On page 5 of the story…oops sorry….on page 5 of the report, there is information given about Dad giving large tips or lavish gifts like a Persian rug and a Louis Vuitton wallet. They use these details as a way to back up that there must have been inappropriate behavior if he was giving gifts like that.
Dad being generous is not news. And the LV wallet is laughable. Because while the writer mentioned the name to try to prove a point, it is a near certainty that the wallet was a knockoff.
Dad loved going to the markets in Asia and getting good deals on all of the knockoff products out there. My sisters and family friends would have him get them all the time. He’d buy watches, purses, accessories and his beloved Mont Blanc pens. All cheap, because they were all fake. It was one of the few times where I didn’t get his logic.
He’d say, “Look at this Mont Blanc pen! It was so cheap.”
I’d say, “Yeah but it’s fake.”
He’d say, “I know but it’s a Mont Blanc for such a good price.”
I’d say, “But it’s not actually a Mont……oh fine. Good deal, Dad.”
There were times in the past where he’d bring back purses, scarves, etc and just leave them out at the office for any of the staff to take. Dad was very generous to anyone. He took an interest in everyone’s life. The assertion that him giving someone a generous was in any way a signal of inappropriate behavior or expectation is absurd.
The people at his favorite restaurants, stores, etc, all loved him. They would welcome him in as soon as they saw him coming. He knew their family’s names, and he asked them about their lives. If it was an Indian restaurant he would speak Hindi to the guys (assuming they did too, of course). He knew what they studied and what they wanted to do. He treated them as a person.
That personal interest in their lives often led to financial assistance as well. Sometimes he helped a new friend. Sometimes it was an old friend. There are staff members he helped with financial needs personally. One year with the organization’s budget was tight, he and mom gave the staff Christmas bonuses out of their own pockets so that the staff could still have a year end gift.
Side note: Now his organization has removed his pictures and is painting over his vision statements. Of course this is all done by people who benefited from Dad’s efforts in their behalf. He worked to do his part in giving them a platform and a presence on a global scale. So if we’re doing away with every idea or initiative he created/backed, perhaps we need to apply that cancelation to each speaker with which he shared a stage. He backed their presence on the global stage. So, perhaps they should be removed now.
But back to his generosity, there are plenty of people who can (and wanted to) speak on record about how he helped them by giving them money to put towards car purchases, tuition, family needs, etc. All out of his own pocket. And we knew about. Because it wasn’t sketchy. It was kind.
The people he helped spanned many walks in life. Some of them are massage therapists, who said that he helped them all while being perfectly professional and ethical in every interaction. Interesting that people we know of who stand by his professional behavior in every way were not included in the report, and in some cases not even the interview process. The only stories of people who didn’t accuse him of anything that they included were ones that still contained elements meant to portray him in a negative light. But the stories clearly defending him? They didn’t make the cut.
Dad believed that everyone should be treated with dignity, and he felt called to treat them that way through both personal conversation and financial assistance, when possible. Here’s an example that shows both. It’s one we just became aware of last year.
Every year, RZIM held an annual event for donors. That is where the most significant financial pledges for the ministry came from each year. It was used as an event to minister to the donor and to help determine what the support for the year ahead might look like. Part of this ministry to the donor, was that their accommodations and food were paid for – underwritten by both RZIM and the Davis Foundation. They just had to pay their airfare. They could listen to the updates and messages, interact with the team, and then give if they felt led by the Lord to do so.
One year, there was a friend of Dad’s that really wanted to go. He said he couldn’t make a pledge, but that he wanted to be there. Dad said he would give him money – enough to cover the cost of the accommodations and meals so that he in turn could give it to RZIM even if he couldn’t make a pledge on top of that. Why? 1) It would cover RZIMs cost so they weren’t spending more than necessary. And 2) because Dad knew how the man might feel having to go to the RZIM staff and say my Dad was paying his way, he gave him the money to pay for it so that the man could write the check himself and have the dignity of telling the organizers that he could at least cover his cost of being there.
Oh, that man was Anurag Sharma. The one who helped kicked off this whole nightmare.