“So we are ambassadors for Christ” —2 Corinthians 5:20
Ace Ambassadors is a new, bi-weekly section of the bulletin highlighting a church member successfully and cheerfully spreading Christian values. We invite you to suggest members to profile and, if you would like to do the interview and write-up, we highly encourage that as well. There is a box and sign-up pad on the usher table in the narthex.
If you are suggesting a member, please write “Profile Suggestion: Member’s Name” on the piece of paper and drop it in the box. If you would like to do the interview, please write your name and contact info and drop it in the box.
My family, of course, and being a servant—whether that means
being a servant in caring for your friends, family or strangers. I think
of serving others as what I try to do.
I love to teach and the Spanish language. I found a niche with an organization called Family Service in Highland Park which serves the Latino population which is big in Highwood and Highland Park. The goal is to help them improve their English. It’s important to me to be involved locally. We are so privileged here in Lake Forest, and you can go 10 miles north or 5 miles south and find people living in poverty. I think it’s really important that we take care of our neighbors and that we reach out to them.
I’m also teaching a citizenship class for new immigrants who are scared to go through the process to become U.S. citizens. It’s very complicated.
Most of them are native Spanish speakers. They treat me like I’m one of them. We are all on the same level; we are all the same; we are all children of God.
What is your life’s mission?
It evolves as I go through different stages in life. I still want to be a good mother, but the focus has shifted to a wider circle in my local community when helping others. I find that I am happiest when I’m doing something to serve other people.
What are the biggest needs of society? How do you respond to them and why?
I look at what I can affect. I feel I can help the Latino population to assimilate, especially when it’s so difficult to do that. I’m a proponent for redesigning the citizenship process. There are a lot of really good people who don’t have sponsors to become citizens, because they don’t have a family member here, or they don’t have the kind of a job that will allow them to become legal, permanent residents, and then apply for citizenship after living lawfully here for five years as legal permanent residents. It needs to be less expensive, and it needs to be more inclusive of people who are law-abiding, tax paying people who don’t have sponsors.
Is there a bible passage which daily guides you?
Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.” I love the soothing reassurance of it.
How do you hope to inspire other people?
To be able to communicate to people how rewarding it is to volunteer in whatever niche you carve out for yourself. I hope that everyone can find something that is meaningful for them and that gives them great satisfaction.
(Interviewer’s note: Beth welcomes connecting those who are also interested in volunteering in such ways as she does with the organizations with which she is involved.)
How do you rejuvenate yourself?
I’m a grown-up tomboy! The main thing for me is almost every day I exercise—whether it’s playing paddle tennis, doing Pilates, or bike riding or golfing with my husband, Jim. And I like to cook for people—whatever is fresh and local.
Interview and photo by Laurie Giesen. She is a volunteer and member at First Pres.