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.

 

 

THE BEST TIME TO PLANT IS TODAY

Have you ever heard this quote? “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”  To make a lasting impact, one must act today. Last week, our families in Woliso, Ethiopia participated in the largest tree-planting day in the history of the world! Ethiopia boasted over 350 million trees planted in one day as part of the country’s larger campaign to plant four billion trees.

 

 

This effort comes after massive amounts of deforestation that has had many harmful effects on their land and global warming. It’s estimated that less than 4% of Ethiopia’s land is forested today. The country suffers from soil erosion, droughts and flooding. Despite these harsh realities, 80% of the population relies on farming to survive! Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, is leading the reforestation campaign called, “Green Legacy”.

 

 

 

Fifty children in our programs participated in this exciting venture for their country! It was a fun day that empowered our kids to be a part of something exciting in their community.  Servant-leadership is something that we want our children to know, and put into practice. What a privilege to see that lived out as they joined in the effort to give back to their country.

 

 

These children have come from desperately poor, marginalized single parent homes. Participating in activities as simple as planting trees gives them a sense of purpose and connection. When we join others in meaningful work, it doesn’t feel like work. Instead, our combined effort becomes a joyful gift that keeps on giving.

 

 

With efforts like, “Green Legacy” and a generation of children learning the importance of sustainable agricultural practices, it’s a great step for their country.

 

Trees need a healthy environment to grow, so do our children. You can help us sow into these precious lives by becoming a family sponsor today. -Because, “the next best time to plant is now.”

 

 


GET INVOLVED

1. Become a family sponsor and help single mothers and their children in Ethiopia thrive and become leaders in their communities!

2. Subscribe to our blog to keep in touch with these weekly stories!


 

ARMED WITH A CAMERA AND A SMILE

A STAFF TESTIMONY FROM HAITI

 

One of the many blessings at LSM is seeing the ripple effects of the meaningful, stable jobs we are creating. Rich relationships are being formed as our team continues to grow. Michael Brown, who’s been a part of our Haitian staff for many years began mentoring a young man named Abdias. He saw Abdias’ interests and let him use his professional camera and taught him the basics. Seeing his potential, Michael eventually recommended him for the job of Staff Photographer.

 

 

At 26, Abdias is building deep relationships with our Home of Hope families and staff. He travels and photographs events, home life and the many different projects we have going on. Michael continues to mentor Abdias along with a whole crew of godly men and women that he’s working with.

 

 

Abdias shares, “I love being a photographer! When I was a young boy, I said, ‘When I become a man, I will become a police officer.’ But when I met Michael Brown, he introduced me to his camera and I loved it. Michael later introduced me to LSM, where he worked. He called me to come help him. Now, I work with communications and photography in Haiti.”

 

 

He continues, “Working for the children is a part of me. I am Haitian and LSM is helping my country and my brothers and sisters. It’s a pleasure to work here, and gives me great joy. I love getting up and going to work every day. The team is like family to me. They provide such good counsel for me as a young man!”

 

 

We hope you enjoy the fruits of Abdias’ work as you read the blog and see many of our updates throughout the year!

BUILDING A FUTURE AT LSM TECH

 

Working all day in 100 degree + temps outside doing heavy lifting is exhausting! That’s what our construction crew is navigating this summer at our LSM Tech campus. We are preparing to welcome our first round of Home of Hope students in January 2020!

 

 

Six students will be coming this year. Four children have just graduating, and two more graduated last year and attend local universities. They were waiting for the campus to be completed, and a bigger group to transition with. Magda* is one of those early graduates.

 

 

For young adults like Magda, this is a tremendous opportunity! Magda was orphaned at eight. She was very skinny and looked frail. When she came into her Home of Hope family, she had nothing – no joy, no hope and no idea what lay ahead.

 

 

Today, Magda knows what hope is because of the chance she’s been given! She adores her new mom and dad, and has learned a lot from them. She looks forward to attending LSM Tech. She also looks forward to the opportunity to go home, and enjoy sitting on their front steps, braiding her sister’s hair and laughing together.

 

 

Going to LSM Tech is a wonderful opportunity to learn valuable skills and have better work than most in the surrounding cities. Magda recently received some great references from her internship with LSM last summer. She’s attending a local business and technology institute already. She is looking forward to getting additional training, life skills and community at LSM Tech. We can’t wait to see where these opportunities take her!

 

But we’re not quite ready for Magda and the others yet! Our construction team, Education Directors and the entire staff will be working hard to get everything ready for January!

