A New Beginning

On January 10, two days after Ethiopia’s Christmas, Biruan* and Greta bounded home from the LSM Christmas party in their rural village. Laughter filled the air as they chattered about the games and Bible lessons they shared. Ten year old Biruan talked about some of the recent discussions kids her class had with LSM staff about finding their identity and purpose.

 

 

Their mother Shashi smiles and thinks about the journey they’ve been on. These conversations and the quick smiles her children show are a far cry from their desperate, gaunt faces only three years ago. You see, after their father suddenly died nearly seven years ago, Biruan and Greta watched their mom struggle to make their small farm sustainable. They never had enough food, and there never seemed to be enough money for them to go to school or get new clothes. Life changed after joining LSM’s programs. For the first time, the whole family experienced relief and true hope.

 

 

The laughter and smiles after a fun Christmas program are just the beginning. Today, Biruan and Greta have enough to eat because of LSM’s support and intervention in their distress. Their mom has gained valuable training on how to run her small farming business effectively so she can provide for their family. The kids are learning in school and are passing classes with top grades! They are enjoying a variety of small group programs with LSM staff and local volunteers. Most importantly, they’re learning about their true identity and hope in Christ – and are seeing it lived out in tangible ways from the LSM staff around them.

 

 

It’s a testimony of hope we believe will change their future – and the future of their community as these kids grow with a heart for Jesus and skills to serve.

 

 

Shashi said, “Your support is bringing light in my life and I am feeling that I found a helper to accomplish my dreams for my children. Before joining the project I didn’t know about saving money. I wasted my money and lend my money to people who couldn’t pay me back. Because of that, I had conflict with many people. Since I have joined the LSM project I have learned how to live with people and also manage and save money. The project’s training, coaching, mentoring has changed me a lot and taught me how to raise my children in ethical and biblical ways.”

 

  


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Become an Ethiopia Family Sponsor and help families like this thrive.
  2. Sign up for our Email list and get regular updates about how we’re serving the vulnerable.
  3. Pray with us this year. Join our bi-monthly prayer emails.

 

*names changed for privacy

 

A Surprise Christmas Gift

“ ‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” – Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

 

As Christmas approaches, we’re caught in the last minute hustle and bustle of the holiday fundraising efforts. Something special happened this week that made us pause and smile. A visit from a little girl reminded us how small acts of kindness can be multiplied!

 

 

Eight year old Mylin walked into Loving Shepherd Ministries with something in hand…her very own donation for the Gifts of Hope Christmas Catalog. When Mylin’s family received the catalog in the mail, she saw pictures of children who do not have a dad to provide for them in Ethiopia. Mylin decided she wanted to raise money for them. She made a plan and went to work. She babysat little ones for moms, and helped both her grandmothers clean out their cabinets. She worked hard and saved every dollar until her goal was reached.

 

Mylin’s mom, Rachel, brought her to the office so they could hand-deliver the hardworking, sacrificial gift together. While they were here, we  shared pictures and stories of the families that she’s helping. She was also able to see our Haiti Education Wing and learn more about kids her age who live in many places around the world!

 

We’re celebrating God’s work in the hearts of little girls who are being raised with compassion to care for the least of these. A big thanks to Mylin and her family for remembering these precious moms and kids in Ethiopia this Christmas! Mylin understands that Christmas is about something so much more. We’re grateful for her donation that’s helping bring that message to children in Ethiopia too! Some of the most meaningful gifts can’t be wrapped be in paper. Instead, they are wrapped in love. Thank you, Mylin!

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Give a Gift of Hope this Christmas
  2. Schedule your Haiti Education Wing Tour and learn more about the Gospel Project and other volunteer opportunities

 

Change in Jesus’ Name

Firesa* sorts vegetables on a mat and lays them out in pretty patterns along the ground. It’s the weekend, and the sun is beaming along the street. Her sons have come with her today and sit nearby studying their books. She hands them both some fresh veggies for a snack and smiles. This simple act means so much.

 

A DIFFICULT PAST

When Firesa and her two sons came to LSM’s program two years ago, they were in a desperate place. After her husband died, she could not find reliable work to provide for her children. With no formal education of her own, Firesa felt as if she had no good skills to offer. At 11 and 7, her boys never had a consistent education. The family barely had enough food to survive – and every day was focused on doing whatever they could to find something to eat.

 

LSM’S INTERVENTION

Through the loving support of LSM’s staff and local church volunteers, Firesa was able to attend small business development trainings where she received counseling and spiritual discipleship. Mentors helped her start her vegetable market business, which she continues to grow in new areas. LSM provided the funds to send her children to school for the first time. Our staff came alongside with financial support so they could eat and have proper clothing. These practical things displayed the love of Jesus, and showed Firesa that she was not alone.

