While many of the stories we tell come to us from Haiti and Ethiopia, the addition of the BrickHouse program to our LSM family has given us more to talk about on the domestic front. The BrickHouse program provides structured foster care services to hard-to-place young people living in Northeast Indiana and offers free counseling services to area foster and adoptive families. Our BrickHouse farm store helps fund our efforts by selling delicious, reasonably-priced meat and eggs, and all for an excellent cause. In addition to BrickHouse, we must also remember that God is working through LSM family sponsorship and service opportunities to touch the hearts of those here in the U.S. who are freely giving and volunteering. We often tell the stories of those who are recipients of generosity, but sometimes the stories of how God transforms and touches the heart of the giver are equally important. Here are several stories of generosity and ingenuity that have come out of the U.S. recently – as well as a notes regarding a couple of crucial opportunities that are still available.
“At the heart of LSM Family Sponsorship is the idea of a lot of people doing a little bit. For us, budgeting to give to LSM each month is something we can do fairly easily. It hardly changes our lives. And yet we see that for those hurting or in need, our giving truly can make a life-changing impact. We appreciate how LSM takes the long approach, not just in terms of sustainable change, but also eternity. We’ve been particularly impressed by how LSM uses business as a tool for ministry, and we always look forward to Ed’s updates. But fundamentally, we know that the focus remains on helping vulnerable children and families. We love the concept of families helping families for God’s glory. Glad to do our part!” –Blaine and Alyssa Aschliman
The best person to guide any of us on our path to obtaining a new quality of character or new set of skills is a mentor, someone who has walked the path ahead of us. Mentors are particularly crucial to the hard-to-place foster youth in our care at LSM BrickHouse, who often need a little extra help in finding their way to the path that is possible for them. Do you have a skill that you would like to teach our children, such as leadership or public speaking? Maybe something hands-on like servicing a vehicle or playing a musical instrument? Contact Adam Carroll, email@example.com, to learn how you can step up and change the course of young lives!
LSM BrickHouse offers structured foster care for hard-to-place foster care youth living in Northeast Indiana. At our girls’ home in downtown Bluffton, Kevin and Michele Mechling provide a loving home, plus valuable mentorship opportunities, skills training, and life experiences to help the girls reach their God-given potential. Do you know a couple in the Bluffton area who might be a good fit for our program? LSM is seeking foster parents to take residence at our 40-acre farm and provide a home for hard-to-place boys. After empowering vulnerable children in Haiti and Ethiopia for years, we’re excited to see God bring similar restoration and redemption to our own community here in the United States!
In 1985, our founder, Ed Schwartz, who was a church minister back then, traveled to Haiti for the first time to help build a school. That trip planted the seed for what would become LSM’s work in the country 20 years later. On his 1985 trip, Ed met a hard-working young man named Sylvain, a former orphan who was being helped by the two missionaries overseeing the repair project. Fast forward to 2019 when Sylvain, now an experienced supervisor, was hired to join our construction team. He recently played a significant part in our construction of the new steel building at LSM’s Industrial Site: “I never dreamed I’d work with Ed again. It is only by God’s grace!”
In the summer of 2020, a group of local Boy Scouts donated their time at LSM’s BrickHouse farm in Bluffton, IN. Projects included stacking nearly 180 bales of straw, mulching around and cleaning the interior of the farm house, cleaning out pens and a feeder wagon, and washing vehicles. During the group’s lunch break, Adam Carroll led a short training on the importance of positive thinking. When their projects were completed, the boys celebrated their hard work with a water balloon fight. Our farm exists to help bring vital foster care and counseling resources to hard-to-place youth in the area. August Stettner, 13, says, “Volunteering at BrickHouse was a great chance to work with friends and to help others at the same time!” Thanks for lending us a hand, Troop 140!
𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁: 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗠𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗜𝗻!
In the summer of 2020, Kevin and Michele Mechling moved into LSM’s BrickHouse property in downtown Bluffton as foster parents. Together, the two of them provide the love of a Christian family for up to five hard-to-place teenage girls! LSM BrickHouse also provides additional support by helping to equip these young ladies with valuable life skills, including emotional and spiritual counseling, preparing them to thrive and positively impact our community for Christ! Thank you for your continued support as we pursue these exciting avenues for helping vulnerable teens in Adams and Wells Counties and engage with the needs here on our own doorstep!
IN early 2020, LSM received an opportunity to invest in the next generation of advocates for vulnerable children and families at Taylor University’s Care Conference, hosted by TU’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) office. We had numerous exciting encounters throughout the scheduled lineup of speakers, panels, and breakout sessions, including Keegan, a junior at TU who was mentored years ago by an LSM staff member that shared with him our Business Development Plan for Haiti, inspiring him to attend TU and study OVC and Business Development. Seeds planted today may bring a harvest in generations to come!
In early 2020, Construction Project Manager Troy Leyse used our office studio to record a video for Haitian Home of Hope parents in which he explained and demonstrated some exciting new cooking equipment. A rice cooker and warmer, two induction burners, and a set of compatible pots and pans were shipped down to nearly all of LSM’s Homes of Hope to replace more expensive and less reliable propane burners and equipment. The cost of propane was going up, and we anticipated that the rise would continue. Also, unrest in Haiti at the time was causing a supply shortage that further escalated the issue. Our solution uses electrical solar panels, meaning our Homes will be able to cook effectively and inexpensively without propane – or even local power. Bon Appétit!