A Gift of Generosity

๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—•๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜€ ๐——๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—•๐˜† ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜๐—ต ๐—š๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐˜€ ๐—”๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ข๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—›๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—›๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ ๐—›๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ
Last summer, one group of young people from Northeast Indiana donated new soccer nets for our Redemption Campus in Haiti, and another group raised money to purchase 40 soccer balls for our Homes of Hope (two per Home). Big thanks to Kent Koteskey’s Sunday School class at Hope Missionary Church and the area homeschool group led by Tera and Adam Carroll. The groups of children who decided to give these gifts were both inspired to action by tours of the Haiti Education Wing at our Bluffton office. Their gifts recently arrived in Haiti and are now being put to daily use!
Our kids used to stand behind the goals to retrieve kicked soccer balls because they would fly right through the old nets.
For our children in Haiti, soccer is a favorite way to socialize and get exercise. Profound gratitude to the children in the U.S. for not only paying attention to information presented during the tour, but for taking action. Schedule a tour today! bit.ly/lsm_tours |ย jen@loving-shepherd.org.

Though the Earth Give Way

 

Dear LSM Supporters,

 

As you may have heard, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Les Cayes area of Haiti on Saturday morning. We have been in contact with our program directors and are thankful to report that, as far as we know, all of our staff and Home of Hope children are accounted for. However, some of our staff members lost family members in the tragedy. Also, LSM sustained structural damage at some of our properties. We continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated on any significant developments.ย There will undoubtedly be more to report.

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Saturday’s disaster came on the heels of a political unrest following a presidential assassination. And now the country braces for the arrival of a new calamity: Tropical Storm Grace.

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Though our staff members maintain their strong faith in the Lord, many are feeling understandably discouraged. They will greatly appreciate your prayers and support in the days ahead. May we all take refuge in Godโ€™s sovereignty and faithfulness during these uncertain times!

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“Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth give way, and though the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” Psalm 42:6

 

2020 Vision

 


 

Note: This message was recorded before the Coronavirus outbreak that has dramatically affected the U.S., Haiti, and Ethiopia in recent weeks. Therefore, the pandemic is not specifically mentioned or addressed in this message. Nevertheless, the key points of this video remain true.

 


 

๐—Ÿ๐—ฆ๐—  ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐——๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜† ๐—ท๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ.

 

 

๐—›๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐˜€:

  • We see a recurring theme of multiplication across the organization.
  • We’ve launched Family Preservation and Discipleship programs in Ethiopia.
  • Weโ€™re in the early stages of beginning a new Kinship Care program in Haiti.
  • Here in the U.S. we plan to continue ramping up our BrickHouse program.
  • We look forward to continued engagement with you through events and media.
  • Thanks for your continued prayers and partnership during these trying times!

 


 

๐—›๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒโ€™๐˜€ ๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—š๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—œ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ผ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ:

  1. Follow us onย Facebookย andย Instagram.
  2. Invite your friends to follow us on social too.
  3. Sign up for our enewsletter and prayer list.
  4. Learn moreย about LSM Family Sponsorship.
  5. Give directly to support our work.

RUNNING ON EMPTY: HAITI’S FUEL CRISIS

There is a severe fuel shortage in Haiti. For years, Venezuela has provided Haitians with subsidized gasoline and diesel. However in recent months, Venezuela has become less accommodating due to the rise of a humanitarian crisis in their own country. Haitiโ€™s President, Jovenel Moise, and his government owe Venezuela $100 million, which they are unable to repay. The situation has created an extreme fuel shortage, further stoking political dissent and protests. Those most affected in times of crisis tend to be Haiti’s youngest and most vulnerable.

 

 

Rationing gas at the pump means Haitians are often prevented from filling their tanks. As a result of this shortfall, the Haitian black market has moved in quickly to run up prices and score a profit. Scarcity of fuel is preventing children from attending school, and transportation of people and commercial goods in Haiti is rapidly grinding to a halt, causing stores and businesses to shut down.

 

 

 

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT LSM?

 

Abdias Victor travels to our Homes of Hope to take pictures and assist with Child Development. He reports that Haitiโ€™s fuel crisis and the resulting riots have affected our ability to reach the children with supplies and training, as well as the general safety of the neighborhoods where our families reside. Many of our kids are missing school due to the riots. On a recent trip to one of LSMโ€™s Homes, Abdias even spotted a violent riot, including burning tires which can produce toxic fumes. Our staff reports that the difficulty of transporting workers and supplies has slowed construction at LSM Tech and also contributed to a shortage of sand at our Industrial Site. We pray that God will protect our staff and our Home of Hope families during these uncertain times!

