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)!
VBS created some wonderful memories for each of the Home of Hope kids last week! And while everyone is back home and getting back into a daily routine, the smiles remain.
There is no better time to look at the monumental changes in these children’s lives than at VBS. The 216 kids who were orphans, child slaves, extremely vulnerable and looking at the very worst the world had to offer are now able to run and play and learn together. This is incredibly powerful – not just because of the impact on these 18 families – but because it gives us a close-up look at tomorrow’s Haiti.
Over the last couple of days, the kids have been having tons of fun at VBS! In the mornings, the younger group gathers to hear bible stories and learn new songs and dances. The older kids spend time with guest speakers and have a chance to ask questions of the Haiti staff about different topics. It’s been great to watch the kids interact and enjoy each other. There are certainly memories in the making here!
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.
Gathering supplies and adjusting to new schedules can make a new school year rather daunting. But as you’re preparing for classes to start, take a moment and think about how incredibly blessed your family is to have the chance for your children to receive a quality education!
Consider this from Haiti, a country not so far away from here… Hundreds of thousands of children have no access to school, or have seemingly innumerable obstacles in their way, such as: What would you do if you didn’t have any money to go to school? What if there was no school near you, and you had to walk miles each day without any food in your belly? What if, when you got to the one-room school house, you found that there were no books, and you sat on a bench all day in the heat to memorize from a chalkboard?
Isn’t it fun to look forward to an evening out with your family? What if you could change a life at same time?
At the 2015 Gospel Sing on Saturday, August 22, 2015, you can do just that. Join us at the Wilkening Farmstead (Cissna Park, IL) for an evening of down-home, southern gospel music. You’ll hear inspiring stories of hope, enjoy amazing food, and listen to encouraging music for the heart – all while having a great time with your friends and family. But the best part is, all freewill offerings collected that evening will benefit the lives of vulnerable children.
With a curious smirk, sporting a vest and tie, you smile and think, “What a cute boy.” What isn’t captured is how powerful this moment really is. You see, Obie*, the little guy pictured, had just joined his new Home of Hope family when this photo was taken. It was his first day in a new home. His first day eating three full meals. His first night sleeping in a bed all his own. It was the first of so many new things he never had before.
This weekend, we will celebrate our country’s independence and freedom. We will gather with friends and family and thank God for the freedoms we have been blessed with in this land – mostly things we have never lived without.
But we don’t begin to understand the magnitude of what we celebrate if we don’t know the power of what freedom really is. Today, there are people around the world who have never known this kind of freedom. They are men, women and children who do not know what it means to dream of a better future. They do not know what it is to celebrate freedom, either individually or as a nation. They are the world’s most vulnerable.
I sat in a dimmed auditorium listening to powerful words from a host of speakers at the Justice Conference 2015. Those two days were full of passionate leaders who are tackling extreme poverty, promoting peace in Israel and rescuing trafficked victims. Each has there own area with their own challenges. But each came back to the same place, reminding us that: