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. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Same, Same, But Different

There is a saying in Cambodia - same, same, but different.
You see it on t-shirts everyday.
By the time you leave you have several of these t-shirts in your suitcase ready to take home with you as gifts.
Believe it or not, right there along with Courier, Garamond and Helvetica there is even a font named, you guessed it, Same, Same.
On a daily basis, right in the middle of a conversation, someone will say, "same-same" and your thinkin' same as....what?

Where did it come from?

During the Vietnam war, tons of different things that everyone use to see and use were no longer available. 
When they would go to market in search of all their usual household staples and comfort foods the couldn't find them. 
 New things started coming into the country to replace all the favorites and the street vendors would say to them, 
"no, same, same, but different".

The saying just became part of their culture and never left.
It cracked me up how many times I thought about Haiti, saying to myself - "same - same".

See for yourself...







See..same, same but different.
No matter what side of the earth we live on, we really are the same in so many different ways. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

When I Was A Little Girl...

When I was a little girl... 

I dreamed of being a photo journalist for National Geographic. 

Photojournalism - is a particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story. Photojournalism is a form of photography complying with a rigid ethical framework which demands that the work is both honest and impartial whilst telling the story in strictly journalistic terms. 
Timeliness — the images have meaning in the context of a recently published record of events.

Objectivity — the situation implied by the images is a fair and accurate representation of the events they depict in both content and tone.

Narrative — the images combine with other news elements to make facts relate able to the viewer or reader on a cultural level.

I wanted to travel the whole world, see everything, take pictures of it all and tell the stories of the people I met along the way. I was so sure I took a journalism class one summer in junior high school to get ready.

In recent conversations I purposely asked some friends if they remembered what they wanted to do when they were little.  
I wondered what they dreamed about. 
I found it odd and even sad when they said they didn't know or had no memory of what they dreamed about.  It was in these conversations that it dawned on me, when it came right down to it, in many respects I am living the dream I dreamed as a child. 

As Christians especially, I think we talk a lot of about "passion and destiny". We quote the words of Jeremiah, 
"I knew you, I formed you in your mother's womb and I set you apart"We even hold seminars about dreams, passion and destiny. 
Yet, I often wonder if in our thinking we would consider dreaming as an extravagant gift that a huge part of the world would never take the time for. 

I know for a fact that many of the women I work with would never even consider such a thing. Why would you "dream" about what you want to be vs what you must be for the good of your family. 

While in Cambodia a major part of what we did as a team was to build a play ground called "Dreamers Park". Creating a place children are able to play and be children for a time.  
I believe we also take for granted the gift of growing up as a child not walking the streets collecting plastic for recycling, nor do we daily carry five gallon buckets of water on our head for the family, tending to the younger children or sell goods on the street. 
Many would consider it abusive I am sure. 
Yet, this is "normal" for many children.

So here I was, I had the photographs, I had traveled to the other side of the world but I sure didn't have the words to tell this story. Where was my rigid ethical framework which demands that work is both honest and impartial whilst telling a story, where was timelessness and objectivity.  

Honestly, I was speechless.  

Maybe, just maybe, I hoped the pictures would be "the story".  

My heart was sinking while I stood at the dump. 
It was a dump and families live there. It was full of children, children working in complete filth. I looked at their hands, their feet, even inside their bag filled with such tiny bits of scrap for recycling it didn't seem worth the time to collect. 

The problem was their story. 
I didn't understand.
These little girls, did they have dreams?
I don't know.
They didn't seem unhappy. 
It was what it was, work.
They needed to work for their families needs.

The world of Haggai seemed to ring so clear in my thoughts...

"You have planted much, but have harvested little.  
You eat, but never have enough.  
You drink, but never have your fill.
You put on clothes, but are not warm.
You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."

 - Haggai 1:6

And yet, there are the words of Paul, 
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed. 
Paul also said, hope will never disappoint. 

Dreams, they are hard to put into words if you don't have them.
Sometimes hope is even harder.
But when you do have dreams and hope they can change your life as well as others. 

Dare to Dream...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Jesus said...
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  - Matthew 19:14

Oh that we would dare come the Father believing that he welcomes us in this way.
On bended knee, with open arms. 
Knowing he is waiting to see the new things we have to show him 
and that he can't wait to see them.

It is indeed His goodness that draws us to him.

Happy Father's Day!