PRIDE, FORGIVENESS & RESTORATION

On Friday night, November 8, nearly 170 people gathered at our newly renovated Event Center for an inspiring evening together. Guest speaker, Tim Goeglein, spoke profoundly from a place of humility about his personal experiences in life. He was once an affluent politician, but pride caused him to fall into repeated plagiarism. When he was caught, he thought his whole world was falling apart. In an act of true grace, President George W. Bush forgave him when he didn’t deserve it and had disgraced the White House. Tim  felt the love of Jesus through the forgiveness extended to him. His open and honest testimony is a reminder to all of us that we can show radical grace to others. Today, he is using his words in a different way. No longer seeking to promote self, he is seeking to lift high the name of Jesus! His genuine heart is pointing others to the saving grace of Jesus.

 

 

Doug Isch, LSM’s president shared another story of grace that night. From places of hopelessness, ultimate healing has come through the loving gifts of many just like you. For single mothers like Mahret* living in the slums of Ethiopia, the journey was particularly tough. Mahret had nothing – and ultimately, made some pretty desperate decisions to survive. Her little girl was born in the midst of those difficult years. Mahret was scared, and now she had a little one to provide for. At times, they would not eat for days. There was not adequate shelter and they were extremely vulnerable on the streets. Those were long dark years and they barely survived. It wasn’t until LSM was able to come alongside them that Mahret began to see what true hope could look like. That was in 2010.

 

 

Today, Mahret and her daughter are living a fully restored life. Her daughter is going to school, has plenty to eat and they have a bright future ahead. With the business skills Mahret learned in LSM’s programs, she’s been able to start her own small business selling coffee and injera, a local bread. They aren’t rich in material things. However, Mahret and her daughter have been introduced to the saving, forgiving grace of Jesus! They know that they are truly rich in things that can never be taken away!

 

 

On this special night, we were reminded that our Healer can bring restoration to every situation. We are grateful for that powerful knowledge – and grateful for every person who sat at those tables and gave generously to the work of LSM. Because of you, we were able to exceed our matching grant goal!  Now, we can reach more vulnerable families like Mahret and her daughter with the Gospel of Hope. Thank you for being part of this beautiful redemptive story!

 

 


GET INVOLVED

 

  1. Don’t miss future events like this! Sign up for our emails.
  2. Pray for vulnerable families who have never heard the Good News of forgiveness and hope. Help us bring that transformation by becoming an Ethiopia Family Sponsor.

 


*name changed for privacy

ABANDONED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Pregnant at 14 years old was not the life that Nira* envisioned. Her father made her drop out of 7th grade, and marry a man of his choosing. Nira was still a baby herself and now she was about to become a mom. She followed her father’s orders and married. Her first baby was born. Not long after came her second baby, third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Nira and her husband had a hard time keeping their six children fed and cared for. As she looked at her child nearing 14, she thought about the life that she could’ve had if she had not become pregnant and married off. Her heart sank into hopelessness. Does anyone care?

 

One life changing day, Nira was introduced to Jesus! She began growing in her love for Him. Her faith became evident to those around her…most of all, her husband. Sadly, he wanted nothing to do with her religion and decided that he had enough. He got up and kicked her and four of their children out of the home.

 

Nira did not have much time to grieve the loss of her broken family; she had to find way to provide for the children. The burden to be the sole provider weighed heavy on her shoulders. She worked tirelessly as a maid, cleaning, cooking and washing clothes. But no matter how hard she worked, or how many different ways she tried to ration food, there was never enough. How does a mom look into the eyes of her child crying out for hunger and say, “There’s nothing for you today.”  Nira determined to find more work. She began selling spices on top of the back-breaking labor she was already doing. The life that Nira was living was a constant cycle of hard work, pain, hunger and deep sadness. She questioned her faith. Does God care? Does He see me? Does He even love me?

 

 

Loving Shepherd Ministries heard about Nira and welcomed her in with loving arms. Nira felt cared for like never before. She said, “Before I joined this program, I struggled with my faith. But now, because of LSM’s consistent teaching and follow up, I am sustained. I have learned that the God who saved my life from eternal death is my only helper in my suffering. He is on the throne!”

 

Nira also received business training through LSM. She now bakes and sells “injera.” (an Ethiopian flatbread) Armed with love and wisdom, life is much different! There is a loving group of people who check in with her regularly to ensure she does not fall into despair. One of Nira’s biggest blessings is the true hope she has found in Jesus. She loves seeing her children grow in their faith as well. They are thriving in school and have enough to eat. This family is smiling once again because of you. Thank you!

