A note of Gratitude
Spring of Hope International extends deepest gratitude to Bob McConkey, his wife Sandy, and to DAA Northwest for investing their energy, efforts and financial resources in Africa.
Tall ice tea and sandwiches, five of us zero in on lunch in downtown Spokane. Kenyan David Opap tells his story—pond water that killed five of his family (including his mother), subsistence farming, abject poverty; old mama’s (grandmothers) caring for AIDs orphans. A generation obliterated. The endless cycle of poverty. I crunch into the crusty rye bread, and reach for more water as David describes the slow steps he has taken.
David founded Spring of Hope International (SOHI), an organization run through the eyes of his first hand experience. Two wells, agriculture training, a child sponsorship program and SOHI has the trust and respect of the community. And now another trip to Kenya is almost upon us, this time for leadership and spiritual training. SOHI attends to the whole man. I’ve hardly tasted my Reuben. Bob McConkey, President of DAA Northwest and our guest for lunch, asks the critical question:
Can we come? Bob’s wife Sandy watches Bob’s eyes. Yes. Yes, there is time.
Those who know Bob will understand the momentum behind his next comment—“OK, let’s make this happen.”
I could write long and loud about our trip to Kenya, but for now I will let you in on what Bob taught the Kenyans. Leadership. He used such a simple definition: “Leadership is the ability of a person to influence others and enlist aid for the accomplishment of a common goal.” He added, “Passion for the work and deeply respected knowledge of the work are a given.” Bob spent the rest of the hour demonstrating and explaining what he called Servant Leadership. His concluding words were: “The big question is— ‘Who serves whom in your organization?’ In the Bible, in the book of John Jesus said:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down ones life for ones friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his masters business. Instead, I call you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
“ If the people you serve become your friends, they are your most valued asset and your number one priority. They will team with you to embrace your vision. They will accomplish the work. They will accomplish your goals for the organization. If you care for your flock, everything else becomes much easier.”
This is Bob McConkey. This is DAA Northwest.
The generosity of DAA Northwest, Bob’s business partner Greg Mahugh, and many individuals throughout the organization bear witness to a pervasive culture of servant leadership throughout DAA Northwest.
Listen closely; you can hear that heartbeat all the way from Kenya.
I cannot think of better gifts to have given my Kenyan friends: clean water along with the keys to leading others. Our Board wishes to extend our thanks and deepest respect to Bob McConkey, his family, Greg Mahugh and DAA Northwest.
Susan Cowger: Chairman
David Opap: Founder and Executive Director
Spring of Hope International
NAAA Posted 6/17/2013