A Summer of Firsts for Children in Ethiopia

More than 40 vulnerable families are finding new hope through the life-giving work of LSM in Ethiopia. To see the faces and hear the stories of once vulnerable women and children who have now been freed from the cycle of poverty and desperation, we encourage you to check out this page to learn more.

 

 

As we work with single mothers and help them create sustainable small businesses to care for their families, our Ethiopian staff has also been growing programs, seminars and opportunities to ensure their children are growing up in a safe, nurturing environment. This summer, they held their first ever Vacation Bible School in Woliso, Ethiopia! As the children came together learn about Jesus, it was a richly rewarding time for everyone.

 

These pictures give a deeply meaningful look at what they experienced for the first time over the last three months! 

 

The kids learned worship songs and prayed together every day. They received powerful bible lessons and did crafts they were able to take home and share with their mothers!

 

 

From oldest to youngest, we know all the children and their families were incredibly blessed by this new program this summer. What a privilege to continually be adding enriching experiences into the lives of these vulnerable children.

 

 


If you’d like to get more involved with the work we’re doing with 40 vulnerable families in Ethiopia, here are three ways you can get started right where you are: 

 

    1. Become an ongoing Ethiopia Family Sponsor! 
    2. Give a one-time gift to help make child development initiatives like VBS a possibility.
    3. Become a prayer partner with LSM. 

 


 

Pastor Wilfrid, A New Family & A Chance to Impact 12 Vulnerable Children

There is a brand new future waiting for 12 vulnerable boys.

 

Recently, Pastor Wilfrid Remonvil, our Haitian Home of Hope Director, joined us in the Midwest to talk about this new Home of Hope in LaSource, Haiti.

 

 

Just one month prior, Pastor Wilfrid stood among the ramshackle huts that pepper the Haitian countryside, deeply saddened at the terrible conditions many children in his country are forced to live in. Through much prayer, searching and interviewing, our Haitian team selected 12 vulnerable boys to be a part of this new LaSource family, where their lives will take a dramatic turn.

 

 

Pastor Wilfrid has also already worked with a young couple who have a heart for God. Jean and Emise have been selected to be the new Home of Hope parents at LaSource. They are now fervently praying that the arrival of their precious new children, 12 boys they will call their sons, will become reality.

 

You can come alongside this new family as an ongoing family sponsor to ensure these boys will never again have to go through another day without the love of a mom and dad, or suffer through the night with an empty belly.

 

 

 


Become an ongoing sponsor here

(minimum monthly gift of $35/month.)


 

Please prayerfully consider how you can partner with us to transform the lives of these precious children!

FROM ORPHAN TO INSPIRING PREACHER – LSM’S 15 YEAR LEGACY

The last 15 years of ministry has been an incredible ride! God has done abundantly more than we could have ever asked or imagined. A small, local beginning helping families through the adoption process has blossomed into a continuum of care that empowers vulnerable children to reach their God-given potential in three countries!

 

Together we are changing lives, whole communities and even entire generations—one child at a time.

 

In 2006, LSM opened the first Home of Hope in a rural mountain village in Kpoux, Haiti. We had no idea what God would do over the next decade of ministry. We just knew there were some desperate children who needed a roof over their heads and a mom and dad who could show them the love of Jesus.

 

 

Jesse* was four or five years old (he doesn’t know his original birthday) when he became a part of the first Home of Hope family. And for the first time in his life, Jesse had a safe, stable place to call home. He barely knew his biological father, who had several “families” in different villages. Now, he was now surrounded by the love of a married, committed, Christian mom and dad.

 

 

Jesse says the day he came to LSM’s Home of Hope was “more than super perfect.” In that moment, he became a part of a family with 11 other boys who are now his closest friends and brothers. He went to school consistently for the first time. He had three meals a day and received the nutrition and medical care he desperately needed. He was mentored by successful Haitians who helped open his eyes to a world of endless opportunities that were once unimaginable. And more than anything, he found the role models in his parents that would ultimately help lead him to a personal relationship with Jesus.

 

 

A decade later, Jesse is leading worship and preaching at VBS 2017. We received this picture on the anniversary of LSM’s opening—a reminder that God’s plans are often far bigger than our own. Jesse is a part of that plan! And it was because of the willingness of people just like you coming alongside LSM that his story is possible!

