Baking Cakes & Dreaming Big

Kathrine* is like many 16 year old girls you might know. She loves to bake cakes with her mom. She looks forward to summer camp with her friends and enjoys singing. She’s excelling in school and working hard to do well. Kathrine is full of life and talent, and we’re thrilled for the direction she’s going in life.

 

 

But it hasn’t always been this way. When Kathrine was a very small child, she realized quickly to get out of her father’s way when he arrived home drunk. She hid in the shadows to avoid another beating. Things got worse when her mother died unexpectedly. Her dad said he couldn’t afford to send her to school. Kathrine couldn’t help but think it was somehow her fault that so many things were bad in her life. Abuse, fear and hopeless days felt like they would never end.

 

 

But God saw her pain. Eventually, Kathrine’s dad was unable to care for her at all. She needed somewhere to go, and God provided an open door for her to come to an LSM Home of Hope that was opening! Kathrine joined her new family. Her loving parents protect her and treat her with great love. She’s catching up in school from her late start. It’s within this family that Kathrine is learning, growing and ultimately finding the safety and security she needs to thrive.

 

 

Kathrine’s biggest joy is being introduced to a personal relationship with Jesus! She talks about how He has been with her, even in those dark days before coming to her Home of Hope family. She finds a lot of peace singing and spending time with her church youth group. We give God the glory for this wonderful transformation!

 

Baking cakes with her mom might seem like a small thing – but it’s a beautiful picture of the healing, hope and love that she knows today. And we bet those cakes are pretty delicious!

 


Get involved:

  1. Become a family sponsor and get to know children like Kathrine through some amazing personal connections.

*name changed for privacy

Ethiopia VBS 2018

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”  – 1 John 3:1

 

 

Inja* is seven years old, and just completed first grade. She was so excited for our second annual Vacation Bible School this month! Since she and her family joined our programs, Inja has been attending Sunday School and our after-school tutoring programs where she is hearing about Jesus! She has also been learning about responsibility and personal hygiene. When some of our staff and volunteers from the local church set up for camp, she watched intently from the door of the church.  They hung a large banner with these words printed in Oromiffa, (their local language): “Ani Ijoolle Waaqayyoo Dhaa!”  It means, “I’m a Child of God!”  This was the theme for VBS.

 

 

Inja made paper crowns and listened to lessons about God’s love for her each morning. In the afternoon, she had fun playing games with her friends. For five days, Inja heard a consistent message of Jesus’ love for her. We hope it’s a message she will tuck away in her heart.

 

 

Her mom was so thankful to see Inja’s happy smiles after returning home from VBS each day. The prayer of her mother’s heart is that, “God fills my children with wisdom and understanding in school and their faith. I pray that they will be listening, and ready for the doors God opens for them!” We pray that too… for Inja and dozens of other precious children who hear this Gospel message of hope taught in practical, loving ways.  Not just at VBS, but throughout the whole year!

 

 


Get Involved:

  1. VBS is just one thing that we provide for vulnerable families in Ethiopia. Learn more about our work with single moms and their children here.
  2. Become a family sponsor and help families like Inja’s reach their God-given potential.

 


 

*names changed for privacy

Haiti VBS 2018

The kids had a blast. The parents swapped stories and encouragement with each other. Our Haitian staff pulled off an amazing week at our 9th annual VBS!

Here are a few highlights of this much-anticipated week!

 

A DREAM FOR HAITI

The Torbeck Home of Hope performed a skit one night called, “A Dream for Haiti.” They dream that someday, all people will meet – nurses, lawyers, agronomists – with one goal to save Haiti. People won’t need to go to Chile, Brazil or Argentina, but will join hands as one,  serving together. They gave thanks to God, LSM and the staff in the US and all those who support the work to make their families possible.

What a beautiful vision! We pray this dream becomes a reality through these amazing kids!

 

SOCCER TOURNAMENTS

These soccer games are intense and so fun for everyone to watch! This year, it included some of the younger staff willing to take on the older boys at a couple of homes. It’s so good to see the parents and staff having fun with the kids, and deepening their relationships.

 

MENTORS & TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE

Erve and Jean Wesly, two of our Haitian staff who attended college in the States, shared a talk with the older kids on “How to Choose your Career.” They were well received. The kids really appreciated the insights of successful men who are working hard to improve their country. We are so blessed with countless great examples in our staff that are mentoring our kids as they grow up.

 

GAMES, BIBLE QUIZZES, WORSHIP, GOSPEL STORIES AND SHARED MEALS

 

VBS is not only their highlight of summer, but also a beautiful reminder of the transformation  these children have experienced in their short lives. We hope you enjoy seeing them grow up in these photos too!

 


Get involved:

  1. Become a family sponsor, and be partnered with a specific Home of Hope family.
  2. Give a one-time gift to Haiti to help us continue to provide these amazing camps at VBS and shorter events throughout the year.

