Five Things You Can Do This Year

There is so much to look forward to at the start of a New Year. Fresh starts, new opportunities, trips to plan, goals to reach and the potential of so many amazing things as you look at the days ahead. Have you also considered what you could do to change a vulnerable child’s life this year?

 

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As 2015 Comes to a Close….

2015 has been an incredible year and we praise God for the incredible growth in the children we serve and  the new initiatives developed that continue to change lives. Here are a few of the highlights:

 

Child Development

Our child development staff has been hard at work creating new initiatives for our Home of Hope children. They have started regular day seminars that cover a range of age-appropriate topics and are working on an individual basis with our children to ensure they are receiving the educational and emotional support they need. In addition, they have created a rotating library to be shared between families and are brainstorming new projects for 2016!

 

child development team

Moriya Ethiopian Accessories

This year has been a huge step forward for a small Ethiopian business (Moriya) that now employs 11 women. They were living in complete desperation – doing whatever it took just to survive and support their children.  They are now empowered to work with dignity and have hope for their family’s future. In 2015, the  business expanded its online presence, inventory is now sold through many new channels and the product offering has expanded in both quality and variety! Check out the online store here.

 

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Events

2015 has been full of some incredible events across the U.S. From orphan care conferences to moving presentations from Stephanie Fast, benefit auctions, gospel sings and much more – it’s been a busy year. We are grateful for the opportunities to represent the voice of the most vulnerable with churches, groups and individuals across the country.

 

Stephanie Fast presentation

 

Welsh School

In 2015, the Welsh campus was expanded to include a two-story church and school for Home of Hope families, their children and those in the surrounding community. Construction is finishing up, and the students are excited to be in the  building very soon!

 

school progress

 

Adoption Resources 

LSM continues to work with families interested in pursuing adoption. Although the international adoption scene is changing dramatically, we are still providing information, support and guidance for couples and individuals interested in learning more about their options. We are also providing resources for those considering adoption through the foster care system. You can learn more here.

 

adoptive family

None of these initiatives could have happened without you and your support.  Together, our efforts are creating long-term change in the lives of vulnerable children around the world. We look forward to what God has in store for 2016!

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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What Hope Means for Timmy

mother and sonTimmy* is five years old and started kindergarten this year. The first day, he was so excited. He got his little uniform on, lovingly took his new notebook and pencils out of his backpack, just to gaze at them for a moment before tucking them securely back inside and hoisting the bag onto his back. He fairly jumped out of his skin he was so excited that morning!

 

All day, he and his new friends in class would learn and listen and soak in the lessons. And every day after school, his mom was there to pick him up and listen to the new fidel (Ethiopian Amharic script) he had learned. Timmy sometimes wondered why his mom almost seemed to be crying behind those big smiles of hers… why would she be sad that he was learning so many wonderful new things!

 

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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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First-Hand Accounts that Inspire

This week, Stephanie Fast shared her amazing story at Grace Church in Mahomet, IL. As an adult adoptee, global orphan advocate and inspiring storyteller, Stephanie speaks on behalf of millions of children who are still abandoned and vulnerable today. (Read more about her journey here.)

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National Adoption Month: November

November is National Adoption Month. Through the next few weeks we will be sharing resources, stories and insights from our adoption team and other partner organizations. As we talk about the different facets of adoption, please join us in prayer for families who are considering adoption. Through well-researched information and the support of the local church, we pray that many more vulnerable children will be brought into a loving family through adoption!

 

Let’s take a look at the broad adoption picture: 

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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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Faces of Hope

As I’ve been sorting through pictures from VBS this year, I can’t help but smile as I see photo after photo of happy kids, basking in their carefree summer days and having so much fun together. I also can’t help but see great hope written on their faces – made all the more powerful when you know how much it has taken for this smile to grow.

 

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