Spring 2018 Newsletter
The Loving Shepherd / Volume 15, Issue 1
THE BIG PICTURE
by Ed Schwartz, Founder & President
With a squirm and a cry, the newborn baby emerged into a world full of struggles—the rural countryside of Haiti—where 70% of the population have no meaningful employment. Only 8% of children will graduate from high school. Less than half of rural Haitians have access to clean and safe water. Most families live under the poverty level of less than $2.41 per day.
It was into this harsh reality that Patricia was born. Her life was the same as all the other small children in her village – little access to school, medical care or any future.
It seems like a tragedy. But four years later, her reality became even worse. One afternoon, Patricia* watched in horror as the concrete walls of her home began to shake. She called for her mother as the building crumbled, but she got no answer.
Patricia was only 4 years old when both of her parents died in the massive earthquake that struck central Haiti in January of 2010. Alone and in the middle of a massive crisis, Patricia was easy pickings for abuse and almost certain starvation. But her story does not end there.
Inside this newsletter, we want to take you on Patricia’s journey with LSM so you can get the bigger picture of what we’re doing to invest deeply in her life. It’s the crux of our mission – to help each child in our care reach their full, God-given potential. We are deeply aware that we could never do what we do without your personal investment of financial support and intercessory prayers. Thank you for partnering with us in our long-term vision and walking with these vulnerable children as they become everything God created them to be.
*name changed for privacy
Our long-term vision is clearer than ever before: to provide vulnerable children with a unique continuum of care that will raise them up into self-sufficient leaders who will transform their culture for Christ.
Here’s how once lost, lonely, forgotten and abused children like Patricia are being empowered with the work and life skills they need to become leaders, educators, pastors and parents in Haiti:
1. A NURTURING FAMILY, A FAITH IN JESUS, A LIFE RESTORED
Alone and broken-hearted, Patricia was eventually welcomed into one of our Home of Hope families. Her new mom and dad loved her as their own, and our LSM staff poured extra resources, time and prayer into her life. Slowly, Patricia’s tragic past was redeemed by the light of a hope-filled future. Now, six years later, Patricia’s life has been transformed by the foundation she finds in her nurturing family.
2. NEW PROGRAMS HELP VULNERABLE CHILDREN REWRITE THEIR FUTURE
We are developing a powerful Trauma Healing Program for vulnerable children just like Patricia. Utilizing a combination of child trauma studies, research techniques and biblical teachings, our parents are better equipped to identify and reduce the developmental challenges and emotional difficulties children like Patricia have faced because of past trauma.
Through the love and support each child receives from our staff and parents, Patricia and the 240+ children we serve will grow into emotionally healthy, able-bodied adults with a deeper faith in God and a firm commitment to help change their culture for Christ.
3. LSM TECH – EQUIPPING FOR THE FUTURE
Patricia began school for the first time after coming into her Home of Hope family. Her teachers think she’s got what it takes to be a translator in the future—a highly valued skill in Haiti!
When Patricia graduates, she’ll attend LSM’s Higher Education and Technical Center (LSM Tech), where she’ll receive additional training in a variety of areas like computer skills and food preparation. At the same time, she’ll work at the Agricultural Park (Ag Park) located on the same campus. Hands-on farming experience combined with real-world business skills through the egg and meat sales from the Ag Park mean Patricia and her classmates will have the best opportunities possible to become successful, self-sufficient adults. A reality most children in Haiti can only dream about.
4. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Finally, after graduating from LSM Tech with marketable skills, Patricia will have an opportunity to work in a variety of businesses that LSM is helping to start in Haiti. These sustainable businesses can not only provide jobs for well-educated Home of Hope kids, they also provide additional income for the long-term work of LSM in Haiti—a local, viable way for Haitians to provide for themselves and lessen their reliance on Western aid.
Ed Schwartz, LSM’s President, is leading the charge on several business start-ups, including an already successful Aggregate Plant, a Concrete Block Plant, which is producing quality blocks locally for the first time, Egg Sales, and a Grocery Store opening this Spring!
INVEST IN HER FUTURE
We invest deeply at each stage of a child’s development because we believe God has a plan for each of his children—and their entire country—and that we are called to help.
Would you join us in equipping some of the world’s most vulnerable children with all the tools they need to reach their God-given potential?
GET YOUR DEVOTIONAL BOOK WITH A DONATION
Copies of a new collection of devotions, Glimpses of Hope, are still available. With your donation of at least $20 through this newsletter, we’ll send you a copy of this moving book.