At the beginning of February, Haiti endured violent protests. While there are many circumstances that have led to these demonstrations, the rioting was mostly a result of the devastating increase in their cost of living.
Over the last few years, the Haitian gourde (currency) lost over 25% of its value. Basic necessities have been increasing in price by as much as 50%! These economic factors put a strain on many already living in desperate poverty. It has a downstream effect on our Homes of Hope, ministry costs in country, as well as the personal lives of our Haitian staff and their families. Over half the population lives in poverty – and this reality threatens the most vulnerable first.
“Fear was everywhere. We rely a lot on the help of your prayers and hope that everything will be better in the coming days.” – Abdias, LSM Haitian Staff
Working in difficult contexts like this can be challenging. But we are continually encouraged by the men and women that work for LSM and their dedication in seeing their country succeed, despite all odds. Because of these courageous, hard-working brothers and sisters, we have great hope when we look ahead. And when we look at the 240 amazing children in our Homes of Hope, we see a new generation being raised with the tools they need to bring about lasting change in their communities and country.
Hope remains in Haiti, despite the difficulties.
EMPOWERING HAITIAN STAFF:
YOU ARE CHANGING
Michael Brown came to work for LSM in 2017. He is now the operations manager for our Nouvelle Aube businesses in Haiti. With skills in computers, technology and reporting, Michael adds a lot of value to the team. His work with LSM’s Business Development aides in boosting the local economy, provide quality products and services, as well as long-term revenue for LSM’s Homes of Hope operations. On top of that, he’s also able to provide stability for his own family!
Michael says, “At my last job, I did not get paid on time. When two or three months pass and you have a family, it became a heavy burden. LSM pays me regularly every month, and that helps me provide for my family.” It’s a reality all too common in his country, as is evident by the recent unrest. Today, Michael can give back and invest in the things he cares most about, because of the job LSM has been able to provide.
He’s passionate about the bigger vision of LSM. Michael has helped build team unity and cohesion. He has taught seminars for our Home of Hope kids about career choices and their future. We are grateful to have passionate men and women like him who are working for a better Haiti today – and for generations to come!
Peterson* lost his parents when he was very young. While his grandmother tried caring for him, he spent most days roaming the streets with no clothes and a hungry belly.
Thankfully, Peterson was able to come to a Home of Hope when he was nine years old. His life changed overnight. He went from sleeping on the streets – naked and totally vulnerable – to living in a comfortable home with three meals a day, clothes and his own bed. He excelled in school and quickly advanced through classes that he had missed out on. At home, he developed a sweet relationship with his new parents.
He speaks very fondly of them, “Whatever the problems are that we are going through, Mommy and Papi are always there for us.”
Today, Peterson is 15. He loves school and is at the top of his class. His favorite subjects are science and math. After he graduates, he is thinking about becoming an engineer or a doctor. He says he wants to give back because he’s been given so much.
One of the best gifts of his teenage years is getting to know leaders within LSM like Michael. These men and women mentoring him are a wonderful example. They are showing him what hard work, dedication and passion can do for his country. With his bright mind and hard work, we’re excited to see where Peterson goes!
*name changed for privacy
HELP PETERSON ACHIEVE HIS GOD-GIVEN POTENTIAL!
Provide Peterson and 239 other Home of Hope children with the tools they need to reach their God-given potential. Your gifts can make a powerful difference!
HELPS WITH EDUCATION COSTS
HELPS COVER INCREASED LIVING COST FOR A HOME OF HOPE FAMILY
PROVIDES INTERNSHIP & CAREER COUNSELING
HELPS SEND A HOME OF HOPE CHILD TO LSM TECH & UNIVERSITY
TOGETHER, WE ARE TRANSFORMING
Jean Wesly, another leader on the LSM Staff in Haiti said this:
“The poverty issue in Haiti will take hard work and dedication to solve. The heart of the people who are supposed to be showing love are showing hate. That’s why the people are constantly fighting for survival.
LSM is not only preaching love, but we are also proving that we can change Haiti through the next generation. The vision is to help our kids reach their God-given potential.
LSM is constantly looking for ways to better equip our kids with the tools needed to change these systematic problems. We are showing the kids that real love exists. We do that by investing in them with our time and leading by example. A lot of our kids want to work for LSM when they grow up to help bring change to their country. With lots of prayers and support we will have a different Haiti in the near future.”
LSM’s intentional, holistic ministry is working. We see Peterson and the 239 other children in our Homes of Hope – and the 40 vulnerable families we serve in Ethiopia – as the change-makers for their culture, ultimately advancing the Kingdom of God! It is our prayer that this will happen through their families, careers and businesses, despite the generational poverty and corruption they have faced. We are building firm foundations so children like Peterson can be equipped to transform their culture for Christ.
ETHIOPIA: BUILDING CONFIDENCE
Our work in Ethiopia brings dignity and hope to vulnerable children and their single mothers. With each new opportunity, these dear children and their moms are gaining confidence in their God-given abilities!
After attending several LSM seminars and receiving ongoing support, these moms are feeling more confident and empowered – enough so that they started a fellowship group in their neighborhood. This is a big step! Previously, many of these moms felt discriminated against, since they could not adequately provide for their children, and lived in such deep poverty. Because of the support and encouragement LSM’s staff is giving, they now feel empowered to make friends and reach out in their own community. Our ministry to these families is having a ripple effect with their neighbors – a spark in the Kingdom of God in rural Ethiopia.
As they see their mother’s confidence growing, it changes the outlook for the kids too! Their needs are met. They are able to go to school and be a part of a wonderful Child Development program that is reaching them spiritually, educationally and mentally. As confidence grows, imagine what they can become as they are taught that God has gifted them with great purpose for His Kingdom?
This is what you’re a part of with every gift you give to LSM. We believe this is what will equip the next generation to live with great purpose for the Kingdom right where God places them.