Our Mission Statement

Saturday, April 25

I knew we could, I knew we could

The Little Engine That Could. What a great kid’s story. A long train of cars had to be pulled over the mountain. The bigger engines, one by one, made their excuses as to why they could not do it. But the little engine thought he could do it. And he did. “I think I can! I think I can!” was his famous phrase that got him over that mountain.

The little blue engine was built to pull a few cars on and off the switches at the station. Larger, more powerful engines, built and designed for harder work, were nearby for the heavier loads. When the long train of cars arrived at the station the larger engines declined when they considered the steep incline they had to pull. But the little blue engine thought it could do it. Optimism. Bravery. Hard work. Perseverance. Achievement.

I have witnessed the little blue engine at work. In a little church in a little town in western
Pennsylvania. About 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh is the town of Kittanning, PA. Population is approximately 5,000 according to the 2000 census. The town has been in the decline since the collapse of the steel industry and suffering from the economic recession. It was built on the banks of the Alleghany River and the home of the Kittanning Church of Christ. About 100 of the best people you could ever want to meet. Little church in a little town with a big heart and an “I think I can” attitude.

Last spring Brian Steffy, and elder of the Lord’s church, called me with an interesting proposition. A school in Kittanning was being knocked down to make way for a new building. Members from Kittanning went to the school board and asked if they could have the desks, chairs, chalk boards, and other school supplies that was going to be thrown away. Brian and Scott Townsend asked if these supplies could be used in Honduras since they were still in good
shape. My motto is “If it is free it is for me” so of course we decided to get the school supplies.

Because of a long list of difficulties and red tape, the supplies were placed on hold and we could not ship the school supplies last summer. Then we ran out of money. So Kittanning had a storage facility full of desks and supplies and no way to get them south of the boarder. Enter the Little Engine That Could.

The Kittanning congregation decided to take the project of getting the school supplies to Honduras upon themselves. Now, this is no easy task. The paper work, the scheduling, the doc fees, lawyer fees, labor fees, loading of the container, and the final cost can be overwhelming, even if you have lots of resources. This is not a task for a church of 100 in a town of 5,000 in the depths of the recession. But that did not stop Kittanning.

This past week Healing Hands International assisted Kittanning in shipping a 40’ container full of school supplies to Honduras. The container will arrive in Porta Cortez sometime next week. In 2 weeks the container will arrive in Tegucigalpa and will be unloaded. And soon after of that the supplies will be distributed to schools in and around Tegucigalpa. Instead of “I think I can, I think I can,” Kittanning can now say “I knew we could, I knew we could.”

Good job. Because Kittanning would not give up on this idea, dozens and dozens and dozens of children in Honduras will have a better place to go to school and to learn. Who knows, maybe there are lots of little blue engines out there… I would love to hear their stories.

Go out and make a difference today.


Tuesday, April 14

¿dónde está el agua purificada?

“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” Famous quote, but do you from where it comes? Don’t worry, I didn’t know either. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 18th century poem called “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” So, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Or beans in Honduras? Glad you asked.

Today is your lucky day. Let’s take a little quiz, shall we? You are probably going to learn some things you did not know before. Things you actually should be aware of and need to know. 10 questions. 10 points each. Ready? OK, here we go:

Let’s start out easy and work our way up.

1. Q. What percentage of the earth is covered by water?
A. less that 40% B. 54 % C. 70% D. nearly 90%
2. Q. What percentage of the human body is water?

A. less than 40% B. About 66% C. 77.5% D. Nearly 90%
3. Q. What percentage of the earth’s water is fresh water?
A. Less than 5% B. About 20% C. Almost 40% D. More than 50%
Q. What is the longest fresh water river in the world (4,132 miles!)?
4. A. Nile River B. Mississippi River C. Amazon River D. Rhine River
5. Q. How long can a human survive without water?
A. 1-2 days B. 3-6 days C. 6-10 days D. More than 10 days
6. How much of the world’s fresh water is frozen at the South Pole?
A. 10% B. 25% C. 50% D. 90%
7. Q: How much water does an average American use in a day?

