Monday, November 05, 2018

Orphans First Mini Video

It has been a while since I posted. (My apologies!) I will spare you of the excuses, legitimate as they may be. Instead, I’ll go ahead and post the Orphans First Mini Video to remind us of what’s important.

I appreciate your prayers for the children-in-crisis, the orphaned, neglected, abused, exploited, and impoverished kids everywhere. Oh, and the unborn. I think of them too--particularly on the eve of a pivotal election here in America when unborn children's lives are at risk of extreme cruelty as certain politicians continue to support partial abortion--a horrendous act in which a fully formed baby of 9 months gestation is chopped apart mercilessly and the parts sold for big bucks). 

Thank yu for your prayers for Orphans First and children-in-crisis everywhere. Keep watching this channel for a link to our new revamped website – coming soon. Meanwhile, enjoy this video (with original music by singer-songwriter Francesco DeMeo). 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Christmas in February -- The Star

Christmas came and went too soon—especially for the kids. But here’s some good news: The Star, one of the finest and “funest” animated children’s Christmas movies to hit the cinemas last year, is now out in blu-ray and DVD.

The Star recounts the Christmas story from a different viewpoint—that of a sweet little donkey who wants his hard and boring life to count for something big.

The main character is Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead), a tiny donkey exploited by a mean master. Feeling sad and useless, Bo dreams of a better life, a life with purpose and meaning. But, chained and enslaved, he is not free. How can he ever think of following his dream? How can his insignificant, miserable existence make a difference in the world?

Alone Bo can do nothing, But with a little help from his friends, his great adventure unfolds. And it leads him on a journey he never could have imagined.

Thanks to a kind, worn-out old donkey, Bo finally escapes his cruel exploiter only to find that the world he lives in his filled with abusers. Thankfully, numerous animals step in to help Bo launch his quest for meaning, beginning with Bo’s best friend, Dave the dove (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, Friends From College).

This tender tale teaches children many valuable lessons about friendship, compassion, kindness, patience, sorrow and hope. This creative rendering of the first Christmas does not lack excitement. Rather, children are captivated as surprising twists of danger and unusual friendships pop up along the way. It is a story of redemption, of liberty, and of the miracle of the birth of Jesus.

Whether animals or humans, good or bad, the adorable characters drive the fast-paced plot. Their voices include the talents of: Aidy Bryant, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Grammy® Award-Winner Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) as Zach the goat, Ving Rhames  (Mission Impossible) as Thaddeus the dog, Gabriel Iglesias (Coco) as Rufus the dog, Patricia Heaton  (“The Middle”) as Edith the cow, Emmy® Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the mouse, and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) as King Herod.

It may not be Christmastime, but it is always time to remember the birth of our Savior. And what better way to do this than to use a charming tale about an ordinary donkey who becomes an unexpected star in the greatest story ever told?

Here is what people are saying about The Star:

“Full of humor and heart” – Huffington Post

The Star is destined to become a classic!” – The Dove Foundation

The Star is brought to us by AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures. Discover fun activities to do with the children and learn more about The Star here:

This story will also appear in Assist News Services

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © February 2018

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp aims to show us how to decode their behavior, develop unshakable trust, and raise a respectable adult. And overrall it delivers.

Josh Shipp was a troubled teen himself. I heard him speak in Orlando a few years back at the Christian Alliance For Orphans conference. His presentation was powerful, funny and loaded with compelling information. 

Josh spent most of his young life in and out of foster homes and was so used to being rejected, he made it his goal to get booted out of each foster home as quickly as possible—and by any means possible. He was good at it. Until one day, one person changed everything. Rodney, an ordinary guy was catalyst to changing this troubled teen’s life so simply and yet so drastically that Shipp became an an expert, an authority and an advocate for teens.

Drawing from his own experience, education and humor as well as a myriad of resources, Shipp’s book TheGrown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans covers many relevant topics including: stages of growth, identity, relationships, communication, education, drugs, sex, depression, eating disorders, sexting, cutting, hormones, pornography, bullying…

He seems to hit on just about everything pertinent to today’s teen culture, and provides guidelines—including potential scenarios and coversations—on how to navigate it and best reach the teens in our lives.

Josh Shipp’s book almost covers it all. Almost. But there is something lacking—at least from my perspective as a child advocate working with troubled kids (Orphans First),  and as an author of a biblical parenting book. The most important ingredient for teens and adults investing in teens seems to be missing from this book: the God factor.

If Josh Shipp’s goal is to provide practical guidelines across the spectrum for those of us who love the teens in our lives, the book is a fabulous tool—a fabulous handbook of wisdom. But if Shipp wants to help us the caregivers, and help them the teens, to have a higher chance of true success – eternal success – then  bringing God into the picture would seem a no-brainer—especially coming from a Christian perspective.