 

From a place of utter brokenness, God raised a leader who cares deeply for vulnerable children. Jesse is working towards his dream of becoming a nurse so he can help stop meaningless death and save lives just like his was rescued.

 

Alongside the local church and community, we seek to empower vulnerable children to reach their full, God-given potential. We praise God for 15 years of ministry, for your generous support and, most of all, for the hundreds of children just like Jesse who make LSM what it is.

 


GET INVOLVED:

  • GIVE to the life-changing ministry.
  • LEARN MORE about the new building we’re moving to and the doors this is opening up for more volunteering and partnership opportunities.
  • JOIN OUR PRAYER TEAM.  

*name changed for privacy

Planting Seeds of Hope

Last Saturday, July 8, a group of over 140 women sat down for a beautiful morning at the SEEDS OF HOPE Ladies’ Brunch. In the middle of daisy bouquets and coffee shop treats, they took a stand together for sisters, daughters and mothers on the other side of the world just like them but who were tragically born into abject poverty and pain. It was a powerful morning learning about the plight of vulnerable families in Ethiopia and considering how each one of us can make a tangible difference.

Throughout the morning, seeds of hope were planted by women just like you into the lives of mothers who are struggling to provide even the basics for their children.

Our Ethiopian Servers!

We sincerely believe that Saturday’s commitments will grow into a beautiful harvest in the next generation—both for 40 precious families in Ethiopia and for the families right here who are changed with every connection, story and investment they make in the lives of the hurting.

We’re grateful to the local businesses that hosted tables and brought together their own passionate groups of women! A special thanks to those who invited and encouraged their friends and co-workers to come.

 

Additional Sponsors include: IN Balance Books and Courtney and Jodi Pfister

 

Our volunteer committee poured many details into the SEEDS OF HOPE Ladies’ Brunch to bring beauty, artistic flair and a smooth flow to the entire event! We’re so pleased with their efforts, and we know that because of the passion and inspiration their unique gifts inspired in the attendees, many vulnerable families in Ethiopia will receive the life-giving support they desperately need.

Quiche from Crimson House (Ossian, IN) and Cinnamon Roll / Coffee from Hugh’s Coffehouse (Bluffton, IN)

From fair trade shopping that creates dignified jobs for single mothers to ongoing family sponsorships and commitments to prayer, there was an incredible outpouring of support.

GET INVOLVED:

  • Do you have a passion to serve vulnerable women and children? We’d love to talk to you about hosting a SEEDS OF HOPE Ladies’ Brunch in your city. Email amber@loving-shepherd.org to learn more.
  • You can begin helping vulnerable women and children today, right where you are. Learn more about become an Ethiopian family sponsor here: https://loving-shepherd.org/ethiopiafamilysponsor/
  • You can also purchase beautiful handmade accessories straight from some of these mothers in Ethiopia. Shop here.

Tears of Joy for a Life of Hope

Timmy* is six years old and just started school last year. The first day, he was so excited. He got his little uniform on, lovingly took his new notebook and pencils out of his backpack, just to gaze at them for a moment, before tucking them securely back inside and hoisting the bag onto his back.

Every day in class, Timmy eagerly soaked up the lessons he was taught. And every day after school, his mom, Tabitha, was there to pick him up and listen to the new fidel (Ethiopian Amharic script) he had learned. Timmy wondered why his mom would sometimes cry while he recited his fidel to her.

Why is mom sad I’m learning so many wonderful new things?

But his mother’s tears were not of sadness. They were tears of great joy and thankfulness.

Tabitha birthed Timmy in one of the slums of Addis Ababa. Desperately hungry, they both almost starved to death in his first few precious weeks. Life had been so incredibly difficult for Timmy’s mother … until she came to LSM, where things drastically changed for the better.

Through people like you, committed to Timmy and his mom and a belief that their lives were worth more, united with the Body of Christ, working together in prayer, financial support and advocacy—the story you just read became reality.

Tabitha began working for Moriya Ethiopian Accessories, a business we helped a group of moms just like her start. Using the skills she learned as part of the Moriya team, she has since branched out on her own and started a successful sewing business. Today, Tabitha is providing for her son with a dignified, stable job.

Timmy now has the opportunity to choose his own career, always has enough to eat, knows the hope of a life filled with the love of Jesus, and dreams about his future because people like you believed he and his mother were worth it!


