Jeremy Courtney: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Jeremy Courtney

Author of Preemptive Love, Founder and CEO of the Preemptive Love Coalition

Jeremy Courtney and his wife Jessica first visited Iraq in 2006 with hopes of loving and serving the poor. Almost three years before, they had moved to Turkey to begin a business in the eastern part of that country to contribute to the development of an area that had been left behind the growing global prosperity. But drawn to areas where needs are acute and opportunities are abundant, the Courtneys felt a compelling calling to move even farther east (and south) to Iraq.

The Courtneys had dozens of ideas for how they might spread an awareness of local culture and nurture opportunities for indigenously sustainable development, but they would have never imagined they would soon be selling shoes to save kids’ lives. Through Courtney’s initial contract work with an NGO in Northern Iraq, they began to see firsthand the heartbreaking results of poverty and stymied economic and technological development. The Courtneys also connected with a co-worker, Cody Fisher, who would quickly become a collaborator in this enterprise of culture and compassion.

Dissatisfied with mere sympathy, Courtney started looking for solutions. He found one in his growing fascination with Kurdish klash: hand-stitched, locally-made shoes traditionally worn by the Kurds. Fisher had been working with a group of non-Muslim doctors who donated their surgical skills to Muslims as a way of working towards harmony and reconciliation. The initial business – Buy Shoes. Save Lives. (BSSL) – simply connected these two discoveries, opening up an international market to buy fashionable shoes in a way that saves lives by funding travel and exam costs for pediatric heart surgeries. After months of surprising success, Fisher and the Courtneys decided that a non-profit model was the only way to successfully mobilize the level of funding needed for these Iraqi children.

As the Preemptive Love Coalition’s vision for “local-solutions to local problems” began to shift away from focusing on economic development and toward medical systems development inside Iraq instead. After the success of the first-of-its-kind Remedy Mission I in August 2010 the organization has experienced tremendous success and receptivity across Iraq, with contracts to run sixteen surgical/training missions per year in 2012 and invitations from other hospitals for an additional twelve.

Anyone who spends even a brief amount of time with the Courtneys knows that their lives are driven by a love for God. They strive in each moment to submit to Jesus’ example and to fulfill Jesus’ mission of healing and reconciliation in the world. The Courtneys see their work through PLC as a way of living out their own identity as followers of Jesus, seeking to love the most down and out of the world’s people as an expression of their love for God.

At the podium and in the book Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time, Courtney follows these impassioned efforts of his family, their team, and the Preemptive Love Coalition as they help the tens of thousands of Iraqi children waiting for life-saving heart surgery.

The Courtneys have a daughter, Emma and a son, Micah. In his spare time after saving lives, Courtney is a musician and songwriter. He is also passionate about discovering ways that people can build meaningful bridges of understanding and reconciliation across cultures through music and storytelling.

Interested in booking Jeremy Courtney to speak at your next event?

Contact Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.

(866) 248-3049

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