Still, The Grown-Up’sGuide to Teenage Humans clearly pinpoints how to get teens and supplies excellent pointers and pity key comments on how to help them thrive.

The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans (Harper Wave) can help any parent, foster parent or caring adult navigate mentoring the teens in their lives.  Check it out here

This article also appears in Assist News

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © September 2017

Friday, September 01, 2017

The House of Blood & Tears

Vista, CA—Most of us have heard of Corrie Ten Boom are awed by how she and her family risked (and lost) their lives to help Jews. But few have heard of Anje van Tongeren. I had not heard of her until I read The House of Blood and Tears, a compelling, scary and true story of Anje van Tongeren and her mother who helped save hundreds of Jews in Holland during Hitler’s takeover during the second World World.

Anje van Tongeren’s mother, Hillie, was an extraordinary woman with great kindness and compassion. In spite of a difficult family situation, she never lacked a positive word to say and was always available to help those in need. It is not surprising, then, that she did not hesitate to join the underground resistence against the Nazis in the 1940s Netherlands. And since 12-year-old Anje was all too eager to help, Hillie’s strong convictions led her to bring her daughter into the fight too.

Lenore Eidse, newswoman turned novelist and author of The House of Blood and Tears (Westbow), uses her clear writing style to recount the story of the Netherlands under siege in the 1940s. She craftfully introduces the reader to several points of view, Hillie’s and Anje’s being at the forefront. But Anje is our antagonist and our greatest sympathies lie with her (which makes sense since Eidse wrote her specific story after spending many hours with her).

Says Eidse, “The dreaded word ‘Occupation’ began to rule the Dutch people’s existence. Secrets, lies, the concealment of Jews, were all considered acts of treason and could condemn their fates. The consequence of their involvement was costly in Hitler’s Holocaust; but the cost of losing their homeland to the Nazis was higher.”

Given the turbulence in the world today, the brewing hatred and threatening wars—as well as the push to “erase” history—The House of Blood and Tears is relevant. I highly recommend it. The book is well-written and a page-turner—and it also provides a much needed visit back into to History to remind us of what could still happen today and that God must be our ultimate focus to get us through.

For more information about The House of Blood and Tears,  visit: and also

This article also appears in Assist News

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © September 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Atheist & The Parrotfish by Richard Barager tells a complex but compelling story probing some hardcore human issues. Atheism, transgenderism, guilt, death, relationships… It’s all there.

A cross-dresser, Ennis Willoughby, is in need of both a new kidney and a new heart. His hope of a double transplant is in the hands of his nephrology doctor, Cullen Brodie.

The two organs suddenly became available through the tragic death of a woman who, coincidentally, had worked in the very medical center where Brodie works. In spite of Willoughby’s age (in his sixties), the doctor ensures that his patient is the recipient of these vital organs. Everything seems to go well until an odd phenomenon occurs.

Ennis Willoughby – whose female side he calls Emily – feels an uncanny connection with his anonymous donor.

Ennis tells Brodie as well as his psychiatrist, Becky, that he knows who his donor was, he is convinced her name is Carla, and even odder is that he suddenly experiences new tastes that no doubt came from her. He feels he has received Carla’s soul as well as her organs.

In spite of things that Ennis suddenly knows and feels that cannot be explained, the two doctors resist his theory.

Meanwhile, Brodie has his own demons to fight. An untimely death and a broken-up relationship with the love of his life make for a heavy past which forever lurks in the background. Unable to come to grips with what happened, it is easy to just become a staunch atheist living as you please. God cannot logically exist, it’s as simple as that! But underneath this belief system, there is deep pain – pain he drowns in promiscuity and large living.

Underneath it all, question about God’s existence keeps on popping up.

Carefully crafted narrative weaves in scenes from Brodie’s past as well as Willoughby’s. Several other key characters are brought in, adding to the story’s complexity and brilliance. Unexpected twists and turns keep the reader riveted.

Barager, who is himself a nephrologist practicing in Southern California, employs a rich vocabulary, subtle imagery and a stunning knowledge of culture, including the arts, overseas societies and much more.

However, as well as a rich vocabulary, the author does not spare us from sexually charged content and crude language—all of which serve to paint an authentic picture of the characters. Thus, the book would not be classified as “Christian” per se, and would not be a good fit for everyone.

The Atheist and The Parrotfish (Evolved Publishing, May 2017) is a fascinating, well-written read. A page-turner rom the get-go.

For more information, please visit and connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Goodreads

This story also appears in Assist News Service.

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © June 2017