Please Help Get This Book Published
When I was eleven years old, I started writing a book. Like most eleven-year-old boys, I lost interest, put the draft away, and lost track of it. But the desire to write a book lingered in the back of my mind. In 1999 I began writing another book, but daily life took over and that one also fell by the wayside.
Finally, in February 2018 I sat down and began writing the leadership book that had been on my heart for years. With the support and mentorship of a friend, I was able to write Practical Leadership: Lessons from an Average Leader. I spent hours writing, editing, rewriting, and having the book read by others to get critical feedback. I am very happy with this book. I am excited because I believe leaders will be able to improve their craft by reading this book and internalizing the lessons within. My goal is to get the book published early in the new year.
One thing I did not know when I began this process was how expensive it is to publish a book. This is where you come in. With your help, this book will see the light of day. Please join me on this journey by giving whatever you can to help with the cost of editing and publishing this book.
To say thank you for your donation, we have created incentive levels ranging from Copper, which is for $25 donations to Agape, our highest level of a $5000 donation. Each level has varying incentives of appreciation. However, donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated.
Any funds raised above what is needed to publish this book will be used for Agape Leaders or donated to four different scholarship funds: the Jang-Kim Scholarship, the Juanita Mays Scholarship, the Miss Lakeland Scholarship Competition, and the Miss Florida Outstanding Teen Scholarship Competition.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read this and seriously consider donating to this project. Click here to Donate today!
Meet Theresa Santos
This month’s guest writer is Theresa Santos. She is a friend of Agape Leaders, who Dr. Mays first met during the 2000-2001 school year. He was one of her basketball coaches at Seoul American High School in Yongsan, South Korea. They have maintained contact through the years. We are very fortunate to have her writing this month’s Agape Letter.
Theresa graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA where she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. She married her college sweetheart, Zachery Santos; he also commissioned into the US Army where he continues to serve today. They have four amazing daughters
This month Theresa reminds us to “Never say never.” We are overjoyed to have her write this month’s featured article in Agape Letters.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Never Say Never
However, as the summer went on and there was limited guidance from the school districts about how school was going to be conducted because of the coronavirus, God told me to homeschool the girls. At first, I wanted to be like Jonah and get on a boat far, far away from homeschooling because all I could think about was that the cons outweighed the pros. How am I going to teach my girls if I don’t have a teaching degree? How do I put a curriculum together? How do I manage teaching two girls at the same time? How am I going to handle teaching and make sure my home isn’t a disaster at the end of the day? Are my kids going to struggle getting used to the new normal? Who are my kids going to play with? The biggest concern of all was what am I going to do with my one year old??? Thankfully, I didn’t have to get eaten by a big fish, but God did make me realize that the things I was complaining about were nothing compared to the BIG God that I serve. I still didn’t know where to begin but the more I prayed, the more His peace just covered over me. God just started paving the way for me to homeschool. My close friend in Hawaii was already doing research and we spent many hours on the phone discussing a curriculum since we would be homeschooling kids in the same grade. Then, the house behind us, which had been empty for almost a year, had a family move in. We were finally going to have neighbors! Shortly after meeting them, I found out that they had been homeschooling for five years. We became great friends and she gave me so much needed information and tips. Our kids play together almost every day! I decided to enroll my oldest daughter in a Christian Online Academy to relieve some of the pressure and that would help re-enforce the biblical teachings we are trying to instill in our daughters. After I did that, we received an unexpected blessing from a family member that covered the cost of her tuition! What really made me excited, though, was that my kids actually wanted to be homeschooled!
Every day I am with my girls, I can’t thank God enough for putting homeschooling on my heart and giving me His peace to actually do it. I was so set on never wanting to homeschool my kids that I would have missed out on this huge blessing. I didn’t realize how God was going to use homeschooling for me to spend more time with my kids and to watch them grow. I also realized how much I enjoy teaching and I actually wake up every morning excited to start the day. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to juggle all four kids and the home but God has helped me find ways and to even fit in my workouts. My kids used to fight so much and they used to be so tired when they came home from school. Homework sometimes was very difficult to get through and then after that they just wanted to be outside playing with their friends. We sat and ate dinner together but that was the extent of our conversations. Now, my daughters and I have many conversations and there are so many more teaching moments that I can have with them and so many more moments that are not rushed because we don’t have to get to the next thing. They are also very helpful in the home and the fighting has almost completely stopped. My parents are here visiting for the holidays and the granddaughters they knew last summer are not the granddaughters they see today. They have matured in so many different ways and I have definitely done the same. By no means is homeschooling easy and we do have our good days and our not so good days. I don’t even know what the future holds for homeschooling for our family, but I am going to take this opportunity that God has given me and be thankful for each day and be open to what He has for us in the future.
I felt so calm and knew that this was the path I was supposed to take even though I felt like there were too many unknowns. Phillipians 4:7 came to mind, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.” I needed to go down that path knowing that God was going to bless it. I am pretty sure you have heard Hebrews 11 referred to as the Faith Hall of Fame. It talks about the Heroes of Faith in the Old Testament. However, the verse that stuck out to me was v.13. “All of these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” That is how I feel with this small season in my life. Why did God call me to homeschool? I do see the immediate blessings but I have faith knowing that his BIGGER plan is so much greater than I could ever imagine. I have learned to Never Say Never again and to allow God to work in my life through whatever situation He calls me to do.
I encourage you to listen to God when He is calling you to do something that is out of your comfort zone. What He calls you to do may have some bumps on the way, but you will definitely see the blessings that He has for you. I know I have fought God in the past and wanted go down my own path, but I have realized that when I surrender to His will, peace and joy always follow.
Do an internet search and you will find several definitions for the word “Agape.” According to one site, Agape is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, "the highest form of love, charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". This is the definition that we use at Agape Leaders for the way we mean agape. In our lives, many of us long to receive a “love letter” from that special someone. You are our special someone, therefore we are sending you our “Agape Letter,” our love letter to you.