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lives with his folks and four younger siblings in a run-down mobile home. He doesn't like his life, but never thinks it could be different.
Widow Becky Park and her three children have been living off of food stamps, Medicaid, her husband's Social Security, and a government-funded housing program. Now she stares in shock at the latest-breaking news on TV.
The First Congregational Church of Springville has always reached out to the community. But now so much more is needed..
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: OakTara Publishers
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
Availability: Available to ship on or about 01/10/14.
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Located in: West Plains, Missouri
Submitted: December 26, 2008
Tell us a little about yourself. I married my high school sweetheart 28 years ago, and we're not only still together, but we're having more fun than ever. We have one beautiful daughter and a fabulous grandson, and we live in the spectacular Missouri Ozarks. I am the executive director of our town's community theater and also work part-time in the Development office of our local university. I enjoy walking for exercise and relaxation, and I try to dance a little every day (even though most of the time it doesn't look much like dancing).
What was your motivation behind this project? There are so many tragic statistics relating to poverty and child abuse and how we treat one another. Where I live, there is great prosperity all around, but yet, we are located in the 14th poorest congressional district in the country. When I started this project, I considered the disparity between the "haves" and the "have nots," and I said to myself, "As a country, as individuals, we can do better." That's what this book is about, doing better, doing our part, taking care of one another.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? It sounds as trite as can be, but I want people to be challenged. To think about what needs to be changed and how we can make that happen. I want people not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems facing us, but to step back and realize that while none of us can change the whole world, we can change our own little corner of the world. And that, ultimately, is how the world is changed, by making a difference to one person, one family, at a time.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I started writing this book ten years ago. At the time, the idea of the federal government running out of money and having to discontinue funding for all social programs was just a plot device. Now the book has been published ten years later, and I am amazed at how much of the content could be ripped from today's headlines. It has been quite a journey for me to see God's timing at work in this project. I also have been reminded more than ever of the urgency of this message. We must look outside of ourselves and see how much help we can offer.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? As far as fiction goes, I have always loved the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis (and, of course, his non-fiction, too). In recent years, I have added Jim Wallis to the top of my list of those who inspire me. His book "Faith Works" has been especially influential. I enjoy reading anything which cuts through the nonsense and gets to the heart of what Jesus is saying to the world.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I don't want anyone to think this is only a "message" book which is preachy and solemn. It is also not political in any way. The story is full of twists and turns, and it is entertaining. I have had several people (people who are not even related to me!) tell me they read it in one sitting without stopping. Dare I say it? It's a real page-turner.
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