 

 

Nira has lived through the heartbreak of her husband abandoning her, but she now clings to the knowledge that Jesus will never ever leave her or forsake her. This is not just Nira’s story. There are many more women and vulnerable children struggling to survive in this cycle of poverty. Can you help us rescue another family in Jesus’ name?

 


Get Involved:

  1. Sponsor a family. Help single mothers like Nira rise above poverty and make a lasting impact for generations to come.
  2. Become a prayer partner. Nira has asked us to pray for her business to be fruitful and that she could purchase her own home. She would also like us to pray that she and her children would make Jesus known in their community.
  3. Give a financial gift. Nira’s business relies on donor support and would not be possible without you. Thank you!

*name changed for privacy

 

SMALL DECISIONS & BIG OUTCOMES

A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FROM OUR STAFF

 

Sometimes we make a small decision and later realize that God was orchestrating something far bigger for His glory. Do you hear the Spirit prompting you to take a step of faith today?

 

A small decision to take the time to talk to your neighbor could turn into a realization that they’re dealing with something significant and need extra help or a listening ear. Perhaps that small step could open up an opportunity to share your faith as you provide a helping hand.

 

A commitment to attend an event that seems out of your comfort zone could lead to God showing you an exciting new project that He wants you to get involved with that you never knew about.

A choice to take time out of your day to pray for someone may create a bond that is stronger than you could have imagined. It could open your eyes to issues and people who need resources and practical support that you were never aware of.

 

An act of love to mentor a troubled teen can end up stretching you further than you could have dreamed. But what if your compassionate choice led that young person to Christ? And what if that new believer went on to impact their family and community for future generations to come?

 

A life changing decision to become a foster parent might feel like a giant leap of faith into the scary unknown. The commitment to love with sacrifice opens your heart to pain and hurt. It also opens your heart for a vulnerable child that you would have totally missed out on!

 

 

This week, in staff devotions, we talked about fear. Fear can hold you back from the exact thing that God may be asking you to step into. Sometimes the next step is a small one, like taking a moment to stop in your driveway as the Spirit prompts you to talk to your neighbor. Other times, the next step feels like a giant leap of faith, like dedicating the rest of your life to a child who needs a home, security and love. Whatever that next move is, we hope this reminder encourages you today to listen to the Spirit and take your next leap of faith.

 


GET INVOLVED:

 

  1. Pray for Loving Shepherd Ministries and ask God if He might be asking you to take a step with us. You can learn about some opportunities here.
  2. Join us for the Tim Goeglein event on Orphan Sunday weekend this year and hear about God’s redemptive work both in one man’s testimony and in the lives of vulnerable children around the world.
  3. Consider giving a financial gift that connects you to a specific project you care about.

 

CARING FOR FOSTER & ADOPTIVE FAMILIES

We are thrilled to be expanding our care for local foster and adoptive families through the LSM BrickHouse program. This summer, LSM gained a new arm to our domestic work with the merge of BrickHouse Family Ministries. (Read more about it here.) As we reimagine this program, we’ve considered how we can best support foster youth in our community – and the families that welcome them home.

 

FREE CHRISTIAN COUNSELING FOR FOSTER & ADOPTIVE FAMILIES

 

It’s clear that foster and adoptive families often face unique challenges as they bring healing to children from hard places. Even if a child has been in the family’s care since they were very young, there are often attachment issues that they bring with them since before birth! Add on the complexities of racial integrations, neglect or abuse a child might have faced, and there’s a myriad of difficult scenarios to navigate through. We want to offer help!

 

 

Adam Carroll, LMFT-A, is our first Christian counselor on staff – and he’s excited to be able to provide free counseling for local foster and adoptive families as he has availability. We’d love to offer this critical support for families in the Bluffton, IN area. If you know of a local family who is currently or who is considering adoption or fostering, please share this with them! To learn more, please email Adam at adam@loving-shepherd.org

 

ADOPTION RESOURCES

 

In addition, we continue to serve hundreds of families each year through our free adoption resources program. The road to adoption is complicated and sometimes eligibility within certain countries is not clear. Our staff can help answer those questions for you, break down the costs and coach you on the right questions to ask – all free of charge. It’s our prayer that these tools will empower you as you seek to care for the vulnerable child God has for you!

 

 

LEARN MORE AND START YOUR ADOPTION RESOURCES FORM TODAY!

