HOUSE OF WONDERFUL, GREAT LOVE

By Becky Browning, LSM Staff in Haiti

 

When I was a little girl, every picture that I drew of our house had a happy smiling sun above it. I used my red crayon and made big smiles on my dad, my mom and us four little girls. We were lined up next to our little dog. He too had a smile drawn on his fluffy face. I drew colorful flowers around my pretty house, and warm smoke coming out of the chimney. Inside the smoky clouds, written in my best handwriting were these words: “House of Wonderful Great Love.” It was a picture of my childhood. I felt loved, happy and secure tucked away in my safe home with my family all around me.

 

 

 

35 years later, my husband and I walked through a village in Haiti. There was a much different picture. Crying toddlers with distended bellies, sitting in front of a crooked hut, diaper-less babies covered in itching scabies and skinny stray dogs digging in piles of trash. Food and water was scarce. And hope seemed even more scarce. I did not see many smiling faces. What words would be written over their homes?

Hungry? Sad? Despair? Hopelesness?

 

 

It caused me to think, “What if our lives were switched? What would I want?” I would want food and clothing. I would want someone to love and care about me. I would want someone to take me to the doctors when I am sick. I would want to feel safe. And most importantly, I would want someone to care beyond this earthly life and introduce me to Jesus.

 

 

This is what Loving Shepherd Ministries does. There are many vulnerable children who need homes of “wonderful great love.” We call them “Homes of Hope.” We would love to have you partner with us and support one of our Homes.

 

 


GET INVOLVED:

 

  1. Learn more about our unique model that provides a complete Continuum of Care for vulnerable children from childhood through adulthood – within the love and stability of a FAMILY.

 

  1. Become a Family Sponsor (min $35/month) and partner directly with vulnerable children you can get to know!

 

A YOUNG BOY’S HEALING JOURNEY

Riderson* drew his bony knees up to his chin and huddled beside an abandoned cart. Darkness was falling, and he was hungry. He stared at his dusty fingers and longed for his momma. But she didn’t come. She couldn’t come. Slowly, he picked himself up and thought about going back to his grandmother. He was exhausted and hopeless. He hadn’t found any food for them tonight.

 

It would be months before Riderson had a full belly. In those long days, Riderson remembered the pain of losing his mother, the rejection he felt from a father he’d never known, and the deep heartache as he watched his sickly grandmother fading away. What was he going to do?

 

 

SADLY, RIDERSON’S STORY IS NOT UNCOMMON. SCIENCE HAS PROVEN THAT TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES LIKE THIS HAVE LONG-TERM AFFECTS ON HEALTH.

 

Watch this TedTalk to learn more about how Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

 

Thankfully, Riderson was able to come to an LSM Home of Hope at the age of 9. Although we can’t take away the pain of his early childhood, we can help him find healing today.

 

Through our Trauma Healing Program, Riderson is learning how to regulate and express his emotions in healthy ways.  Our LSM Child Development Program is helping create personalized education plans so he can have the support of tutors and additional programs. Riderson is no longer hungry and is now safe in a loving Home of Hope family. His mom and dad love him as their own son. His life has completely changed!

 

 

Through these gifts of love, education and healing, we have great hope for Riderson’s future. It’s not without struggles, and we can’t reverse what happened to him before. But we believe in the healing power of God and the love of family! And we believe that can make all the difference for his future.

 

There are so many more children like Riderson, still waiting in the darkness.  Will you help us reach them with the love of Jesus?

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Learn more about what our Homes of Hope are able to provide for kids like Riderson.
  2. Become a Family Sponsor and help kids like Riderson find healing and thrive in their family.
  3. Consider joining us at CAFO SUMMIT 2019 to learn more about best practices in caring for vulnerable children and see how you can get involved! May 8-10 in Louisville, KY https://cafo.org/summit/


*name changed for privacy

 

God’s Work Through You Transforms Families for Him

sherri weavingSherri* is a talented artisan whose intricate weaving skills have been passed down for centuries. Her hands deftly thread the elaborate loom as her feet pump the threads back and forth. There’s a rhythm to her work: pump, swish, clank. A smile graces her face as she watches her son play at the side of the room, surrounded by a community of women and children who love them. They are at peace.

 

 

But life wasn’t always so safe and serene for Sherri and her children.

 

She was just a young girl coming to the city for the first time. The excitement and opportunities captivated her.

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How the Easter Message is Transforming Lives Around the World

“I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand on the earth.” Job 19:25

 

The Easter message is a powerful story that many of us have grown up with and has woven into the fabric of our lives. But for millions around the world, their introduction to this message comes in drastically different ways.

 

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Annie

Three-year-old Annie* barely escaped the building that crumbled around her during the catastrophic January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake. Her mother was not so lucky. She did not survive. Tremors continued for days. Buildings continued to fall and the death toll continued to rise. But even after the shaking stopped, Annie’s life remained on unstable ground. In a country in ruins, she was alone.

 

There were so many little girls like Annie who lost their parents in the enormous earthquake that she was simply herded with countless other children into the slums. She was given food when she begged hard enough. But she mostly went unnoticed.

 

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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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A Brief Snapshot

by Jen Schwartz, Adoption Resource & Child Development Program Coordinator

 

We see brief snapshots into an orphan’s life. Images of starving children, those who are too young defending themselves in the streets around the world float across our screens. We see hands that reach out to steal food in hopes of surviving another day and children whose pain is so strong because they are hopeless against hands that abuse. We see hearts that do not know laughter, safety or God’s love.

 

Helping the orphans of the world certainly requires much faith, patience, and stamina.  It starts with only one. And for your impact in the life of that one child, it can be a beautiful, redemptive journey! 

 

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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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Memories Already Being Made at VBS!

18 Home of Hope families have gathered at the Cancer Redemption Campus for Vacation Bible School! As the kids arrived on Saturday morning, you could see the excitement in their eyes. This long anticipated week is full of renewing friendships with kids from other families, playing new games, singing, variety shows and even bible contests.

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