Life In Abundance works in many countries that are closed and restricted to Christians, meeting practical needs such as childcare and education, in order to witness through action where words are not allowed. This story of a mother and her children is common throughout the five countries we work in.
Synab Jamac is a mother of five children who lives in The Horn Region of Africa. After a falling out with her husband, she moved to live with her mother in hopes of finding an opportunity to make a living and provide for her children back in her hometown.
She decided to open up a small clothing kiosk in the city, and although her business allowed her to cover rent and put food on the table, she didn’t make nearly enough to send her five children to school. This was a great weight on her shoulders as the only bread winner in the family. She knew all too well what laid ahead for her children if they did not have and education, especially in a land plagued by conflict and unrest with such few opportunities for its residents.
Through community engagement initiatives LIA staff and volunteers crossed paths with Synab and her family, offering the busy mother an opportunity to send one of her children to LIA Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Care Center free of charge. When presented with this, Synab was so overwhelmed with joy that she could hardly contain her excitement. She described the offer as dream come true and more than she could have ever asked for. Shamsudiin, (pictured) her oldest, was who she asked to be admitted in to the program.
Shamsudiin’s addition to the LIA OVC program not only gave him a second chance at a quality education, it qualified his family to be eligible for a rent stipend, relieving his mother of some of her financial burdens so that she might be able to send the rest of her children to school. Synab is grateful for the small amount of financial relief she’s been given while she works to regain her ground financially, but her greatest joy is seeing her boy become a kid again. Shamsudiin is up every morning with a massive smile on his face, excited to learn and be among friends. Synab hopes to improve her business and be able to send the rest of her children to school at the start of the next school year.
To help mothers like Synab and support LIA’s work in restricted countries, consider participating in our Christmas Appeal!
During the holiday season last year, LIA committed to restoring life with our church partners through an orphan and vulnerable children program in Ethiopia and relief health services in the Horn of Africa.
We wanted to take a moment to update you on the progress so far – transformation is already taking root and lives are being changed in a sustainable way.
Because of your commitment, LIA has:
- Provided $75,000 worth of food and shelter to 8,500 people in a refugee camp in the Horn of Africa
- Continued the establishment of the orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) program in that refugee camp to meet the needs of those families for the long-term
- Worked with local church partners to identify and enroll 200 youth in our new OVC program in Arada, Ethiopia
- Provided shelter and necessary living supplies to 50 of those children who had no where else to live
- Paid school, book and educational materials fees for the other 150 children so that they may continue their education
- Helped the families of the 150 at-risk youth start a savings and credit cooperative
Despite this tremendous progress, there is still much work to be done. Thank you for walking alongside LIA and its church partners to restore life. It truly would not be possible without your support.
Last month, the Christian Center of Park City, Utah, hosted Hike for Hunger with more than 300 people who participated. Organizations, churches and families alike came together to rally against hunger and support people locally and globally who go hungry every day.
LIA was chosen as one of the global benefiting partners, with a portion of the day’s proceeds going to support our long-term food security initiatives in the Horn of Africa.
“We love this concept – a community coming together in action to stand against hunger. That’s the very definition of Waking the Giant,” said Justin Narducci, LIA’s vice president of operations. “We are honored and humbled to have been a part of the event.”
Images courtesy of Christian Center of Park City
See more of Hike for Hunger photos on the Christian Center of Park City’s Facebook page.
Somalia is a country that faces some of the most dynamic struggles today. Daily, they encounter political, religious and illegal conflict. Thousands of people flee their homes and end up in refugee camps – communities of make-shift shelters and people who are equally broken. To make matters worse, these people face extreme weather contrasts from the heat of the desert landscape to the extreme rainy seasons. Lack of food and clean water quickly lead to decreased health in these communities.
In speaking with the local leaders* and government officials in one particular Somalia community where LIA serves, it was soon realized that in order to implement any sustainable development initiatives, basic, pressing needs must be met for these people. Through conversations with local leaders and observations of current living conditions, it was clear that shelter – the kind that would protect them from rain and other environmental factors – was critical.
Early this month, LIA was invited to participate in Feed the Famine. A group of dynamic and inspiring women in Phoenix put together this multi-faceted event aimed at raising awareness about the crisis in East Africa, and to raise funds for organizations that are doing something about it.
Fortunately, LIA was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the event! On a warm Saturday in Arizona, we headed out to join the Feed the Famine volunteers in their efforts.
As our first quarter activities come to a close and we begin the second quarter of the year, I have a good feeling of great things ahead. We are looking to accomplish several important undertakings this year and have already experienced notable breakthroughs.
As the world focuses on the turmoil in Libya right now, I can’t help but to be reminded of the faithfulness, righteousness and deliverance of our God, His way- His time! We would love to ask why, explain what is happening, and even predict the outcome, however we would best look to God and trust that He is at work now as always has been.
I’m writing to you after having just returned from a series of meetings among ministry leaders in Poland. The time was spent well and God was glorified without a doubt.
On the final day of our meetings, we took a trip to complete the time together. We went to the Nazi concentration camp in the south of Poland – Auschwitz. Here 1.5 million Jews from all over Europe were brought and killed in mid 1940’s. We saw the whole history and evidence. The camps, cells, starvation rooms, gas chambers, gas cans used, the firing squad execution court, the hanging gallows, all that and more. It was heavy. We saw thousands of shoes that were left behind, personal items like clothes, toothbrushes, suitcases, and tones of hair from the victims. It was an intense but a needed reminder. (more…)
At LIA, we see a day when parents in Africa’s poorest communities are able to provide for their own families.
Click on the image below to learn about our cause this holiday season to support church-based micro-enterprise initiatives in the communities where we serve.
Click on the image below to give towards our goal of raising $50,000 this Holiday season. The generated funds will go toward establishing 25 church based mirco-enterprise initiatives.
Two days ago, the LIA International Board of Directors met to discuss and approve many items as we looked back upon 2010 – and all that has been accomplished – and forward to 2011.
In light of what was shared to our Board, it seemed appropriate to share this information with you, our partners and supporters.
The late Andrew Murray famously stated that followers of Jesus are to, “beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things ‘above all that we ask or think’.”
We serve a mighty and powerful God who is bringing about change and transformation in Africa’s poorest communities. May we not limit God by what we believe to be possible!
Please join me in thanking God for the following highlights:
The LIA Cause
– LIA staff has trained nearly 400 local church and lay-leaders in the ministry of transformational development this year.
– These 400 people join a network of 56 churches that are actively serving in their community to meet the needs of the poorest.
– Most of these churches operate openly in their context, while others serve underground.
– Community development activities are far ranging, from street children rehabilitation to shoe-manufacturing to elementary schooling, based on the community need.
– As a result of this activity, more than 44,000 people have been served by LIA through those we have trained, thus far into 2010.
We are humbled and encouraged by how the Lord is moving through the communities we serve. It is in the Lord we put our trust in light of planning for 2011.