With former President Jimmy Carter in the news lately concerning his cancer diagnosis, I have been reflecting on the time I came in contact with him while I was serving as a media relations volunteer with Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, Georgia.
President and Mrs. Carter have a long association with Habitat and my first experience with them was on the 1991 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Miami. I was honored during the time I spent in Americus to work on several projects that involved the Carters.
Because Plains was less than ten miles from Americus, I frequently attended Carter’s Sunday school classes at the Maranatha Baptist Church. Almost two decades later, on one autumn weekend in 2010, Jimmy Smith and I were in Americus visiting my longtime friend, Angela Foster, and her son, Marlin, my God Son. (Jimmy and I were on our way to help with a Habitat RV Care-A-Vanner’s build in Florida.)
That Sunday, we were fortunate that the Carters where “home” and we would be able to attend his Sunday lesson. Part of what I took away from his comments on that November morning were the complex challenges we all, as caring individuals, face when deciding what actions to take–be they personal or political.
These days I’m finding that I continue to learn from President Carter “peaceful action” on how to live a caring, good, productive life.
Read Jimmy Smith’s reflections on President Carter’s comments by clicking here and scrolling down to Nov. 14, 2010.
Photos: top: Former President Jimmy Carter teaching at Maranatha Baptist Church, 11/14/10 (Julianne G. Crane). Bottom from left: Jimmy Smith, Julianne Crane, President and Rosalynn Carter, Marlin Foster, Mercedes Russell, and Angela Foster.