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

 

Seeing Hope in Africa

Visiting missionaries can be a huge blessing. Blare and Janel Gerber and their kids experienced this first-hand. Just before Christmas, they packed up their four children, and took off on an adventure to Africa to visit a missionary family working in a village in rural Ethiopia. On their way through the capital, the Gerbers asked if they could meet with some of LSM’s staff and families to see our work first hand.

 

 

This trip is one that their family will never forget. Beyond the sights and sounds of a new culture, there’s nothing like seeing how your dollars and prayers are being used for His glory. Meeting Tegen* was one of those moments.

 

 

Tegen welcomed the Gerber family into her little home. She served them strong Ethiopian coffee from her little black pottery cups. Next, she taught the children how to have a traditional coffee ceremony. Our staff translated each step. Tegen’s large sewing machine sat in the corner, taking up much of the home’s space. The Gerbers were thrilled to listen to her beautiful testimony, and see her thriving sewing business. Beri, her son, proudly displayed his school books. Our staff spoke how well he has been doing in school. A small home business and attending school may seem like mundane things, but for Tegen and Beri, it was an answer to prayer.

 

Janel said, “I think just seeing the way people live in hard life circumstances, but yet have so much joy and purpose really impacted all of us.”

 

 

This trip was foundational in the lives of Blare and Janel and their four children. God is moving around the world, and He calls us to action.  Whether traveling to far off lands or praying from your kitchen table, you have a chance to take part in His kingdom work. We’re grateful the Gerber family got to see a small part of the lives touched with prayers, financial gifts and advocacy for LSM. The Gerbers can testify that Tegen and Beri now live with stability and hope because of your love and support. Thank you!

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Become an Ethiopia Family Sponsor and get to know families just like Tegen and Beri.
  2. Become a prayer partner in 2019.
  3. Consider giving a one-time gift to Ethiopia to impact families like this.

 

*names of LSM families changed for privacy

 

 

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

Baking Cakes & Dreaming Big

Kathrine* is like many 16 year old girls you might know. She loves to bake cakes with her mom. She looks forward to summer camp with her friends and enjoys singing. She’s excelling in school and working hard to do well. Kathrine is full of life and talent, and we’re thrilled for the direction she’s going in life.

 

 

But it hasn’t always been this way. When Kathrine was a very small child, she realized quickly to get out of her father’s way when he arrived home drunk. She hid in the shadows to avoid another beating. Things got worse when her mother died unexpectedly. Her dad said he couldn’t afford to send her to school. Kathrine couldn’t help but think it was somehow her fault that so many things were bad in her life. Abuse, fear and hopeless days felt like they would never end.

 

 

But God saw her pain. Eventually, Kathrine’s dad was unable to care for her at all. She needed somewhere to go, and God provided an open door for her to come to an LSM Home of Hope that was opening! Kathrine joined her new family. Her loving parents protect her and treat her with great love. She’s catching up in school from her late start. It’s within this family that Kathrine is learning, growing and ultimately finding the safety and security she needs to thrive.

 

 

Kathrine’s biggest joy is being introduced to a personal relationship with Jesus! She talks about how He has been with her, even in those dark days before coming to her Home of Hope family. She finds a lot of peace singing and spending time with her church youth group. We give God the glory for this wonderful transformation!

 

Baking cakes with her mom might seem like a small thing – but it’s a beautiful picture of the healing, hope and love that she knows today. And we bet those cakes are pretty delicious!

 


Get involved:

  1. Become a family sponsor and get to know children like Kathrine through some amazing personal connections.

*name changed for privacy

Summer Highlights from Haiti

This summer was full of great activities for our Homes of Hope! Here are a few highlights:


Summer Internships

Six of our older Home of Hope kids had internships this summer! Five children spent the summer working at LSM’s Nouvelle Aube Grocery store, and one interned with our architect, Jose. We’re thankful for the amazing opportunities these young adults had!

 

Field Trips & Picnics

Our Haitian staff arranged a field trip for several Home of Hope children who excelled in school this year. They had a fun day at the beach, exploring a cave, and visiting a nearby village. There are many Bible contests and soccer tournaments that Home of Hope children participate in at VBS. The winners were treated to a picnic as a reward!

