WHAT WE THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
Weâ€™ve had this noise around here that sort of resembles the engine room of an oil tanker. Itâ€™s this floor-vibrating rumble. Started about two or three months ago, occasionally at first. Then, when we came in this morning, it was constant. For Kristen and Seth, it was like being part of the crew of the Titanic. We decided we needed to do something about itâ€”a prospect that inevitably involves our friend and general contractor, Koko Korver.
Koko came by, poked around the back of our offices, and suggested that it might be upstairs. So we went up to visit our friends at M33 (one of South Carolinaâ€™s fastest growing companies according to Elliot Davis). Nobody was there except Nancy Edge, because the air conditioning was out, and since it was about 100 degrees around here today, that could be life threatening. Anyhow, Nancy gave us permission to poke around. And Koko found it!
The little flapper thing was worn in the toilet of the ladiesâ€™ room. So the water never stopped runningâ€¦but it never really started running either. So, the valve had worn out gradually (sort of like what happens when you ride the clutch on a stick shift car). And as the water ran constantly through this half-open valve, it vibrated the valve. And the valve, through sympathetic vibration, vibrated the plumbing around it, which in turn vibrated all of the plumbing in the building. The whole thing would turn this 100-year-old brick building into a resonatorâ€¦a speaker housingâ€¦a giant, one-note, rumbling pipe organ.
The solution, turn the water off to that toilet. Noise went away. Everyone was happy. Of course, the folks upstairs will have to get a plumber to come and replace the guts of the toilet. But thenâ€”sweet silence!
You gotta meet Koko. While he was here, he told us a great story about the early days of his company. Seems that Joel (Kokoâ€™s dad and my favorite missionary) had started the company and sold it. They guy who bought it built it up into a thriving general contractor, built entirely on negotiated design-build projects. But then the guy got sick. And the negotiating stopped. And for a while, they had plenty of work, because all the contracts were pretty large and long-term. But, just as the guy was bowing out of the company (leaving it in Kokoâ€™s hands), the work dried up.
So Koko, trained to be a missionary not a general contractor, was left with a crew, a contractorâ€™s license, and â€¦ no work. So, at the end of every day the crew would say, â€œwhat are we gonna do tomorrow?â€ And Koko would say, â€œI donâ€™t know; come into the office and weâ€™ll see.â€ And they would come into the office, have prayer together, do some Bible study and some devotions. And then â€¦ the phone would ring! â€œHello. Yes. I think we can fit you in. How does â€¦ ah â€¦ right now sound?â€ And the crew would head out and do the job, and they would make their expenses.
This went on for months. Then, business picked up. And now the company is a well established general contractor in the area. But before they got to learn about things like cash flow, work flow, inventory, tax strategy, sales pipelinesâ€¦ or anything else, they got to learn about faith.