Thursday, April 17, 2014

What is Courtney up to this summer?

Greetings Family and Friends,
 I am overjoyed to let you know that The Lord has called me to return to Africa this summer to learn from whom I consider a dear dear friend the job that is short term mission work.  You see I am in the process of moving forward on some dreams that are so close to my heart and so personal to my family (I promise more information on that soon) that I need to understand 1st hand the work that is short term missions and I truly thought there was no one better to guide me on this course than my dear friend Gina.
To that end, my trip in July of this year will be to serve alongside the pastors of a local church in Kigali Rwanda. During our visit we will be delivering care packages to families who need to know The Lord, visiting and praying over the sick in the community the church serves, and assisting with worship, children's programs, and whatever else the church members can find use for us to do! It is my hearts desire to serve The Lord and I believe the best way to do that for the hurting people of Rwanda is to connect them to the local body of Christ that can minister to them long after I've returned to my home.

 Additionally, I am over the moon excited to be visiting a local school for the deaf. Several of our team members are fluent in American Sign Language, and the nation of Rwanda is in the early stages of creating a unified Rwandan Sign language which is very similar in dialect to ASL. You have no idea how much this means to me and our dear Marilyn who will be traveling with me!! I am excited that The Lord has called me to partner with him in reaching people in the communities around Kigali. If you feel led to serve The Lord by contributing financially to my mission trip I would be thrilled. I will be collecting help for my expenses as well as for donations to purchase goods while in country.

I'll be leaving American soil on July 13th and will return to the states Aug 1st.  It is truly a blessing and an honor to take this trip this summer alongside our sweet Marilyn!  Donations can be made to me via paypal - courtney@amagicalaffair.com or via check to Courtney Hammons

As always prayers appreciated as I prepare my heart and mind for this journey.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

14-04 MM email
Lifesong Farms. We are thankful, with the help and expertise of our friends at Plant Sciences, Inc., to have active strawberry farms in Ukraine and Zambia. Our hope is to not only create jobs & self-worth for orphan caregivers, but also  provide future employment opportunities as orphans grow into adults. Eventually, we aim to establish sustainability to help fund on-going orphan care. Hear the stories behind the farms...

Bearing Fruit in Sergey {UKRAINE}

Like each and every child our Ukraine team reaches out to through Constant Christian Presence, Sergey was full of potential. Coming from a life of hurt, God breathed hope into his heart and life.
Through the team's support, mentorship and love, Sergey came to know Christ while developing relationships and life skills that is leading him towards a fruitful future.

Now, he and another orphan graduate are involved in helping manage a nursery, as well as play an important role in Lifesong Farms-Ukraine.

Listen in to his story...

Strawberries Help Send Kids to School {ZAMBIA}

Last month, Lifesong Farms-Zambia team were pleased to present the first check to the Lifesong School at a special ceremony. As the farm continues to grow and show profits, we hope to have many more check ceremonies in the future as we grow towards sustainability!

zambia farms
Farm team presenting $5,000 check to Lifesong Zambia School

Read More...

Story of Lifesong Farms - Learn how Lifesong Farms got started in Lifesong Zambia. Watch Video

Impact on Farm Workers - Listen in to our Quality Manager, Pilijah, as she shares how her job has impacted her and her family. Watch Video

Christian Alliance for Orphans CAFO2014 {May 1-2; CHICAGO} - CAFO2014 inspires and equips Christians to care for orphans with wisdom-guided love. Register today! Learn More & Register

Thursday, March 20, 2014

14-03 MM email
"If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."  Isaiah 58:10

The Forgotten Initiative, Lifesong's foster care ministry, exists to bring joy and purpose to local foster care communities through mentorship, service projects and family support organized by local TFI Advocates. With a holistic approach they reach out not only to foster children, but also agency workers, foster parents and vulnerable adults. Read along to learn more...

JOURNEY BAGS {For Children Entering Care}

The Forgotten Initiative (TFI) has many different ways to get involved. One is creating "Journey Bags" for local foster care agency to ultimately reach foster kids in your community.

What exactly is a Journey Bag? Children often come into foster care with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Journey Bags are backpacks filled with personal items for kids to have when they are abruptly taken out of their homes.

