to reevaluate a lot of my beliefs.”

In this place of the perfect number and divine order, we continue to believe that the Lord has ordered our steps and is calling us to work in the Nations. We are putting everything we have done down on paper creating a business model for a “purpose business” that we can put into action in other countries, we have applied for grants seeking the funding we need to move forward into the next 10 years. I (Sheila) will be in Haiti the first few weeks in October preparing to ship 5000 pounds of fabric, working with different ministries, while accompanied by an old friend from high school, who will be helping me put “the corporation” (his words) I have in my head on paper so we can present it to different resources. We have been approached by other organizations with the opportunity of expanding our work in Haiti, while taking what we have already done and putting it into action in Africa. It is a new season in our lives!

His Grace, Dan and Sheila Lynch

Monday, September 6, 2010

Daughter of The King

(Pictures by: Bobby Halliday)

A huge part of growing up for children is to have their father's blessing, his approval, his affection, his guidance and love.
For several weeks over the summer Maddie, with Alyssa's help, met every Sunday with a group of girls at Bethel Worship Center led by Lori Johnson.
They did all kinds of "girl" stuff and talked about really important issues.
At the end of the summer we had a "blessing" ceremony.
The ceremony is to publicly allow the daddy figure in their lives to speak a blessing over her.
He speaks of all the things he loves about her, tells her why he loves her and that he will always be there and support her.
Each girls is presented with flowers, a crown, hugs and kisses.
For now, it was an awkward and embarrassing moment in time for Maddie.
She was very nervous and embarrassed.
But in the years to come, she look back on it having the confidence in knowing that she is always loved and affirmed by her father, setting the course for her life to be built on security and trust.
It was a powerful and symbolic ceremony and spoke of the way our heavenly Father feels about her and each of us.
Not everyone gets a Father's blessings from their earthly father.
Not all of us find it from our heavenly father.
Many of us don't have a good relationship with our father and so our perspective of God isn't based on the goodness of God.
It is said, that we run from the goodness of God.
Here is what I do know, when we finally grasp the goodness of God and can see him as a loving father, everything within us changes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


If you ever get a chance to visit the Dali museum in St. Pete/Tampa, I highly recommend you take the time to see his work.
Many are not fans, think he was crazy, a narcissist and twisted.
Having been an art major, I love all kinds of art and feel it is important to expose my children to as much of it as I can.
I can still remember the day my mother took me to the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit, it was an amazing experience.
Some art I love, some I don't, but we always have the greatest conversations.
My question at the end of the exhibit is always, "what was your favorite piece and whyy".
I love to hear what they see and what they liked and didn't like.
So, when the new Dali exhibit came to Atlanta we had to go and see it to experience the later years of his work.
It was a great time.
Some of his work hasn't been seen here in the States since the early 50's.
Some of it we loved, some of it is sad, some we didn't get, but all of it tells a story.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Almost Beaned

This is a new season of baseball in the life of Parker Lynch.
It means we are at the ball park three nights a week.
We have gone from T-ball, coach pitch, machine pitch to player pitch.
This last week Parker proved he was ready for anything including a pitch to the head.
Yep, there was a lot of drama.
I told him I liked the idea of Grandpa Jerry teaching him golf way more than I like the idea of him getting beaned in the head.
To this he said, he wanted to play football.
This is not good news for me.
I am sure the name Parker Hughes Lynch sounds like the name of a famous golfer.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Congrats James and Ashley!

There is a perfect time and a not perfect time to be in Minnesota.
In case you don't know that would be summer = perfect and winter = not so perfect!
I got to be in Minnesota with my family for the wedding of James and Ashley.
I loved this wedding.
Simple - Unique - Sweet!
There wasn't one thing that didn't have part of their personalities in it, from the decorations, the vows and the cake.
It was so fun to sit and talk with family I haven't seen in years.
Someday, I hope James and Ashley can work with us.

Friday, August 13, 2010

One of My Favorite People

Port is crazy crowded.
Houses, cars and people overlap.
Long before the earthquake I said, Haiti has no room for weakness.
Everyone is in survival mode.
While living in survival mode, there is no room for a handicapped child.
They are often left to die in the trash.
Sad to say, I have met many children who have been thrown away.
Haitians are very superstitious causing them to be fearful of children like this.
I have watched many Americans so overwhelmed with emotion they can not play with these children.
I am not sure why?
It seems to me they are just trapped in a broken body.
They are one of my favorite stops when I have time to visit.
Over the years, I have learned many things about myself on these visits.
I too have found myself in tears, knowing that a child in a broken body can remember my name and can say, I love you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Way Too Much Fabric

We continue to collect fabric for the sewing school in Haiti.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted us.
We are working with Agape Flights to get the fabric to Haiti.
Soon, we will be making a trip to Venice Florida with a load of fabric.

