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Coming in 2022!

Home is in the Heart 

A Children's book on the real meaning of home



     Approximately three years ago the Lord made me aware of a startling truth on homelessness in America: a large percentage of those lost in the mix were children under the age of twelve.  In fact, the largest group of homeless children are from 1 to 3 years old, followed by the 4 to 6-year-old age group.  

     When I did further research I found that these children, most of which are homeless with a mother who works but is not making a livable wage to provide a home for her kids, had likely already experienced a lifetime of suffering.  In fact, studies indicate that 63% of homeless women have been victims of domestic violence with 41% of children admitting they've witnessed acts of violence in their home.  Another 36% indicated that someone in their family used drugs regularly.  Still, more research reports children coming from homes where they've sexual and physical abuse themselves. 

     As a child who was raised in relative poverty due to my own father's addictions to alcohol, rage, and women, my heart broke.  Over the course of the following days, I wrote a book, Home is in the Heart, A Book About the Real Meaning of Home, about 5-year-old Unique, and her mother, and their move from living in their car to a shelter. While Unique's mother is given some practical items, she is given a Blessing in a Bag; a carryall that contains a letter from a former shelter resident her age, a children's Bible, a laptop quilt, stuffed animal, colored pencils and paper, and a small bag of candy.  The purpose of the contents of the bag throughout the book is to comfort her, give her a gift that is specifically hers to own and provide ways for her to process her creativity and feelings.  

     In an excerpt of the book, Unique asks her mom about when they will get a real home.  As Momma holds her daughter in the dark night of the shelter, she says, "What would be the best part of having a home?" 

Unique thought for a moment. 

"Being with you Momma." 

"I feel that way about you too Unique," Momma said.  "No matter where we are, as long as I'm with you, in my heart I feel like I'm home." 

“So home is in your heart?” Unique asked.

“Home is whoever is in your heart. And you take your heart everywhere you go, so home can be with you anywhere you go.”

“So even though we are at the shelter we are home because you’re in my heart and I’m in yours?” Unique asked.

“Yep,” Momma answered.

“What about Grandma Alice? She’s in heaven. But she’s in my heart. Is she home?” Unique asked.

“Yes. Home is whoever is in your heart.”

“Can Buddy be home?”

“Yes.”

“Is Jake the dog home even though we had to leave him behind when we had to leave our apartment?”

“Yes, he sure is,” said Mom.

“And my best friend Bella from next door?”

“Bella too!”

“Does home get too full?”

“Home never gets full,” Mom said. “There’s always room for more in home.”  

  

Home is in the Heart is an inclusive, age-appropriate, illustrated children's book designed to help young children understand their feelings and needs during a time in life where there is unwanted change and grief. The empathetic and beautiful illustrations are rooted in real life, exploring the truth of loss and change, while remaining comforting and hopeful.  Broad enough to encompass many forms of grief and change, this book reassures kids that they are not alone in their feelings and encourages them to express their emotions while empowering them to take ownership of who they are and who they pull into their inner circle. Practical and compassionate, Home is in the Heart touches on common sources of grief - everything from homelessness, death to divorce, to losing a pet, and normalizes the confusing thoughts and physical symptoms that come with change and grief. 

     With the support of the Nampa Christian School elementary students, who will be writing letters to be inserted into the Blessing in a Bag, and the junior and high schoolers who will be putting the bags together, including a copy of Home is in the Heart, Yeshu'a Ministries will be donating our first allotment of bags to the Boise Rescue Mission in March 2022.  





HOMELESSNESS STATISTICS:  

580,000 Americans were homeless in 2020 before the pandemic hit our shores. Approximately a third of those families are living on the street, in a car, or in another place not meant for human habitation. To get a clear vision of what that looks like, consider these startling truths: 

* On any given single night, an estimated 60,000 family households are homeless, with children under the age of 18 comprising the majority of those without a home.

* 16.5%, that is, 95,700 children, are under the age of 12.  The largest group of homeless children are from 1 to 3 years old, followed by the 4 to 6-year-old age group. 

