THE BUSINESS OF KINGDOM WORK
by Doug Isch, LSM President
LSM believes in the power of God-honoring businesses to advance the Kingdom of Christ. Many years ago, God gave our Founder, Ed Schwartz, the idea to begin developing revenue-generating businesses in Haiti in order to provide in-country funding streams for the ministry and to provide jobs for Haitian communities and ultimately for children in our Homes of Hope. In 2015, that vision became reality as we launched our first Business Development initiative.
We now have business initiatives in every country where we work. People sometimes ask why we are so committed to business. It’s because we believe business and vocation are critical to who we are as humans. Being able to work with our hands and minds to produce something of value is a privilege and a gift from God. Unfortunately, countless people around the world – especially those who were once vulnerable children – don’t have access to this privilege. But without meaningful work, a person’s potential is often left unrealized. The power of business helps solve this problem. LSM uses business to unlock amazing potential. This potential includes providing financial sustainability for LSM’s work with vulnerable children, offering dignity and hope to individuals who want to work and put their skills to use, providing economic investment in under-resourced communities, and even advancing the Gospel as workers share with one another. Everyone wins when God-honoring businesses flourish!
God-honoring businesses equip and inspire those involved to live out their faith in daily interactions with customers, co-workers, and the community.
For us, creating God-honoring businesses and teaching entrepreneurship is a matter of stewardship. Of course, we’ll always have a big need for our generous donors and their sacrificial giving, but without a strong business component to our ministry, it seems impossible to achieve the long-term spiritual, social and economic transformation that God has called us to. Thank you for standing with us as we leverage the power of Kingdom businesses – God’s glory!
3 BUSINESS MODELS, 1 KINGDOM MISSION
In Haiti, Ethiopia and the U.S., LSM leverages 3 different business models to achieve one unified mission: to help vulnerable children reach their God-given potential and impact their communities for Christ.
HAITI: NOUVELLE AUBE
LSM employs over 200 Haitians across our ministry and business departments, including many workers at our revenue-generating block and aggregate business known as Produits Beton, which is currently our largest business. We are committed to ensuring stability for our Home of Hope operations with revenue from our businesses, along with providing meaningful employment for Haitians and future jobs for our Home of Hope children.
Our innovative Ethiopia Business Training program gives single mothers the dignity and confidence needed to raise their families and empowers them to live a life free of poverty and despair. These single mothers are often looked down on by society. But by God’s grace and through LSM’s business training, their futures are bright! Thanks to your support, 72 single mothers who were once struggling are now empowered as role models for their children and community – all for God’s glory. Additional single mothers are being trained each year.
USA: BRICKHOUSE FARM STORE
BrickHouse Farms is a cattle operation that provides beef products to our retail Farm Store in Bluffton. The proceeds directly support at-risk foster children in Northeast Indiana and allow free therapeutic counseling to foster and adoptive youth and families in the community. In addition, BrickHouse Farms and the retail store provide opportunities to develop work ethic and life skills in the children we serve.
BUSINESS AS A BLESSING
Being pregnant at 14 years old was not the life that Nira had envisioned. Her father had forced her to drop out of 7th grade and marry a man of his choosing. She eventually had several children, but as much as Nira loved them, she felt empty and depressed inside. Until one day Nira was introduced to Jesus by a local church. The amazing love of Jesus captivated Nira’s heart, and she immediately embraced faith in Him. But tragically, due to her newfound faith in Christ, her husband abandoned her and the children.
Now on her own, the burden to be the sole provider weighed heavily on Nira’s shoulders. She worked tirelessly as a maid and cook but never had enough food for her children. She even began questioning if God really cared for her family. But Loving Shepherd Ministries heard about Nira and immediately welcomed her family into our program with open arms. Through LSM’s Business Training program, she learned new skills and developed the entrepreneurial confidence to start her own business of selling injera (Ethiopian flatbread) and spices. Her training also equipped her to budget for her family’s needs and to expand her business slowly but intentionally, while also starting a savings account. LSM’s intervention also helped restore Nira’s faith by showing her that God did, in fact, care about her family. As a result, her children see their mother following after Jesus, working hard to provide for them, and sharing her faith in Jesus with them daily. Thanks to the grace of God and the generosity of our donors, Nira shares, “I know God deeply cares for my family because in my time of great need He sent LSM.”
At LSM Tech, our focus goes beyond academics. During their first two years on campus, students focus on biblical training, sharing the Gospel and learning vocational skills such as construction, business administration, tailoring and culinary skills, among others. Each student also participates in campus businesses, including selling various items and raising their own livestock to sell at the market. These young “campus entrepreneurs” are able to begin a savings account for their future, while also learning the importance of real-life skills. Our goal is for them to be successful as they enter the workforce, either at an LSM business or through employment in the community.
NEW HOME OF HOPE OPENING
For the past 14 years, LSM has helped hundreds of vulnerable children in Haiti reach their God-given potential. This summer, we will be OPENING A NEW HOME OF HOPE AT OUR REDEMPTION CAMPUS FOR 12 ADDITIONAL AT-RISK GIRLS, AND WE NEED YOUR HELP! We are praying for enough financial support to open the Home of Hope in August 2021, just in time for the girls to begin a new school year. For many of the girls, this will be their first time attending school and their first time experiencing the love and safety of a Christian dad and mom. Would you prayerfully consider becoming a Family Sponsor and make a life-changing difference in their lives?
For $35/month or more, you can help us open the Naomi Home of Hope in August. As a Home of Hope sponsor, you will receive updates and build a relationship with the 12 girls and their Home of Hope parents! Learn more at www.loving-shepherd.org/naomi
PRAY FOR LSM
Pray for our HAITI BUSINESS OPERATIONS to shine a light for Christ in the community.
Pray for the BUSINESS TRAINING PROGRAM IN ETHIOPIA as single mothers are being empowered.
Pray for LSM’S BRICKHOUSE PROGRAM to impact at-risk youth with God’s healing love.