Holly Furtick

Refugees in our backyard?

Once a month I like to take a few of the women in leadership at our church and visit one of our outreach partners.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit One7 Academy.  We got to share in their chapel time and serve the girls lunch.

One7 is a ministry to refugee kids living in Charlotte.  Yes we have refugees living in Charlotte.  One7 Academy offers free, private education for 19 very blessed girls from all over the world (you’ve got to check out their profiles on their site).  One7 ministries seeks to minister to many of the international families in crisis in our city.  Of course, they also use the ministry of soccer.  In fact, one of their boy’s teams won the US Club National Championship last year.  But they also have an entire apartment building that offers help and hope to families that many of us don’t even know exist in our city, as well as a weekly discipleship opportunity too.

I had the best time at the academy.  I am so thankful that when I give to Elevation a percentage of my money goes to help kids like this and that our church provides so many opportunities for us to get involved with organizations that are really getting it done in our city.  And, if you are local to Charlotte,  I KNOW the girls at One7 Academy would love to meet you.  They have weekly opportunities for you and your group to get involved.  Contact them through their site.

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Wrapping up Christmas

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to serve at A Child’s Place. A Child’s Place is an organization in Charlotte that serves homeless children. Did you know that there are over 7,000 identified homeless children in Charlotte? These are children living in hotels, shelters and staying with relatives. A Child’s Place provides many services for these children, one of which is family sponsorship at Christmas time.

I got to wrap some the many gifts given by the generous people of our city. We had such a great time. If you would like to serve with your family or group, here’s where you can find events going on this week and next. Click here to join the movement.

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Turkey Tuesday!

 

Today is Turkey Tuesday at Elevation.  That means that 200+ families in need this season will come to our church and receive a bag of groceries for a Thanksgiving meal for their family because of our partnership with Matthews Help Center.  I love my church.

Last night, I joined forces with 30 women from all of our campuses, all over Charlotte, to put these bags together.  I love getting to meet people while doing something productive at the same time.

When the evening was over and all the bags were packed, we prayed over the bags.  We prayed that the people who received the groceries would sense the love of Christ even if they don’t know him personally.  I am so thankful for the many opportunities that I get to be a part of.

 

If you live in Charlotte and would like to get involved in an outreach opportunity, check out our website for an event that fits you!

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A Ronald McDonald Party

Last night I got so serve alongside some of Elevation’s finest women.  About 30 women and I brought goodies to make welcome baskets for the families being served at Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.  We brought enough stuff to make over 100 baskets!  (and we ate cake pops too!).  Here is some more information about Ronald McDonald House and how you can be a part too…

Ronald McDonald House provides families a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment while their children receive treatment at nearby medical facilities.  They provide the following services and more for families in their care…

  • Ministry and spiritual support
  • Transportation
  • Sibling activities
  • Holiday and birthday celebrations
  • Group support
  • Nightly family meals
  • Daily family-friendly activities

To date, Elevation has given $17,000 to support this organization.

You can support RMH in the following ways…

  • Have your eGroup prepare the nightly meals, monthly table decorations, and/or bake fresh cookies.
  • Put together Family Care Kits like the ones we are putting together today.
  • Donate new toys and books.

If you or your eGroup would like to get involved with this outreach partner, please contact elisacurtis@sbcglobal.net.

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A trip to the Dove’s Nest

Last week, several of the Elevation staff spouses and I (how do you like our hair nets?) served at the Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Dove’s Nest.  The Dove’s Nest is an amazing ministry that provides substance abuse recovery for women and their families at a success rate of 77%!  Their program has several unique features…

  • They are a Christ based ministry
  • They are not a 28 day program, residents stay for 4-5 months
  • They are able to house a woman AND her children while the mother is getting help
  • The women receive counseling from trained professionals

This past summer the Dove’s Nest opened a brand new building, located right in the heart of Charlotte that is amazing.  Their new facility allows them to eventually be able to help 90 women at a time.

We had a great time touring their facility, hanging out with the residents and helping in their kitchen.  If you are local to Charlotte, you can help the Dove’s Nest in the following ways…

  • become a prayer partner
  • help cook or donate meals once a month
  • bring donations such as women’s clothing, shoes, and hygiene items
  • provide services for the women such as art or cooking classes, salon or spa services, even fitness classes

You can click here to see their ongoing and immediate needs.

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Ladies First

Last week we got together with our female staff and staff spouses.  We try to get together a few times a year.  Each time we meet we try to change it up.  We have served together, we have simply gotten to know each other and we have brought in speakers too (this was our last event).

This time we brought in one of my favorite authors, Shaunti Felhahn.  We decided to have everyone who normally attends this event invite someone with them.  We had the best time.  We had ice cream in January.  We talked about the core values of Elevation (The Code).  We collected items for Pregnancy Resource Center AND gave them a check from the generous people of Elevation for $40K!   And we heard from a bestselling author.

