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Clear Creek Chronicle: International student supports ministry

 

Shamma Lorredan could not go to Haiti for Christmas, but his heart made the journey—along with the supplies collected by his ministry, One Day at a Time.

Shamma won a singing contest in Haiti about 10 years ago and while competing he made a promise to God.

"I said, 'God, if I make it through there, I'm going to do something for the people,'" Shamma explained. "Because I knew, once I made it, I would have an opportunity to earn some money; and it worked. This is how it started."

Shamma began giving money from his performances to run a food pantry at a local church, but he knew the need was greater.

"We don't have any Christmas trees, really. We don't have snow," said Lorredan. "At Christmas time as a performer, I would go perform at all these activities. It's like a carnival. People dress up, they drink, but there's no God in the picture—it's just a holiday."

Shamma understood the church needed help to draw people in for the true meaning of Christmas, thus One Day at a Time was born.

"I collect money from my performances, and at the end of the year I will bring a big program for the community so Christian people can come, people from the community can come and we have a revival, Bible teaching and preaching," said Lorredan. "And then at the end of the program, we give them food and the stuff that I collected. A lot of people respond in faith and that creates an activity for the Christian community."

Because he is at Clear Creek on a student visa, Shamma is not sure when he can return to Haiti. That does not mean he entrusts the collected supplies and gifts to just anyone, though. His father lives in Florida now and is involved in ministry with the Haitian community in his area.

"My dad is the one who started the project with me. He's a senior pastor," said Lorredan. "He's organized a shipment and he's going to do the delivery in Haiti."

One Day at a Time ministry collects everything from practical supplies for fishing and labor work as well as hygiene items and even clothing and toys. Shamma and his fiancée took all of the collected supplies and gifts to Florida during the week of Thanksgiving, and the items were shipped to Haiti for Christmas.

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