Monday, January 16, 2017

AN ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN -- by Guest Author LeeAnn Mancini

My guest today, LeeAnn Mancini, is a fascinating woman who has done a great deal in advocating for helpless children. I hope you enjoy her story.

An Advocate for Children -- LeeAnn Mancini


I have been a life-long believer in Christ, and I have also been a life-long advocate for children. Let me take you through my life’s journey of serving children who are in need. In my twenties, before I was married and before my children were born, I was a Guardian AdLitem for Palm Beach County, Florida. It was a joy to know the work I was doing was saving the lives of children!

After my children were born but still very young, I remember seeing the traumatic news footage of Baby JessicaDeBoer. She was the same age as my son when she was ripped from her adoptive parents’ arms and whisked away in a car. Hearing the horrific cries of both Jessica and the only mother she had ever known still haunts me to this day.

I immediately called to see what I could do, and I ended up starting the DeBoer Committee for Children’s Rights, Florida Chapter. In just a few months, the Chapter grew to 1,500 members. Through our newsletter, we were able to rally around Baby Emily Welsh, a local two-year-old whom the court had awarded to her birth father, a convicted rapist and felon who spent three years in prison.

Our group held a candlelight vigil and contacted Senators and Representatives in addition to many others in order to help save this little girl. It was all in honor of Baby Jessica, who lost her battle in Michigan, that we fought so hard.

In the end, the 5th District Court of Appeals overturned the decision regarding Emily, and on January 10, 1996, the headlines of our local newspaper, The Sun-Sentinel, announced the wonderful news that the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the 5th District Court of Appeals’ ruling that Emily would remain with her adoptive parents. The father had terminated his parental rights when he financially and emotionally abandoned Emily’s mother. What a joyous day! The gratification of saving this child was beyond words or description.

Today my children are 25 and 23 years old. They are such a blessing, and they both have a giving spirit and a loving heart! But with them now grown, I was able to go back to school in my 50’s. I received a BA in Religious Studies from Regent University, a Masters in Biblical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary, and a Masters from Evangelical Trinity School (Trinity International University). I am now 58! I am an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

However, my full-time job is publishing and writing Christian children’s books, and I love it! I wrote the stories for my books when my children were just three and five—yes, twenty years ago! All this time, I felt the Holy Spirit tapping me on the shoulder, telling me to get the books published and into the hands of children.

My books are unique because they teach little ones, ages eight and under, to pray to Jesus during difficult times and to show love and compassion to others. Every story centers around a difficult situation, where the main character prays to Jesus. In addition, every story promotes an anti-bullying message and teaches children to love and serve one other. The books even have a fun symbol for the children to find on every page. We have been awarded twenty-two awards so far!
Author LeeAnn Mancini and Pat Boone
Nowadays, my mission is to use my books to reach little ones and help them develop a strong foundation in Jesus at an early age. In addition to donating some of my books directly to various originations that help children locally, across the country, and throughout the world, I also use the sales of my books to help raise money for Christian children’s charities! It’s never too late to pursue a dream as long as it is in God’s perfect will and plan.

I tell you all of this because in every season of your life you can be the voice, the advocate, the teacher, and the example of love for innocent children! Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I personally don’t think there is a better feeling than knowing you have helped a child in need!
You can help support my mission while at the same time giving your children fun, edifying stories with Christian morals to read by ordering my books from GLMPublishing.net. As always, part of my proceeds will go towards Christian children’s charities. May God bless you, guide you, and lead you to be an advocate for children!

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1 comment:

Anne Rightler said...

Thank you for sharing this article. What a wonderful journey of helping children. Love LeeAnn's books.