With the imminent beginning of this year’s  Leadership Training Institute of America (LTIA) sessions and my son Michael’s preparations for LTIA, I am reminded that I wanted to communicate to you about the great blessing that LTIA was to me last year and how that blessing has played out.
I was raised in a family that voted in all elections as a civic privilege, but political discussions of specific candidates or political issues were rare. As far as I know, my Mom and Dad voted the same straight party line as my grandparents. I did enjoy geography, history, and current events (which politics often dominates) more than any other subjects in school. I still have one or two local town election sample ballets from my high school days. Except for sickness, I have voted in every election since I was old enough to do so. All through the years I have enjoyed observing politics and political history. I remember hurrying home from school so I could watch the Watergate hearings on television. Political news, events, and elections have long had my interest.
Washington, DC, has been a favorite place of interest to me. Being near the center of the federal government, where many of the most memorable historical and political events occur, was a goal of mine. Because of a family vacation and two college field trips, I was able to visit Washington, DC and tour various government locations. Later, in pursuit of a career in cartography, I sought and was accepted into a position in the federal government in 1984.
Somewhere along the way, maybe because of Watergate, Iran Contra, Whitewater, and numerous types of wrongs committed by corrupt and immoral politicians, I began to believe that politics was “dirty” and no place for Christians to be involved. I believed that Christians would always have a difficult time getting elected and once elected would probably become corrupt like many politicians have been. It is common to hear of an elected official compromising his positions in order to satisfy the most powerful of
lobbyists or to gather enough support to be able to have enough votes for his own bills to pass. Although I still enjoyed voting, being a political observer, and even living near the political center of our country, becoming involved or having a career in the political area was unthinkable.
When my oldest son, Michael, heard about LTIA from you and then attended LTIA in 2009, and then began to express interest in political participation, my heart was troubled. Michael quickly caught the vision of Christians having a place, calling, and mission to public service and elected officials. Sadly, I had some thoughts of trying to discourage his interest. When I prayed, I was sure God’s will was for Michael to serve Him in some other way than in public service. However, because of your testimony, your ministry to Victory Baptist Church in Frederick Maryland, and the trip to the Czech Republic with you, I trusted you. Trusting God’s plan was not as easy.
In 2010, Michael desired to attend LTIA again. He suggested that I might want to attend, as well. The conflict within me eased when it became apparent that God wanted me to attend LTIA to see and hear personally the vision, lessons, and experiences of LTIA.
While at LTIA 2010, God changed my heart about Michael’s direction from God and my support of Michael’s direction from God. From the classroom study, lectures, and field trips to hear many Christians in government or government-related positions speak, I heard about how God had placed them there and the urgent need for more Christians to be involved in our government. Christians can be elected and stay true to the Lord, and Christians can be called to the mission field of our government and to minister to those
that serve there. One of the most powerful lessons is that Christians like me have run from the battle, have yielded our government to the ungodly, and have sat on the sidelines complaining about the decisions that are made by those elected.
I returned home from LTIA with a clear call from God to support Michael in whatever God leads him to do and a number of ideas as to how I could participate, too. The applications of the lessons came quickly. My testimony of what God had done in my life was presented to Victory Baptist Church. Michael became a volunteer in the election campaigns of two candidates running for state government, one a new candidate for the State House of Delegates and one an incumbent to the State Senate. Because of Michael’s involvement, his daily tales of the campaign trail over dinner with the family, and the need for more volunteers, the whole family quickly joined. Our home school operation was moved to the campaign office and the subject of study was learning about politics by actual participation everyday. The candidates and the staffers became the de facto teachers in the classroom of the actual campaign.
Michael is well on his way to receiving an education in public service by doing it as often as possible. He has served as an intern in the Maryland state capitol office of the House Delegate candidate who was elected. He is assisting another Delegate in a petition drive to place an issue for voter referendum.
Besides providing Michael all of the support I can, I also have assisted Michael in creating a series of map products, analyzing voter trends, election results, and showing election history patterns. Other types of support include providing transportation, time, guidance, and prayer as needed.
Thanks be to God and LTIA for changing my heart, my viewpoint, and my support for my son, and for clearly showing me that instead of running from the battle, Christians need to be in the battle for biblical, moral, and godly government.
LTIA Class of 2010