Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Daisha is officially using walking as her primary mode of transportation! She is still about as steady as a weeble-wobble (do you remember weeble-wobbles?). She is very much like a weeble-wobble, but she does fall down (weeble-wobbles never fell down). Actually, she is the earliest walker of all of our kids. We think back and cant imagine. Truitt did not start crawling until he was 15 months and wasnt walking until 18 months. Daisha is 14 months old. She is beautiful. In the video, she is very sober and doing her little trademark sucking of her middle two fingers. Actually, in the context of sign language, she is doing the perfect, "I Love You" handshape to herself. Its adorable! She has a fun-loving personality with an electric smile. Congratulations Daisha on your successful passing of the crawling stage.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Awhile back, I introduced Tashi Bent to you. She attended our sending church for 4 years as she got her degree at Taylor University. She went to school at CCCD and comes from a deaf family who are strong leaders in the Jamaican deaf community. Tashi's father passed away on Tuesday. I never really knew Mr. Bent. I had met him before, but he uses what they call "country sign," and so my interactions with him were fairly limited. But, we all know that we are known by our fruit and I was impressed by Mr. Bent. From my observations, he always seemed to be a thoughtful person who would then surprise you with a hearty laugh from a good joke. And, even more impressive, he demonstrated a love and commitment to his family. A faithful husband and loving father who led a Christian family. I know Tashi adored him and from working with his son, I know that his son respected him. I am praying for those kind of relationships with my kids. I desire for them to walk in Truth, for our family to enjoy spending time together, and for their respect. Mr. Bent had a brain tumor and knew that it was terminal. Lets try to say a prayer of comfort for the Bent family.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Drew - "Dad, I need to go down to the shop to get some wood to make a sign."
Me - "Oh really, what are you making a sign for."
Drew - "for my bedroom."
Me - "ok, but what is the sign going to say."
Drew - "It will say 'Dad and Mom, no more spankings and time-outs"
Me- "But, what if you do something bad and really need a spanking"
Drew - "I will try hard to do better"
Me - "But what if you still make a mistake"
Drew - "Then we can just put an X through the sign"
Me - "What about Truitt, what if he needs a spanking"
Drew - "We can make another sign for Truitt that says "FREE SPANKINGS"
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
June/July Plattner Family Update
Just today, Drew was “reading” to his brother from a book that was recounting the “itsy bitsy spider.” Drew broke into song, “The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout,” but then he followed that up with, “and the rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up.” I think that is when he stopped wanting to say “and the house on the sand stood fast,” but he couldn’t figure out how that applied to “the sun coming up and drying up all of the rain.” I know, that is a pretty random story, but welcome to our months of June and July. Our June and July started with work teams and ended in a van full of our friends getting into a serious accident. In the middle was life as normal as well as a critical day of outreach to the deaf in an unchurched area of Jamaica. So, coming up with one thing that would be a sufficient introduction for this update felt impossible, until Drew summed it up perfectly. “The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout and the rains came down and the floods came up.” And, we are left processing what it all means alongside our firm belief in the assurance that God is faithful. We know He is faithful, but there are times it just feels like we could make it easier on Him and easier on us if we were simply able to pack it up and go home. How is that for an introductory paragraph?
Our June did start out with work teams. We were blessed by some wonderful relationships and a very busy time of work and play. Our teams were one week on and one week off and so that took out some of the grind and allowed us to “gear up” for each week. The school year finished at the end of June. This involved classes wrapping up as well as graduation day. The following week was deaf camp that was directed by a team from the states. We also had a work team present and that raced us right into July. We hosted one more team, and then the brakes came on. July and August around the school are dead, very dead. It feels like a ghost town. The ministry is here for the kids and when there are no kids, the life is out of the campus. So, we will be anxiously awaiting the kids coming back in September.
