“The Bible says that our response to trials in life can result in praise, glory, and honor to Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:6-9). Haiti is currently in the midst of such trials and yet the faith of our Haitian staff is strong and inspiring. We share the below update to encourage you to pray and to remain steadfast in your faith in spite of whatever trials you may be facing.”
– Doug Isch, President of LSM
SPECIAL UPDATE FROM HAITI
Recent months have been uniquely challenging in Haiti. In 2021, Haitians saw the assassination of their President and experienced a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake near Les Cayes. This year, Haitians are feeling the effects of rampant inflation that has increased to over 30%. The pain of this inflation is only exacerbated by increased criminal gang violence, protests, and severe gasoline and food shortages. Many in Haiti are barely surviving the higher cost of basic needs.
Despite inflation, earthquakes, civil unrest, and other challenges, our Haitian staff and families continue to trust God and share their faith. Their hope is rooted in the Gospel and their faith is strong despite the constant struggles. Our mission has always been to provide a deep biblical foundation to equip our children for difficult times. By God’s grace, our staff and families in Haiti remain steadfast, fully believing that the current news does not change the greatest news of all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. – Psalm 112:7
Our Haitian staff and families remind us that even in difficult times, we should put our faith in God and continue to spread the Good News of God’s love. Will you join us in praying for our Haitian staff and children during these uniquely difficult days?
PRAY WITH US
Please join us in praying against the turmoil, gang violence and fuel and food shortages in Haiti. Pray that Haitians would know that true peace only comes from our Heavenly Father during these difficult times.
Last summer, one group of young people from Northeast Indiana donated new soccer nets for our Redemption Campus in Haiti, and another group raised money to purchase 40 soccer balls for our Homes of Hope (two per Home). Big thanks to Kent Koteskey’s Sunday School class at Hope Missionary Church and the area homeschool group led by Tera and Adam Carroll. The groups of children who decided to give these gifts were both inspired to action by tours of the Haiti Education Wing at our Bluffton office. Their gifts recently arrived in Haiti and are now being put to daily use!
Our kids used to stand behind the goals to retrieve kicked soccer balls because they would fly right through the old nets.
For our children in Haiti, soccer is a favorite way to socialize and get exercise. Profound gratitude to the children in the U.S. for not only paying attention to information presented during the tour, but for taking action. Schedule a tour today! bit.ly/lsm_tours | email@example.com.
As you may have heard, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Les Cayes area of Haiti on Saturday morning. We have been in contact with our program directors and are thankful to report that, as far as we know, all of our staff and Home of Hope children are accounted for. However, some of our staff members lost family members in the tragedy. Also, LSM sustained structural damage at some of our properties. We continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated on any significant developments.There will undoubtedly be more to report.
Saturday’s disaster came on the heels of a political unrest following a presidential assassination. And now the country braces for the arrival of a new calamity: Tropical Storm Grace.
Though our staff members maintain their strong faith in the Lord, many are feeling understandably discouraged. They will greatly appreciate your prayers and support in the days ahead. May we all take refuge in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness during these uncertain times!
“Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth give way, and though the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” Psalm 42:6
LSM’s Haitian Home of Hope children are at the center of all our efforts there. Our Trauma Program helps them recover from the deep debilitating mental injuries of the past that many of them suffer. Our Child Development and Education programs help them become mentally strong problem solvers. Our discipleship and mentorship programs accelerate spiritual growth. Our Gospel Project provides formative opportunities for our children to serve those around them. And our businesses provide internship and hands-on teaching opportunities for our kids, as well as income that we use to help us reach even more vulnerable children. Here are some exciting updates on the young people we serve in Haiti.
Three boys and two girls from our Welsh 1 and Welsh 2 Homes of Hope all recently made the decision to get baptized! Luke 5 tells us the angels rejoice over just one sinner who repents. Here we have not one, but five young souls overcoming traumatic baggage and claiming victory in Jesus. Perhaps news like this will cause an angelic celebration that lasts this entire week? We can all certainly celebrate their decision here on earth. As a Kingdom-centered ministry, this is the best kind of news we can ever receive. The most sustainable change of all is the eternal kind!
A voice is a voice, no matter the hardships you’ve faced or how much money you have. Many of the children you see below are former slaves and orphans who narrowly escaped poverty and death. Today, thanks to your generosity, they’re cared for in our Homes of Hope. Representing LSM in their communities, churches, and at ministry conferences, our kids are using music to testify throughout Haiti to the transformative love of God.
LSM’s Gospel Kits, which all contain humanitarian supplies and evangelistic materials, are packed by volunteers here at our U.S. office. When the kits arrive in Haiti, they’re distributed to those in need – not by adult staff, but by Home of Hope children – some as young as four or five years old. The young man in a white shirt below is now a college student living at LSM Tech, but it is still crucial that we continue giving young adults like him opportunities to serve. Soon, they will earn degrees, and we want them to use the skills they’ve learned to build a brighter future for Haiti. At the heart of the LSM Gospel Project is the idea that when God blesses us, He asks us to bless others. Email Rick for more information.
Classes are in session! Early in 2020, LSM Tech, a project years in the making, finally came to fruition. Below are photos from our opening ceremony, where LSM staff met with neighbors from the local area and with key representatives from the faith community in Haiti. An inaugural class of six young people from LSM’s Homes of Hope moved into their new residential dorms, where they live and work while attending college classes. In addition, students receive technical training and learn practical hands-on skills that will serve them well throughout life. The students’ technical work also brings in a source of revenue, providing sustainable funding to help support their ongoing education and technical training.
