As a missionary kid I grew up in the midst of people giving their whole lives to service, to making the difference in someone else’s life, seeking to help and to share the gospel. Opportunities to travel the globe as a child and youth exposed me to needs, to political structures which stifled and caused harm to citizens. I knew from the age of 14 I wanted to work in public service.
This week thousands of us in public service, join the Points of Light Foundation in remembering President Bush’s inaugural speech and his call to action. We honor him, the legacy he built. I remember watching the speech. I remember the reference to the non-profit and government programs spread across the country “like shining stars”. I remember, in those moments, knowing I had chosen the career that was right for me. Today, as I serve the citizens of Arkansas, President Bush’s words continue to inspire me. Programs and processes do not change people. Programs ad processes may offer help, they may meet a concrete need, but they do not change people. People change people. I believe that, not just because of years of service with government and nonprofit organizations, but I believe that because I know we were created by God to have relationship. We were created to need one another.
My work plans for 2017 involve the launch of a system to connect people to other people, helping people meet the needs of others. In my personal life my desire for 2017 is to strengthen existing relationships and open myself up to new ones, to respond to needs when I see them. As a mother, my greatest desire has been to teach my children to connect to others, to see the needs of those around them and sacrifice their time and resources to meet them. That character trait is one I have desired to instill and rates high above grades or popularity in our home. My prayer this week is that they, my girls, and you will read the words of President Bush, be inspired, and then take action.