I’ve been thinking on the word “influence” recently and what it means; how everyone has influence – in our words, in our actions, whether good or bad.
The definition of influence is the ability to have an effect on people or events.
I’ll be 62 years old this month and have had the opportunity and enjoyment of being around many different people and to live in several cultures. I have “influenced” many people and been “influenced” by many more.
When I was growing up in Arkansas, our family took summer road trips in the midwest USA and Canada. I loved getting in the car and going on a trip. We also had many college students, both international and domestic, visit in our home. My parents influenced me to see the good in this diversity. And this started my love of travel.
From there, I’ve lived in Chicago, Detroit, east Tennessee, Tawas (MI), Gilgit (Pakistan), and now Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Ler Doh (Myanmar)… along with many short trips to other cities and countries. The diversity in our world is amazing, and I couldn’t begin to describe the influence this has had on me.
There is influence in our work at EMA by our staff and students.
We have been influenced for good by the Karen people we work with, in their value for community and putting others first. I’ve been so impressed by some of our staff, getting a job when they had no opportunity before working for EMA, and using that to develop solid work skills. Our students’ stories influence me and those around. They are from such difficult backgrounds, but want an education. Many of their parents have given up much to give them an education.
As I get older, it is more apparent to me that God is with us and calls us to be faithful wherever he has placed us…
To influence those around us for good.
To influence others to better themselves, personally, professionally, and spiritually.
To influence them to look at their life as a journey, full of adventure, love, fellowship, and friendship.
I recently watched the movie Tolkien based on the life of JRR Tolkien. One of the quotes near the end was:
“It’s about Journeys. Adventures.
Magic. Treasure. Love. All kinds of things.
About quests to a certain extent.
The journeys we take to prove ourselves.
About courage. Fellowship. Friendship.”
God is with us on our journey.
What does this mean for you? Who is in your sphere?
What passions do you have that influence others. Who is influencing you?
What is your story? How are you telling it?
Caryl is based in Chiang Mai as the EMA Administration Director working behind the scenes to keep up with her husband, Mitch’s program ideas. She loves being part of bringing health for the hidden in all its various forms with travel along the way.