 

 


 

PLEASE PRAY WITH US FOR:

  • Smooth construction schedule and work at the campus before students arrive
  • Peace with the Fondfrede community where LSM Tech is located
  • Magda and the other five students who will be moving to the campus this winter
  • For our Dean of Students, Jean Wesly, and his new bride Valencia, who will be working with administration at LSM Tech

 


 

*name changed for privacy

A HOPE-FILLED VISION FOR ETHIOPIA

A STAFF TESTIMONY

 

Hilina Wendossen grew up in a missional family. From a young age, her father instilled in her a passion for the hurting. She knew that whatever she did in life, she wanted to make the world a better place. As a young Ethiopian, she has a passion and vision to see her country thrive. Becoming a part of Loving Shepherd Ministries in Addis Ababa has been an inspiring and beautiful way to live out that passion!

 

 

With a bright smile, she says, “I have a vision that my country will no longer be an example of poverty, sickness and war. I will contribute my best effort make this happen.”

 

Hilina began working for LSM in 2010 as a fresh graduate. To her surprise, she immediately found meaningful and spiritually grounded work! With a degree in social work / counseling, she thrived in her everyday interactions, caring for vulnerable young women who had been forced to make desperate decisions just to feed their babies.

 

 

Hilina remembers, “At times, I would have a counselee who was the same age as me (mid 20’s) sitting across from me. I remember early on, working with one young mom and her son in particular. They had been through such trauma and pain. You could easily see their despair and loneliness. Every time we talked, I put myself in her shoes and I started looking at my life and asked, ‘What if I was on the street every night in the cold weather making those desperate choices? Could I hold my head up high?’

 

I gained so much compassion for her. It gave me the stamina for the long work it takes to help someone who has been through that trauma find healing. It is worth sticking through the difficult seasons with this vision. There’s no greater success in life than seeing someone find TRUE hope.”

 

 

She continues, “The best part of this work is seeing a poor, hopeless, depressed and traumatized family become totally transformed! When you see them becoming fully happy, hopeful, energetic, courageous and thankful to witness the work of God and acknowledge Him in their future… there’s nothing better!”

 

This long, hard work is really just getting started. Hilina is thrilled for the opportunities LSM has in the future with the current Ethiopian government. As she and the Ethiopian team work together tirelessly on behalf of vulnerable single mothers and their children, she asks for prayer. Will you join us in praying for her?

 

 


 

HILINA’S PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Pray that God would give me wisdom as I serve these vulnerable children and their mothers.
  • For successful and smooth relationships with the government as we serve vulnerable families and communities.
  • Pray for Ethiopia’s peace and stability.

 


GET INVOLVED:

  • Learn more about our work in Ethiopia here.
  • Become an Ethiopia Family Sponsor here.

 

SEE WHAT’S COMING UP AT LSM!

Help us cover these events in prayer as we anticipate exciting ways to encourage and network with new partners!

 

 

JOIN US IN INDIANA:

 

Sacrificial Love: A Ladies Brunch

 

We are hosting a ladies’ brunch at LSM Headquarters to invest resources in foster and adoptive families! You’ll be inspired by nationally known speaker and writer, Leslie Ludy who will talk about “The Power of a Poured Out Life.” You’ll also hear from LSM about our adoption and foster care resources and enjoy a fabulous local breakfast!

We are selling individual tickets ($20 each) and sponsored tables ($200 per table for 8 place settings). Please join us in prayer for this event where we hope to inspire others to invest in foster and adoptive families through LSM!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

9:45 am – 12:00pm

LSM Headquarters: 1935 N Main Street, Bluffton, IN 46714

https://loving-shepherd.org/leslie/

 


 

JOIN US IN ILLINOIS:


Gospel Sing with the Down Easy Boys

 

 

Join us for a free night of music with Southern Gospel group Down East Boys in Cissna Park, IL. Come for a fun family night to learn more about LSM, enjoy music and refreshments while making fun memories!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

354 N 1300 E // Cissna Park, IL 60924

https://loving-shepherd.org/gospelsing19/

 


IL Annual Benefit Auction (coming this fall)

 

We’re looking ahead to this Fall’s Annual Benefit Auction in Washington, IL. If you are interested in getting involved, donating items or helping at the event, please contact Joe Gerber at joe@loivng-shepherd.org for more information! This year, we are pleased to be offering a special matching grant opportunity for all donations the night of! Stay tuned for details.

