It's not that often that I am in a geographic location at the same time as a U.S. President, but, by sheer coincidence, that was the situation last week when I was in northern Indiana for the Quilt Garden Tour, at the same time that President Barack Obama made his historic visit to the little town of Wakarusa, Indiana (population about 1,800).One of the reasons for his choice of Wakarusa to make a major announcement, was the high rate of unemployment in that county of Indiana. The area was hit very hard by the effect of the declining economy on the Recreational Vehicle (RV) industry. RV production had been big business for that area. Many of the employees in such factories had a background in the Amish/Mennonite culture, prevalent in northern Indiana. One aspect of that culture is their tradition of learning the skills of furniture-making and wood-working. The RV industry was able to make very good use of such skilled and hard-working employees as were found there.
The Wakarusa Dime Store (famous for its XL-size jellybeans) was doing a booming business, selling packages of specially-marked beans with the Presidential seal (upper left photo). The increased visits to Wakarusa's downtown probably helped boost sales for the beautiful quilt the town is raffling off, in conjunction with the 2009 Quilt Garden Tour (upper right photo and www.QuiltGardensTour.com). That increase in the number of visitors is also probably the reason there were no local newspapers to be bought from the machines outside the post office, the day after President Obama visited (lower right photo). One hand-made sign I saw in a store window caught my eye (large, middle photo), because that store proprietor was demonstrating a Biblical viewpoint---to pray for our country's leaders---whether or not we agree with them. It is found in I Timothy 2:1-4 "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone---for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (NIV) So let that be our prayer as we wish miles of smiles to all those "walking in Wakarusa"!