As 2015 Comes to a Close….

2015 has been an incredible year and we praise God for the incredible growth in the children we serve and  the new initiatives developed that continue to change lives. Here are a few of the highlights:

 

Child Development

Our child development staff has been hard at work creating new initiatives for our Home of Hope children. They have started regular day seminars that cover a range of age-appropriate topics and are working on an individual basis with our children to ensure they are receiving the educational and emotional support they need. In addition, they have created a rotating library to be shared between families and are brainstorming new projects for 2016!

 

child development team

Moriya Ethiopian Accessories

This year has been a huge step forward for a small Ethiopian business (Moriya) that now employs 11 women. They were living in complete desperation – doing whatever it took just to survive and support their children.  They are now empowered to work with dignity and have hope for their family’s future. In 2015, the  business expanded its online presence, inventory is now sold through many new channels and the product offering has expanded in both quality and variety! Check out the online store here.

 

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Events

2015 has been full of some incredible events across the U.S. From orphan care conferences to moving presentations from Stephanie Fast, benefit auctions, gospel sings and much more – it’s been a busy year. We are grateful for the opportunities to represent the voice of the most vulnerable with churches, groups and individuals across the country.

 

Stephanie Fast presentation

 

Welsh School

In 2015, the Welsh campus was expanded to include a two-story church and school for Home of Hope families, their children and those in the surrounding community. Construction is finishing up, and the students are excited to be in the  building very soon!

 

school progress

 

Adoption Resources 

LSM continues to work with families interested in pursuing adoption. Although the international adoption scene is changing dramatically, we are still providing information, support and guidance for couples and individuals interested in learning more about their options. We are also providing resources for those considering adoption through the foster care system. You can learn more here.

 

adoptive family

None of these initiatives could have happened without you and your support.  Together, our efforts are creating long-term change in the lives of vulnerable children around the world. We look forward to what God has in store for 2016!

What Hope Means for Timmy

mother and sonTimmy* is five years old and started kindergarten this year. The first day, he was so excited. He got his little uniform on, lovingly took his new notebook and pencils out of his backpack, just to gaze at them for a moment before tucking them securely back inside and hoisting the bag onto his back. He fairly jumped out of his skin he was so excited that morning!

 

All day, he and his new friends in class would learn and listen and soak in the lessons. And every day after school, his mom was there to pick him up and listen to the new fidel (Ethiopian Amharic script) he had learned. Timmy sometimes wondered why his mom almost seemed to be crying behind those big smiles of hers… why would she be sad that he was learning so many wonderful new things!

 

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First-Hand Accounts that Inspire

This week, Stephanie Fast shared her amazing story at Grace Church in Mahomet, IL. As an adult adoptee, global orphan advocate and inspiring storyteller, Stephanie speaks on behalf of millions of children who are still abandoned and vulnerable today. (Read more about her journey here.)

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This Friday…

The LSM Auction is this Friday in Washington, IL! Items have been flooding in, and we are excited for this great night together. Will you join us Friday to help change the lives of vulnerable children? 

 

This event is impacting the ongoing change in the lives of boys like Gary*. He lost his parents in the 2010 earthquake and was sent far away from everything familiar to live with a distant relative. When he arrived, his aunt promptly put him to work carrying water for hours on end, barely receiving enough food and never going to school. Gary never dreamed of life changing. He never believed anything could be different.

 

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A New School & It’s Ripple Effect

We have two Homes of Hope in Haiti nestled in a small, very poor community called Welsh. The needs across the country are great, but God has been opening doors for LSM to do more in this particular community. One of the projects has included the construction of a new school for our Home of Hope children. This new, bigger building will also provide the chance for kids from the community to attend school (many for the first time)!

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From Your Own Home

I read a devotional this morning about a woman who sponsored a little family in Africa for many years.  She didn’t have much, but she had known the very hard reality of raising children on her own as a young adult. She felt she could relate with a young single mother in Ethiopia – and so month after month, she scraped together the money to send.

 

Years passed, but this American woman didn’t just send in her check. She prayed for this little family, wrote letters and tried as best she could to give of herself for this family halfway around the world.

 

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A Glimpse Into Their Futures

VBS created some wonderful memories for each of the Home of Hope kids last week! And while everyone is back home and getting back into a daily routine, the smiles remain.

 

There is no better time to look at the monumental changes in these children’s lives than at VBS. The 216 kids who were orphans, child slaves, extremely vulnerable and looking at the very worst the world had to offer are now able to run and play and learn together. This is incredibly powerful – not just because of the impact on these 18 families – but because it gives us a close-up look at tomorrow’s Haiti.

 

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The Gospel, the Browns & the Vulnerable

Isn’t it fun to look forward to an evening out with your family? What if you could change a life at same time?

 

At the 2015 Gospel Sing on Saturday, August 22, 2015, you can do just that. Join us at the Wilkening Farmstead (Cissna Park, IL) for an evening of down-home, southern gospel music. You’ll hear inspiring stories of hope, enjoy amazing food, and listen to encouraging music for the heart – all while having a great time with your friends and family. But the best part is, all freewill offerings collected that evening will benefit the lives of vulnerable children.

 

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