 

 

Parent Seminars

Jean Wesly, our new Trauma Healing Coordinator, held a parent seminar to continue teaching our parents about the effects of trauma in their children’s lives. There were helpful discussions and testimonies as parents shared what has worked well for them. These quarterly seminars are crucial for our Home of Hope parents in equipping them, and helping them feel supported in their parenting!

 

 

Leadership Camps

Seventeen older Home of Hope kids visited LSM Tech for our first annual Leadership Camp. They toured LSM’s Industrial Site, Block Plant and Ag Park. They heard motivational speakers and even worked on their own public speaking skills. We’re excited to see how events like this can aid and support these young adults as they reach adulthood!

 


This work is crucial to our mission: equipping children to reach their full, God-given potential. But we can’t do it without you. Here are three ways you can get involved:

  1. Join the prayer team.

  2. Become a Family sponsor.

  3. Give a one-time gift.


 

You can also keep up to speed on the big things happening at LSM through our Monthly Ministry Updates and Newsletters! If you’re not currently subscribed, do that here.

 


 

Rain, Rain Go Away

Many of the single moms in our Ethiopia program have started small businesses buying wholesale and selling produce at the local market. But there’s a catch. When the rainy season hits, food becomes scarce and wholesalers simply have nothing to sell them. Spices and other products typically prepared over open fires or in poorly constructed kitchens are rained out. 

 

It’s an everyday occurrence we don’t even think about. However for these moms, it’s a matter of being able to feed their children this month or not… at least it was.  

Since being a part of our program, these moms are learning a new way of conducting business. Our staff hosted a seminar this month. Together, we brainstormed how business can thrive during the rainy season. From storing up through the year to accommodate the harsher conditions to changing business tactics during these months, it was a very helpful discussion. Many hardworking moms who have been reaching for what seemed like a dead-end road felt hope again. Beyond that, LSM also provides food supplements and physical support as they learn better ways to prepare for the lean times. This two year support program helps mothers during a difficult season of business without creating long-term dependency. 

For moms like Dimka* and her five children, it’s making all the difference. 

“Before I came to this project, I had lots of up and downs. I have lived in very deep poverty with my five children since their father died. Thanks to God, but now things have changed. God visited me through these people who came to help, and I believe He shines His face on me. This program has offered many skills, awareness and start-up funds for my business.I am thankful for my children’s school opportunity and provision, food and clothing from the LSM project here in my country. In general, through both Life Skill and Business Skill trainings I have learned the importance of initiating work opportunities myself, persistence, time management, saving culture/trend without scarcity or shortage of money, business skills, and how to handle my business.”

Because of simple things like learning how to manage a business in a rainy season, this family is beating the odds. 
Odds they never imagined they’d be capable of reachingWith the support of people on the other side of the world, Dimka’s children are well fed, educated and learning this important truth: “If you work hard and lean on God’s help, you can do great things.

Get Involved: 

 


*name changed for privacy

Beating the Odds

The school year is coming to a close – and we’re proud to announce that two of our Home of Hope children in Haiti are graduating High School! Lukenson and Sadwina* have worked so hard to get to this point – and we couldn’t be more proud of them!

 

LSM is helping them beat the odds with opportunities they never could have dreamed of before.

 

LUKENSON’S JOURNEY

 

Through a tremendous continuum of care and the support of his Home of Hope parents, LSM staff and brothers, Lukenson is planning to attend University in the Fall for Civil Engineering!

 

But what an incredible journey it’s been to this point.

 

Before LSM, Lukenson’s family farmed and had many children to feed. Education was a luxury they couldn’t afford. Every time Lukenson would begin classes, someone would get sick from drinking unclean water or from severe malnutrition and the money would run out. Distraught with the weight of an increasingly desperate situation, it was likely he would be sent away to live with another family as a restavek (child slave.)

Terrified at the thought of an unknown future and desperate for hope, Lukenson never dreamed of the opportunities that would come in his future, or the incredible turn of events that would change his life.

 

That was 10 years ago.

 

 

Instead of becoming a restavek in distant area, Lukenson was able to come to an LSM Home of Hope! Dominque and Mereville, Lukenson’s Home of Hope parents, have loved and supported him through years of catching up in school, and raised him as their own. Today, he’s become a talented and sweet young man who has big dreams for his future. And although proud of their son – it’s bittersweet as they watch their precious child move on to college.