Shaunti spoke to us about the inner workings of men and how we can apply what we know about men to working with them and being married to them.  Her content is so good.  I love it because it is not one woman’s opinion for men, it is a woman’s findings after interviewing thousands of men.  If you have never read her book, For Women Only, or For Women Only in the Workplace, you need to get a copy!

Here’s a few pictures from our night…

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Kids serving kids

Right before Christmas we had the opportunity to make boxes for Operation Christmas Child along with a few other Elevation staff children.  I love serving with my kids.  I love teaching them to care about others.  They had such a great time picking out toys for their boxes and then assembling their boxes.

Did you know that this year, Operation Christmas Child expects to hit 100 Million boxes this year?  And, did you know that you don’t have to wait until Christmas time to make a box?  The boxes that we made will be distributed in Panama this March and you can still contribute to the stack (contact outreach@elevationchurch.org for more information).

And don’t forget, you can always visit Elevation Outreach for more information about how you, your family, or your small group can get involved.

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How to stay focused on Jesus during Christmas

We live in such an amazing time in history.  Technology has made it so that we have the greatest preachers and teachers on earth at our fingertips on the internet.  We can read books loaded all in one place on our phone or tablet and we can listen to the radio on demand!

It is important to have as many ways for God to speak to me throughout your day and really your week. And during the Christmas season, when life can be so busy, we must be intentional about this. Going to church is great, it’s essential, but unless I am digging in in between Sundays, I am not going to grow very much in my walk with Christ.  Of course nothing can replace studying God’s Word on your own, but we must make a conscious effort to fill our minds with things that are going to challenge us to grow and keep pur minds focused on Christ during the busy holiday season.

Here are a few ideas…

  • I recently found a great resource from the ministry of Dr. James Dobson, called Family Talk Radio (this is different from Focus on the Family).  They have a great app for the iPhone and Droid (just search Family Talk Radio or Dr. Dobson).  I love it.  I love that I can listen while I am driving or when I am cooking dinner.  The app is super easy to navigate but you can also listen online at Dr.JamesDobson.org.  Today and yesterday, they interviewed Linda Dillow, the author of one of my favorite books, What’s it like to be married to me?  Another great program they did recently was called 10 Habits of Happy Moms (search general parenting).
  • Begin the habit of listening to at least one other preacher in between Sundays (and your own if you missed church that week).  You can watch Elevation sermons at the Elevation Network.  Some of my other favorite preachers are Pastor Craig Groeschel at Lifechurch.tv and Pastor James Mc Donald.
  • Get your mind off yourself and all you have to do by serving a local organization.  This time of the year, there are so many organizations helping people in need.  If you live in Charlotte, there are tons of opportunities at ElevationOutreach.com
  • Listen to worship music.  It is amazing how much music can set a tone in my home or my car.  I have several favorite albums and a few Christmas instrumental albums, but a great cheap way to hear fresh music is through Pandora.  You can download their app or listen online at Pandora.com and create special radio stations with your favorite artists or categories.

 

I hope you will join me this holiday season in choosing to fill your mind with things that will challenge and keep you focused on Jesus this Christmas.  Next week I will share a few ideas of some family traditions that you can incorporate to help your kids focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

 

 

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Compassion to Act

Last week some of the Elevation staff spouses and I had the opportunity to visit Compassion to Act, an organization in our community fighting human sex trafficking in Charlotte.

Yes, human trafficking in Charlotte exists.  Did you know that there are more than 30 million slaves today, which is more than double the number of victims transported during the entire transatlantic slave trade?  Did you know that the US is one of the top 3 destination points for trafficked victims?  And did you know that North Carolina is 6th in the nation for trafficked slaves?

Compassion to Act focuses on providing education and awareness about human trafficking.  They have a big dream to provide rehabilitation for victims and they are not afraid to start small.  We had such a great time learning about their organization.

We arrived with armloads of beauty products and samples and together we prepared 100 gift bags for women working in many of the clubs in our area.

I love getting to visit and serve alongside so many of the great organizations in our city.  This month I will be visiting our local Ronald McDonald house (more about that in a few weeks).  You can find out more about how you can get involved with Compassion to Act by visiting their site.  And to find out more about how you can get involved with Elevation Outreach visit www.elevationoutreach.com.

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Turkey Tuesday

Today is Turkey Tuesday for some very special families.

Last night I got tother with a few of Elevation’s finest women to pack 200 turkey dinners for families in need this season.  Since Elevation has joined up with our Outreach partner, Matthews Help Center, we have been able to increase the number of families they help every Thanksgiving from 50 to 200!  I am so proud of the generous people of Elevation Church.

I love serving our community all year long but I especially love it during the holidays.  There is something about taking time to help someone in need that gets my mind off myself and the business of the season and onto others in need.  I hope that you will get involved in one of the many opportunities to serve this holiday season.  Whether you want to serve with your small group or your family, you can learn more by visiting ElevationOutreach.com.

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