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.

Rain, Rain Go Away

Many of the single moms in our Ethiopia program have started small businesses buying wholesale and selling produce at the local market. But there’s a catch. When the rainy season hits, food becomes scarce and wholesalers simply have nothing to sell them. Spices and other products typically prepared over open fires or in poorly constructed kitchens are rained out. 

 

It’s an everyday occurrence we don’t even think about. However for these moms, it’s a matter of being able to feed their children this month or not… at least it was.  

Since being a part of our program, these moms are learning a new way of conducting business. Our staff hosted a seminar this month. Together, we brainstormed how business can thrive during the rainy season. From storing up through the year to accommodate the harsher conditions to changing business tactics during these months, it was a very helpful discussion. Many hardworking moms who have been reaching for what seemed like a dead-end road felt hope again. Beyond that, LSM also provides food supplements and physical support as they learn better ways to prepare for the lean times. This two year support program helps mothers during a difficult season of business without creating long-term dependency. 

For moms like Dimka* and her five children, it’s making all the difference. 

“Before I came to this project, I had lots of up and downs. I have lived in very deep poverty with my five children since their father died. Thanks to God, but now things have changed. God visited me through these people who came to help, and I believe He shines His face on me. This program has offered many skills, awareness and start-up funds for my business.I am thankful for my children’s school opportunity and provision, food and clothing from the LSM project here in my country. In general, through both Life Skill and Business Skill trainings I have learned the importance of initiating work opportunities myself, persistence, time management, saving culture/trend without scarcity or shortage of money, business skills, and how to handle my business.”

Because of simple things like learning how to manage a business in a rainy season, this family is beating the odds. 
Odds they never imagined they’d be capable of reachingWith the support of people on the other side of the world, Dimka’s children are well fed, educated and learning this important truth: “If you work hard and lean on God’s help, you can do great things.

Get Involved: 

 


*name changed for privacy

Open House, Open Doors

We celebrated this new season God has given LSM with an Open House on April 15. It was an incredible gathering of 434 guests – both new faces from the local community and people who have deeply invested their time, talents and finances with the ministry over the years.

Official Ribbon Cutting with the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Ted Ellis.

 

 

“Sometimes our missions and visions are restricted by our lack of faith or lack of space. God took care of both when He made this facility available to LSM. Having the new campus opened our eyes to huge possibilities of old and new ways to serve Him while serving others. He truly is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.” – Ed Schwartz, Founder & President

 

HERE’S JUST A FEW OF THE INCREDIBLE DOORS THAT HAVE BEEN OPENED THROUGH THIS NEW SPACE:

 

HAITI EDUCATION WING

Our brand-new HAITI EDUCATION WING provides an immersive experience for the whole family, following the life of Anne Marie (a former Haitian child slave) through our complete Continuum of Care. As you work your way through interactive displays and listen to her story, you’ll be deeply touched by the journey both she, and many of our children, have faced – and the amazing opportunities open to them today.

 

It’s a powerful way to learn about life in Haiti, see the challenges facing vulnerable children and be encouraged at the work that is changing lives!

 

THE GOSPEL PROJECT

This new location has allowed us to start new endeavors like THE GOSPEL PROJECT which will reach rural Haitians with the Gospel, give exciting volunteer opportunities for local US groups and teach our Home of Hope children the value of sharing with their neighbors.

 

 

ETHIOPIA & ADOPTION RESOURCES

Guests also learned more about our programs in Ethiopia and the U.S. and were encouraged at the scope of what is happening around the world. From working with single mothers and their vulnerable children in Ethiopia to providing high quality, FREE Adoption Resources for families in the US– LSM is all about empowering the vulnerable to reach their God-given potential. For many, the Open House provided a great space to ask questions and learn more about the scope of our work they were less familiar with in different countries.

 

 

The Open House was a beautiful reminder of what is to come. God is working, and opportunities are growing. Many thanks to everyone who came and showed support! We can’t wait to see what God does in the future!

 


 

GET INVOLVED:

 If you would like to be on a mailing list for future volunteer opportunities and to experience the Haiti Education Wing,

please sign up here! 

 


 

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

Praise God!

Praise God! Because of so many of you giving generously, our matching grants were met this Christmas season! Your gifts have multiplied and will continue providing vulnerable children with stable families, child development resources and even higher education and job opportunities as adults.
Because of you, once desperate children can do more than dream of better futures … they have the resources to live their dreams! And, through your example of selfless service to others, they can become leaders in their own communities to help the next generation do the same.

LSM EXISTS TO SERVE THESE VULNERABLE CHILDREN, AND WE ARE EMPOWERED TO DO SO BY YOU – NOT ONLY AT THE END OF THE YEAR, BUT THROUGH EACH SEASON.

Thank you to every one of you who makes this incredible, life-changing work a reality.
There is much more to do in the coming year, and we can’t wait to see how God continues to use your heartfelt generosity to help the world’s most vulnerable children.

HERE’S A FEW WAYS TO START OUT THE NEW YEAR: 

1. Become a Prayer Partner. (We want to know how we can pray for you too!)
2. If you didn’t get a chance to give this Christmas, you can donate here. 
3. Consider becoming an ONGOING FAMILY SPONSOR this year and join a specific family in Haiti or Ethiopia!

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!

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.
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