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HPU alumni help heal Iraqi hearts

BROWNWOOD – June 4, 2012 – Monique Ching, an international student from Hong Kong who recently graduated from Howard Payne University, is serving as an intern for Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC) in Iraq. PLC, founded in 2007 by HPU alumni Jeremy and Jessica (Bond) Courtney, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the more than 30,000 children awaiting lifesaving heart surgery.

ching_and_courtneys_for_webIn her final semester at HPU, Ching raised financial support to fund the two-month internship with PLC. As an intern she will primarily tell stories through writing and videography as well as do general office administrative work.

According to PLC, as a result of war, sanctions and internal strife, Iraq’s medical infrastructure is in shambles and the children are paying the price. PLC hosts international teams of professional doctors and nurses who perform surgeries while also helping to train the local Iraqi doctors. PLC’s mission is to develop six to eight fully-functioning heart centers in Iraq capable of helping the many children awaiting heart surgery. To date, the organization has helped save the lives of more than 230 Iraqi children and provided local doctors with more than 60,000 hours of hands-on training.

The Courtneys feel their HPU education was valuable to their current work.

“Looking back, Howard Payne’s emphasis on servant leadership prepared us for situations like this,” said Jessica Courtney. “Working in war-torn cities with desperate moms and dads trying to get help for their children can be exhausting. It demands flexibility and a constant outpouring of grace. God used people at HPU to begin teaching us this before we even knew we’d be moving to Iraq.”

Were it not for the strong ties the Courtneys still maintain with HPU, Ching says she would never have found out about this opportunity to make a difference.

“I heard about Preemptive Love and its lifesaving work my first semester at HPU, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to be a part of its work,” Ching said. “You hear about so much conflict in this part of the world, but it’s humbling to be a part of an organization that is working toward healing this community.”

Said Jeremy Courtney, “We’ve been blessed by a number of HPU organizations and Brownwood churches who have donated their time and money in order to save lives and provide hope across Iraq. Amazing HPU students like Monique have been instrumental to our success!”

To learn more about Ching’s summer abroad, e-mail her at For more information about the Preemptive Love Coalition, visit


Photo cutline: HPU alumni (from left) Monique Ching, Jessica Courtney and Jeremy Courtney are working toward healing the Iraqi community.