You can join us in making more stories like Tabitha’s and Timmy’s possible by:

*names changed for privacy

*originally posted December 5, 2015

You May Never Know the Impact You’ve Had

Your life in the U.S. can have a powerful impact on another person’s life halfway around the world. Sound impossible? Here’s just one of the countless examples how this can happen every day.


 

Ammet is a single mother in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She grew up in hopeless poverty with no food to eat, no school to attend and no peace in her life. Her father was an abusive alcoholic. She was just 12 years old when she ran away and stayed with her uncle, hoping to finally be able to go to school and have a chance at a better life.

 

Quickly, though, Ammet found herself the forced personal servant to her aunt, who severely abused her. Finally, she escaped, and married a young man, grasping once again at hope for a better life. But things rapidly spiraled further downhill. Ammet suffered more abuse, this time even inflicted upon her child, Aben. To save herself and her son, Ammet fled to the city, forced to forge a way for both of them. Which often meant simply surviving from one day to the next.

 

 

It wasn’t until LSM found Ammet and started working with LSM that a flame of hope was struck in an otherwise dark life of desperate survival.

 

Ammet received small business training so that she could provide for Aben. But the support from LSM was more than the chance at earning a dignified, living wage. More even than having people surrounding her who proved to her that she was worth it. Is this:

 

“Because of LSM, I am now receiving Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. It’s the biggest blessing in my life. One I can pass down to my son.”

 

 

We are here today, helping her child, Aben, now 10 years old, from continuing that cycle of poverty and abuse into the next generation. We are helping to provide stability for their family by connecting them to an active church community, ongoing support and education for Aben. We, arm-in-arm with our donors, are the hands and feet of Jesus in their lives.

 

Here are three things you can do right now to help Ammet and Aben succeed as an independent family filled with dignity and hope:

 


  1. Pray.

Pray for success in Ammet’s small business and confidence in her heart as she leads her family with dignity and hope. Pray for Aben and the life-changing opportunity he has to attend school. Most importantly, pray for his salvation and that his mother would continue to grow in her faith.

 

 

 

 


2. Join us at Seeds of Hope.

Join us on July 8 to hear more about Ammet and other vulnerable families at our SEEDS OF HOPE event. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 


3. Become an Ethiopia Family Sponsor.

Become an ongoing Ethiopian Sponsor and change the futures of many families like Ammet and Aben with us! You’ll receive powerful updates like this on a regular basis and see the transformation coming to a new generation in Ethiopia.

 

 

*names changed for privacy

Fresh Start

It’s refreshing—and so fitting—that Easter helps usher in the newness and beauty of spring.

 

Sometimes we need that fresh start so desperately. As a foster parent who’s struggling with a child who’s never had a consistent home. As an aid worker who has seen one too many children die of preventable diseases. As a mother who’s spent too many months indoors and feels purposeless as she changes yet another diaper. As a church ministry leader who feels like people just don’t care enough to invest.

 

We give from the depths of our hearts because it’s close to the heart of Jesus.

 

We need to be reminded sometimes that we are not caring for the vulnerable because it’s easy. Just as we were adopted into God’s family, we are called to give that same love and acceptance to others.

 

It costs us—just as it cost our Savior as he laid down his life for us.

 

May this Easter be a time of reflection and refreshment for your soul, dear worker in the Kingdom. We know it’s hard. And we know that sometimes we need to remind each other of why we are in the trenches for God’s most vulnerable children.

 


Incredible events for your fresh start or encouragement on your journey:

 

CAFO Summit

May 5-6, NASHVILLE, TN

CAFO brings together over 100 ministries working in orphan care around the world. We are especially excited about this year’s theme: “JUSTICE AND THE INNER LIFE.” Come and be encouraged in your personal ministry. Find partners who can give you resources. And get more involved.

Email amber@loving-shepherd.org for a FREE $20 DISCOUNT. We’d love to share the weekend with you!


SEEDS OF HOPE, A LADIES’ BRUNCH FOR ETHIOPIA

July 8, BLUFFTON, IN

Seeds of Hope is a chance to join with the important women in your life and be inspired by stories of single mothers and their children who are finding hope. You’ll even have a chance to go deeper and do some fair trade shopping, as well as invest as an ongoing sponsor for vulnerable families in Ethiopia.

 

For more info, to sponsor a table, or to purchase your tickets, click here: https://loving-shepherd.org/seeds2017/.