Listen in to the impact of Journey Bags...
"Last night at midnight, three precious little beauties showed up on my doorstep. They each had with them a blanket, a stuffed animal, and a book bag, their Journey Bags. I kept waiting for more, anything more, but nothing came. The investigator told me this was all they had. 
Our 5-year-old came with shoes so worn, they had to be thrown away. One of our two-year-olds had no shoes, the other had two left shoes. When I asked about getting anything out of the home, the investigator said it wasn't possible. The kids had nothing. There worldly possessions consisted of Journey Bags. As I stared at those bags, I began to cry. What if no one took the time to fill those bags and deliver them? What would our children have then? Absolutely nothing. Nothing to claim as their own, nothing to protect or cherish. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for my kiddos Journey Bags." 
--Heather, foster mom

PROJECT RENOVATE {Supporting Local Foster Families}


Go on a local "mission trip" with Project Renovate!

Often foster care families feel alone and overwhelmed. Spend a day reaching out to families in need while at the same time raising support for The Forgotten Initiative with projects like deep cleaning a home, landscaping or giving a room a makeover!

Check out this new promo video & see how you can get involved at www.theforgotteninitiative.org/projectrenovate.


Join us this year for a Project Renovate in Central Illinois:

June 7th -- Clinton, IL
July 12th -- Creve Coeur, IL


Read More...

Journey Bag Testimonial - Listen in as foster mom shares the impact the TFI Journey Bags had on her and her foster children. Watch Video

Showing Jesus to the Forgotten - Learn what it means to become a TFI Advocate for your local foster care community!  Read More

ReMoved - Originally created for the 168 Film Festival, ReMoved follows the emotional story through the eyes of a young girl taken from her home and placed into foster care. Watch Video

Coming This Spring...

Zambia Choir KidsCelebrate Life Tour - Featuring Cheri Keaggy & Zambian Children's Choir! This concert will be an excellent opportunity for the whole family to hear how they can help care for orphans and vulnerable children! Learn more about dates, locations & where to buy your tickets>>

Christian Alliance for Orphans CAFO2014 {May 1-2; CHICAGO} - CAFO2014 inspires and equips Christians to care for orphans with wisdom-guided love. Register today! Learn More & Register

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Camp Nurture is Coming ~

Greetings ~
I wanted to make sure I passed along some valuable information about a camp coming to middle tn this summer!

July 14-18 2014 9-3pm
Brentwood Baptist Children’s Home
Brentwood, TN

Pre-Camp Parent Training Dates: June 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th &  July 12th
Post-Camp Parent Support Dates: August 2nd, 16th & Sept. 6th

Camp Nurture is a therapeutic day camp for adopted children, age 5-9, with trauma and attachment challenges.  This 5-day pilot program will offer a structured combination of playfully engaging, sensory, and therapeutic activities to nurture the children’s ability to self-regulate and connect with others.  Children will attend Nurture groups designed to build capacity to seek and receive care, Life-Skills groups to facilitate children’s ability to process change and loss, as well as identify and express emotions, Movement groups for learning self-regulation strategies, and Art Groups.  Each child will be matched with a Camp Buddy who will support the child’s exploration and provide safety and nurturing engagement.  Parents will be expected to attend all (5) pre-camp parent training sessions as well as parent sessions during the camp.
Camp Director: Paris Goodyear-Brown LCSW-RPT-S
Senior Staff: Melody Aguayo Ph. D., Emily Anderson LPC-MHSP, Arlin Troyer MMFT
For applications contact Kim Warner-Hudy LAPSW Kimwh@miriamspromise.org<mailto:Kimwh@miriamspromise.org>

All Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

$25,000 for $25,000 - what an AMAZING opportunity


Greetings ~
Below is a post from my friend and missionary Christie Magera's blog.  They have been given an amazing opportunity but in order to do it they need ALLLL of us to assist. - you can follow Christie on her blog 

Ekubo Christian Academy {25k in 25 days}

In 2010 as God directed our steps to start a ministry in our village, the vision we had was to live out the Gospel in community with the families, forge relationships with them, and provide a Christian education for as many children as we had room for in our school as we worked with the families to see how we could provide job opportunities for them. In turn, they would become self-sustainable and be able to pay their children's school fees. The plan to get there was simple; we would connect each child with a sponsor and that sponsor would financially support them until their family was able to. Unfortunately that worked out perfectly on paper but played out completely opposite. For 3 years now we have yet to have a year when our school has operated with all the funds needed. We have been praying diligently for an opportunity that would allow our school to be fully funded so we could direct our fundraising efforts toward some of the other things on our faith list - a bus we can use to generate income or a bakery that will be used to provide jobs, food for our school, and food for selling.