 

Whether God has called you to be a foster or adoptive parent, or you’re best suited to financially support others raising vulnerable children, we believe everyone has a place in His work! As we serve together, we want to thank you because none of this is possible without your prayerful support. You are enabling us to help care for these families – and the vulnerable children they love.

 


GET INVOLVED

  1. Pray for foster and adoptive families – and the children they are raising! We pray their stories can be testimonies of His goodness despite the brokenness of this world.

 

  1. Help us provide free counseling and adoption resources for families answering His call. We can’t provide these resources without your help! GIVE HERE.

 

REMEMBERING HURRICANE MATTHEW

“In all of my 65 years in Haiti, I have never seen anything like this.” – Pastor Wilfrid, LSM Home of Hope Director, after Hurricane Matthew, October 2016

 

On October 4, 2016, a massive Category 5 hurricane struck southwest Haiti. Hurricane Matthew’s destructive path hit near several of our Homes of Hope and the surrounding communities. Thankfully, because of good construction, our Home of Hope families were safe. But the wide-spread damage was devastating in surrounding areas. Read our blog from right after the hurricane here and here.

 

 

BBC ESTIMATED THAT DURING HURRICANE MATTHEW:

  • Nearly 900 people died
  • Up to 90% of some areas in SW Haiti were destroyed
  • Getting aid, clean water and clearing off roads took several days and even weeks
  • Some areas in southern Haiti faced “complete destruction”

 

As our Haitian staff and families observed the horrifying destruction, they quickly went to work helping neighbors and friends. Many people lost loved ones. This hurricane had changed them forever. The love and support you showed during this difficult time was a reflection of Christ! YOU responded with tremendous generosity, and we were able to show love and support to the local communities as well as provide new roofs for many homes!

 

 

Long after the storm has passed, and the roofs are replaced, we are still seeing the effects.  Many of our young kids suffered PTSD after the hurricane. Water flooded several homes. The sights and sounds were horrific, and they knew people who did die in the natural disaster. For others, it reminded them of the 2010 earthquake that took hundreds of thousands of Haitian’s lives. That natural disaster stole many of their mothers, fathers and loved ones. It is the reason several of them are orphans today.

 

Through these devastating natural disasters, we are incredibly grateful for our amazing staff and programs that we have to help our children process these difficult experiences. The emotions are immense and sometimes the children don’t know how to verbalize all that is going on inside. Our Trauma Healing Program is there for them and are a safe place for them to process through their emotions. They have learned to discuss what’s troubling them in order to find hope and healing going forward.

 

As we reflect  on Hurricane Matthew, will you join us in praying for those who have suffered much over the last three years?  Some of our children have lost loved ones, and this week is a reminder of that pain. But there is always hope in Jesus and healing from the traumatic circumstances they have faced. It is our desire to point them to our One true Healer!

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. PRAY FOR HAITI.
  2. DONATE TO THE TRAUMA HEALING PROGRAM AND SUPPORT.
  3. STAY IN TOUCH. We’d love keep you updated as major events like this and new things happen at LSM and in the countries we serve!

 

THE POWER OF ONE

WHAT IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO CHANGE A CHILD’S FUTURE?

 

Roseline* lived in a remote village up in the mountains of Southern Haiti. She barely remembers her father, who died when she was very young.  He left behind seven small children. Her mother desperately tried to provide for them, but there was never enough. Hunger and hopelessness became part of their day to day lives.

 

 

When her mother died tragically, Roseline watched in horror as two of her siblings were taken to distant neighbor’s homes to become restaveks (child slaves.) One by one, her siblings were scattered across the countryside. Who would protect her?

 

THAT’S WHEN THE BODY OF CHRIST STEPPED IN

 

LSM’s Haitian staff learned of this orphan girl and brought her into the Isabel Home of Hope family, which means “God’s promise” and “I am God’s Daughter.” That name has become a beautiful testimony for Roseline. As part of the Isabel family, she not only has a loving home, she also receives three healthy meals a day, goes to school and attends lots of additional LSM activities. She no longer worries about what she will eat or who will take her away. She is cared for and protected. Most importantly, Roseline once again has the love of a dad and mom who treat her as their own precious daughter.

 

 

YOU CAN CHANGE A LIFE LIKE ROSELINE’S

 

Roseline’s story isn’t unique. 240 children in our care have been rescued from child slavery, starvation and abandonment. But today, they are thriving in a loving family through LSM!

