Jindal speaks at local church

Published 12:37 am Monday, August 9, 2010

MONTEREY — The biggest moment in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s life has nothing to do with politics.

It wasn’t even the births of his children or marrying his wife that topped the list.

“When I was asked what the single most important moment in my life was during a debate, I smiled to myself,” Jindal told the full sanctuary at Lismore Baptist Church in Monterey. “I didn’t even have to think about it. It was the moment I found Jesus Christ. I should change that to say the moment He found me, because I was the one that was lost.”

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Jindal said, even now after serving as governor, that decision made in his teen years is still the biggest moment of his life, he said.

But it wasn’t made easily, Jindal said. He said it was seven years from the day his childhood best friend approached him about Christian salvation that he made his decision to follow Jesus.

He said during that time many people gave up on him, but his friend and God never did.

“People give up on people all the time, but we worship an all powerful God,” he said.

And faith in God and prayer are what Jindal has relied on to get him and his family through tough times, but he is also sure to praise God during good times.

“My family and I, we are blessed,” he said. “We are blessed because of God.”

Jindal recognized that faith is hard to maintain during times that are difficult but said having an “eternal perspective” is key.

“God doesn’t promise us our children won’t ever get sick, that the storm will miss our house, we’ll win that election or we’ll get that job we really want,” he said. “But he does let us look at the last page in the book of our life, and on that page, our God wins.”

The speaking appearance Sunday morning was one of Jindal’s first in several months after dedicating much of his time to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in April.

Jindal said while the spill has caused personal and economic harm to the state, he is confident Louisiana will rebound from the disaster just like the state has in the past.

Noting the multiple hurricanes that have impacted the state since 2005, Jindal said Louisiana is full of resilience because of its people.

“I’ve been asked many times by national media if I think Louisiana will be able to recover from this disaster,” he said. “My answer is always yes. It is the people of this state that give me that confidence.”

Jindal said he sees a bounce-back attitude each time he visits disaster-impacted areas.

“I remember visiting Cameron Parish after Ike,” Jindal recalled. “One of the first people I met was a pastor of a local church. His church had flooded three years earlier and they had been working to rebuild and were going to have their first services in the new church that weekend, but the church was flooded again.

“He actually reassured me. He told me ‘we will be OK, because our people are OK. We will still have church next weekend; it just won’t be in that building.’”

Jindal said while thank yous and pats on the back are nice to hear, there is one thing that he likes to hear more.

“The sweetest words (I can) hear are when someone comes up to me and says ‘I’m praying for you,’” he said.