Tag: 030216

Transforming a Nation – First in a Series

FIRST IN A SERIES BY MIKE WHITTLESEY
Heather Marquez is on a mission. Marquez, the CEO of Mind Links, LLC, a Waterloo company she founded in 2014, recently traveled to Paraguay with 250 fellow certified international coaches from the John Maxwell Team.
You could call it the ultimate field trip. Spend four days in a country more than 5,000 miles away, teaching more than 20,000 top government, military, education, business, faith and other community leaders a proven method designed to further develop their leadership skills and abilities. This initial effort marks the first step taken by the people of Paraguay on a journey that will hopefully provide meaningful increases in social morality, national unity and strong economic growth.
Paraguay is a South American country approximately the size of the state of California. Home to 6.8 million people, Paraguay has suffered through decades of political, economic and social upheaval. In recent years, the country’s economy has grown substantially. Unfortunately, corruption has kept the benefits of a stronger economy from reaching many of Paraguay’s people. Poverty and a sense of powerlessness continues to permeate throughout the nation, particularly in rural areas.
In 2013, with the election of a new president, Horatio Cartes, came the promise of a more open government, the pledge to uproot corruption and a commitment to restore prosperity to the people. In September 2015, Cartes met with Dr. John Maxwell, a New York Times bestselling author and one of the top leadership and management experts in the world. From that meeting came a vision, “La Transformacion esta en mi” – which translates to “Transformation is within me.”
Transformation, Maxwell says, can be defined as bringing a beautiful change into the life of a person.
“It first begins within us,” he said.
“We cannot change others until we change ourselves. We cannot add value to others until we value ourselves. So transformation begins with one.”
In February, Maxwell returned to Paraguay with more than 250 of his specially trained coaches, including Waterloo’s Heather Marquez, each poised to make their own unique contribution to what promised to be a remarkable experience.
That more than 250 people from around the world would travel to Paraguay for several days to work alongside its citizens from all walks of life, teaching them about leadership values, intentional living and transformation is noteworthy. What makes the “ultimate field trip” remarkable is the fact that each and every coach who participated volunteered their time and paid their own expenses for the trip. Why volunteer?
“We were asked that a lot when we arrived,” Marquez explained
“The people were shocked that we were willing to do that [volunteer]. The culture of the John Maxwell Team is not just to be successful in our day-to-day lives, but to lead a life full of significance. For us, it was fulfilling a vision of doing something very significant. Our hope is ten years from now when people talk about Paraguay, the conversation is very different because of the work we did there,” she added.
Maxwell offered insight into the culture his team members enjoy, saying, “The moment I am changed, then I have the passion, a calling to add value to others. Transformation means I live a life of significance. Every day I intentionally add value to the people around me. That’s what we’ve been teaching in Paraguay.”
Next Week: “The youth of Paraguay have the dream, the passion, the talent and the vision to make their country a greater country,” John Maxwell declared. Learn how Heather Marquez and members of the John Maxwell Team worked with leaders in Paraguay to further their leadership development. Along the way, Heather learns an important lesson about purpose that helps her make a special connection with her Paraguayan “students.”
Read Part II
JOHN MAXWELL
Named the number one leadership and management expert in the world by Inc. Magazine in 2014, John Maxwell is a pastor with more than twenty-five years experience leading churches in Indiana, Ohio and California. In 1995, Maxwell began devoting himself full-time to writing, speaking and consulting. He is a #1 New York Times bestselling author who has sold more than 24 million books in fifty languages, including The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. Among his many endeavors, Maxwell dedicates time each year to teaching internationally. Before launching the Transformation Initiative in Paraguay last year, Maxwell led a similar effort in Guatemala in 2013.
PARAGUAY: FACTS & FIGURES
Population: 6.8 million
Capital City: Asunción
Languages: Spanish and Guarani (indigenous) are both considered to be Paraguay’s official languages.
History: Paraguay was once one of the largest countries in South America until the war of the Triple Alliance, which pitted Paraguay against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in the 1800s. The war cost Paraguay a third of its population, half of its male population and half of its territory, including direct access to the ocean. As a result, Paraguay has suffered through a long and difficult history politically, economically and socially. Despite its struggles, the country has a young population that is eager for change and the opportunity to participate in the country’s transformation.
Government: Paraguay’s president is Horacio Cartes, a wealthy businessman who became president in August 2013. His goals include making significant improvements in the country’s infrastructure, education, and foreign investments, as well as making government more transparent and accessible to the people of Paraguay.
Economy: Much of the Paraguayan economy is based on agriculture. The country’s main exports are beef, soy, wheat and cotton. The manufacturing and service industries also represent a large and fast growing sector of the economy.

Book Club: The Samurai’s Garden

The Samurai’s Garden, by Gail Tsukiyama, is the March Book Club selection. Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story.
Stephen, a 20-year-old Chinese painter, is sent to his family’s summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu’s secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world.
Register at Hawkins Library, check out a book, finish the book by the meeting date, and join this group on Monday, March 28, at 1 PM for the discussion. Stop at the library to sign up, or call 319-342-3025.

Adventures at the Museum – March 2, 2016

By Jan Erdahl, Museum Director
The Museum was pleased to host the Board of Silos and Smokestacks this past week. Silos and Smokestacks is a National Heritage Area, recognized by Congress for its unique qualities and resources. In Iowa, it encompasses over 20,000 square miles and 37 counties to tell the story of agriculture…the landscape, the history, and the future. From dairy farms, to vineyards, tractor assembly and museums, it is the connecting thread that weaves the continuing tale of agriculture and its impact on our nation and the future of that nation. La Porte City FFA Historical and Ag Museum is pleased to be a partner in this great story. Over seven years ago the Museum was selected as a designated site, having met the standards and criteria.
While we are still putting the final touches on our exhibit this year, Silos and Smokestack Board members expressed their enthusiasm for the creativity of our displays as well as the content that takes history and shows its relevance in today’s world.
This fall our Museum has been chosen to host a Silos and Smokestack exhibit entitled “It Takes an Iowan” that celebrates the significant contributions of Iowans to feed and clothe the world and their evolving leadership role in bio-based chemicals and materials. Watch for more details on this exciting exhibit.

Local Gathering to Celebrate World Day of Prayer

World Day of Prayer will be celebrated in La Porte City on Friday, March 4, 2016 at 2 PM at St. Paul United Methodist Church. The local celebration will join women, men and children in more than 170 countries and regions recognizing Cuba’s history and rich cultural diversity during this time.
World Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Christian women who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year. Each year a different country’s committee serves as writers of the World Day of Prayer worship service. The host country for World Day of Prayer 2016 is Cuba. The women of Cuba call out to explore the depths of God’s love and accept the invitation to receive the realm of God as a little child.

Freckles’ Adopt-A-Pet – March 2, 2016

Freckles and The Progress Review encourage potential pet owners who are loving and responsible to consider adopting a pet from the Cedar Bend Humane Society.
My name is Max and I am one special boy! I love attention and I like to have long meowing conversations with you. I will be your shadow, but I am great at entertaining myself with kitty toys! I love little toy mice and anything that rolls. When I came to Cedar Bend I was a stray and I was in pretty rough shape. I have finally healed and I’m ready to find my FURever home! I’m currently in a foster home, so if you are interested in me please contact Cedar Bend. With an approved application, appointments to meet Max can be set up.
For more information about adopting a pet, contact: Cedar Bend Humane Society, 1166 W. Airline Highway, Waterloo, Iowa 319-232-6887
cbhsadoption@mchsi.com – www.cedarbendhumanesociety.com

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