HOPE IN THE MIDDLE OF A STORM

excerpt from page 67, Glimpses of Hope, a collection of devotionals

by Claudin Idoxis, LSM Education Director, Haiti

 


 

Haiti is counted among the poorest countries on the planet. Living in Haiti is like living in a storm. We are threatened by an insecurity that comes in various forms: economic, food, physical, social. Life in Haiti really looks like a storm.

 

I am the eldest of a family of six children. My parents hardly know how to read. My father is a carpenter and my mother used to do embroidery. Poverty seemed to obviously be our future. My three brothers, my two sisters and I were darker than most Haitians which further damaged our chances for success. It seemed really unlikely that we would be able to be someone in life. However, we had two great assets: our faith in God and my mother who believed in the value of education.

 

 

Today, four of us have a university education, another is currently in their second year of civil engineering and another is an electrical and plumbing technician. My two sisters and I are married and have children. I am on staff with Loving Shepherd Ministries as director of Education and Child Development.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans which I have made for you, saith the Lord, for peace, and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.”

 

 

Those who live in Haiti and place their faith in God have hope, knowing that God has plans for them. Through this storm of misery and insecurity, God provides for the needs of those who fear Him and who seem Him with all their heart.

 

God has the capacity, in a country like Haiti, to use a very poor family and make its members useful to their community. Today, God is carrying out his projects in the lives of 235 children in Haiti through Loving Shepherd Ministries. These children who were once completely desperate are now housed, fed, clothed, educated, cared for and trained because the hand of God acts through LSM.

 

 

The tempest can’t prevent the designs of God from being fulfilled in our lives. Often it is in the midst of a storm that the love of God manifests itself most clearly in our favor. (Matthew 14:22-32). With God there is always hope. The hope that He will take care of us even in the midst of the storm. Just keep faith. Do not focus on the storm, but on God who has the ability to accomplish projects even in the storm. Let us be among those whom God uses to bring hope and to help those whose future is threatened by the storm.

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Meet our staff and join us in prayer for their work here!
  2. Learn more about Child Development in Haiti here.
  3. Order your copy of Glimpses of Hope here.

 

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

 

BEHIND THE PICTURE

With a curious smirk, sporting a vest and tie, you smile and think, “What a cute little boy!”  What isn’t captured is how powerful this moment really is. You see, Obie* had just joined his new Home of Hope family on the very day this photo was taken.

 

 

It was his first day in a new home. His first time ever eating three full meals. His first night sleeping in his very own bed.  It was the first of many new things that he never had before. Pictures can speak a thousand words, but sometimes they miss the powerful significance behind the moment.

 

In one single day, Obie found a family to love him.  He entered a life surrounded by a loving family and a community of people who will champion him and make sure he has every opportunity to become all that God has for him.

 

 

The first picture was taken in 2012 when Obie was seven years old. Over the next seven years, Obie excelled in school, learned about leadership and how to help others. Most importantly, he’s experienced the love and safety of his Heavenly Father through his parents and LSM staff. Obie has big dreams. He wants to be a doctor and help the hurting in his country. We think that’s a noble goal – and wherever this life takes him, we hope that passion for serving others continues to be a driving force in his life.

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Become a family sponsor and give this kind of hope to children like Obie.
  2. Learn more about LSM Tech and the future opportunities for Obie.

*name 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

From Grief to Great Love

In the blur of a child’s memory, Sedmy has few memories of a tragedy he is only just beginning to understand. A far-off village, screeching tires, screaming for his mother to wake up. His father’s gruff arms picking him up and running. A grandmother pushing him away. Loss. Hurt. Tears.

 

Sedmy’s father fled from their home in the Dominican Republic after his mother was tragically killed. Returning to their country of origin, his father left Sedmy with his grandmother. In her own grief and old age, she knew she couldn’t adequately care for him, but had little choice. What was she to do with a four-year-old child grieving the loss of both parents?

 

Miraculously, Sedmy’s story doesn’t end with this pain.

 

A new Home of Hope was opening in a nearby village.  A pastor came and shared about an opportunity for children like Sedmy who needed a family. His aging grandmother spoke up. She knew she wasn’t in a good place physically or financially to raise a small child. She knew he needed far more than she could provide. Out of hundreds of children wanting to come to a place like this, Sedmy was chosen.

 

 

From that place of broken memories, he is now finding a new way of life.

 

His new mom and dad often wrap him up in their arms, holding him close, reminding him that he is loved. He and his Home of Hope brothers laugh and joke and play soccer. They read the Bible together and talk about how much Jesus loves them. Sedmy falls asleep with a full belly and in a bed, all his own.

 

 

Better still, Sedmy looks forward to a future far beyond the grief he’s experienced.

 

With the loving support of his family and LSM staff, Sedmy will get a quality education. He’ll find solid resources and opportunities to choose a trade, become a leader and be fully equipped to go out and transform his community for Christ.

 

But he doesn’t need to think about all of that now. At six years old, Sedmy only needs to know that he is entirely cherished and loved by a family who chose him – and more than that – loved by God who chose and loves him deeply.

 

That’s a powerful gift. And one that you help make possible.

 


YOU CAN CHANGE LIVES LIKE SEDMY’S BY:

  1. Becoming an ongoing Family Sponsor.

  2. Joining the Prayer Team.


 

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.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.

 

Read More
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