Though the Earth Give Way

 

Dear LSM Supporters,

 

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

 

Milestones of Lasting Change

𝗜𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗠𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗜𝘁: 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗮 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗮𝗽 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 of 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗶

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.

 

𝗕𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗶𝘀𝗺 𝗦𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆: 𝗙𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗟𝗦𝗠 𝗛𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗼𝗽𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗗𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗝𝗲𝘀𝘂𝘀
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!

 

𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗦𝗠 𝗧𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗳𝘆 𝗮𝘁 𝗛𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀
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.

 

𝗔 𝗟𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗦𝗠 𝗚𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗹 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗪𝗲 𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁
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.

 

𝗙𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗖𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝗟𝗦𝗠 𝗧𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗶

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.

 

𝗥𝗮𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗹𝗮𝗴: 𝗞𝗶𝗱𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗶 𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻

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!

2020 Vision

 


 

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.

 


 

𝗟𝗦𝗠 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗗𝗼𝘂𝗴 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬.

 

 

𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮 𝗳𝗲𝘄 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀:

  • We see a recurring theme of multiplication across the organization.
  • We’ve launched Family Preservation and Discipleship programs in Ethiopia.
  • We’re in the early stages of beginning a new Kinship Care program in Haiti.
  • Here in the U.S. we plan to continue ramping up our BrickHouse program.
  • We look forward to continued engagement with you through events and media.
  • Thanks for your continued prayers and partnership during these trying times!

 


 

𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗜𝗻𝘃𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗲𝗱:

  1. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
  2. Invite your friends to follow us on social too.
  3. Sign up for our enewsletter and prayer list.
  4. Learn more about LSM Family Sponsorship.
  5. Give directly to support our work.

THE BEST ON THE BLOG IN 2019

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.

 


 

USA 

 

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE AUCTION – A VOLUNTEER TESTIMONY

EVENTS THAT ARE INSPIRING AND CHANGING LIVES

LEARNING TO LISTEN –  A FOSTER DAD’S JOURNEY

 


 

ETHIOPIA

 

FROM ORPHANS TO ADVOCATES – A STAFF TESTIMONY

TIMMY – A BOY’S TRANSFORMATION

ABANDONED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – A SINGLE MOM’S JOURNEY

 


 

HAITI

 

DIO – ONE JOB SECURE’S A FAMILY’S SURVIVAL

THE GOSPEL IS SPREADING IN HAITI

THE POWER OF ONE – ROSELINE

 


 

Thank you for following along! If you haven’t yet, please subscribe to the blog to hear these amazing stories all year round.

 


 

GIFTS OF HOPE 2019

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 info@loving-shepherd.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!

 


GET INVOLVED

  1. Check out our Gifts of Hope Christmas Catalog and give here.
  2. Consider giving a general gift this Christmas. See how God is moving at LSM HERE.

 

RUNNING ON EMPTY: HAITI’S FUEL CRISIS

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. 

 


WHAT CAN I DO? 

 

  1. Sign up for our email list and our our bi-monthly prayer emails to receive regular updates on this and other important issues affecting communities LSM serves around the world. 
  2. Pray for the safety of our Home of Hope families and staff. Pray also for those who are suffering and for Haiti’s leaders, that they would seek wise solutions to end this crisis.  
  3. Ask God to embolden believers in Haiti who are reaching out to their neighbors with the love and mercy of Jesus! 

 

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.

 


 

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