 

 

 

WHAT IS LSMโ€™S RESPONSE?ย 

 

Moments like these provide a necessary reminder about the vulnerability of Haiti and the importance of LSMโ€™s work to bring holistic transformation by investing in children and in business ventures that move the country forward!ย While gas stations lock their doors and protesters fill the streets, our children continue to study hard as best they can and grow in their daily walk with Jesus. They areย building the foundation for a future in Haiti that looks very different from what we see today.ย ย 

 

 

Staff are also taking proactive measures. โ€œRoof installation has stalled at LSM Tech because of store closures,โ€ says Jose, one of our Project Supervisors. โ€œBut Iโ€™m proud of our workers, who have come up with creative ways to busy themselves, shift to other projects, and keep the site on schedule.โ€ย LSM continues to pursue exciting efforts in solar energy and other alternatives that reduce Haitiโ€™s dependence on fossil fuels, foreign assistance, and even the stability of its own government. In the future, a fuel shortage in Haiti may have far less of an impact.ย 

 


WHAT CAN I DO?ย 

 

  1. Sign up for our email listย and ourย ourย bi-monthly prayer emailsย to receive regular updates on this and other important issues affecting communities LSM serves around the world.ย 
  2. Pray for the safety of our Home of Hope families and staff. Pray also for those who are suffering and for Haitiโ€™s leaders, that they would seek wise solutions to end this crisis.ย ย 
  3. Ask God to embolden believers in Haiti who are reaching out to their neighbors with the love and mercy of Jesus!ย 

 

ONE JOB SECURES A FAMILY’S SURVIVAL

When you talk to Dio, you are struck with the warmth of his smile. He is compassionate and cares deeply about others.ย  You would never guess the hardships this man has endured over his short 27 years on earth. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew stole his home and his farm. During the clean-up process, Dio was involved in a severe automobile accident. He shattered his hip and had multiple other injuries.ย  He laid in a hospital bed for weeks with a sheet tied around his pelvic bone. He was determined to use his healing time to educate himself and learn English.

 

 

One year later his father passed away. As the oldest of six children and a mother to care for, Dio knew what he had to do. But in a country where jobs are scarce, how would he provide for all of them?

 

Then he heard about Loving Shepherd Ministries. A mechanic was needed.

 

Dio had many of the skills needed for this job. And although he didnโ€™t yet know about the amazing ministry heโ€™d be a part of, he knew that applying meant the chance to feed his family and provide in a once hopeless situation.

 

 

Safe transportation is something Dio knows the importance of first hand. Like all Haitians, they know that the reality is, any time you travel on the difficult roads youโ€™re at some level of risk. Thatโ€™s why LSM prioritizes the safety and availability of our vehicles. It makes a huge difference for our staff and Home of Hope familes!

 

Vehicles are necessary so we can deliver supplies to our Homes of Hope and transport children for medical needs. Our staff needs safe transportation so they can access the homes and provide education services and deliver supplies. Without Dio and the other mechanics, we would not be able to effectively care for our children.

 

 

Today, Dio is the Vehicle Manager for LSM. His excellent communication in English has been a huge benefit as he daily corresponds with our US staff. It was as if God was gently showing Dio how every season of his life was preparing him for this new position!

 

As part of the automative program at LSM, Dioโ€™s job has made a profound difference in his life as well as his familyโ€™s. His brother also works as a mechanic alongside of him.ย  Dio says, โ€œWork is freedom! You have given me the freedom to provide for my family. I can now get them food and care for them because I have work. Thank you!โ€

 

One job has transformed the future for an entire family because of your prayers and financial support. Thank you for partnering with us. You are making a difference!

 


GET INVOLVED:ย 

  1. Pray for the country of Haiti, where many struggle to provide for their families. This leaves children some of the most vulnerable!
  2. Praise God with us for the 200+ Haitian employees that LSM is able to work with. These amazing people are giving back to their communities and providing for their families. We believe that ripple effect will have an impact in the Kingdom!
  3. Join us by making a financial gift to Haiti so we can maintain good vehicles that will keep our operations moving and our families and staff safe!