 

A BRIGHT FUTURE

Firesa and her boys have begun to thrive because of the loving care of the church and LSM staff. No longer hopeless, this widow can now care for her family with dignity. She knows her worth is in Jesus. Today, they have a small home that they call their own. The boys love their English and physics classes, as well as playing with their new friends at school. With enough food in their bellies, they have the energy they need to focus and learn. This family has been shown a great deal of love in Jesus’ name. And it’s changing everything!

 

 

Your support enables us to come together and provide life-changing education, support and basic necessities so families like this can thrive. Without you, none of this is possible. Thank you!

 


 

If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll consider joining us this Christmas to help more families like Firesa’s thrive in Haiti and Ethiopia. This Christmas season, every dollar given will be MULTIPLIED by our matching grant opportunities!

GIVE TODAY.

 


 

*name changed for privacy

Gifts that Give Hope This Christmas Season

As you consider ways to give back this Christmas season, here’s a few special projects that will have a lasting impact throughout this coming year. You can choose from feeding a family as they work towards self-sufficiency, to providing long-term educational programs for our Home of Hope kids, to purchasing some unique gifts that those you love will cherish – with all proceeds going straight back to the life-changing work of Loving Shepherd Ministries.
We hope you’ll find some meaningful ways to make a difference. Each gift  helps change the lives of formerly vulnerable children and equip them to become godly leaders in their communities, ultimately transforming their cultures for Christ!

VIEW YOUR GIFT OPTIONS HERE.

What a powerful impact we can have together. Thanks for making it possible!

Sharing the Christmas Message

Born amidst filth and squalor, the baby drew a deep breath and cried out in the night. Animals shuffled, uneasy at their disturbed space. A ragged young mother gazed upon him with love and fear, wondering if she was at all equipped for the difficult journey ahead.

 

We know this familiar story from 2,000 years ago. Jesus was born and, with that miraculous birth, everything changed.

 

alone sad child on a street

 

Since then Jesus has continued to transform everything we know – making a dark world shine with hope of something better.

 

And yet darkness still pervades so much of what we see around us. Children are left fatherless, vulnerable to abuse, slavery, coercion and fear. Without the knowledge of a loving, saving relationship with Jesus Christ, these children grow up to continue a desperate cycle of poverty, anger and pain. But it doesn’t have to continue.

 

This Christmas, consider how you can bring that message of hope and redemption in Jesus’ name to a child in need. Here are a few ways your family can personally get involved:

Family Sponsorship

 

  1. Consider giving them the gift of a loving Christian home where they can thrive—sponsor a Home of Hope family in Haiti in 2017. Sign up here.

 

multicultural adoption family

 

  1. Thinking about adoption? See what your options are for making an orphaned child a part of your permanent family. We can help answer your questions!

 

Your Powerful Prayers are Empowering Children

 

  1. Sign up to join us in regular prayer for the fatherless. Become a prayer partner here.

 

Sponsoring Haiti as a church family

 

  1. Consider starting an orphan care ministry in your church. Check out our helpful resources here.

 

However the Spirit moves in your family, we hope this Christmas is filled with the love and tenderness that Jesus brings to all who follow Him! May your season be richly blessed.

Four Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

We gather around tables filled with food, laugh with family and friends and attend beautiful church services by candlelight. We’ve been given much. What better time to respond with gratitude than now?

 

Here are four doable today ways you can share the joy of the Christmas season with vulnerable children who long for that same loving stability that you enjoy. With LSM, each donation (large or small) helps to truly make a tangible difference in the lives of children around the world.

Check out these simple ways to give back with your Christmas Shopping:

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The Gift

Have you ever read O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi? The young starring couple, Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young (or Jim and Della) want to give each other a special gift for Christmas, but they can’t afford anything worthy of the other. They sell their most prized possessions to buy their spouse something that will go perfect with… the others’ most prized possession. In the end, the narrator relates it back to the precious gifts of the wise men found in the Gospels.

 

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Give a Gift of Hope This Christmas!

Don’t you love sitting around the living room with your family at Christmas? There’s something perfectly cozy in the midst of the packages and twinkle lights as you pause to read the Christmas Story together. We love this image of the family sharing the ultimate message of hope together. We are so grateful that hundreds of children in Haiti and Ethiopia will share their own versions of this picturesque moment together as they celebrate Jesus’ birth.

This year, we hope you can make this family moment especially meaningful with the chance to give special Gifts of Hope! Whether you’re gathered around the table talking about the new bikes you’re providing for the children in Haiti or the school supplies you’re providing for a child in Ethiopia, we hope these gift opportunities help you share the ultimate message of hope with your own family.

 

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