A Modern-Day Atrocity That You Can Impact

A ROSE AMONG THORNS – a novel by LSM’s Founder, Ed Schwartz highlights the plight of a staggering 300,000+ child slaves (restaveks) in Haiti today. You’ll follow the story of five children –forced into a life they couldn’t escape, wondering how a loving God could allow such pain.

 

It’s a modern-day atrocity we are trying to reverse.

 

 

With your help, all proceeds from this book will help us fund a new campus with 6 Homes of Hope in Haiti called Redemption West, which will become home to 72 formerly vulnerable children! Some of whom were restaveks themselves. Some of whom were on the verge of being sent into this horrific life.

 

 

That’s 72 kids whose lives will take a dramatically different turn.

It’s 72 lives that will have the opportunity to reach their God-given potential and THRIVE.

It’s a reality far too few children receive.

 

 

To help make this campus a reality, a generous donor will match the first $45,000 of proceeds from this book! That means your gifts of $50, $100 or even $500 will have DOUBLE THE IMPACT! Another donor provided the funds for printing the books which means 100% of your gift will go to helping the vulnerable children in Haiti.

 

 

 


Here’s what you can do:

– Order a copy of A Rose Among Thorns.

– When you order, make a donation (min $20) that will help us fund Redemption West.

– Purchase extra copies for your friends.


 

Learn more about the book and how you can be a part of this life-changing work here.

 

 

 

 

Beating the Odds

The school year is coming to a close – and we’re proud to announce that two of our Home of Hope children in Haiti are graduating High School! Lukenson and Sadwina* have worked so hard to get to this point – and we couldn’t be more proud of them!

 

LSM is helping them beat the odds with opportunities they never could have dreamed of before.

 

LUKENSON’S JOURNEY

 

Through a tremendous continuum of care and the support of his Home of Hope parents, LSM staff and brothers, Lukenson is planning to attend University in the Fall for Civil Engineering!

 

But what an incredible journey it’s been to this point.

 

Before LSM, Lukenson’s family farmed and had many children to feed. Education was a luxury they couldn’t afford. Every time Lukenson would begin classes, someone would get sick from drinking unclean water or from severe malnutrition and the money would run out. Distraught with the weight of an increasingly desperate situation, it was likely he would be sent away to live with another family as a restavek (child slave.)

Terrified at the thought of an unknown future and desperate for hope, Lukenson never dreamed of the opportunities that would come in his future, or the incredible turn of events that would change his life.

 

That was 10 years ago.

 

 

Instead of becoming a restavek in distant area, Lukenson was able to come to an LSM Home of Hope! Dominque and Mereville, Lukenson’s Home of Hope parents, have loved and supported him through years of catching up in school, and raised him as their own. Today, he’s become a talented and sweet young man who has big dreams for his future. And although proud of their son – it’s bittersweet as they watch their precious child move on to college.

 

And next year, when more students graduate, both he and Sadwina will be able to move to LSM Tech, a campus setting where they can live while attending University. At LSM Tech they’ll also receive biblical training, computer and English skills and more leadership training. At the same time, they’ll work at the Ag Park as part of their tuition, further expanding their skill set and work ethic.

 

10 years is a labor of love. But it’s one that’s worth investing in.

 

Lukenson, Sadwina and 240+ children that follow them are receiving a full continuum of care that equips them as godly leaders in their community. We can’t wait to see what God does with Lukenson and the rest of the children he’s granted into our Homes.

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Become a Family Sponsor and get to know these children on a personal basis.
  2. Invest in our Home of Hope children’s future. (select LSM Tech in the drop down menu.)
  3. Become a prayer partner.

*names changed for privacy

From Grief to Great Love

In the blur of a child’s memory, Sedmy has few memories of a tragedy he is only just beginning to understand. A far-off village, screeching tires, screaming for his mother to wake up. His father’s gruff arms picking him up and running. A grandmother pushing him away. Loss. Hurt. Tears.

 

Sedmy’s father fled from their home in the Dominican Republic after his mother was tragically killed. Returning to their country of origin, his father left Sedmy with his grandmother. In her own grief and old age, she knew she couldn’t adequately care for him, but had little choice. What was she to do with a four-year-old child grieving the loss of both parents?

 

Miraculously, Sedmy’s story doesn’t end with this pain.

 

A new Home of Hope was opening in a nearby village.  A pastor came and shared about an opportunity for children like Sedmy who needed a family. His aging grandmother spoke up. She knew she wasn’t in a good place physically or financially to raise a small child. She knew he needed far more than she could provide. Out of hundreds of children wanting to come to a place like this, Sedmy was chosen.

 

 

From that place of broken memories, he is now finding a new way of life.