 

ARMED WITH A CAMERA AND A SMILE

A STAFF TESTIMONY FROM HAITI

 

One of the many blessings at LSM is seeing the ripple effects of the meaningful, stable jobs we are creating. Rich relationships are being formed as our team continues to grow. Michael Brown, whoโ€™s been a part of our Haitian staff for many years began mentoring a young man named Abdias. He saw Abdiasโ€™ interests and let him use his professional camera and taught him the basics. Seeing his potential, Michael eventually recommended him for the job of Staff Photographer.

 

 

At 26, Abdias is building deep relationships with our Home of Hope families and staff. He travels and photographs events, home life and the many different projects we have going on. Michael continues to mentor Abdias along with a whole crew of godly men and women that heโ€™s working with.

 

 

Abdias shares, โ€œI love being a photographer! When I was a young boy, I said, โ€˜When I become a man, I will become a police officer.โ€™ But when I met Michael Brown, he introduced me to his camera and I loved it. Michael later introduced me to LSM, where he worked. He called me to come help him. Now, I work with communications and photography in Haiti.โ€

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He continues, โ€œWorking for the children is a part of me. I am Haitian and LSM is helping my country and my brothers and sisters. Itโ€™s a pleasure to work here, and gives me great joy. I love getting up and going to work every day. The team is like family to me. They provide such good counsel for me as a young man!โ€

 

 

We hope you enjoy the fruits of Abdiasโ€™ work as you read the blog and see many of our updates throughout the year!

POLLY

Sometimes there are stories that hit you square between the eyes. Pollyโ€™s* is one of them.

 

Several years ago, Polly stood here with her uncle who was caring for her in front of his hut. Falling apart, dirty, barely providing relief from the elements, the hut was no place to be raising an orphaned little girl. He knew it, and he wanted more for her. However on his own, there was no way he could do anything.

 

 

Pollyโ€™s uncle brought her to a Home of Hope. He knew that sheโ€™d be much better off in a family with Godly upbringing from a loving mom and dad and a solid education. The love and opportunity sheโ€™d have was a gift that he would never be able to provide. And so she came.- a forlorn little girl in a tattered white dress with orange-bleached hair from malnutrition. A new world opened for Polly!

 

 

A couple of years later, I snapped this picture at LSMโ€™s annual VBS.ย Polly couldnโ€™t stand still. She giggled and joyfully danced around me. Her life is totally different!

 

Sometimes, I think itโ€™s easy for us to forget theย beforeย when we see smiling pictures of kids. However, when you know their stories and the traumatic things that have brought them here, this work becomes much more meaningful. There is sense of urgency to help more children like Polly.

 

Today, Polly is able to live and laugh because her uncle made a choice to give her a better life. She has a new mom and dad, loving sisters and an exciting future ahead of her. She can dream and dance without a care in the world, because compassionate people like you have sacrificially given, prayed and showered love on her. Thank you!

 

This is the picture I donโ€™t want to forget.ย It represents a far greater story than a week of games and fun. The contrast is evident:ย New life. New stories. New chapters.ย New beginnings.

 


GET INVOLVED:ย 

Help make more stories like Pollyโ€™s possible by becoming an ongoing sponsorย here.


*name changed for privacy

HAITIโ€™S FLAG DAY 2019

Haiti celebrates FLAG DAY on May 18. Itโ€™s an important day of celebration for the country as they remember their hard-won independence!

 

 

 

The Haitian flag features a full coat of arms with weapons representing their nationโ€™s history defending their freedom. The royal palm at the center symbolizes their independence. They are the first nation of Africans to ever rise up and win freedom for their country.

 

 

 

Our Home of Hope families celebrated in their communities too. We love that our kids are learning about their rich cultural heritage from a young age. While Haiti still has a lot to overcome, we hope they always feel freedom to celebrate their flag and the good of what that represents. Though there are dark and painful pieces to their cultural history as well, knowing the good and bad helps the next generation learn from their country’s experiences.

 

We hope days like this (and our staff, parents and mentors) will empower our children to become the next generation of leaders who will help transform their culture for Christ!ย 

 

 

 

If youโ€™re not familiar with Haitiโ€™s difficult history, youโ€™re not alone. In fact, LSMโ€™s Founder, Ed Schwartz wrote a historical novel depicting the rise of Haiti for just that reason! The Trade Winds was written to help us understand the complexity and history of Haiti and where it is today. It also gives us a passion to help vulnerable children (like the ones we serve!) who have been trapped in ongoing slavery (restavek system) to this day.

 

 

Learn more and order your copy of THE TRADE WINDS today!

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