 

And next year, when more students graduate, both he and Sadwina will be able to move to LSM Tech, a campus setting where they can live while attending University. At LSM Tech they’ll also receive biblical training, computer and English skills and more leadership training. At the same time, they’ll work at the Ag Park as part of their tuition, further expanding their skill set and work ethic.

 

10 years is a labor of love. But it’s one that’s worth investing in.

 

Lukenson, Sadwina and 240+ children that follow them are receiving a full continuum of care that equips them as godly leaders in their community. We can’t wait to see what God does with Lukenson and the rest of the children he’s granted into our Homes.

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Become a Family Sponsor and get to know these children on a personal basis.
  2. Invest in our Home of Hope children’s future. (select LSM Tech in the drop down menu.)
  3. Become a prayer partner.

*names changed for privacy

Thankful

This Thanksgiving, the hearts of many, many once vulnerable children are now full. Over the last 15 years of ministry, we have seen an outpouring of the Spirit working through you to radically transform the lives of forgotten and lonely boys and girls all over the world.

 


This year alone, you’ve helped us:

 

  • Purchase and move to our new offices that will provide more space for more changed lives and new volunteer opportunities!

 

 

  • Open a New Home of Hope in La Source, Haiti, that provides a nurturing Christian family for 12 orphaned and at-risk boys.

 

  • Grow our Business Development initiatives and begin Aggregate Plant, Concrete Block and Pre-cast businesses.

 

  • Provide new programs and practical work and life skills to help free families in Ethiopia who were once mired in poverty.

 

The list can go on and on. God is on the move and it’s so humbling to see it in action. Lives are changing. Generations are finding hope in Jesus. This is Kingdom work. And it’s happening because of you.

 


 

Because of you, Meseret’s family knows Jesus!

You can help change a future generation in Ethiopia. We’re seeing it happen every day. In fact, Meseret*, a young single mother in Ethiopia, raising two beautiful children on her own, will tell you herself that your prayers for the ministry of LSM and your financial gifts have completely changed their lives:

 


 

“I feel empowered. I am now relying on God to lead my path and am 
making wiser decisions. I now have a support system to encourage 
and help me. My children are receiving a good education and, 
because of LSM, they have the support they need to complete it!” 
 
Meseret’s own single mother knew how important it was to get an education. Somehow, she managed to scrape enough together for Meseret to attend school, even though it meant 4 hours travel every day!
 

 

When she finished 8th grade, Meseret had to go to the city to attend high school, a rare opportunity for a young woman in her village. But when she got there, a series of poor decisions, difficultly finding resources and little support left her with two small children, an unfinished high school career and living in severe poverty, at the young age of twenty-nine.

 

 

With our staff and church support, her family has been introduced to a personal, saving relationship with Jesus. She went through small business training and is now growing her own business, selling spices in the market. And her children are looking ahead with great hope.

 

With every prayer, with every gift and with every introduction to Jesus, lives like Meseret’s and her children are changing forever.

 

You are a part of this. Your prayers and your giving does make a difference. 

Tears of Joy for a Life of Hope

Timmy* is six years old and just started school last 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.

Every day in class, Timmy eagerly soaked up the lessons he was taught. And every day after school, his mom, Tabitha, was there to pick him up and listen to the new fidel (Ethiopian Amharic script) he had learned. Timmy wondered why his mom would sometimes cry while he recited his fidel to her.

Why is mom sad I’m learning so many wonderful new things?

But his mother’s tears were not of sadness. They were tears of great joy and thankfulness.

Tabitha birthed Timmy in one of the slums of Addis Ababa. Desperately hungry, they both almost starved to death in his first few precious weeks. Life had been so incredibly difficult for Timmy’s mother … until she came to LSM, where things drastically changed for the better.

Through people like you, committed to Timmy and his mom and a belief that their lives were worth more, united with the Body of Christ, working together in prayer, financial support and advocacy—the story you just read became reality.

Tabitha began working for Moriya Ethiopian Accessories, a business we helped a group of moms just like her start. Using the skills she learned as part of the Moriya team, she has since branched out on her own and started a successful sewing business. Today, Tabitha is providing for her son with a dignified, stable job.

Timmy now has the opportunity to choose his own career, always has enough to eat, knows the hope of a life filled with the love of Jesus, and dreams about his future because people like you believed he and his mother were worth it!


You can join us in making more stories like Tabitha’s and Timmy’s possible by:

*names changed for privacy

*originally posted December 5, 2015

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