Summer 2018 Newsletter
The Loving Shepherd / Issue 15, Volume 2
TRANSITIONS TO A NEW PRESIDENT
In 2002, Ed Schwartz made a life-changing decision. Through no fault of their own, there were too many vulnerable children in the world lacking even the most basic necessities to reach their God-given potential. Answering a call, Loving Shepherd Ministries was born.
In the last 16 years, LSM has:
• Assisted over 8,000 U.S. families in their adoption journeys.
• Dramatically grown operations in Haiti to 20 Homes of Hope providing permanent families for 240 children.
• Opened multiple businesses in Haiti providing long-term sustainability.
• Come alongside many vulnerable Ethiopian children and their mothers, helping them gain an education, learn skills, gain employment, healing and most importantly, hope for their future.
A New Season
Ed Schwartz, Founder and President, along with LSM’s Board of Directors, are pleased to announce that effective June 10, 2018, Doug Isch, LSM’s Vice President, assumed the responsibility and position of President of Loving Shepherd Ministries.
Ed will continue as Director of New Initiatives, providing direction for new projects and further growth opportunities.
“Looking to the future I am excited about what God has in store. Over the last few years, we have sensed the mission, vision and core values of LSM becoming clear and settled. That clarity and stability have allowed us to communicate where we are and where we are going much more easily and has brought a real unifying of purpose and passion to the staff and supporters of LSM. We are so thankful for God’s faithfulness as we make this transition in leadership knowing what we are trying to achieve and how we feel we should go about achieving it. I see my role as president of LSM as leading LSM on the path that has been established. We will continue to learn and grow as an organization, helping more kids and continuing to establish the structure necessary to manage and lead a growing and complex organization. But as we look forward, we will be working from the knowledge gleaned from prayer, counsel and 16 years of ministry. Thanks for your part in this ministry and we look forward to working together to accomplish what God has in mind for LSM and the children that we serve.” – Doug Isch, President of LSM
Fathers of Hope
This summer, we interviewed a few of our Home of Hope dads so you can get to know some of the incredible men who have sacrificed so much to parent vulnerable children and raise them to love Jesus.
Fan Fan, Chantal 1
“Wow, I feel happy!” Dominque (affectionately known to friends as ‘Fan Fan’) exclaimed with a sparkle in his eyes as he shared about his family. “I love my boys. I feel like I’m doing a good work because God is with me. The boys respect me, and I have a lot of respect for them. We all love each other a lot. In my home, every day, we matter. Every day the kids matter.
“I believe God chose to put me here. Before my wife Lucie and I became parents, I was the director of a school. When they needed parents for this Home of Hope, they chose us. We’d been married for nine years at the time and had no children. I remember when I had an interview with LSM Staff. They asked me, ‘Do you want to come here?’ I said no, because I was making more money at my other job.
“God used my wife. While she was sleeping, she heard God say, ‘Lucie, are you going to love money and not do the work I have chosen you to do?’ That dream changed our perspective. God used my wife – and since we have come here, we found such joy. She used to be sad that we had no children, but now that we have a BIG family, we have joy! I know that God didn’t make a bad choice. I wish we came to this home sooner.
“God says he won’t give us more than we can handle. He has blessed us with 12 boys because he knows we can handle 12. I thank God that He will never give us a weight He cannot help with.”
Moise, Chantal 2
Moise, another busy Home of Hope dad, answered a few questions as he helped his wife with laundry. His quiet strength exudes the love he has for his wife and children.
“We’ve been parents here for 6 years. Before my wife, Chantale, and I came to the Home of Hope, I sat there and thought, ‘I’m going to have 12 kids. How am I going to deal with that?’ I prayed to God. I knew that He would bless me with strength to raise these children. My family and friends were really supportive. They said we would be wonderful parents.
“It has been such a sweet blessing for us to be here. I love our boys. God has given me great patience and encouragement with them. We have such a great relationship with our kids. I like to read the Bible to the kids and sing with them. Some days it gets overwhelming. Life can be like this. But when we feel that way, we pray, we sing, and we continue.”
John, Cavaillon 1
John’s laughter is contagious. Like all of LSM’s Home of Hope dads, he radiates with love for his family. He was so happy to share his journey to becoming the father of teen girls.
“I am extremely happy and grateful for these girls who show me so much love. My wife, Loucisia, and I have been married for over 17 years, and we always wanted children. When we realized we couldn’t have biological kids, we prayed that one day God would allow us to be parents. Today, I have 13 girls and feel like they are my own. When I come home, my daughters come and give me a hug and ask how I’m doing. They pick out my clothes to go to church and special occasions. I love them and LOVE being their dad!
“They are all teenagers now, and they know they can come to me for good counsel. They tell us that ever since coming to our family, they’ve never seen us quarrel. They want to follow our example of having a strong, Christian marriage.
“We’ve raised our girls to love Jesus. We go door-to-door sharing about Jesus. We’ve talked to over 60 people so far!”
These are just 3 of the 20 men, who, alongside their wives, are dedicating their lives to caring for the vulnerable children in their own country. Please continue to pray for their daily ministry and their families. We’ve seen tremendous success in our Home of Hope families. And we’re not done yet … not even close!
Redemption West Campus
Construction is well underway for a whole new campus called REDEMPTION WEST. Upon its completion, 6 Homes of Hope will stand on the hill next to the Redemption East Campus—a campus Zach and Jenny Bertsch raised funds for through the Cancer Redemption Project.
This summer, the first two Homes at this location should be complete, along with water, septic and solar installed. We are excited for the opportunities this opens for the many children whose lives will be forever changed.
• For the first two homes that will be opening, God willing, in September of this year.
• For the new parents who are preparing for this big transition.
• For the children who will be loved and nurtured by their parents in this new home.
• That we will find water for a well when we drill on the campus site so we don’t have to pump it up from the base of the mountain.
• For safety for our construction crews and staff.
• That this campus will be a place of ultimate healing and redemption for the children, parents and community that will see the love of Jesus lived out here daily.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Would you consider giving to the future children of the Redemption West Campus and LSM’s families as we further this life-changing work?
YOUR GIFT FOR ANY AMOUNT IMPACTS CHILDREN’S LIVES. FOR EXAMPLE:
$50 CAN GIVE TRAUMA CAREGIVER
training for our parents
$100 CAN HELP FUND VBS
where our kids learn more about Jesus
$250 CAN PROVIDE CHILD DEVELOPMENT
programs for a Home of Hope child
$500 COULD FURNISH NEW BEDS
at Redemption West Homes