Ekubo Christian Academy now has the capacity for 320 students. The parents are asked to contribute to their children's educations by supplying small amounts of firewood, maize, or whatever they grow or have access to that meets a need at our school. This serves two purposes - to push the ownership of the children's educations back to the families and to help us keep the sponsorship amounts around $300/child. We made some much-needed changes to our program and now your financial gift will cover all the children, not just one. Go here to read more about it. Our faithful supporters were excited about the changes and we picked up some new sponsors in the process. The operational expenses for our school are $96,000 and while we haven't heard back from all of last year's sponsors as to whether or not they will be renewing this year, we have raised the $16,000 needed to cover through the end of last month. So for the 7 days of this month we have gone backwards - the school continues to run but no funds are coming in. Just when we were beginning to feel defeated, God whispered, "I am not silent. I am working."

Friends, when we feel God is silent - He's not. He is moving mountains that we don't see. Some we never knew were there. Oh, when we feel He is silent it just means we are not to the point in our journey that He is revealing His plans to us. Brothers and sisters, be courageous! He is our Hope. Let's walk boldly on the path He has set out before us, even if we can't see where our next step is. For that silence may be Him preparing hearts to join us on this journey.

And that was exactly what He was doing. A couple of nights ago I was catching up on emails when I got a message from a sweet family.

They have generously offered to match all donations up to
 $25,000 through March 31st!!!

We are beyond excited that God is using them to build our faith and answer our prayer. We invite you to help us. If we can raise $25,000 in 25 days, they will match it and we will have $50,000 toward our goal of having the school fully funded. 
How can you help?

PRAY that hearts are moved to help us and that God pours out His blessings in and through each one of them.

GIVE sacrificially to help us. God has already made provisions to have every dollar matched. You can give your tax-deductible gift through Visiting Orphans. We encourage you to send a check as there is a 5% fee for credit card donations. A check would enable your entire gift to be matched and applied directly to the need. Please make checks payable to Visiting Orphans, put Ekubo Christian Academy in the notes and send to:

Visiting Orphans
449 Metroplex Drive
Nashville, TN 37211

SHARE this amazing opportunity. Talk with your family. Your friends. Your small group. Your faith family at church. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media sites you use. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates that you can use to share with everyone you have encouraged to give. Watch with us as God brings His body together to fill this need and restore our faith in Him! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Family Forged ~

Greetings ~
Thank you Nashville Public Radio for sharing the story of the Hammons House!  We are blessed to be the family that we are because the plans God placed for us long before we even knew!  Here is a link to the story

Hammons House

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

14-02 MM email


"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." Isaiah 1:17



Advocate. There are countless ways to advocate for the orphan whether through adoption, sponsorship, in-country orphan care or prayer (just to name a few). Enjoy this month's Mission Moment as we highlight some of these advocate opportunities...

ADVOCATING FOR THE ORPHAN {Chris Hopf}

Chris Hopf, a pastor at Second Baptist Church (Houston, TX) and India Orphan Advocate, shares what it means to be an advocate for orphans abroad and in your own community. Listen in...




To learn more about becoming an Orphan Advocate, visit lifesongfororphans.org/advocate.



FINDING A NEW FAMILY {Maryjuri's Story} 


Meet Maryjuri, a 13-year-old at Plan Escalon School in Honduras who is learning the power of redemption from her own life's circumstances. Listen in to hear how God has given her a NEW family and a NEW belonging. Become an ADVOCATE for students like Maryjuri through the support of child sponsorship!

To learn more about sponsoring a child like Maryjuri, visit lifesongchildsponsorhip.org.

ADVOCATE THROUGH PRAYER {Lifesong Prayer Team}

Prayer Team


Sign up to receive monthly updates of recent prayer requests and praises from all across Lifesong's ministry. Learn more at lifesongfororphans.org/prayer-team.

READ MORE...

Showing Jesus to the Forgotten -- Learn what it means to be a TFI Advocate to the forgotten in your own community. Read More

"We Had Room for Another Child" -- Lifesong celebrates adoptive family who has received funding FOUR times! Love to see families ADVOCATE through adoption. Read More

Be an Advocate for Orvin -- See the incredible HOPE in Orvin's eyes despite the loss he has suffered and see how you can advocate on his behalf. Read More

Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit 10 {May 1-2; CHICAGO} -- CAFO2014 Summit inspires and equips Christians to care for orphans with wisdom-guided love. Register today! Read More

*COMING SOON*

Celebrate Life Concert tour with Cheri Keaggy & Children from Zambia. This concert will be an excellent opportunity for the whole family to hear how they can help care for orphans and vulnerable children. Read More