Friday, October 11, 2019

https://loving-shepherd.org/19auction/

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Subscribe to our blog to hear stories and stay up to date with what’s happening. (button on the blog homepage at the top)
  2. HOST A TABLE for the Ladies’ brunch and invest in foster and adoptive families!

 

CELEBRATING FREEDOM

Happy 4th of July! This weekend, as you celebrate the values of freedom, we hope you’ll join us in the fight to bring those basics to vulnerable children. It takes our collective voices to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Our passion is to help those who have lost their natural advocates in life. You can provide the help that is desperately needed for children.

 

NEARLY 10 YEARS AGO, A LITTLE GIRL HAD LOST HOPE.  

 

 

She shifted a heavy load of water on her tiny, bony shoulders and took another weary step. Eight year old Velinda* had been carrying water for over a mile. She did this three times a day for the family she lived with. As a restavek (child slave), Velinda worked 12-14 hour days. She was skin and bones and bore the physical and emotional scars of a broken childhood. After her parents died, she had no idea how hard life was going to be without them.

 

On day, as Velinda was walking home from the river, she met someone very special who works for LSM. She heard about this man, and knew that if there was ever hope at freedom, this was her chance. She dropped her heavy bucket, and ran up to him.

 

“I’m tired of carrying water,” she breathlessly said. “Please, help me!”

 

TODAY, VELINDA KNOWS THE BEAUTY OF FREEDOM.

 

 

LSM was able to negotiate with the family that Velinda had been living with. She was rescued out of that horrible situation, and is now thriving in her Home of Hope family! She no longer carries water from the river, working 12-14 hour days. Instead, she is experiencing true freedom and love in a nurturing family. But most importantly, she knows about the true living water, found in Jesus Christ!

 

Because of the opportunities she has today, Velinda can go to college, get a good paying job and provide for her own family someday. These are dreams she never imagined as a child slave ten years ago.

 

 

ARE YOU WILLING TO LISTEN TO A DESPERATE CRY FOR HELP?

 

We long for all vulnerable children like Velinda to have the freedom to grow as a valued child of God. We want them to know their worth, find healing and love, and have the chance to reach their full, God-given potential.

 

Freedom is a gift. And it’s one we can give together.

 

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Help rescue children forced into child slavery in Haiti. Order your copy of Ed’s book “A Rose Among Thorns” to learn more about their plight and help rescue children like Velinda.
  2. Become a Prayer Partner and receive bi-monthly updates from LSM on specific ways to intercede.
  3. Spread the Gospel message of FREEDOM in Haiti through the Gospel Project.

 


*name changed for privacy

REDEMPTION

excerpt from page 35, Glimpses of Hope, a collection of devotionals

Doug Isch, LSM President


 

Rose’s day started out like any other on January 10, 2010. But unlike the rest of the routine days of her eight-year-old life, this day would change the course of her life forever. At 4:53 pm the walls began to shake as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Port au Prince, Haiti and the surrounding regions until an estimated 300,000 people were killed and over a million people were forced from their homes. Tragically, Rose’s parents were both killed in the earthquake. As her world turned upside down she was moved nearly five hours away to live with an aunt.

 

 

Rose doesn’t talk much about the events of that day or how she dealt with the grief that had to grip her. How does an eight-year-old process this kind of devastation and loss? For many living in extreme poverty this would have been one more chapter in a life of disappointment and loss, but Rose’s story takes an unexpected twist. Unbeknownst to her, thousands of miles away a young man named Zach Bertsch was diagnosed with terminal cancer at almost the same time she moved in with her aunt.

 

Zach’s heart and passion was to redeem his cancer for God’s glory. Rose is one part of that redemption story. Rose was selected to become a part of the Moriah Home of Hope family on the Redemption Campus. Rose is now going to school, attending church, growing up with a new mom and dad and has 11 sisters to live life with.

 

 

To redeem something means to free it from what distresses or harms it.

 

Major steps have been taken in Rose’s life to free her from the pain and distresses she has experienced. But her past is still her past and she will always have tragedy as part of her story. As we have seen many times, God uses the pain of the past to help us become more like Jesus. Rose’s story won’t fully be redeemed until Jesus returns and God finally wipes all the tears from our eyes. What we see now are some of the first fruits of that redemption story. I am so excited for Rose to see her parents again and introduce them to the couple who raised her in their place and to meet Zach and share with him the beauty that was brought from the tragedies of both of their lives.

 

Revelation 7:17 – “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes.”

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Order your copy of Glimpses of Hope here.
  2. Learn more about the ongoing work of the Redemption Campus and our Homes of Hope here.

 

1 2 3 18