Bob and Carol used to own a fabric store.
They had tons of fabric that they didn't need any longer and it needed a home.
Carol has had several strokes and physically can't work any longer.
It is now part of what we are shipping to Haiti.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"The Madster"

Here are a few facts about Maddie......

1. Her Daddy calls her "The Madster".

2. We almost named her Madison Rose vs Madisen Grace.

3. She is often heard saying "why, why the third child, mother"?

4. She is major crabby in the morning and we call her "Jim Lynch" after her uncle Jim who isn't know for talking or smiling too much.

5. Today is "officially" a teenager!!

6. We happen to think she is pretty awesome!

Happy 13th Birthday Madisen Grace

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pushing Part II

The previous post is the closest thing I know to the truth about working in Haiti.

The burn out rate among missionaries in Haiti is three years.


It's not all that complicated, really.
The needs are suffocating and can paralyze you if you take your eyes off of being obedient, doing only what you are called to do. There is a reason Haitians say "Mountain beyond Mountain".

Here is one thought, mine, for what it's worth......

Haiti is like living life on the devils door step, wondering why you can't seem to break down the gate. When, truth be told, you are only called to NOT let others in the gate. Meeting them before the gate.

We all have our mountain, our rocks, that thing that stands in our way.
This is what I know, it will be important to speak "grace to your mountain....." or your rock in this case.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pushing vs Moving

A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared.
The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin.
The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
So, this the man did, day after day.
For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into his weary mind: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved.”
Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
Satan said, “Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.” That’s what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “
Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked.
Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter.
What is wrong?
Why am I failing?”
The Lord responded compassionately,”My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done.
Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it.
Your task was to push.
And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed.
But, is that really so?
Look at yourself.
Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard.
Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.
True, you haven’t moved the rock.
But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom.
That you have done.
Now I, my friend, will move the rock.
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him.
By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.
God calls us to obedience.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I saw more clearly than ever that the first great primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord . . . not how much I might serve the Lord, . . . but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers . . . and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit. Before this time my practice had been . . . to give myself to prayer after having dressed myself in the morning.
Now, I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, by means of the Word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord

- George Muller

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Guest Blog: Alyssa Hallaway

"Sometimes we fall down and can't get back up

Were hiding behind a skin that's too tough"

Haiti is a beautiful place if you know how to look at it.
You have to be able to see past the the trash and the rubble.
Smell past the garbage and the rot.
Feel past the rocks in your shoes and your own discomfort.
You need to able to feel the music and the voices.
Smell the food and the trees in the air.
You have to be able to see the colors and the people.
All of these things are wholly Haiti.
Even the garbage.
Yet to get caught up in the way it smells and your discomfort, would be a mistake.
You would miss a rich and colorful people with a rich and colorful culture and history.
You would miss a people who are stronger than any that you have ever met.
You wouldn't see those things about them.
You wouldn't be able to talk to them.
Understand them.
Understand that they feel very deeply and how you can hear that in their loud and boisterous conversations that sound like arguments.
You would not see the blue of the sky or the white of the moon.
Yes, it would be a mistake to get caught up in aesthetics when this place has so much more to offer than a look.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Last week, Sam Simpson, with Global Outreach Missions drove all the way to Boston to pick up fabric being donated to us.
He transported it all the way back here to Georgia.
It is now safe and sound in our donated warehouse space.
I have had to pinch myself thinking about all 4000 pounds of fabric that Kathy and Tyler Kangas from Homebound Missions
donated to us for sewing school.
Kathy and Tyler have such a heart for Haiti and helping those in need.
What a gift!

Thank you Sam, Kathy and Tyler!!

We are also working on getting more treadle sewing machines.
If you, or anyone you know would like to donate one to us, please contact us.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bumper Sticker Conversation

Bumper sticker reads as follows:
"Sorry I have missed church:
I have been practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian

I found it to be humor poking fun at "religion".
He said, it was more literal, finding NO humor at all.

I said we almost crashed into the back of the mini-van.
He said, "he was just making sure this is what it really said".
It was, in fact what it said.

