REMEMBERING HURRICANE MATTHEW

“In all of my 65 years in Haiti, I have never seen anything like this.” – Pastor Wilfrid, LSM Home of Hope Director, after Hurricane Matthew, October 2016

 

On October 4, 2016, a massive Category 5 hurricane struck southwest Haiti. Hurricane Matthew’s destructive path hit near several of our Homes of Hope and the surrounding communities. Thankfully, because of good construction, our Home of Hope families were safe. But the wide-spread damage was devastating in surrounding areas. Read our blog from right after the hurricane here and here.

 

 

BBC ESTIMATED THAT DURING HURRICANE MATTHEW:

  • Nearly 900 people died
  • Up to 90% of some areas in SW Haiti were destroyed
  • Getting aid, clean water and clearing off roads took several days and even weeks
  • Some areas in southern Haiti faced “complete destruction”

 

As our Haitian staff and families observed the horrifying destruction, they quickly went to work helping neighbors and friends. Many people lost loved ones. This hurricane had changed them forever. The love and support you showed during this difficult time was a reflection of Christ! YOU responded with tremendous generosity, and we were able to show love and support to the local communities as well as provide new roofs for many homes!

 

 

Long after the storm has passed, and the roofs are replaced, we are still seeing the effects.  Many of our young kids suffered PTSD after the hurricane. Water flooded several homes. The sights and sounds were horrific, and they knew people who did die in the natural disaster. For others, it reminded them of the 2010 earthquake that took hundreds of thousands of Haitian’s lives. That natural disaster stole many of their mothers, fathers and loved ones. It is the reason several of them are orphans today.

 

Through these devastating natural disasters, we are incredibly grateful for our amazing staff and programs that we have to help our children process these difficult experiences. The emotions are immense and sometimes the children don’t know how to verbalize all that is going on inside. Our Trauma Healing Program is there for them and are a safe place for them to process through their emotions. They have learned to discuss what’s troubling them in order to find hope and healing going forward.

 

As we reflect  on Hurricane Matthew, will you join us in praying for those who have suffered much over the last three years?  Some of our children have lost loved ones, and this week is a reminder of that pain. But there is always hope in Jesus and healing from the traumatic circumstances they have faced. It is our desire to point them to our One true Healer!

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. PRAY FOR HAITI.
  2. DONATE TO THE TRAUMA HEALING PROGRAM AND SUPPORT.
  3. STAY IN TOUCH. We’d love keep you updated as major events like this and new things happen at LSM and in the countries we serve!

 

MORE SPACE. MORE OPPORTUNITIES. MORE LIVES CHANGED.

 

15 YEARS AGO, ON JULY 22, 2002, LSM OPENED ITS DOORS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A 300-SQUARE-FOOT OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN BLUFFTON, IN. IT’S BEEN AN INCREDIBLE RIDE.

 

Since then, hundreds of the world’s most vulnerable children have come into loving families where they are reaching their God-given potential. What a privilege it’s been to be on this ongoing journey together! As we praise God for His work, we’re also humbled to announce that He’s provided open doors for further ministry opportunities as we enter the next 15 years.

 

WE ARE MOVING OUR HOME OFFICES TO CREATE MORE SPACE FOR THE AMAZING THINGS GOD IS DOING THROUGH YOU AND LSM!

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MOVE:

 

Where will your new offices be?

Our new offices are located on the north side of Bluffton at 1935 North Main St. Bluffton, IN 46714.

 

When will you move? 

We don’t have an exact timeline for moving locations, but we hope to complete the move in the Winter 2017/2018. Check our blog and Facebook for more information!

 

How are you paying for the new building?

We feel blessed that five partners who are passionate about growing LSM so that more vulnerable children and families can be reached, have covered the cost of the building.

 

None of the costs for the purchase of this new building are coming out of our current budget for the work we’re doing with vulnerable children in Haiti and Ethiopia.

 

What do you need the additional space for?

Currently, our offices are filled to maximum capacity and we are extremely limited on what we can do with volunteers who want to get more involved with LSM (see below for information on THE GOSPEL PROJECT, which some of this new space will be used for). We also currently rent additional space at a separate location for our warehouse and shipping. At the new building, we will be able to house everything in one location and have plenty of opportunities for volunteers to grow our community outreach! This space will also allow local groups to learn about Haiti through walk-through exhibits and prayer rooms.

 

We pray this will become a space where your whole family can learn more about the plight of the vulnerable and serve right alongside us in tangible ways!

 

What is the Gospel Project and how can I get involved?

The Gospel Project connects volunteers in the U.S. with our Home of Hope families in Haiti! Gospel Kits with a variety of Haitian-Creole books, hygiene materials and other necessities will be packaged at our new offices and then shipped to Haiti, where our Home of Hope families will be able to share them in their communities. Through the Gospel Project, families in the U.S. can actively contribute to the physical care of vulnerable children in Haiti, as well as help share the Gospel in tangible ways. Stay tuned for updates on the Gospel Project, as well as ways your youth group, bible study and family can be part of this experience!

 

Does the extra office space mean you’re expanding your U.S. Staff?

No, this space allows us to grow our community outreach and volunteer opportunities as well as provide space for our staff and board to meet with more flexibility. While over time we may add minimal U.S. staff for specific projects regarding stateside logistics, that is not our goal with the new move.

 

It’s our privilege and desire whenever possible to hire local people in the countries we serve to reach the children in their own communities. In fact, we have over 150 Haitian men and women serving in various capacities in Haiti, with no full time American missionaries on the ground. Additionally, our committed team in Ethiopia operates without any U.S. missionaries on the ground as well. We believe in the power of local people, partnering with the local church, to bring long lasting change in their own communities!

 

How can I help with the transition?

As you know, moving several offices and getting the new (to us) building ready will take some work. If you’re interested in volunteering some time, please email rebecca@loving-shepherd.org for more information.

 

We’d love to hear from you! Leave a message in the comments or email us at info@loving-shepherd.org.

 

DONATE to help LSM continue to reach the lives of vulnerable children.