Dr. John Thomas, Founder - As a general surgeon practicing in Lubbock, TX, Dr. Thomas founded Operation HOPE in 1999. “I am blessed; I feel like it is my duty to give back to others. In order for us to effectively be the hands and feet of Christ and to do the things we do, we need partners like you who believe in giving, going, praying, and offering your support. I hope that, as you look through this website, God will move in your heart and encourage you to get involved and partner with us as the hands and feet of Christ.”
Operation HOPE was founded in 1999 when Dr. Thomas brought a Bolivian boy to the U.S. for surgery, but upon arrival the doctors decided he wouldn’t survive the operation. The boy's final wish was to to go Disney World and see Mickey Mouse. Dr. Thomas was determined to provide this one wish and with the support of family and friends, created Operation HOPE.
Since Dr. Thomas’ initial trip to Bolivia, He has led our organization across the globe to nations including Kenya, Malawi, India, Iraq, and most recently where we are currently focused - Haiti.
Dr Thomas’ accomplishments include the following:
- Service medal in Iraq: Presented by American four-star General Ray Orderino
- Service medal in Iraq: Presented by Joint Chief of Staff of the Iraqi forces, General Babekar Zibari
- 2009 Red Cross Award: Presented by Congressman Randy Neugebauer - Red Cross medical champion of the year- received the United States flag flown on Capitol Hill on September 11, 2006
- Recipient of the 2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Ryan Voight, Director of Operations - Ryan grew up around the Texas Panhandle but has served on the mission field in Guatemala, Mexico, Thailand, Haiti, & across the US. The impact of his travels has birthed the desire to use his gifts to help those in need across the globe. As Director of Operations, Ryan is dedicated to bringing the love of Christ to those in need across the globe.
Ryan started as the Creative Director of Operation HOPE in early 2011 and has since grown to take on the title of Director of Operations. Utilizing the skills, relationships, and connections he gained as the Creative Director, Ryan has been able to work alongside Dr. Thomas to push this organization forward to assist not only people internationally, but also right here in the US.