Updated: Sep 9, 2020
“If you don’t risk your life, you’ll lose it,” HOPE’s visionary board member Jack McCoy used to say. These were words of wisdom he lived by and led by.
In late July, Jack passed from this life to the next at age 91, but the life he lived left many lessons that will benefit generations to come.
If we listed Jack’s lifetime accomplishments the list would go on and on -- from the tugboat sailor in the Korean War to the world-traveling missionary always ready to share the gospel of Christ to the ESL teacher, the author … etc. His credentials seem to never end.
But more than all that, Jack was remarkable not simply because of what he accomplished but also because of how he handled the hard things in life that came his way.
In fact, it was perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to him that ushered in his most significant contributions in this world.
After Jack lost his wife, the grief was incomprehensible. His whole life seemed gone. He pressed into the Psalms for comfort and began to realize the grief was not so much FOR them, but for himself. The ache was about what HE had lost, and he knew the way to heal was linked to getting the focus off himself. The way out of this dark place was in serving others.
Jack launched into ministry and missions work, traveling many times to China, Taiwan, and South Korea. At 83, he remarried, and that woman who be his partner in ministry for the rest of his life. Jack served as a catalyst for ministry development, spearheading expansion and new ideas. He wrote books and served on the HOPE Literacy board advocating for HOPE’s pioneering of sites in Central and South America. The day before he died, Jack participated in a HOPE board meeting advocating for expansion so that HOPE could help more people, not just in Texas, but around the world.
Jack was all about OTHERS -- building up others, encouraging others, serving others, sharing Christ with others. He lived this life as a true hero.
So today, as we at HOPE Literacy grieve over the hero we’ve lost, we wish to follow Jack’s lead in turning our hearts away from our own ache and choosing to live like he did. He was a man who refused to retire, never gave up, and although he is no longer with us on this earth, he never stopped living.