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. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Punjabi's and Sari's

Back in the late 70’s you could buy clothes at Pier One Imports. I had purchased a couple of outfits from my favorite store planning for the day I would go to India. My favorite one was white linen pants with a white embroidered shirt with white flowers. I remember my father asking my mother, why I had to wear such wrinkled clothes. I am sure she said something like, the same reason she has big holes in her jeans, she likes them.

I have thought back to those days wondering how we ended up in Africa, South America and Haiti. It has been one of those unanswered questions we all have. Well, that was until my last trip to Haiti when I was pulled out of customs and told I needed a “textile broker” or they would confiscate all of the purses I was bringing back for the ladies to sell at Haitian Creations. In all my years of travel back and forth to Haiti nothing like this has ever happened to me. I considered crying to see if that would help as I just spent the past two weeks in Haiti with an “almost” hurricane, the outbreak of cholera and after shocks still happening from the earth quake. Instead, I was the deer caught in headlights. I can honestly say, I think that God used the poor people who didn't speak English, who had not filled out their customs forms and needed a pen, who stood next to me, as my ticket out of the “you are in BIG trouble” line. I got a good yelling at and I was finally free to go.

What does any of this have to do with India? When I got home I made a phone call to a friend of a friend who has been doing import and export in India and other countries for the last seventeen years to ask him (Jim) what I needed to do to make sure this never happened to me again. At the end of this conversation, he asked me if he could ask me some questions about our work in Haiti.

As it turns out, he and his wife (Leslie) have been praying for the past fifteen years for a way the members of their churches in Andhra Pradesh, India could be in business allowing the pastors to be self-sufficient doing what they are called to do, supporting the church. Jim loved what we have been doing in Haiti and wondered if we could have a meeting to talk more in depth about working together.

It is now 2011, I have never owned a Punjabi or a Sari, but I have read tons of books about Mother Theresa and am teaching myself to cook my favorite curry dishes. I still love to wear blue jeans with holes and white linen shirts. It seems, in a around about way, the door is opening for God’s Plumbline to go to India.

We will be making a trip to meet pastors and potential students, while looking for creative new ideas to start another successful business. India is a country rich in textiles. We will build on our experience in Haiti working to create another self-sustaining business for the people of India. While we are there we will spend time at the Mighty Shepard Ministries orphanage Jim and Leslie run in Machilipatnam, while looking for a central location to work from.

• Machilipatnam known as Masulipatam under British rule is a city and a special grade municipality in the Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located 347 kilometres (216 mi) south east of state capital, Hyderabad. Hindu is the majority religion in India.

What is happening with Haiti? We are still deeply committed to our work in Haiti. We shipped 5000 lbs of fabric to Haiti that arrived February 28th and is now waiting to be cleared from customs. The sewing school and beading program continue to grow and thrive under the direction of our partners at Heartline Ministries. While we continue to make trips to Haiti supporting and praying for the program we are also aware that we have been called to build upon the knowledge we gained in Haiti allowing others in developing countries to work in a self-sustaining business.

Our goal will be to create a network within the 1400 churches Jim and Leslie work with in A.P. India, creating businesses for the church members. We will be looking into many different ideas including textiles and agriculture. As in Haiti, there is a huge need among the young people in this area to have a trade school once they finish primary school.

We ask that you would prayerfully consider helping us as we go and spy out the land, looking to the Lord for what He would have us do to help the people of India. What do we need to begin a new program in India? For now we need: • 2 round trip tickets ($1500 - $1800 each) • Rental car/driver ($750) • Room and board ($500) • Supplies for the orphanage • Travel visas ($275 each) • Prayer support (Priceless) as we go and discern what our roles will be in the short and long term – we are looking to leave the last week of April and will be gone for two weeks.