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, September 16, 2011

Haiti - The Funny Stuff

There are just as many funny things about Haiti as there are sad things.
Well, almost.
It takes time to see them however.
Some days none of it is funny.
It can be madding depending on the day you may have had.
Some days it can be the fact that a man is wearing a pink t-shirt that says "baby on board" with a big arrow on his stomach.
Maybe it is the words on a sign or picture on a tap-tap.
On this day is was the words on a "take-out" food place.
"Howdy, Now Git"
It was something I would see in Georgia at a BBQ place in the middle of no where.
Git? Was that really a word?

On this day, I was looking over the new cooking school text book and saw these words:
Lesson One: Spam
What do I say about Spam, after all, some people like the stuff.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thoughts on Friday

Friday was going to be a very busy day.
I would need to talk to the current sewing ladies, all of the staff at the school and finally the bead ladies.
So many thoughts, what to say?
There would be some changes coming, no one likes change.
I really don't like breaking the news that change is coming.
How to make this a good thing.
For me, I could see so much good, finally, good things are happening again in Haiti.
But, in transition, things are not easy.
Growing pains are exactly that, pains.
The goal, going to the next level.
Increase sales, develop a bigger market place, get wholesale contracts....
It takes time.
Time is kind of like "wait". No one likes to wait.
Again, it is a time of transition.
How do you talk about transition, the need to increase sales and develop products.
Lord, I need wisdom.

I would meet with the sewing ladies first.
The ladies that started this whole thing.
I would start with telling them, again, just how this whole thing started.
How all the sewing machines got there and how the program started.
It started for me on my very first trip to Haiti, being held at gun point and with the death of a little boy.
These very women represented my dream and desire to bring hope to children, to keep families in tact.
My dream was real and sitting on folding chairs in front of me.
They all had money in their business accounts to help them in the lean times and all of them would be fine.
This wasn't about money, it was about hope and dreams, believing for the future.

Meeting number two, lunch planned for the all the workers and the teachers.
For me, to me, they are what I would call "Life Givers".
They are, the women who impart the vision I have for these ladies.
They are imparting new skills, new knowledge and the chance for a new beginning.
Yes, it is a lot work and takes courage.
But, when they graduate, they will have been taught more than just sewing.
They are teaching team work, community, discipline - all things they will need to be business women.
While I talked and Marjorie interpreted for me she lost her train of thought when I said,
"there are one hundred fifty-nine ladies in the sewing school".
She stopped repeating my words.
We started laughing.
I counted out for her all the classes, the number of women in each class and she said, "wow, I had no idea".
Funny, right!
In four years, we went from John telling me,"if I had one graduate, I would be doing good", to this.

Last, but not least, the bead ladies.
These ladies are near and dear to my heart.
I believe they have the ability to achieve greatness.
I shared with them just how I came up with the idea for the bead program.
Day after day I would watch women struggle with their struggle in mastering the skill of sewing.
I prayed, Lord please give me an idea so that ALL these women can be successful.
It was my hearts desire to have every single women be successful.
Everyday we had tons of them, not being used.
Even the Lord used remnants, he often called them his "chosen" people remnants.
We would take the remnants from the purses to create something beautiful.
This is exactly what they are doing, creating something out of nothing.
Beauty from ashes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Craft Artisan's

Last, but not least, we have a group of ladies working on many different hand crafts.
They will learn how to work with what we call "sisal" as in sisal rugs.
You may also know it from seeing bales of hay tied up with it.

Next they will work on embroidery and finally flower making and design.
These are often the classes the ladies who have just graduated from our literacy class start with in continuing their education.

Please pray for our ladies as they begin a new year in school, learning new skills that will make their lives better.
Not having to live on credit, paying for food, clean water, and their children's education.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beads and Jewelry

This class was birthed out of my desire for every woman to be successful.
After two years of watching ladies come to sewing school and not being able to figure out the skills needed for sewing, I began to pray for new ideas. Ideas for the ladies to make a living doing something different.
Let's face it, even in the States you could have a PHD and still not figure out how to work a treadle sewing machine.
Those things are really hard work.
Everyday I would watch our yard guy, Billy, come in a sweep up all this fabric that wasn't being used.
I began thinking there should be something I can do with the fabric.
The sewing ladies wanted it all for making pillows at home and at times I would agree to give it to them.
It was on a visit with some adoptive parents that this whole idea was birthed.
Today we have seven ladies making jewelry full time and another ten in class.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cooking School - New Beginnings

Just before I was leaving for Haiti Marjorie emailed me and said she needed a Kitchen Aid and stuff for cooking school.
I wasn't really thrilled about yet another trip to Wal-Mart, but I knew it would be good and I would be happy once I saw the ladies in class. Getting all my bags there would be interesting and costly, but again, so worth it.

In Haiti we call the man in charge "chef".
This is Heartline's Chef (John) really being a chef or trouble maker for those in class.
He was being good at taking hats and messing up stuff.

All the students did there own hand work on their aprons.
They have learned embroidery in the Craft classes.
Some have learned this skill much better than others.
This is "Tata".
She used to be a nanny at the baby's house before the earthquake, now she takes care of the kitchen at the women's house and is a student in the new cooking classes.
Gotta love how happy she is...

This year Esther is the "professor" for cooking school.
Last year she was teaching literacy, a very important class in my opinion.

Look what they did on their first day - pretty impressive!
Plus, in tasted good!
The big chef didn't have any because he doesn't like onions.
I think they are off to a great start.
I told them next time I want cake.
We will be looking into creative ways to sell cake and other goodies at different programs and guest houses.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sewing Classes Begin - Again

Monday, September 5, marked the beginning of another new school year on Claircine 21 in Tabarre.
The house is packed full of ladies.
They have found their name on the printed list put on the chalk board and packed in the classrooms.
We have Literacy, Cooking, Sewing, Beading and Crafts...
This is one busy house!!

There are now two sewing classes with twenty-five ladies in each class, one upstairs and one downstairs.
Fifty ladies in sewing school, this isn't counting all of the other classes.
In total one hundred and fifty-nine ladies will pass through this house each day.
I will share those later...

It was so awesome to see them all in class ready to begin a new chapter in their lives.
This was indeed a dream of my heart to see the house full of ladies willing to take the first step.

There are now thirty-four ladies sewing for Haitian Creations full-time.
Each of them has money saved in her business account, that will allow their children to start school in October.
It is amazing to see how these ladies lives have changed.
Yes, they are better, yet still harder than what I can imagine.
They are all my heros.