Yesterday we said goodbye to Don Bokenkamp at his funeral service held at Salem Lutheran Church. The service was one of worship and praise to God for His grace and mercy. Everyone who spoke about him said that he was extremely talented, creative and passionate about building God's Kingdom. Don served on several boards including Concordia University Austin, Lutheran Social Services of the South, Wheat Ridge Ministries, LINC Houston and was also a co-founder of Jesus First.
As a board member, Don brought lots of energy and wisdom to LINC Houston as we began to grow. He helped us move to Policy Based Governance and shepherded the process as our board of directors wrestled with the concept and it's implementation. Don was a master at figuring out the solution and process, while patiently teaching others along the way. Kurt Senske of LSSS and Wayne Graumann of Salem both spoke of Don's wisdom and guidance for their lives and ministries. I could only nod my head as I thought about how he impacted my leadership as well.
Don was an invaluable mentor for me as I navigated the opportunities and growth of our organization. He was always encouraging, but would also not let me off the hook when he suspected I hadn't thought everything through properly. He would keep pressing me until he got me to give him the answer he was looking for. Many times I would go to him with my next great idea and he would patiently listen and ask questions. Days or even weeks later he would call me up and ask more questions about my project and listen while I talked myself into a corner. Again and again, he would continue this process until I either dropped the idea or figured out a way to make it happen. His main concern was that we fulfill our mission without getting distracted in too many other things.
I cannot express just how valuable this man has been to me personally and to my ministry. I count myself blessed to have had a mentor such as Don. He and his wife Pat became good friends of the family, and it just won't be the same without him.
Thank you Don, for everything you did for me and for those that we serve.