Sunday was celebrated at the Cancer Redemption Church with all 16 Homes of Hope and visitors present. What a powerful day. This was the first Sunday that the Cancer Redemption Church held a service. Many of the homes shared songs, the new Pastor gave a moving sermon and we joined together as we thanked God for so much in this place.
Part of the week at VBS is split into different speakers that come and share on a variety of different topics. It’s a fun way to communicate some important messages and bring in different, well-known faces. And so as we started the second day of VBS, we launched it with some great breakfast and a talk.
Next week is our 6th annual VBS in Haiti running from August 13-18!
Our annual week of VBS is full of laughter, love and poignant moments of growth. It’s a chance for all 16 Home of Hope families to come together with our Haitian staff – much like a big family reunion – and talk about the incredible things God’s doing in our lives. We cry, laugh and remember that we’re not alone in this journey… this specific journey of caring for formerly extremely vulnerable children. And as we look forward with great anticipation to this week, we want invite you to walk it with us!
We’ll be updating the blog and facebook throughout VBS and we’d love to have you follow what we’re up to. We’ll share some stories of the kids, some fun VBS moments and talk about what’s going on under the surface. It’s our prayer that this week will not only be an incredible blessing for our Home of Hope families, but for you as well!
Anna* spent seven months working on the streets, enduring long nights in dark alleys and wishing there was something – anything better than the life she was living. This had never been the plan. But what hope did she have?
Growing up in a rural village in Southern Ethiopia, Anna knew of God. He was just not a big part of her life. She got a boyfriend and soon found out she was pregnant. The boyfriend was soon out of the picture and Anna felt very alone and ashamed of her life in the small village. After giving birth to a little boy, she decided to try and start a new life in Addis Ababa where she had some relatives she could stay with. When she got to the capital though, things didn’t go like she’d planned. After a particularly heavy disagreement with her aunt and uncle, Anna was forced to leave, and suddenly she found herself on the street in a strange city with her little boy, all alone.
What if you could step into another culture for an evening? What would you see? What would you learn? How would it change you?
Recently, we did just that with a local youth group. We started the evening with some walk through exhibits where they could read about global poverty and then walk into “Haiti” complete with a hut, market and yard area.
Frederick Buechner once said that “the place God calls you to should be the place where your deepest gladness and the world’s deepest hurts meet.”
Like many new phases of life, that means stepping outside our comfort zones to discover where the world’s deepest hurts are. And this week, there’s a small group of men in Haiti doing just that.
Ed Schwartz, LSM’s President is leading a Vision team through Les Cayes, Haiti to teach about some of the world’s deepest hurts that nearly a million vulnerable children in Haiti are exposed to. He’s also showing them our response to those painful realities.
One year ago today, Zach Bertsch (Cancer Redemption Project) went home to be with Jesus.
(Read the story here.) We have been so blessed to walk with you all over the last few years and see God provide along this bittersweet journey. The Cancer Redemption Project in Cavaillon, Haiti has provided forever families for 72 orphaned and extremely vulnerable children. A church and school for the surrounding area are now the highest point in that village – shining brightly as a remembrance of God’s faithfulness and eternal hope.
Since Zach’s death, his wife Jenny has tirelessly continued the vision to raise the rest of the ongoing support they committed to finding for the Home of Hope families. The office has been full of anticipation over the last several months as we’ve watched funds come in to complete their fundraising goals. God has been faithful!
Last week, several of our staff and some advocates headed to Chicago for Christian Alliance for Orphan’s 10th Annual Orphan Summit. Nearly 3,000 attendees spanning 26 nations gathered to stand together for vulnerable children. Think about the impact a gathering like that can have!
If you’ve heard about our Ranch in Fondfrede, Haiti, you’ll know that there’s some incredible, innovative things happening there. What you might not know at a glance though, is the research and development efforts going into it. Or what it means for an entire generation of children in Haiti. Or what a difference its making in the surrounding communities today.