I said, he was embarrassing me.
He said, he had to know what they looked like.
We pulled up along side of them and he slowed down to make his observation.
Turns out to be a normal looking man and wife, mid-forties with a few kids.

As far as we could tell there was no witch, no lesbian, just a family making a statement.
It seems the church has made some assumptions that have not been accurate.
I am guessing causing some hurt.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Give Me Any Four Words

Little Five Points is home to colorful, edgy people to say the least.
This can be translated in many different ways.
You will find The Flying Biscuit, The Junkman's Daughter and The Vortex.
No matter what or who you find, you are guaranteed to leave with something to talk about.
It is, by design, not traditional or normal - ever!
If there is one "rule" that applies in Little Five Points, and I am not sure there is one, it is that you must enjoying being out of the box, always taking what you see at face value, reading between the lines after you leave, unless however, you are willing to take a risk.
I am always game for taking a risk when it comes to interesting people.
Not the kind that you know are looking for attention, I am talking about the kind that have something to say by just "being".

We heard The Vortex won an award for one of their crazy hamburgers, we had to go and see.
It was my birthday weekend, we had no children and two days to do some fun things together.
Yes, we consider Little Five Points - fun!
After we finished lunch at The Vortex, Dan eating something called a "Coronary By-Pass" (1/2 lb meat, four slices of cheese, two fired eggs, four slices of bacon, lettuce, toms, onions and mayo) we did some window shopping and people watching.
People watching happens to be a gift in itself for me.
We rounded the corner, when a guy who was pan handling approached us and said, "give me four words, any four words and I will give you something amazing"!!
We kept walking.
Something about him seemed legit and I wanted to know what he had to say.
I dug in my purse, found a piece of paper, pen and a couple of bucks for him.
I wanted him to write down this amazing stuff.
What four words to give him?

Passion of life to rebuild.
The youth erected by teachings from elders
Love restores the scars of humanity.
Without the plumbline, life would not be balanced.
Thus empowering the community, opening eyes, allowing the world to realize peace can't exist without love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ask For Help Fool

The modern translation of John 14:14:

What does John 14:14 say....
"You may ask me for ANYTHING in my name, and I will do it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Toxic Vacation

The whole thing felt a little like the stand up comedy routine where Whoopie Goldberg is talking about being on a flight and the flight attendant serves her a meal with these huge oven mitts, only to find the center of her dinner is still frozen.
We had gone to Florida a few days after school dismissed to kick off summer vacation.
Reward: One day at a Disney water park.
I had forgotten the strap to my swim suit top and was NOT willing to chance being topless on a water slide.
I was sitting in the sun, people watching and reading.
I admit, I was not heart broken.
I love to sit in the sun and read.
This was MY reward.

Off to my right, I could see a "team" walking toward me.
Tropical Hawaiian shirts, white shorts, chacko's, rubber gloves and masks, all armed with plastic bags of different colors.
Looking around, I wondered what on earth they would be putting in those bags?
I questioned if it was safe for us to really be here?
Why all the gear?
Did Disney have toxic waste?

They stopped five feet short of my reward.
This was disturbing in itself.
A fury of conversations started on the walkie-talkies about what color bag should be used?
Used for what? I wondered
Everyone was bent over looking at something horrible, so it seemed.
Leaving my reward, I had to get up and go see.
I was cautioned to go back to my "reward".
I did however get a glimpse of THE problem.
Said problem, as per the toxic waste experts, a pea sized piece of "ka-ka".
I am not sure "ka-ka" is a scientific word, but this was the word chosen.
It seems the "ka-ka" (or poop) escaped from a "pull-up", making it's way up to the lounge area of the wave pool.
It was decided that the red plastic bag was to be used for this toxic waste so it would be properly disposed of after being placed in an even larger clear plastic bag, so not to infect the other workers or guests.

I went back to my reward, wondering just how many people went "pee-pee" in the wave pool and how long the "ka-ka" would last in the plastic bags in one of our landfills now that it had been hermetically sealed for years to come.

I was happy they didn't shut the whole park down for the day.
The entertainment factor was good, I would be using the shower for the rest of my reward.
There is at least one member in our family who we call "Adrian Monk", so somethings are better left unsaid.
This would be one of those things, until now that is.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Alyssa Rae

She wanted to eat at Chow Baby - check
Choice of cake "Iron Man" - check
Friends and Family - check
Twenty one ? That's gonna take some time!
Happy Birthday Alyssa......