     Homelessness can have a tremendous impact on children.  Their education, health, sense of safety, and overall development can be seriously impacted.  Researchers have repeatedly documented that children experiencing homelessness have been shown to: 

* Have higher levels of emotional and behavioral problems

* Have an increased risk of serious health problems.  Homeless children experience four times as many respiratory infections, twice as many ear infections, and are four times more likely to have asthma. 

* Are more likely to experience separation from their families

* Experience more school mobility, repeat a grade, be expelled or drop out of school, and have lower academic performance. They are less likely to attend school, and more likely to fall behind in class

* More likely to suffer from hunger, poor physical and emotional health



Sources: Second Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress; stopchildhomelessness.com.

   The Truth & Grace Ministry Minute - 

A Daily Video Drop of Encouragement

     The Truth & Grace Ministry is a 1-3 minute video devotion that is a great spiritual seed of wisdom you can plant in your heart and ponder upon, chew and meditate during the day, and think about how you can apply the principles in your life.   The best part is you can come back daily for a new one!  To watch it, go to the Truth & Grace Program Tab and touch on the 'Ministry Minute' tab.  The newest one will be on top.  




About Leslie Montgomery

     Leslie Montgomery is a ghostwriter for some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical and political leaders and is the go-to author for faith-based biographies. Among several other books, Leslie is the author of The Faith of Condoleezza Rice and The Faith of Mike Pence. She is a freelance and scriptwriter, radio personality, Bible teacher, and a humorous and inspirational speaker. Leslie has written for secular and religious publications for over 30 years. Her most recent projects include a weekly 45 minute video podcast called Leslie Montgomery's Truth & Grace that is released on YouTube every Thursday at noon, and a daily 1-3 minute word of encouragement video podcast on Facebook.  


     Leslie was a speaker on the collaborated tour of Chuck Colson and Billy Graham and has traveled around the world with her speaking and teaching ministry. She is the recipient of the SME, Woman of Excellence, Women Mentoring Women Award, given to her by renowned journalist Lisa Ling for impacting the lives of others through her own accomplishments and for serving as an example to others of strength and fortitude in overcoming life's challenges.


     Leslie studied psychology at Tennessee State University and Pastoral Counseling at Taylor University, and is passionate about studying biblical languages. Before writing full-time, she was a counselor for the Y.W.C.A. working with abused teens and then with women at the Tennessee Prison for Women.  Leslie was also a counselor for juvenile and adult sex offenders before becoming the Chaplain for Corrections Corporation of America's headship facility in Nashville, Tennessee. She is married to Dallas Anderson who worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association before retirement, is the mother of four, and the grandmother of six. She resides on a farm outside of Boise, Idaho.  

Leslie is a proud member of the Association of Biblical Counselors.



LESLIE'S CURRENT PROJECTS ON DECK 


    Leslie is currently working on a confidential, two-book project with a prominent Christian couple who have helped influence the political and business culture around the world.  The first book is going to be turned into a movie, so please pray for her and the couple as they work through these projects for the glory of God. 



At the request of Vice President Mike Pence, Leslie went to Washington, D.C. in February, 2020, to meet with him.  

     "After meeting with him all I can tell you is that everything I was told about him by all 58 people I interviewed for the book [The Faith of Mike Pence] is true; he is indeed a man of God and a man of integrity," Leslie stated.

Vice President Pence's staff graciously gave Leslie the VIP treatment over the course of her stay in D.C.

     "The best part of the trip was attending Vice President Pence's Wednesday afternoon Bible Study that he started right after he took office.  I was joined by over 60 White House staff members, and given the honor of opening in prayer. I was touched," Leslie recalled.  

Leslie Montgomery Being Interviewed on the Eric Metaxas Show in NYC

ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE FAITH OF MIKE PENCE

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Leslie Montgomery on Mike Huckabee's TBN Show

Yeshu'a Ministries Proudly Supports Victims of Sex Trafficking and Domestic Violence


There will always be something bigger than ourselves. Naturally, at some point in our lives, we seek answers to the things we can’t understand. This is especially true when we are facing challenges that seem impossible to overcome.


God knows all about it, which is why He gave us the Bible. The scripture, with all of His teachings, will serve as our guide to life. All the answers are in the book. That’s why we at Leslie Montgomery Ministries set out on the journey to share its content in different ways, including books, talks, and other related programs.

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