 

His new mom and dad often wrap him up in their arms, holding him close, reminding him that he is loved. He and his Home of Hope brothers laugh and joke and play soccer. They read the Bible together and talk about how much Jesus loves them. Sedmy falls asleep with a full belly and in a bed, all his own.

 

 

Better still, Sedmy looks forward to a future far beyond the grief he’s experienced.

 

With the loving support of his family and LSM staff, Sedmy will get a quality education. He’ll find solid resources and opportunities to choose a trade, become a leader and be fully equipped to go out and transform his community for Christ.

 

But he doesn’t need to think about all of that now. At six years old, Sedmy only needs to know that he is entirely cherished and loved by a family who chose him – and more than that – loved by God who chose and loves him deeply.

 

That’s a powerful gift. And one that you help make possible.

 


YOU CAN CHANGE LIVES LIKE SEDMY’S BY:

  1. Becoming an ongoing Family Sponsor.

  2. Joining the Prayer Team.


 

Kotukan’s Testimony of Hope

Kotukan* lives with her two small children in a rural village in Ethiopia. Like mothers everywhere, she’s a busy mom! In the morning, she gets Kena, her son, ready for kindergarten and her one-year-old, Teto, hoisted on her back for the day. Then they’re off.

 

 

After dropping Kena off at school, Kotukan prepares mixtures of spices that she sells to vendors at the market. It’s a growing business, and she talks often with her business advisors about the best ways to market her spices and budget for her business expenses and family needs. Not only is Kotukan learning valuable information, she’s excited to be caring for her family as a self-sufficient business owner!

 

 

Later, after the day’s work is done, Kotukan will pick Kena up from school and he’ll excitedly share what he’s learning. She’s already noticing how much more confident, social and eager to study he is. For so long, they had done nothing but make it from one day to the next. Now, Kotukan thanks God every day for the drastic turnaround in both of their lives.

 

 

At their small rented apartment, she makes the three of them a meal, thanking God once again for the food she is now able to provide through the success of her own small business. She is saving money and planning on building a small house of their own, planning carefully for this next big step in their lives.

 

HOW IS ALL OF THIS POSSIBLE?

 

Kotukan’s husband abandoned them after going bankrupt. With two small children, she had to figure out how she was going to provide for them. She’d been working several small jobs, braiding hair and washing clothes, but it was never enough. Her own health suffered, but she had no means to go to the doctor. Overwhelmed, Kotukan was nearly hopeless. She prayed, pleading with God to provide a miracle.

 

 

LSM’s began working with Kotukan and her family a year ago. Since then, Kena has been attending private school for the first time, Kotukan continues to grow her business through small business training, using the basic support she has received as a stepping stone to building a better, self-sufficient life. In just a year, Kotukan is rising above the challenges of her situation, praising God for the loving help she’s receiving!

 

Today, Kotukan says, “I am so grateful! Please pray that God will provide me a house of my own. Pray that my business would grow and that He would give me grace as I interact with people through the week. I am doing this because I have big hopes that my children will see my hard work and learn that God will provide when we turn to Him!”

 

By the grace of God and the generosity of people like you, Kotukan and her children are heading towards a better, brighter, hope-filled future.

 


 

GET INVOLVED:

 


*names changed for privacy

Benitha’s Transformation is just the Beginning!

Looking back on the last year and all God has done in the past 15 years, we think of children like Benitha* whose life dramatically changed when she came into a Home of Hope family five years ago.

 

 

From a vulnerable orphan to a precious daughter. From scrounging on the streets to the top of her class in school. From futureless to future country-changer. Benitha can dream big because of the nurturing care she’s receiving in her family and the support she’s getting as she grows. You are a remarkable transformation!

 

NONE OF THIS IS POSSIBLE WITHOUT YOUR PRAYERFUL, GENEROUS GIFTS. IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, WOULD YOU CONSIDER PARTNERING WITH US YET THIS YEAR TO REACH MORE CHILDREN LIKE BENITHA?

 

Your life changing gift can still be counted as tax deductible in 2017 if you give before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Any amount will make a difference!

 

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GIVE HERE.

 

We believe God has more for us to do. As we look ahead to 2018, we pray that you’ll help us reach more children and dream big as the Spirit moves!

 


 

Gifts that Give Hope This Christmas Season

As you consider ways to give back this Christmas season, here’s a few special projects that will have a lasting impact throughout this coming year. You can choose from feeding a family as they work towards self-sufficiency, to providing long-term educational programs for our Home of Hope kids, to purchasing some unique gifts that those you love will cherish – with all proceeds going straight back to the life-changing work of Loving Shepherd Ministries.
We hope you’ll find some meaningful ways to make a difference. Each gift  helps change the lives of formerly vulnerable children and equip them to become godly leaders in their communities, ultimately transforming their cultures for Christ!

VIEW YOUR GIFT OPTIONS HERE.

What a powerful impact we can have together. Thanks for making it possible!

Thankful

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.

 


 

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