In his first letter to Thessalonica, Paul reminds the church to “encourage each other and build each other up.” The person on LSM’s team who knows the most about physical building is Troy Leyse, our Construction Manager. Troy is the primary staff person responsible for managing construction of our new Homes of Hope and businesses in Haiti, as well as installation of other key features such as wells, security walls, bridges, and solar panel arrays. But as Troy would be the first to tell you, his biggest responsibility is overseeing the building up of people, not structures. In everything LSM does, our goal is to equip local workers and to empower local leaders who God is raising up to help usher in a new dawn for Haiti!
𝗪𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗘𝗻𝗲𝗹: 𝗢𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗻𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗮 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗹 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗿𝘆 Meet two of our recent hires in Haiti: Wesly, a psychologist, and Enel, a social worker. Both help implement our Trauma Recovery program for the kids LSM serves, as well as support overall mental health and well-being for our staff and families. In his letter to the Romans, Paul describes one key aspect of faith-based trauma recovery and healing: “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future…nor anything else in all creation, can separate us from the love of God.” We want those in our care to know that God loves them and that He’s given them incredible potential – even if they’ve seen tragedy or abuse. Did you know that Jesus Christ is also the victor in your own life?
Five years ago, Rachel Gerber began managing our IN auctions. Since then, we’ve scaled up our auctions in Indiana and Illinois and launched a new one in Ohio. We also strive to communicate well with our faithful donors, both locally and across the country, with a particular emphasis on hosting small group events in key locations. Two years ago, we brought Rachel on to help support these important initiatives. “I love working with LSM because of the example it sets for my kids,” Rachel says. “They’re learning that the world is full of needs and that they can make an impact!”
If you enjoy the stories from Haiti that we share, meet the person behind the camera: Abdias Victor is the son of a minister. He has a big heart for justice and protecting the vulnerable, which is why he had planned to go into law enforcement. But that changed when our Director of Business, Michael Brown, introduced him to photography and helped him discover his love for helping children. “Working with kids is part of me. I love going to the office each day because I see first-hand the difference that we are making. These vulnerable children are like brothers and sisters to me. So making them laugh and seeing joy on their faces after what they’ve been through is a great miracle, and I’m just honored to play my part!”
Ernso Voltaire first started working for LSM more than ten years ago as a security guard at LSM Tech. Even when he started out, Ernso stood out for his sharp mind, attention to detail, and ability to fix things – as well as his great communication and leadership skills. There’s nothing that we love more than promoting potential wherever we find it. Ernso now manages LSM’s block plant – our largest and most successful business in Haiti – the profits of which are being used to help Haiti’s vulnerable children. Ernso’s favorite scripture is found in Psalm 23: “You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.” When God hands us an overflowing cup, it means we have an opportunity to bless others. Thanks Ernso!
Drew, LSM’s Mobilization Coordinator, manages our social media and website, including the stories you read here on Facebook. In his five years on our staff, we’ve seen a massive growth in our online audience – thanks to the faithful engagement of our readers and supporters. Collaborating with our marketing team members in Haiti, Ethiopia, and the U.S., LSM’s digital marketing uses photography, video, text, and design to shine a light on those in need, as well as LSM’s Kingdom-minded efforts to bring restoration into those situations. Thanks to you, our advocates, not only for sharing these stories concerning desperate needs at home and abroad – but for playing an active part in the resolution!
Several years ago, Kethia, our Administrative Assistant in Haiti, needed a job. God answered her prayers in a big way by creating an opening for her at LSM. “This is so much more than a job,” she says. “LSM has helped connect me with my friends, church, and community. My responsibilities are often small, but because we know God works through LSM, even small tasks feel rewarding.” Kethia says her favorite Scripture is Psalm 4, which reads in part: “The Lord sets apart the godly for himself. He answers when we call to him. Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord. He’s given us greater joy than those with abundant harvests.”
Mark Ahrens, LSM’s Director of Finance, joined our team several years ago with more than three decades of corporate accounting and finance experience under his belt. And thankfully, he came in ready to hit the ground running! Our various ministry and business finances are managed by team members spanning three different countries and currencies. Keeping everyone on track is a massive feat, even for someone with Mark’s expertise. “Our responsibility to be excellent stewards, to build something good that lasts and makes an eternal impact comes directly from God, I believe,” Mark says. “Working with our Haitian and Ethiopian staff every day has opened my heart far more globally, and I’ll always be grateful for the sense of international family and belonging that I feel here!”
Those who know Riderson will tell you that one of his best qualities is his willingness to serve. It’s a great mark of leadership, especially in a culture where leaders can often be domineering. “I’m always happy to do any kind of work for LSM,” Riderson says, “whether it’s making coffee or mopping the floor.” Riderson has such a heart to serve others that one of his biggest adjustments to leadership was learning to delegate office tasks in order to better serve our staff as a manager. In the last several years, Riderson and his wife Prestina have embarked on a new journey of servanthood as parents. “Through discipleship, LSM is creating a better future for kids in Haiti,” Riderson says. “Now that I have my own children, I’m more invested in that future than ever before!”