Lemuel's heart is for people. We believe people are eternal. Much of the activity we do and the infrastructure we build is not only an outreach of love to meet the needs of others in Jesus' name, but is the framework -- the context -- for INVESTING IN PEOPLE in His name as well.
Investing in people is a personal interaction. It happens every day. Sometimes through routine activities. Sometimes through special events. I would go so far as to say, it happens mostly in the little things...the daily things...the life-on-life things.
Investing in people is a torch to be passed. We invest in people so they can invest in others. We empower them and push them forward, so that they can teach "other trustworthy people who will be able to pass [these things] on to others." (2 Tim 2:2)
What does this kind of impact in lives look like? In the post below, I would like to share with you some examples -- snapshots, if you will -- from every day life over the past several weeks.
PS If you follow us on social media, you will see snapshots like these more frequently. You can find us on Facbook and Instagram under the name lemuelministries.
Girls Fòmasyon began in November! Every Saturday a group meets to learn skills like macramé, crochet, new recipes, and paper flowers. They also have a Bible study and a few other sessions. The ladies are divided into three groups:
Teenage/young adult girls...
And adult ladies...
One thing particularly touching this year has been the seamless collaboration between the groups. Josiane has formed a few of the most active teenage girls into a committee. They are very involved in teaching and helping the little girls, as well as in helping Josiane get ready for the classes (cleaning, set-up, etc). This allows for more concentrated investing in a smaller group, who then magnify the impact of the classes to the others. One Saturday, I went over to take some pictures. All three groups happened to be there at once, and there was an inspiring spirit of joy and mutual support among all the ladies, young and older.
Remember the order of investing --> empowering --> passing it on?
Judy is investing the art of making paper flowers into Modelene and Kesline. She is empowering them and pushing them to the front to teach the art. And they are passing it on to the other youth and little girls in the classes.
And these guys!
Along with the young men who have had part-time jobs at DDL for the last year or two (you've seen them in posts before), Mezou has also taken a small group of guys from the community under his wing (some of them are pictured all together above).
It is hard to express the impact this opportunity can have in their lives. As Mezou was sharing with me (Krischelle) earlier, it's not just about giving them a way to earn some money for their very real needs. It is a way to teach them how to live well, how to work well, how to lead well. Our other young leaders like Mezou and Djeffson pass on what has been invested in them to help these guys make better choices in life.
Mezou has also started a computer class, teaching some desperately needed skills to local young people.
This year the Kindergarten is doing a very special project with the kids.
Each class in the Kindergarten has a name. Kin 1 is "The Gardeners." Kin 2 is "The Animal Raisers" (sorry, there is no easy way to translate that). Kin 3 is "The Arborists."
Within that theme, Judy and the Kindergarten teachers developed an idea that would give them a hands-on learning experience: helping to plant and care for gardens right in the Kindergarten courtyard!
Not only does the project contibute to their education, but it also has another very important objective. Somewhere along the way, certain occupations -- such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc -- became idolized and elevated above others. This has led to a sort of disdain for other types of important work, including farming and field work. The Kindergarten project aims to build honor and value in the kids' eyes for the agricultural work that their own parents do.
DDL holds a short staff devotion every morning before the work day begins. Not all of their employees are Christians, so these are moments in which they can demonstrate our dependence on and faith in the God who has reached out to this community in His love.
They also held a special training at the end of November in which Judy shared Lemuel's core values and the way they should impact our life and work in Lemuel. (You can see those core values here.)
Our studies in the chapel continue to follow God's plan to reconcile all things to Himself and the impact that it has on our daily lives NOW.
Manis often spends concetrated time investing into specific individuals as the need arises. Here he sits and counsels Modelene, who has been given increasing responsbilities in the Transport Office and has been encountering some major learning curves.
Our directors and branch leaders meet once a month to share department updates and plans for the coming months. We also take time to talk about how we can pratically live out Lemuel's values and function together in supportive, collaborative unity. We end by taking time to pray for one another.
L to R: Almaïs (School Director), Williamso (Director of Development), Ronyl (Cafeteria Manager), Josiane (Head Assistant in finances), and Mezou (Campus Administrator)
Do you know what? This post is already long, and I haven't even shared everything with you.
But this is the kind of impact that your support and prayers are having every day through the ministry of Lemuel. This has been a tough year, but how encouraged we can all be to see what God continues to do in the lives around us. Thank you for partnering with us in the work He has entrusted to us.