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Haiti - Gross Bathroom Stories

Public speaking is not one of my favorite things.
Well, that is until I went to the First Montessori School to talk with Bryce's class about Haiti.
He and his friend Grant did something so amazing for their birthday.
Instead of getting presents for their big day, they collected supplies for us to ship to Haiti for earthquake relief.
His whole class also made awesome blankets.

I wasn't sure what to say to a classroom full of ten year olds.
Churches, business men, mission teams - I have done.
This was a first.
I collected all kinds of fun stuff from around our house like baskets, paintings, tin art, wood carvings and cooking tools.
I also created a Power Point presentation with tons of pictures.

The more I got thinking about what I would say, I started to think about the age of the kids.
I don't know about your house, but our house has tons of body function noises every single time we are all together around the dinner table from our ten year old, Parker.
My strategy was now clear.
I would talk about everything gross, including the street butcher, mud pies and bathroom stories.
It worked!
I had a great time!
They had lots of questions and the time went way too quickly.

From now on, whenever I have to speak about Haiti, I am just going to pretend I am telling gross bathroom stories to a bunch of ten year olds.
I will sleep well the night before and never again feel like I am going to throw up before I speak.

Thank you - Chris Cone, Laura Jones and all the other parents who helped us with supplies for the people of Haiti.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What in the world is "pepe"?

What in the world is "pepe"?

Here we say, "gently used, recycled or green". Our thrift stores are packed full of things we don't want or need.
What do the thrift stores do with all the stuff they can't sell?
They send it to third world countries.
The streets of Haiti are full of "pepe" (used merchandise). Leading you to think you live in one big flea market. If you are Haitian, it is a way of life. There are very few stores, but most people shop for what they need on the street.

Since the earthquake the fabric supply has been very limited, both on the street and from visitors. Food and medications are priority and rightfully so.

I am always looking for ways to make the sewing program better. Having to depend on a "middle man" for fabric could be a weak link as far as I am concerned.

Question: Could the ladies be successful without my help on the fabric end of the deal. What would they do in a pinch?

Assignment: She would shop on the street for "pepe". I would give each woman five dollars, she would get as much as she could. After I approved the fabric, she would have to make a bag from "pepe" that same day.

Goal: Create a bag that was creative WITHOUT anyone knowing it was "pepe" they got on the street.

Risk: I had no idea what to expect. I could be blowing fifty was time for some new thinking (for both of us)!

I am pleased to report the ladies out did themselves and created great bags! Greater than what I had hoped for.
I wanted them to see that they could be successful even if they didn't have fabric coming in every week from the States. They could still continue to make bags and support their families until things got a little more "normal".

Truthfully, we don't know what "normal" will look like for awhile. But, they learned they do have what it takes to think outside of the box and be creative.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Too Small and Too Busy

I have learned that if I am giving directions to our house I can't say "it's across the street from the cemetery".
Not only is it not helpful, I do not want to use the word "cemetery", it creeps me out.
I would much rather say, park, we live across the street from the park.
Fact: Creepy or not, it is the closest landmark.

I can see the wheels start turning and the blank stare.
I quickly start to add other landmarks like the tiny church right next door, hoping not too lose them.
Still, nothing registers.
I start throwing out things that I hope will hook them like, if you get to the stop light you have gone too far and there is a white car and white pick-up truck parked in the car port.

Alas, no one ever notices the church or the cemetery and have no idea what I am talking about.
I often wonder, why don't people see them, they drive past them all of the time?
Are people really that busy?
Are they really too small?

Every once and awhile, I glance out the front window and notice a random car sitting in the tiny church parking lot.
Without fail, I wonder, why is that car there today, it isn't Sunday.
Next thought, is today Wednesday?
Then I remember, oh, the cemetery.
My heart sinks.
It stops me every time.
They are there because someone died.

When we moved in our house it seemed creepy living across the street from a cemetery.
I hate to admit it but, unless I see a car parked there, I don't even notice it anymore either.
I don't even find it creepy.
It is now a good reminder that we need to stop.
Stop, even if it isn't Sunday or Wednesday and spend some time thinking, honoring and reflecting.
Our lives are short and go by quickly.
Hopefully, we make choices that allow our lives to matter so that the only reminder of our lives isn't a tiny little cemetery that no one notices.
It is my hope that my life will be a "place of direction for those who are looking" while I am alive.