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Jeremy Courtney is cofounder and executive director of the Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC), an international development organization based in Iraq that provides lifesaving heart surgeries to Iraqi children and training for local doctors and nurses, creating peace between communities at odds.

In the middle of the Iraq War, Jeremy and Jessica Courtney found themselves with their two children caught up in the turmoil, just hoping to make a difference. After an encounter with a father whose little girl was dying from a heart defect, they began to investigate options for helping and learned that untold thousands of children across Iraq were in similar need, waiting in line for heart surgery in a country without a qualified heart surgeon.

With the help of their closest friends, they dived in to save the lives of as many as they could, but sending children abroad proved to be expensive and cumbersome, and it failed to make an impact on the systemic needs of Iraqi hospitals—the place where these children really should be saved. Despite fatwas, death threats, bombings, imprisonments, and intense living conditions, Jeremy and his team persevered to overcome years of hostilities and distrust in an effort to eradicate the backlog of thousands of Iraqi children waiting in line for much-needed heart surgery.

Anyone who spends even a brief amount of time with Jeremy & his wife, Jessica, 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.

Jeremy and Jessica have a daughter, Emma (b. 2005), and a son, Micah (b. 2007). In his spare time after saving lives, Jeremy 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. Jessica is a full-time mother and an avid quilter, seamstress, scrapbooker and gardener.

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