 


GET INVOLVED:

 

  1. Prayerfully consider becoming a Haiti Family Sponsor and joining the family! You’ll impact the lives of 12 children like Roseline in a powerful way!
  2. Learn more about helpful tools so you can stay connected to your Home of Hope.
  3. Pray for our Home of Hope families who are helping 12 formerly orphaned, at-risk or exploited children find hope and healing.

 


 

ONE JOB SECURES A FAMILY’S SURVIVAL

When you talk to Dio, you are struck with the warmth of his smile. He is compassionate and cares deeply about others.  You would never guess the hardships this man has endured over his short 27 years on earth. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew stole his home and his farm. During the clean-up process, Dio was involved in a severe automobile accident. He shattered his hip and had multiple other injuries.  He laid in a hospital bed for weeks with a sheet tied around his pelvic bone. He was determined to use his healing time to educate himself and learn English.

 

 

One year later his father passed away. As the oldest of six children and a mother to care for, Dio knew what he had to do. But in a country where jobs are scarce, how would he provide for all of them?

 

Then he heard about Loving Shepherd Ministries. A mechanic was needed.

 

Dio had many of the skills needed for this job. And although he didn’t yet know about the amazing ministry he’d be a part of, he knew that applying meant the chance to feed his family and provide in a once hopeless situation.

 

 

Safe transportation is something Dio knows the importance of first hand. Like all Haitians, they know that the reality is, any time you travel on the difficult roads you’re at some level of risk. That’s why LSM prioritizes the safety and availability of our vehicles. It makes a huge difference for our staff and Home of Hope familes!

 

Vehicles are necessary so we can deliver supplies to our Homes of Hope and transport children for medical needs. Our staff needs safe transportation so they can access the homes and provide education services and deliver supplies. Without Dio and the other mechanics, we would not be able to effectively care for our children.

 

 

Today, Dio is the Vehicle Manager for LSM. His excellent communication in English has been a huge benefit as he daily corresponds with our US staff. It was as if God was gently showing Dio how every season of his life was preparing him for this new position!

 

As part of the automative program at LSM, Dio’s job has made a profound difference in his life as well as his family’s. His brother also works as a mechanic alongside of him.  Dio says, “Work is freedom! You have given me the freedom to provide for my family. I can now get them food and care for them because I have work. Thank you!”

 

One job has transformed the future for an entire family because of your prayers and financial support. Thank you for partnering with us. You are making a difference!

 


GET INVOLVED: 

  1. Pray for the country of Haiti, where many struggle to provide for their families. This leaves children some of the most vulnerable!
  2. Praise God with us for the 200+ Haitian employees that LSM is able to work with. These amazing people are giving back to their communities and providing for their families. We believe that ripple effect will have an impact in the Kingdom!
  3. Join us by making a financial gift to Haiti so we can maintain good vehicles that will keep our operations moving and our families and staff safe!

 

WHEN THERE SIMPLY ISN’T ROOM

by Becky Browning, LSM Staff

 

This week, my daughter hobbled into the kitchen, “Mom, my foot hurts. I think I have something stuck in there.” I examined it and then picked up the phone to call the doctor, “We can see her today. Can you come at 3:45?” And just like that, we had an appointment. Normally, a phone call like that would not have stopped me in my tracks. But today it did.

 

 

My life was changed by a 2-year-old little girl in Haiti. When I first met her, she was laying on a dirt floor. There was piles of trash and clothes around her. Chickens were roaming in and out of the room. Her eyes were closed. Her young mom told me that her head was getting bigger. She had a medical condition called, hydrocephalus. The veins deep inside were filling with fluid, causing intense pressure on her tiny brain. The family had no money to pay for surgery. They desperately tried to get her medical help, but every time they showed up at the hospital, they were ignored or turned away. A few weeks later, my friend and I went to visit the family.  They explained to us that once again no doctor would operate on their baby. As I held her, prayed and sang, she made kissing noises and smiled at me. I looked into her big brown eyes. What will happen if she doesn’t get surgery?

 

Then we heard some exciting news! A surgeon from the United States was coming to Haiti for 2 weeks. This little girl’s mom and grandmother gathered enough money and took her on a 5-hour bus ride to the hospital in Port-Au-Prince. When they arrived, there were 48 cases of children with hydrocephalus in the waiting room. They too had heard the surgeon was coming. Sadly, our sweet 2-year-old little friend was once again turned away. There was simply not enough time to help her.

 

Today, she still waits.

 

She’s not alone. Haiti only has 25 trained doctors for every 100,000 people! This reality means that many, many people never get access to the medical care they desperately need.

