Excitement filled the air as the first bus pulled into the church and school compound in Pico, Haiti, up in the mountains. Within a couple hours distance of our Home of Hope families, it looks like it’ll be a great spot for VBS this year! There’s lots of space, a church, school, classrooms where the families can sleep and a large pastor’s house with a backyard area perfect for the women’s kitchen (they often have outdoor kitchens here.)
Our 5th annual VBS in Haiti runs all next week (August 19-23)! Two of our staff from the States are going down and three LSM missionaries are on the ground that will be there. We’re all present as background support.
With a total of about 300 people present at VBS, how does Camp run with that little American influence? Quite simply, it’s just not an American event. And we think that’s the best thing possible!
At LSM, we’re constantly looking ahead to how what we’re doing translates into long-term sustainability for our kids and their futures. It’s a critical part of our mission in helping vulnerable children reach their God-given potential. This comes in many creative ways that will help guide kids towards the areas they’re gifted in.
One of our latest projects in Haiti is no exception. Bruce Aschliman and his wife Lisa (who’s working with Child Development) are some of the most recent additions to our staff in Haiti. Bruce has been hard at work since hitting the ground earlier this year and we wanted to share some of the exciting progress he’s coordinating!
“I have been many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” -Abraham Lincoln
We see this kind of vulnerability every day, brought on because of deep-seated poverty and generations of spiritual confusion. But unlike Lincoln, these vulnerable children often don’t know where to turn. Orphaned, abandoned, HIV+, child slaves, forced into prostitution, starving… all without any hope that life will turn around.
These are the things Jesus came to change. These are things we have the privilege to walk into too, offering hope in His name and a future to those the world has discarded.
Jen Schwartz (LSM Adoption & Child Development) and team were just in Haiti working with Lisa Aschliman (LSM Haiti Child Development Coordinator) to start several educational enhancements for our Home of Hope kids. Jen describes their recent trip below:
We were so excited to have a team from Emmanuel Community Church travel to Haiti to work in our Homes of Hope for Child Education Development. This was the beginning step for our ongoing project of bringing education and excellence to our LSM kids. God put together a wonderful ECC team of women who were gifted and passionate to help our kids. As the LSM team leader for the trip, I was so touched by each woman’s desire to be the feet of Jesus as we walked alongside our Haiti families and introduced them to critical and creative thinking education skills.
As Rick Schwartz (LSM Videographer/Photographer) made his way through Ethiopia last week, he captured some of the powerful aspects of a story that’s all too familiar.
As is often the case, the problem starts with a lack of very basic needs. This is the case with many families in poor rural villages deep in the Ethiopian countryside.
This fall, don’t miss the opportunity to get involved with these stirring events! From adoption and foster care to the global orphan movement, these conferences and events are packed with resources and opportunities to stand up for the fatherless.
Here’s some photography from Haiti to give you a taste of the Caribbean and the people of Haiti.
Our mission at LSM is to “help the world’s most vulnerable children reach their God-given potential.” Those words were carefully chosen because of the depth of their meaning. Vulnerable, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, means to be capable of being physically or emotionally wounded, or open to attack or damage.
We believe that no child should have to face the realities behind that word. We believe that as followers of Jesus, we have a high calling of bringing justice and compassion to extremely vulnerable children. And while it would be easy to become overwhelmed by the vast numbers of vulnerable children in the world, we find strength in reaching one child at a time. Children like Merlin…
I sat with three LSM advocates at lunch and listened to their creative brainstorming. It was exciting to watch these women plan events to spread the message of LSM. They are young moms, and could have just as easily been sitting there just chatting about any number of things. But that day, they had a clear focus. They were there thinking of creative ways to advocate for LSM. And if the past is any indication, they’re sure to come up with some really cool things that are rallying support for vulnerable kids in Ethiopia.