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. 

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.