Note: This message was recorded before the Coronavirus outbreak that has dramatically affected the U.S., Haiti, and Ethiopia in recent weeks. Therefore, the pandemic is not specifically mentioned or addressed in this message. Nevertheless, the key points of this video remain true.
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!
Pray for the country of Haiti, where many struggle to provide for their families. This leaves children some of the most vulnerable!
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!
The monthly Ethiopia Program updates was looking pretty standard. It was full of positive conversations and new things the team wanted to accomplish. Over 40 families in Ethiopia have access to some incredible programs that are helping single mothers provide for their kids.
And then my eyes caught on one word… CANCER.
Two moms were diagnosed with cancer in the last month. Another young mom lost partial vision in both eyes. I wish I could take away those words and the weight they carry for their sweet families, but I can’t.
These precious mommas have faced some terrible things in their life already. They’ve had to make the heartbreaking choice between feeding their child and sending them to school. It’s unbearable to think about life as a single mom in one of the hardest places in the world, deeply entrenched in generational poverty with a stigma around their shoulders. I place myself in their shoes for a moment and imagine what this diagnosis would feel like and what this means for their children.
BUT THEN I’M REMINDED… THEY AREN’T WALKING THIS ROAD ALONE!
In the last three years, these families have all entered the LSM program in their village. It’s enabled their children to go to school. It’s given them food stipends so they don’t have to worry about whether or not they can feed their children. LSM has helped them start their own businesses and walked alongside them so they can succeed. We have watched these families make huge progress. Beyond all of that though, they’ve connected to a local church and are mentored by volunteers in their community on a regular basis. They have support groups that they’ve started in their own communities. Their fear and stigma have faded and they’ve gained confidence in themselves.
Cancer, blindness and the pain they’ve faced isn’t fair, but they know we will walk alongside them in this season of their journey just like we have in the last season. Despite the ravages of sickness, poverty and sin in this world, there is a big God who is above it all!
And in the middle of our mess, we can point each other to Jesus, take each other’s hand and say simply, “You don’t have to walk this road alone.”
This Thanksgiving, the hearts of many, many once vulnerable children are now full. Over the last 15 years of ministry, we have seen an outpouring of the Spirit working through you to radically transform the lives of forgotten and lonely boys and girls all over the world.
This year alone, you’ve helped us:
Purchase and move to our new offices that will provide more space for more changed lives and new volunteer opportunities!
Open a New Home of Hope in La Source, Haiti, that provides a nurturing Christian family for 12 orphaned and at-risk boys.
Grow our Business Development initiatives and begin Aggregate Plant, Concrete Block and Pre-cast businesses.
Provide new programs and practical work and life skills to help free families in Ethiopia who were once mired in poverty.
The list can go on and on. God is on the move and it’s so humbling to see it in action. Lives are changing. Generations are finding hope in Jesus. This is Kingdom work. And it’s happening because of you.
We are privileged to serve more than 240 vulnerable children and 40 single mothers in Haiti and Ethiopia. Our small U.S. staff supports LSM’s vision through fundraising and mobilization with the U.S. church. It’s our heart to always empower people in their own cultures and communities to care for the vulnerable children among them. As we continue to expand our ministry in Haiti and Ethiopia, we have growing needs here in the United States as well.
Do you sense God calling you to join the LSM Team? Or do you know of someone who would qualify for this role and has a heart to join this life-changing work?
JOB OPENING: MOBILIZATION COORDINATOR
LSM is seeking to fill an immediate need for a Christ-centered, highly motivated individual to help build and develop relationships with ministry partners via digital marketing, social media, and regional awareness campaigns. Candidates must be willing to work from LSM’s Bluffton, Indiana, offices. Ideal candidates will have professional social media experience, possess very strong writing and communication skills, be able to do public speaking and networking, and be effective at scheduling and making their own appointments.
Please contact Joe Gerber at email@example.com to receive a full job description and more information about the position.
Please join us in praying for the right people to continue to join the LSM team here in the States, in Haiti and in Ethiopia.
Share this job opening with a friend who might be qualified.
15 YEARS AGO, ON JULY 22, 2002, LSM OPENED ITS DOORS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A 300-SQUARE-FOOT OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN BLUFFTON, IN. IT’S BEEN AN INCREDIBLE RIDE.
Since then, hundreds of the world’s most vulnerable children have come into loving families where they are reaching their God-given potential. What a privilege it’s been to be on this ongoing journey together! As we praise God for His work, we’re also humbled to announce that He’s provided open doors for further ministry opportunities as we enter the next 15 years.
WE ARE MOVING OUR HOME OFFICES TO CREATE MORE SPACE FOR THE AMAZING THINGS GOD IS DOING THROUGH YOU AND LSM!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MOVE:
Where will your new offices be?
