President Ronald Reagan embodied the reasons why I emigrated to the United States from England and eventually became a naturalized American citizen.
In 1976 while still living in England I placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and became a born again Christian.
In 1978, looking for a country whose people affirmed the values which I had begun to hold dear, I emigrated to the United States with $50.00 in my pocket and a one way ticket.
I was immediately thrilled with what I found and how people received me. However, it wasn’t until President Reagan was elected to office that I realized my adopted homeland now had a president who embodied my core values.
Here is part of what President Reagan said on March 19 1981 as part of the National Day of Prayer Proclamation. With my background, I am sure you can understand how I related to these sentiments.
He said, “The earliest settlers of this land came in search of religious freedom. Landing on a desolate shoreline, they established a spiritual foundation that has served us ever since. It was the hard work of our people, the freedom they enjoyed and their faith in God that built this country and made it the envy of the world.”
It was the Reaganesque approach to life which helped hone my then unrefined conservatism and helped me found and formulate the faith-based approach of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter. I believe President Reagan would be proud that Joy Junction and many other similar ministries nationwide rest on the core principles of faith in God and hard work to help the homeless get back on their feet again and become a part of mainstream community life.
Becoming An American
Now although I greatly enjoyed the first 20 years I spent here in America, something was missing. During that time, I was still a British citizen, yet living my life as a resident alien in what I consider to be the greatest country in the world.
There was no reason for me not to become an American citizen. My heart and my family lie in America. And until I became an American citizen, I couldn’t fulfill one of my greatest dreams: to vote; get more actively involved with conservative American politics and make a difference.
Finally in late 1998 after studying up on American history for the required test (and passing), I took the oath of American citizenship and cast my first vote a few months later. I am so proud to now be able to talk about America as being “MY country.” God willing, I will never miss an election in which I am eligible to vote. I count it as a wonderful privilege.
Unlike some, I have nothing bad at all to say about America and the wonderful God-given foundations on which it was built. I appreciate it to the very core of my being and will always be proud to be a part of this wonderful country. Spending some time in the Middle East quite recently has made me even more appreciative of the United States. To be sure it has some problems, but they can be minimized and solved by the values that President Reagan stood for.