Celebrating Friend Day at Family Church

Sunday was Friend Day at Family Church and it was a great success! Thanks to all of you that invited your friends, neighbors, extended family members, and co-workers. We have had so many encouraging responses from people who attended and are looking forward to coming back to Family Church.

We also had a great Fall/Thanksgiving Fellowship on Sunday evening. The staff continues to be amazed at the faithful people of Family Church. We had a huge crowd, the best food ever, and lots of conversation, laughter, and fellowship with one another.

Sunday morning, Pastor Beck shared the message “More Than a Facebook Friend” and gave us seven characteristics of a biblical friendship:

  1.  Forgiveness
  2. Loyalty
  3. Closeness
  4. Reliability
  5. Honesty
  6. Godly Counsel
  7. “Sparks” – iron sharpening iron

He closed with a “friendship challenge”—that we should not only seek out a true, biblical friend, but focus on being one.

Whether you were with us on Sunday or not, this would be a great message to listen to for the first time or the second, third, or fourth time! Just follow this link:

Guest Post for CASA – “Home”

It’s a word that most of us take for granted, but for the hundreds of children in Northeast Louisiana that are abused or neglected each year, it’s not so clearly defined. For a child that has been in three foster homes and two schools in the past year, the idea of home can seem like a distant memory.

CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to help ensure that each abused or neglected child finds a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. The role of a CASA is to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the court system, collecting information through observation and interviews with key people in the child’s life and then reporting back to the judge.

Our current need for new volunteers is great. Although we have over 140 volunteers currently serving over 270 children in our region, we still have about 100 children who are in need of an advocate to speak up for their best interest.

A child with a CASA volunteer is twice as likely to find a permanent home and not languish in long term foster care. Since our inception, CASA of Northeast Louisiana has advocated for approximately 1,900 children in need of care and has trained nearly 800 community volunteers. These CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and are a powerful voice for a child in need.

A CASA volunteer is a voice to the voiceless, standing in the gap for children who can’t speak up for themselves. Our advocates serve children from newborns to 17 years of age, speaking up for the best interest and unique needs of each specific child. Whether it’s advocating for a medical need for a toddler or helping an older youth prepare to transition out of foster care and into adulthood, CASAs are making a lifelong difference for children in Northeast Louisiana everyday.

For a child that has been let down by the adults they trusted the most, a CASA volunteer can offer one of the most important intangible needs a child has: hope. Hope that someone actually cares about them. Hope that they are more than their circumstances. Hope that their lives don’t have to continue down the same path.

CASA volunteers are trained by our caring staff, who also coach and support them after they are sworn in by a judge. The average CASA volunteer gives five to ten hours each month advocating for a child.

CASA volunteers stand for hope for a child everyday and we invite you to consider joining us in that mission. “The least of these” are right here in our neighborhoods. Abuse and neglect know no zip code and there are children across our region in need right now. If you would like more information about becoming a CASA volunteer, please contact us at (318) 398-0945 or casa@hopefornela.org. You can also learn more at our website www.casaofnela.org.

Adam McDonald

Community Development Coordinator

CASA of Northeast Louisiana

Why Can’t I Be A Better Friend?

Director of Development

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As I posted about on Monday I had a big birthday this weekend.

By all accounts, I am old. 30 really has me feeling old.

Ok, so not really  but thought I would try that out.

This weekend my wife gave an awesome party for me. Quite a few of our friends and family showed up in some of the most outrageous clothing you can find.

Everyone was challenged to dress as something that starts with a ‘J’.

Here are a few examples:

What does this have to do with being a good friend?

Sunday morning after all the party pictures were posted and the

Birthday Rap for My 30th Birthday! Incredible!

Director of Development

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I don’t know about you but I like to start my Monday off on a good note.

There are very few times I feel I can guarantee you a funny video that will make you smile, well today I feel I can promise that.

It just so happens that my brother and wife had a special video made for me and it includes them rapping.

One of the most awesome things I have seen!

I hope something that was a huge blessing to me personally can give you a bit of a kick as we head toward another week of work!

Now you will see one of the many reasons why I had a great birthday on Saturday!

Enjoy!

Face To Face With the 15-Year-Old You

Director of Development

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My wife Aly and I have spent the week teaching the bible classes at Ouachita Christian School, an amazing school that we both graduated from.

There are a large number of reasons why it is funny for me to be back at OCS and of all things, teaching a Bible class. But none the less it has been great.

On Monday and Thursday Aly and I shared/ will share together but on Tuesday and Wednesday, I took the classes by myself.

I walked them through the same process we took the men of Family Church through in Warrior Camp.

It has been a great experience to be able to talk to 16-18 year olds that are in the exact same position I was in almost 11 years ago.

What happened today in a passing conversation caught my attention though.

I was talking with some of the older guys before class started about football at OCS.

I told them that when I first went to school there, I joined the football team and late in the season