 

 

 

The children that God has placed in our Homes of Hope have a variety of medical needs – from being HIV+ to coming into our care severely malnourished.  They, like many Haitians, lacked access to clean drinking water and proper nutrition. Some of our children had broken bones and have been through significant trauma. Others did not have access to life-giving drugs that would keep their disease under control.

 

Today, as a child in a Home of Hope, they no longer have to suffer and wait. Their mom or dad can pick up the phone just like I did, and know the funds are there (because of you!) to get them to a hospital when they need it. And beyond that, we’re raising up a generation of nurses, doctors and professionals who will be able to impact those staggering statistics so more little girls like the one I met in that dirt hut can get the surgery they desperately need too.

 

But it starts one small step at a time. If you would like to know more about providing care to one of our Homes of Hope, learn more here.

 


GET INVOLVED

 

  1. Pray for the millions of children around the world who lack access to basic medical care in the world. Ask Him how you can be His hands and feet to a hurting world.
  2. Become a Family Sponsor where your donations help cover the basic needs of 12 children and much more!
  3. Give to our Homes of Hope with a one-time gift.

 


 

 

 

SACRIFICIAL LOVE: A LADIES’ BRUNCH

Saturday morning, our new LSM Event Center opened! We hosted a wonderful ladies’ brunch to support foster and adoptive families. Businesses and individuals sponsored tables of family and friends who came to hear guest speaker, Leslie Ludy talk about “The Power of a Poured Out Life: Exchanging Selfish Pursuits for Sacrificial Living.”

 

 

It was a moving morning as Leslie passionately shared about laying down our desires, cutting out the noise of the world around us, and opening ourselves up to what God wants to accomplish through us. Her family’s own series of adoption stories were powerful – and it reminded us that when we walk into the unknown, there is a richness that can come from it!

 

 

 

This morning was a call for each woman present to stand up for “Sacrificial Love.” Because of your generous gifts, we were able to exceed our matching grant of $10,000! This will enable us to help many more foster and adoptive families who are starting their journey of sacrificial love.

 

Leslie quoted Bett Scott Stam who said at age 18, “Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt. Send me where Thou wilt. Work out Thy whole will in my life, at any cost.”

 

 

 

What might God do if you prayed this radical prayer for your life? We were deeply moved by this message, and are praying that He continues to guide each one present on Saturday to lay down their lives for the Lord. Right now, a vulnerable child is waiting on your surrender. Will you join us in loving sacrificially?

 

 


GET INVOLVED

  1. Pray Betty Scott Stam’s prayer over your life!
  2. Learn more about LSM’s Adoption Resources and how you can support foster and adoptive families! GIVE HERE

 

YOU’RE A PRINCESS, LITTLE GIRL

My 4-year-old niece slipped her little hand into mine as we descended the stairs, one small step at a time. “I’m a princess,” she stated, gazing at her sundress that she just promptly declared as her princess gown. “Daddy tells me all the time. But why don’t I have a crown? I just need a princess crown.”

 

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, she danced out the door all giggles and twirls. I paused for a moment and soaked in the sweetness of that comment. “I’m a princess. Daddy tells me all the time.”

 

 

Oh, that every child in this world would have a daddy who tells them how loved and precious they are.

 

Far too many little girls (many who are now part of LSM’s families) have not had that kind of affirmation. Instead, they have grown up with feelings of rejection, abandonment and fear at the hands of the men in their lives. We’ve seen the devastating effects that it can have in the life of a child.

 

 

It has also been my privilege to see 20 dads in Haiti who are scooping up those broken hearts and telling their kids how deeply loved they are. These dads (and their wives, moms to these precious kids) wrestle with the effects that trauma and abuse have left on their children’s lives. But with the support of an amazing Haitian staff and the prayers of many of you, they are raising them today with all the love and care of a daddy who tells his 4-year-old she’s a princess. And best of all, it gives them a beautiful opportunity to introduce them to our Father, where they truly are daughters and sons of the King!

 

2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty!”

 


GET INVOLVED

  1. Tell your kids how precious they are today. Pray with your family for an orphaned child who hasn’t yet been told how valuable they are in the eyes of the Father.
  2. Support our Homes of Hope that are giving vulnerable children a loving mom and dad who will care for them and support them through adulthood.
  3. Give a one-time gift to help hurting children find healing through our Trauma Healing program and biblical discipleship initiatives.

 

 

1 2 3 19