He inspired me 20 years ago when I met him; from his inspirational talk to the entire group, to watching him lead by example, and even the stern lecture he delivered to me and my team … Former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, is a leader.
I read a few months ago about the serious cancer diagnosis impacting several parts of his body including his brain. I prayed for him and hoped he found peace as he slows down and backs away from a public life.
Yet, I read this week how Jimmy Carter is going strong at 91 years old. He continues as the face of Habitat for Humanity attending and participating in builds across the country. He talks of his disappointment not visiting Nepal recently due to protests and how at the moment he would have been in Myanmar if not for his drug routine to treat the cancer.
He may not be able to travel internationally anymore, but he is still active living his life of service. Between his Habitat visits, he also makes time to teach Sunday School at his Church each Sunday.
I am taken back 20 years to a remote area of South Dakota where I participated in a week-long blitz build for Habitat for Humanity, 20 new homes in 5 days. Center stage to kick off the week was our former President, Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn. He inspired everyone with his talk that day. He continued to inspire throughout the week, working long hours as a member of a work crew focused on building a new house, one of the 20 we will build that week.
Yet, my best memory of Jimmy Carter was early in the week when my team was falling behind on our house. We were still hanging dry wall near midnight when Jimmy Carter came to visit our build site. He did not need to come over for a visit, his assigned house was on schedule and the next day’s build activity was hours away. Yet, he came over and pulled us together in a circle for a quick talk. He encouraged us and honored our level of service. He gave advice on how to finish our tasks and, without question told us we could not fail. He inspired me and the work crew. We finished strong and moved into the next day back on schedule. To this day it is one of the best moments of my life.
Mr. President, Jimmy Carter, bless you and thank you for a life of service and example for us all. Keep going strong and make a difference, one nail at a time.