His Hand is NOT Short

Linese* was very young when her father died. Her mother was left to provide for her family alone. Work was incredibly hard to find in their poor community and there were many days when Linese and her siblings went without food. Linese never went to school and even lacked basic medical care for a knee problem that kept getting worse. As her mother took increasingly desperate measures to survive and escape her life’s unfortunate turns, it became clear that something was going to have to change.

 

Linese was just one step away from being sent to live with another family as a child slave (restavek.)

 

 

It seemed hopeless. Linese was just another of the millions of vulnerable children in Haiti, not because she’d done anything wrong, but because death, tragedy and deep poverty had been a part of her country and her family for too long. It’s a story we know all too well. At a conference recently, professor, author and speaker Christena Cleveland said it well,

 

“Sometimes we have a theology of scarcity around justice. But God has abundance to give us and His hand is not short.”

 

His had was certainly not short for Linese, although it was hard to see that in those terribly long arduous days as a child on the brink of disaster. But, through the dedicated work of LSM and the Body of Christ coming together, Linese’s story is not ending as a tragic statistic.

 

You see, our Homes of Hope are a lifeline for desperate children like Linese. And before she was old enough to really understand the ramifications, she was brought into a new family who would love and nurture her. It was something she never could have dreamed of before.

 

Now 14, Linese is thriving. She’s still very aware of the millions of young children in her city that that are sick and need the same life-giving care she’s gotten, even when they can’t afford it. She dreams of becoming a pediatrician so she can help kids just like her who have no way to receive the care they desperately need. And with the full continuum of care we provide through adulthood for our Home of Hope children, she really has the chance of doing just that!

 

Changes like this doesn’t happen without the dedicated, long-term work of those who believe in the justice and compassion that Jesus taught us. So keep fighting in your corner, whether it’s justice, advocacy, adoption, or a host of other hard, day-to-day roles caring for the vulnerable. We all have a part. Linese will tell you a thousand times over that your sacrifices for ONE child are worth it.

 

We’d love to help connect you to ways to live and care for the vulnerable. Here’s a few places to start:

 

  1. Become a Prayer Partner.
  2. Start an Orphan Care Ministry in Your Church.
  3. Become an Ongoing Family Sponsor and bring your whole family along in our exclusive online family room.

 

*name changed for privacy

 

When the Next Hurricane Hits

Our hearts are sad and heavy as we survey the devastation Hurricane Matthew left across Southwest Haiti. Lives have been turned upside down overnight and it will be many months before homes can be repaired, crops can be planted again and families come to grips with their new normal. Many outside of Haiti will soon forget about the horrible tragedy, but Haitians will continue their daily struggle to survive long into the future.

 

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A Little Girl’s Dream Can Come True Because of You!

The small hut she called home was nothing much to speak of. She and twelve other siblings lived in what was generously called a hut – thatch walls and a leaky roof. There was no running water. It was remote – deep in the mountains of Southern Haiti. Betti remembers many days of hard work carrying heavy buckets of water the long distance from the river to the hut, cooking, cleaning. It never seemed to end.

 

She would dream about one day being able to go school… and maybe even becoming a teacher when she grew up. But with the poverty and lack of opportunity around her, seven year old Betti nearly gave up hope.

 

And then an epidemic broke out in her village.

 

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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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Stephanie Fast: Vulnerability & Ultimate Hope

Do you know what it feels like to be abandoned as a child? Do you know the bitter cold of a winter with no place to call home, or what it feels like when you reach the point of starvation? Most of us that are reading this have never experienced these horrors – and yet our heart aches, knowing that millions of vulnerable children around the world will face these very realities today.

 

Sometimes we need to hear the raw story to really begin to understand. We need to feel the pain and see the hope that can still survive through the midst of great tragedy.

 

You can hear a first-hand account of survival from author and inspirational speaker Stephanie Fast at two events at the beginning of November. Her story will dramatically change the way you look at the vulnerable. Why? Because Stephanie’s story shows us that there is incredible power when someone shows up. It gives us courage to know that we can make a difference in the life of a vulnerable child. It gives us the drive to do something – because we can see evidence in Stephanie’s life that these horrific events don’t have to be the end.

 

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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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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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