Our deaf community has been praying for a long time for the startup of a deaf ministry in western Jamaica. Deaf churches in most parts of the world are scarce. In Jamaica, where travel is difficult, this makes regular Christian fellowship not even an option for the majority of the deaf population. So, a date was finally set for the first ministry activity in western Jamaica. On July 31st, two van loads of people traveled to a town named Savanna-La-Mar for an “open day.” This was simply a day of food and fellowship followed by a short program of testimonies and a message. There was a good turnout and everyone was excited. This is where the confusion comes into the story. On the way home, the front van got into a serious accident. Kirk was driving the second van and about 15 minutes of chaos ensued. The emergency vehicles were not coming and so we loaded up the most seriously injured into our van and headed for the hospital, which was probably a 30 minute drive. Upon reaching the hospital, things didn’t slow down as the van was full of deaf people and the medical staff needed help with interpreting. The chaos continued, but a miracle emerged. Slowly, more positive than expected reports kept coming from the doctors. By the middle of the next morning, all but three people were out of the hospital and we were rejoicing. Rejoicing but still confused and recovering from the shock of it all. The questions of why, why them, why not me, how, what if, etc. etc. continued. The day that started with such excitement with the outreach to a new area of Jamaica ended in a tragedy that really could have been a serious tragedy. But, it wasn’t and so we were also rejoicing. Similar to that itsy bitsy spider that almost got its house washed away on the sand but didn’t. We believe we witnessed a miracle and pray for continued healing for all involved as well as grace unto understanding His ways.
That will have to do it for June and July. I feel like we could have used a million different stories. It’s a shame that the slow months have updates of too much detail and in the busy months I try cramming two months into one update. Our family continues to experience abundant, abundant blessing. The kids have all be relatively healthy and enjoyed a summer of people and play. We continue to rejoice in the gift of our marriage and common calling and pray that our family can be used for His glory. We lose sight of the way in our confusion, but His grace has been consistent in calling us back to Himself. And, as I am sure the itsy-bitsy spider did, lets build our house on the Rock.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
For a long time, Britain wished to unite its Caribbean territories. Though many larger territories, including Jamaica, had objections, the group was joined together with the capital on Trinidad in 1958. The new group became the Federation of the West Indies.
The Federation was created in January of that year, and elections were set for March. Perhaps not surprisingly, Jamaica's Norman Manley and Alexander Bustamante created the two main political parties involved in this election, as well. Bustamante led both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Democratic Labour Party of the West Indies (DLPWI). Manley led his People's National Party (PNP) and the West Indies Federal Labour Party (WIFLP).
The WIFLP took the majority of the Federation's seats, but Sir Grantley Adams from Barbados became the first Prime Minister. Though much work was done to make the Federation work, by 1961 Jamaica had put forth a referendum for its removal from the Federation. The removal was granted and the British Government agreed to discuss Jamaica's independence. The Federation fell apart the following year.
With Britain's willingness to discuss Jamaica's independence and dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations, things proceeded quickly. Within a year a new constitution had been drafted, strongly based on Jamaica's current design, but with a number of changes reflective of other British dominion nations.
The date for Jamaica's independence was set as August 6, 1962, and the political parties on the island quickly went into full force. A new party, the People's Political Party (PPP) also came into being at this time.
On election day, more than 71 percent of the electorate turned out to vote, and the JLP earned a definitive majority once again. JLP filled 26 seats, and the PNP held 19. Though Jamaica's final Governor, Sir Kenneth Blackburne, took office as the first Governor-General, he was replaced just months later by Sir Clifford Campbell.
Jamaica celebrated its independence with large celebrations. On August 7, Princess Margaret of England opened the island's first session of Parliament on behalf of the Queen, completing the transfer of independence to Jamaica.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Yesterday, Jamaica celebrated Emancipation day. Actually Emancipation is on the 1st of August, but since that fell on a Sunday, they celebrated on Monday. Here is a bit of history.
If you have seen the movie "Amazing Grace" or know the story of William Wilburforce, you know that the English abolished the slave trade in 1807. But, while the slave trade was abolished, it didnt necessarily end the enslavement of all of those people already in Jamaica or any other of the English Colonies. So, on to Emancipation day. During the Christmas holiday of 1831, a large scale slave revolt known as the Baptist War broke. It was organised originally as a peaceful strike by Baptist minister Samuel Sharpe. The rebellion was suppressed by the militia of the Jamaican plantocracy and the British garrison ten days later in early 1832. Because the loss of property and life in the 1831 rebellion, the British Parliament held two inquiries. The results of these inquiries contributed greatly to the abolition of slavery with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 ended slavery in the British Empire on August 1, 1834. While the enslaved Africans in Jamaica received Emancipation on 1st of August 1834, they suffered in some cases far worse than during enslavement for the next 4 years under an unjust Apprenticeship System. So, the 1st of August, 1838 is considered the year of ‘full emancipation’.
The reality is, slavery is still an issue in many parts of the world. This is an issue that still demands our attention and prayer. If you are interested in learning more, follow the work of "International Justice Mission" as they work around the world for justice in the name of Jesus.