Q:/ Did the president and your father talk about when he led him to Christ?
A:/ The president remembers in his book the time he and my father had a conversation that helped turn the president’s life around. His book is Decision Points, and all of us make decisions that affect our lives. The president made a decision for Jesus Christ when he realized that he was a sinner and that Christ died for his sins and rose again, and he invited Christ to come into his heart.
The president is very candid about some of the problems that he faced and how Christ saved his life. He still, today, affirmed what Christ did in his life a number of years ago and that He still is in his life today.
My father is very grateful that he had an opportunity to speak to the president at a point when the president was willing to listen. He does remember the moment.
Q:/ What does a day like this mean to you and your father?
A:/ It’s an honor any time you have someone like a former president come, here at the Library especially. His father was here, Clinton was here, Carter was here for the dedication. Now to have George W., we are honored that he would come all the way from Dallas, Texas, to our bookstore at the Library to do a signing.
Q:/ Your father has talked to so many presidents. What was it like for him to be here and have a former president come here?
A:/ They have had a friendship now for many, many years. My father knew Bush’s grandmother down in Florida, and that is how he got acquainted with the family. Then of course he got to know the father and the mother, and now George W. and Laura. They have been friends for 30 years.
Q:/ It looked like the president was having fun in there.
A:/ I think he was! The president likes people. He enjoys being in front of people. He signed a lot of books ahead of time because, he said, “When people come through the line, I want to be able to shake their hands. If a person has stood in line all afternoon to get a book, I want to be able to shake their hand and thank them for coming.” I appreciate that about the president.
Q:/ Can you tell us how this came about?
A:/ We had asked the president last week if he would like to come to the bookstore at the Billy Graham Library to do a book signing, and I was thinking January or February. They called back after a couple of hours and said they had an opening Monday! (Franklin laughed.) We’re just grateful that he came.
Q:/ Can you tell us what you talked about at lunch with the president?
A:/ When we had lunch, the president wanted to know about Haiti. I was just there last week and he is very involved in Haiti. He and my father – they talked about when my father used to vacation with the Bushes. Every summer they would to go to Kennebunkport. That was before his father was president and even during the time when his father was president and later. They had those special times together. My father asked how Mr. and Mrs. Bush, senior, are doing, and other members of the family.
Q:/ What did you tell him about Haiti and your visits there?
A:/ Haiti has got great problems and it’s not going to be fixed easily. It’s like an elephant – how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. We need to focus on certain areas of the country and make changes. The big problem today in Haiti is the cholera epidemic. There could be 600,000 people affected. It is a major problem. If you don’t have treatment immediately, cholera can kill you in four hours. The only treatment you can take is an IV fluid and then you give them rehydration salts. Some people need 36 units. We fly our own supplies into the country. It’s been a problem.
Q:/ This is the week leading up to Christmas. What is your message for Christmas this year? People are looking for hope; this has been a tough year.
A:/ The Bible says that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Christmas is about hope, that God loves us, that He is willing to forgive us of our sin, that’s why He sent His son Jesus Christ to this earth, to take our sin so that we can have the hope of eternal life and that is through faith in Christ and Christ alone. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but by me.” As we come to Christmas, we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, God sending His son to this earth to redeem us and take our sins.
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