Sunday, September 13, 2015

Helping the Poor and Needy

By Rodger Dean Duncan

Kermit, a constant reminder of our grandchildren, always wants to get in 
on the action. He brings a smile to all.
Change Workshop

This week we delivered a pro bono CHANGE-friendly IMPLEMENTATION workshop for the leaders of several Waco-area non-profit organizations that serve the poor and needy. The two-day workshop focused on the behaviors and practices that produce consistently superior results in most any kind of project or implementation situation. The participants represented organizations such as the Texas Hunger Initiative, Caritas, Antioch Community Church, Shepherds Heart, and Goodwill Industries. These are wonderful people who are clearly devoted to the causes they serve. It was a blessing to be of service to them in their service.

Alan Mayfield and some of his new friends.
One of the workshop participants was Alan Mayfield. Alan, a member of our church, is a highly-respected district judge in Waco. He serves as director of public affairs in the Waco Stake, so participation in this workshop provided an excellent opportunity for him to exchange ideas with like-minded people from other organizations.

LeadershipPlenty Institute

We also did a presentation for the LeadershipPlenty Institute. Originally created by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change (and now sponsored by the Waco Foundation), the LeadershipPlenty Institute provides a 10-module course on civic engagement. Up-and-coming leaders are identified in the Waco community. Then, through a rigorous nomination and qualification process, candidates are selected to participate in a year-long curriculum of training that equips them for more effective service not only in their "day jobs" but also in their volunteer work in Waco. The presentation was at Baylor University's beautiful Research and Innovation complex, a magnificent facility.

Senior Retreat

On Monday we attended a Retreat for all the senior missionaries serving in the Texas Fort Worth Mission. These are great people and we love being with them. Because we're the only "senior couple" in the southern part of the mission, we rarely see our counterparts. The meetings are rich with strong testimonies as well as helpful discussions about best practices. Two of the other couples (Jim and Dottie Stotts and Max and Shirley Murdock) are from our home area in Missouri.

Fine young men being reared by wonderful parents.
Qureshi Tribe

We were delighted this week to enjoy a visit from our dear friends Ahmed and Juliette Qureshi. When I served as bishop of a BYU singles ward in the early 1990s, Juliette was one of our Relief Society presidents and Ahmed was one of our elders quorum presidents. After they married, Ahmed served as one of my bishopric counselors. We have followed their family journey all these years. They've recently moved to Texas from Virginia. It was such a pleasure to meet their sons Zachary, Zane and Adam. Their daughter Aliya is on a mission in Japan. (Time really does fly.)

Another busy week awaits us. We love the people. We love the work. We love the cause that has brought us to Texas.


  1. Hey! We made the blog! We feel famous! It sure was fun see you and your sweet companion.. time flies but you two never seem to age. Thanks for making time--we hope to see you again soon.