The World of Adoption in 2017

Over the last 15 years, LSM has helped over 7,000 families on their journey through the adoption process.

 

What an incredible ride it’s been.

 

When we began assisting families in 2002, international adoptions were on the rise in the U.S. In fact, over 21,500 international adoptions happened in that year alone. By 2004, the number had grown to 23,000 (an all-time high.) Our services helped families research and choose the agency that best fit their individual needs, walked them through the decisions they needed to pinpoint where to adopt from, and navigated them through the piles of paperwork needed to bring their child home. 

 

The landscape has dramatically shifted since then, but our passion is as strong as ever.

 

adoption

Because of a radical shift in government regulations around the world, and Hague requirements that severely restrict the children who can be adopted outside of their own country, the number of international adoptions in the U.S. slid to just under 5,700 in 2015—a 75% decrease from 2004. With that shift, many adoptive parents turned to different avenues of adoption. Today, approximately 17,000 babies were adopted domestically and roughly 53,500 were adopted from foster care. With all of the twists and turns along the journey, you need to know where you’re going.

 

You need the best personalized adoption information possible—all FREE of charge.

 

If you feel like God is calling you to bring a child into your family, we are here to help. Our adoption resources program will give you the best personalized information throughout your adoption journey. Together, our adoption staff has over 20 years of experience in adoption and are here to answer any questions you have along the way, at no cost to you.

Adoption Infographic-simple

To learn more and begin your adoption assessment, start here.

  

Sources:

U.S. State Department

Adoptive Families Research

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / AFCARS Report

Christian Alliance for Orphans

International Women’s Day

Bellame* is a single mom, who struggled for far too long to provide for her children and give them a better life than she’s ever known. Her self-sacrifice is evident.

 

Belaynesh-25

 

She was there when her best friend died in childbirth. In that moment, she didn’t think twice about taking the baby as her own, knowing that if she didn’t the baby would not survive. Her selfless decision is even more incredible considering she was still grieving the loss of her husband, who had just died. Cradling the child in her arms, she had no idea how she would feed this new baby and her other children.

 

Her decision to give when she had nothing in herself took great courage.

 

Through the coming years, as her three children grew, the struggle to put food in their hungry bellies became harder and harder. But Bellame did not give up. She worked in horrifying conditions, started small businesses trying to make ends meet and made the best of the dung-wall loft with a tarp-roof they called home. Coloring book pictures lined the brown walls and a single tapestry covered the single mattress they all shared.

 

But Bellame’s story doesn’t end there. Far from it.

 

Help came in the form of some incredible Ethiopian staff at LSM.

 

Belaynesh-29

 

Today, Bellame is starting a new chapter in life. She lives in a furnished apartment with her children who go to school each morning thanks to the support she receives through LSM. Bellame knows that she can withstand great trials and thrive. She knows she can teach that courage to her own children—and that they can break a cycle of desperation that has crushed her country for far too long.

 

TODAY, ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, WE CELEBRATE ALL WOMEN!

 


Belaynesh-6Children around the world are being raised by courageous women just like Bellame, who are building up their families and giving everything they’ve got to make a better world for the next generation. Others are finding friends, mentors and business leaders in women who have overcome great odds with grace, dignity and hope. These women inspire us to live well and help them succeed.


Learn more about how you can support families like Bellame’s here.

 

 

*name changed for privacy

The Best & Blessed of 2016

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:

 

Child Development - Welsh School1. 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.

 

 

 

 


laptops2. 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!

 

 

 

 


Ethiopia 3(1)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.

 

 

 

 


hurricane4. Rally around our staff, families and local communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in the Les Cayes, Haiti area. Not only were we able to repair several damaged LSM buildings and property, but through your giving, we were able to reach out into some poor, totally devastated areas and provide food programs, sheet metal for roofs and much more.

 

 

 

 

 


That’s certainly not all. Read here for more of the incredible ventures God led us through in 2016.

 

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.


 Port Salut Beach, Haiti

Here are two ways you can get involved right now

 

BECOME A PRAYER PARTNER AND BE A PART OF THE INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT WORK OF INTERCESSION IN 2017.

 

MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION HERE TO HELP US REACH MORE VULNERABLE CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES IN THE COMING YEAR. 

All gifts will still be tax deductible for 2016 until midnight on Dec 31! You still have time.

motionmailapp.com

 

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