Planting Seeds of Hope

Last Saturday, July 8, a group of over 140 women sat down for a beautiful morning at the SEEDS OF HOPE Ladies’ Brunch. In the middle of daisy bouquets and coffee shop treats, they took a stand together for sisters, daughters and mothers on the other side of the world just like them but who were tragically born into abject poverty and pain. It was a powerful morning learning about the plight of vulnerable families in Ethiopia and considering how each one of us can make a tangible difference.

Throughout the morning, seeds of hope were planted by women just like you into the lives of mothers who are struggling to provide even the basics for their children.

Our Ethiopian Servers!

We sincerely believe that Saturday’s commitments will grow into a beautiful harvest in the next generation—both for 40 precious families in Ethiopia and for the families right here who are changed with every connection, story and investment they make in the lives of the hurting.

We’re grateful to the local businesses that hosted tables and brought together their own passionate groups of women! A special thanks to those who invited and encouraged their friends and co-workers to come.

 

Additional Sponsors include: IN Balance Books and Courtney and Jodi Pfister

 

Our volunteer committee poured many details into the SEEDS OF HOPE Ladies’ Brunch to bring beauty, artistic flair and a smooth flow to the entire event! We’re so pleased with their efforts, and we know that because of the passion and inspiration their unique gifts inspired in the attendees, many vulnerable families in Ethiopia will receive the life-giving support they desperately need.

Quiche from Crimson House (Ossian, IN) and Cinnamon Roll / Coffee from Hugh’s Coffehouse (Bluffton, IN)

From fair trade shopping that creates dignified jobs for single mothers to ongoing family sponsorships and commitments to prayer, there was an incredible outpouring of support.

GET INVOLVED:

  • Do you have a passion to serve vulnerable women and children? We’d love to talk to you about hosting a SEEDS OF HOPE Ladies’ Brunch in your city. Email amber@loving-shepherd.org to learn more.
  • You can begin helping vulnerable women and children today, right where you are. Learn more about become an Ethiopian family sponsor here: https://loving-shepherd.org/ethiopiafamilysponsor/
  • You can also purchase beautiful handmade accessories straight from some of these mothers in Ethiopia. Shop here.

Abner’s Dream

At only 10 years old, Abner* has already experienced a lifetime of hunger, faced rejection from his father and seen his single mother struggle to provide for her children. Mekdes, one of our Ethiopian staff, asked him what he feels like his biggest life lesson is from all of this. Solemnly, he raised his head and said quietly,

 

“Poverty … especially not being able to provide for your kids is bad. But I will change this when I grow up.” 

 

Abner

 

Abner can say this with confidence now because there’s a new reality in his future. He’s an intelligent student, and his dream of becoming a scientist when he grows up  is being encouraged by the hope springing up in his family.

 

He sees his mother, Alem, starting her own business with the support of LSM’s staff. Through this training, financial start-up and ongoing support, Alem will be empowered to grow her business with dignity and support her children.

 

Abner sees the local church providing support, encouragement and mentoring for his mother, sister and himself, and realizes that there are people who care about his family and want to help them succeed. And more than that, they’ve introduced them to Jesus, who is changing everything!

 

Abner and Mother

 

He knows there are people in the United States that are sponsoring his family and making it possible for them to rise out of abject poverty, together.

 

Because of all of this, Abner believes he can succeed, even when every generation before him faced the same seemingly endless cycle of poverty and desperation.

 

He knows life can be different now. And that’s because of the impact of people like you.

 

working

 

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Shop Moriya Ethiopian Accessories and help provide sustainable jobs for mothers like Alem to provide for their children with dignity.

 

*names changed for privacy

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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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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Double Your Gift This Mother’s Day

Imagine a sprawling, broken and dirty city road dotted with storefronts full of trinkets being sold by men shooting leering looks in your direction. You tug the scarf a little tighter around your chin and grab your tiny child’s hand, walking quickly towards the little vendor down the block, dodging motorcycles and mangy dogs scrounging through garbage in the street. The men’s stares follow you the whole way.

 

Your child’s eyes look up to meet yours, “Mama, can we buy some eggs today?”

 

The innocent face nearly breaks your heart because you know the cost of a dozen eggs is more than you make in an entire day. You clutch in your hand your meager bit of money as you try to forget about the bleak meal you’ll be feeding your child once again. You wonder, “What has life come to? How will I ever provide for my child without stooping to desperate measures?”

 

MILLIONS OF MOTHERS FACE THIS TRAGIC CIRCUMSTANCE EVERY DAY.

 

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Changing a Child’s World – One Mother at a Time

SehnsuchtFive years ago, Yetti was not a woman you would hold up as a model for other women, especially other mothers, to emulate.

 

She was living on the streets, selling herself for food. Abandoned as a child herself, she had been living this life since she was twelve years old. At seventeen—still nearly a kid herself—she became pregnant. More desperate than ever, wondering how in the world she would care for her tiny baby, she nearly gave up hope.

 

Until … she cried out to God for help.

 

 

Through God’s dramatic intervention, Yetti met LSM staff who knew she was worth more, deserved more, and was made for more. Through their support, she was able to leave the streets behind and receive the counseling and healing she needed to change her life.

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Three Things You Can Do on the World Day of Social Justice

“Seeking justice begins with seeking our God who created justice.” —Bethany Hoang, Author of The Justice Calling, Advisor for International Justice Mission

 

Saturday, February 20 is the World Day of Social Justice—a time to promote freedom, equality and hope, and to take action to help eradicate poverty and support the dignity of all humans, especially the forgotten children on the fringes of society.

 

As you reflect on this today, spend some time with God considering how He might use you to bring justice to the world’s most vulnerable.

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Help Children in a Way you Never Dreamed Possible

A reporter once told Mother Teresa that he couldn’t do what she did if he was paid a million dollars. She answered, “Yes, for a million dollars, I wouldn’t do it either.”

 

There is a pearl—a prize—in your life worth risking everything for. Bur it’s not something you can earn, because it’s something you’ve already been given.

 

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” —Matthew 25:40

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