Our new offices are located on the north side of Bluffton at 1935 North Main St. Bluffton, IN 46714.
When will you move?
We don’t have an exact timeline for moving locations, but we hope to complete the move in the Winter 2017/2018. Check our blog and Facebook for more information!
How are you paying for the new building?
We feel blessed that five partners who are passionate about growing LSM so that more vulnerable children and families can be reached, have covered the cost of the building.
None of the costs for the purchase of this new building are coming out of our current budget for the work we’re doing with vulnerable children in Haiti and Ethiopia.
What do you need the additional space for?
Currently, our offices are filled to maximum capacity and we are extremely limited on what we can do with volunteers who want to get more involved with LSM (see below for information on THE GOSPEL PROJECT, which some of this new space will be used for). We also currently rent additional space at a separate location for our warehouse and shipping. At the new building, we will be able to house everything in one location and have plenty of opportunities for volunteers to grow our community outreach! This space will also allow local groups to learn about Haiti through walk-through exhibits and prayer rooms.
We pray this will become a space where your whole family can learn more about the plight of the vulnerable and serve right alongside us in tangible ways!
What is the Gospel Project and how can I get involved?
The Gospel Project connects volunteers in the U.S. with our Home of Hope families in Haiti! Gospel Kits with a variety of Haitian-Creole books, hygiene materials and other necessities will be packaged at our new offices and then shipped to Haiti, where our Home of Hope families will be able to share them in their communities. Through the Gospel Project, families in the U.S. can actively contribute to the physical care of vulnerable children in Haiti, as well as help share the Gospel in tangible ways. Stay tuned for updates on the Gospel Project, as well as ways your youth group, bible study and family can be part of this experience!
Does the extra office space mean you’re expanding your U.S. Staff?
No, this space allows us to grow our community outreach and volunteer opportunities as well as provide space for our staff and board to meet with more flexibility. While over time we may add minimal U.S. staff for specific projects regarding stateside logistics, that is not our goal with the new move.
It’s our privilege and desire whenever possible to hire local people in the countries we serve to reach the children in their own communities. In fact, we have over 150 Haitian men and women serving in various capacities in Haiti, with no full time American missionaries on the ground. Additionally, our committed team in Ethiopia operates without any U.S. missionaries on the ground as well. We believe in the power of local people, partnering with the local church, to bring long lasting change in their own communities!
How can I help with the transition?
As you know, moving several offices and getting the new (to us) building ready will take some work. If you’re interested in volunteering some time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2016 has been a formative year for LSM both inside and out. Through the incredible programs launched, schools built and disasters navigated, we have emerged stronger than ever, with you at our side and a humble thankfulness for all God has done.
In 2016, we were so blessed through your partnership to:
1. Open a brand new school in Welsh, Haiti where over 200 children from two of our Home of Hope families, as well as boys and girls throughout the local community, are now attending! The school was dedicated in June and, ever since, it has been a powerful source of outreach in a desperately poor area where many children have never before had access to an education.
2. Launch exciting new resources in our Child Development program in Haiti! Through the generosity of our donors, we were able to meet and exceed the $40,000 matching challenge for our Summer Newsletter with all the funds going to Child Development.
Among other things, this allowed us to provide laptops for all the kids to help with schooling! Dominique, our Chantal 1 Dad is now the tech/computer advisor for each Home of Hope to ensure they know how to use their new tools effectively for school and research!
3. Launch new programs in Ethiopia to expand our reach to more vulnerable single mothers and their children. These programs are PREVENTING some of the atrocities that we have worked tirelessly to bring healing to in the past. Through these prevention programs, at-risk families are empowered to succeed with the financial, educational and emotional support they need, all with the support of the local Ethiopian evangelical church.
All of this is done with a powerful, clear end-goal in mind – something we strive to keep front and center in everything we do. We believe that as these vulnerable children are empowered to grow into self-sufficient adults, they will go out and transform their communities and culture for Christ.
What a powerful thing to work towards together: the expansion of Christ’s Kingdom through the “least of these.” Every child we serve is a part of this vision. And we pray that it’s part of yours as well.
We are so excited for the ways God will use LSM—and especially all of you—to make this a reachable goal in 2017.
As we were so happy to report in our Spring newsletter, Randy and LaNae Meyer are heading to Haiti soon where they will serve a two-year term with LSM. Randy will be in charge of a Haitian construction crew at LSM Technical Institute. LaNae will work in hospitality and keep LSM’s U.S. staff connected with stories and pictures. (You can sign up for our e-newsletters at the bottom of this screen.)
As you might expect, moving abroad is no easy task. It takes many hands. Maybe even more than you think.
A work team from Trinity Church in Central Illinois spent this week in Haiti—seven days of faith and fellowship they will not soon forget. Michael Kaeb, one of the trip participants, shared these amazing pictures of their time together!