Update: We now have 16 of our Home of Hope students living at LSM Tech, as well as more than 30 young people from the community.
In 2019, protests and political unrest kept our kids from attending school. To catch up, many grade schools chose to resume with extended sessions and even some Saturday classes. Our kids, who have seen dark days in Haiti, are leaning into their studies as way to help ensure a brighter future by cultivating healthy hearts and minds. We’re seeing incredible dedication from LSM Tech students as well. Jean Wesly, LSM’s Dean of Students, walked through the campus and was delighted to see the students taking the initiative to gather for additional studying.
Update: COVID presents unique challenges to education as well. Let’s remember to keep the students and educators in prayer!
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.
In case you’ve missed some of the incredible stories from this year on the blog, we wanted to share a few of our favorites. There are many testimonies praising God’s faithful work here at LSM – from volunteers in the States to staff in Ethiopia and an orphaned child in Haiti. Their stories are a beacon of hope. Each life touched is precious and each life is connected to you. It takes money, sacrifice, love and prayer to make this ministry possible. That has come from all of you!
The beauty of this ministry is seeing lives changed, as well as watching the Body of Christ come together with genuine love on behalf of the vulnerable children and families we serve. You are the life blood of LSM – and we hope that you’ll be deeply encouraged by these stories today. And if you’re not feeling connected, we’d love to bring you closer into the LSM family this coming year so you can witness these miraculous stories first hand.
As you gather with your family for the holidays, we hope you’ll make our GIFTS OF HOPE CHRISTMAS CATALOG a part of those memories too! Each gift can spark a meaningful conversation about caring for others around the world, from buying a tank of gas in Haiti to providing one month’s supply of food for a family in Ethiopia. There are also ways to care for vulnerable children right in our own backyard!
ONE LITTLE GIRL’S GIFT
Last year, the Gifts of Hope Catalog sparked some amazing stories like Mylin’s in Bluffton, IN. Eight year old Mylin picked out a gift in the catalog that she wanted to give, and began working hard to raise her own money. Many children her age make lists and circle pictures in magazines of what they want for Christmas. But Mylin’s focus was on giving not getting. Her hard-earned dollars went directly to help a little girl in Ethiopia who does not have a daddy to care for her. Mylin’s sweet story touched our hearts. You can read about it here.
SHARE YOUR STORY WITH US
We’d love to hear your family’s story about giving this Christmas, too! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share how God’s been working on your family’s hearts this year. Because the greatest gifts are not usually found tucked under a Christmas tree. Sometimes, it looks like a hope-filled smile across a little girl’s face in Ethiopia.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE THE GIFTS OF HOPE EXPERIENCE
The Gifts of Hope Catalog is a wonderful way to open up conversations with your kids about giving. Perhaps your Sunday School group would like to get together and raise money for a family in need? Maybe you could put an empty gas can at your work or school and ask for donations to help the fuel crisis in Haiti? We hope this catalog provides a special way to connect and give with purpose this Christmas. Thank you for partnering with LSM in caring for the world’s most vulnerable children. Your gifts are truly changing lives!
There is a severe fuel shortage in Haiti. For years, Venezuela has provided Haitians with subsidized gasoline and diesel. However in recent months, Venezuela has become less accommodating due to the rise of a humanitarian crisis in their own country. Haiti’s President, Jovenel Moise, and his government owe Venezuela $100 million, which they are unable to repay. The situation has created an extreme fuel shortage, further stoking political dissent and protests. Those most affected in times of crisis tend to be Haiti’s youngest and most vulnerable.
Rationing gas at the pump means Haitians are often prevented from filling their tanks. As a result of this shortfall, the Haitian black market has moved in quickly to run up prices and score a profit. Scarcity of fuel is preventing children from attending school, and transportation of people and commercial goods in Haiti is rapidly grinding to a halt, causing stores and businesses to shut down.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT LSM?
Abdias Victor travels to our Homes of Hope to take pictures and assist with Child Development. He reports that Haiti’s fuel crisis and the resulting riots have affected our ability to reach the children with supplies and training, as well as the general safety of the neighborhoods where our families reside. Many of our kids are missing school due to the riots. On a recent trip to one of LSM’s Homes, Abdias even spotted a violent riot, including burning tires which can produce toxic fumes. Our staff reports that the difficulty of transporting workers and supplies has slowed construction at LSM Tech and also contributed to a shortage of sand at our Industrial Site. We pray that God will protect our staff and our Home of Hope families during these uncertain times!
WHAT IS LSM’S RESPONSE?
Moments like these provide a necessary reminder about the vulnerability of Haiti and the importance of LSM’s work to bring holistic transformation by investing in children and in business ventures that move the country forward! While gas stations lock their doors and protesters fill the streets, our children continue to study hard as best they can and grow in their daily walk with Jesus. They are building the foundation for a future in Haiti that looks very different from what we see today.
Staff are also taking proactive measures. “Roof installation has stalled at LSM Tech because of store closures,” says Jose, one of our Project Supervisors. “But I’m proud of our workers, who have come up with creative ways to busy themselves, shift to other projects, and keep the site on schedule.”LSM continues to pursue exciting efforts in solar energy and other alternatives that reduce Haiti’s dependence on fossil fuels, foreign assistance, and even the stability of its own government. In the future, a fuel shortage in Haiti may have far less of an impact.