Friday, May 4, 2012

Hope Tour 2012: The Power of a Book

Four months in the planning, but Hope Tour 2012 has finally arrived!

Here’s how Hope Tour will work. We have 26 participating authors and a few writers groups, living all over the United States, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia! In the last post, I introduced you to Magnificent Hope. She will visit each of the 26 authors and writing groups over the coming months, and we’ll get to know them and their books through book signings, speaking engagements, conferences, and other events. We’ll also get to know their hearts a little too, because all of the authors will be participating in some type of mission/charity work of their own choosing and blogging about it.

For readers, we’re having a special contest, too! Each week, we’ll post a photo of Magnificent Hope near a landmark. If you know “Where in the World is Magnificent Hope?” send us an e-mail with the subject line CONTEST WEEK 1, CONTEST WEEK 2, CONTEST WEEK 3, etc. The person with the MOST correct entries and bonus entries at the end of the contest will win their choice of either a Kindle Fire or a Nook Tablet, a $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (depending on which reader your choose), and a copy of all our WIP and PNP books published any time during this year!

Bonus entries may be earned three ways:
  1.  by “liking” all three Facebook pages – Write Integrity, Pix-N-Pens, and Magnificent Hope – just be sure to let us know you liked us in your first contest entry, and we’ll add the bonus points.
  2. Bonus entries will also be given for anyone submitting by e-mail one or more photos taken with Magnificent Hope AND at least one of our books anywhere on her journey. One photo per location, please. (For example, if you bump into Magnificent Hope at a Jennifer Fromke event in North Carolina and take ten photos with her at that same event, only one photo will count. But if you bump into Magnificent Hope at Jennifer’s event, and then again at an event with Dianne E. Butts, you can take photos both places and get two bonus entries!) Send your photos in .jpeg format, attached to an email, and we may use them in blog posts or perhaps even a book.
  3. Telling your family and friends about Magnificent Hope, Hope Tour 2012, and our books and authors – through Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, interviews with our authors or Magnificent Hope, or other ways. One share per week gets you an extra entry, so send us your links by e-mail so we can tally your points.

We’ll also be having random giveaways all during the contest where you can win books and gift cards, so keep an eye on all three Facebook pages for more chances to win!

You can begin earning bonus entries TODAY, and the first “Where in the World is Magnificent Hope?” post will be next week, so get ready!

To kick off the tour, I’d like to share with you a local nonprofit organization that I learned about last week. I couldn’t figure out why this particular charity was supposed to be our focus, but I followed the Holy Spirit’s nudging and set up an appointment to visit.

Jennifer Simonis and Magnificent Hope hit it off well!
Yesterday, Magnificent Hope took Tim and me to the Healing Hands Youth Ranch in Waleska, Georgia, owned and operated by Jennifer Simonis. Their website states the purpose of the ranch simply: to use horses to help young people make better choices in their lives. The ranch also has donkeys, chickens, and dogs that soon became our friends.

We spent about 90 minutes touring the facility, getting acquainted with the horses, and asking lots of questions. But it wasn’t until I was replaying our time a few hours later that it finally hit me why God wanted us to feature Healing Hands.
This ministry, this dream, this vision started because of a BOOK.

Trying to get a picture of ZZ, but Magnificent Hope
decided she wanted to be in the picture!
Jennifer told us, “Fourteen months ago a friend gave me a book called Hope Rising by Kim Meeder. I thanked her, placed it on my bookshelf, and never found the time to read it. Six months later, a different friend gave me the same book and told me I had to read it. Again, I thanked her and placed it on my bookshelf. However, this friend knew my heart and passions and nagged me until I read it. March 7th, 2011 was the turning point for me. I started the book and God has used it to take my dreams and show me how to move them into action.”

ZZ is recovering from a genetic disorder, but
is now happy and healthy.

“The Lord deposited in me a passion for young people who are lost and hurting and making bad choices. My heart breaks for these kids that live lives of lies and deception. I want them to know the love of Jesus that can melt a heart of stone, heal any brokenness, and fill all emptiness. I don’t want them to miss out another day of knowing how loved they are.”

Two of the ranch's seven horses.
The kids, ages 10-18, find that unconditional love at HHYR. Right now, the kids come on their own, as they or their parents/guardians hear about the program, but as the ministry grows, referrals will come from a variety of sources. “The foundation program of HHYR is unique in that it pairs one child, one horse, and one leader one hundred percent of the time. No child is ever left behind or lost in a crowd. Our "one on one" learning environment is dedicated to restoring the heart, soul, mind, and strength of our kids. Each child is unique and separate, coming to the ranch for his or her own special needs. The individual’s needs are identified by the staff, then a tailored course of action toward healing is created. This is faithfully accomplished for every child, free of charge.”

Jennifer stresses the importance of the “love, language, and leadership in equal doses” in her ministry, which is modeled after the Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Oregon and utilizes the Parelli method for teaching natural horsemanship.

Jack's one loving critter - never knew donkeys
could be so gentle and loving.
Currently, HHYR uses seven horses in the program. We were introduced to each one, and it took all our willpower not to bring a couple of them home with us. The animals are gentle and loving, and some are in as much need for love and affection as the kids they’re helping. You can learn more about the current horses on the website.

Saturday, May 5th, the Healing Hands Youth Ranch is holding their very first fundraiser – “Raise for the Roses.” This Kentucky Derby-themed event allows guests the opportunity to imagine they’re at the real event, including a meal, watching the 2012 Kentucky Derby, and a fun Derby Hat Fashion Contest! A silent auction will also take place to raise funds.

Magnificent Hope found time to schmooze with
the chickens!

If you’d like to donate to this wonderful cause, be sure to check out their Wish List page or donate through the Paypal button on their site. Just be sure to tell them Hope Tour sent you!

About three hours after our visit, I was replaying everything in my head. I thought about how the book nudged Jennifer to pursue her dream. And then it hit me. The TITLE of that book: Hope Rises. Another one of those times when only God could have orchestrated all of this. Only God. His fingerprints, His hands are all over this promotion. May you be blessed through all we do. May Magnificent Hope fill your hearts and homes this summer, and forever more.

Hope does indeed rise. Let Hope Tour 2012 begin!

In case you can't get the e-mail link to work, here's the address to submit your entries:

magnificenthope [at] yahoo [dot] com

Replace the brackets with the symbol, and remove all spaces.



Anonymous said...

I LOVE this. What a beautiful ministry. I'm adding you to my prayer list that goodness comes your way and the holy spirit abide in your barn. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to leave my name on the above. Sorry. Deanna K. Klingel, NC,

Tracy Ruckman said...

Thanks so much, Deanna.

Joan said...

So exciting to see the Tour kicked off, congrats Tracy! It was wonderful reading about the ranch and the tie-in with books and hope. Joan C

KatieC said...

It sound like a fun experience. Can't wait to see how it all goes!

Chana Keefer said...

This sounds like a fantastic promotion and chance to do TONS of good in a hurting world! Monstrous kudos to all involved!
I too am doing a promotion this summer--July 10--but it's only a huge 24 hour blast! Two charities--Mending Kids International & Children of the Nations--will each receive 5% of all proceeds.

Praying for much success and HOPE spread all over the world!

Chana Keefer
author of THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1) a biblical retelling of ancient times through the eyes of an angel who was once best friends with Lucifer.
FB: The Rapha Chronicles

Lynnette Bonner said...

What a neat ministry. Using the gifts God gave her to touch others. Very special. Thanks for sharing.

sally apokedak said...

Very cool story, very cool ranch, and very cool blog tour!