A. 5 gallons B. 20 gallons C. 95 gallons D. 150 gallons
8. Q. The greatest source of fresh water for humans is found where?
A. Rivers B. Underground C. Lakes D. In the form of rain
9. Q. Worldwide, which consumes the most freshwater?
A. Residential B. Agricultural C. Industrial D. Bio-medical
10. Q. About how many people worldwide have inadequate fresh water?
A. 500,000 B. 15,000,000 C. 520,000,000 D. 2, 500,000,000

Want to grade it and find out? Here are the answers:
1. C 2. B 3. A 4. A 5. B

6. D 7. D. 8. B 9. B 10. D

Grading scale:

0 = 100 A
1 = 90 B
2 = 80 C
3 = 70 D
4 or more F

So, how did you do? Feel good about your score? How much did you know about water? If you are like me, you probably just learned a lot. Only 3% of the world’s water supply is fresh water! And 90% of the fresh water on the planet is FROZEN. When Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink” he wasn’t joking. There is so much water on the planet but the vast majority is undrinkable. So we have 6.5 BILLION people needing access to the small percentage of fresh water the world has to offer.

Most of the fresh water today is used for agriculture. Then industrial. And coming in third is
residential. Water scarcity is already the number 1 problem facing the world population today and it is projected to get worse. 2.5 BILLION people suffer from contaminated water and 884,000,000 suffer from inadequate drinking water.

Nearly 1 BILLION world wide suffer from water related diseases each year and over 2,000,000 die. And most of these people are children. 4,000 children a DAY die from preventable water born diseases. Most of these are from 3rd world, developing countries. 42 countries struggle with this problem everyday. One of these countries is Honduras. Lack of clean water and water shortages plagues Honduras and the country’s inability to provide clean water is a growing problem.

The majority of Hondurans do not have running water and dopurified
. Bacteria and other organisms thrive in the water producing a host of medical problems that include diarrhea; intestinal worms; malaria; schistosomiasis; trachoma; and typhoid.

As we work in Honduras we encounter this scenario every day. It is a daily scene as women and children carry containers of water on their heads back to their “houses.” This water, usually from a local creek, will be used to wash clothes, bath children, cook the food, and provide water to drink. Raw sewage drains along the sides of the dirt roads back into the very creek the water was drawn. Those that are fortunate enough to have a small amount of money buy water from tanker trucks that drive throughout the villages. And even though the water
from these trucks is clean it is rarely purified. not have access to clean water. Rivers and streams provide the poor of Honduras the water they must use for cooking, bathing, drinking, and sanitation. Few communities are able to afford companies to come in and drill wells. Even for those who do have access to well water, the clean water they use is not

This summer our team will be able to address this ever growing problem by installing 2 water purification systems at the Didasko Orphanage and Casa de Esperanza Children’s Home. Dadasko is the home of 34 adorable children who live near Tamara, about 20 miles outside Tegucigalpa. Didasko is overseen by Jorge and Rosa Castillo, a wonderful Christian couple who has worked at Didasko for years. Casa de Esperanza (the house of hope) is located in Santa Ana, about 20 miles outside of Tegucigalpa. It was established in 2005 and is the home of 18 precious children at this time. Marc and Terri Tindall help oversee the work along with a staff that includes Karen and Dorian Guido.

The systems we will be installing will purify water by removing the bacteria and contaminates from the water. The system will be capable of purifying nearly 2,000 gallons of water per day. This will be more than adequate for the children’s home and will provide additional water that
can be bottled and sold at a fair price to those living in the communities nearby. The revenue from the sale of purified water will generate additional funds for the children’s home that can be used for food, medicine, clothing, and additional supplies that are needed for day to day operations.

The water purification system costs $3,000.00. This pays for all of the hardware (PVC pipe, pumps, filters, wiring, valves, UV lamps, holding tanks, etc) and is very simple to operate. Filters only have to be replaced twice a year. This system works on a gravity feed concept. A large holding tank distributes the raw water into the pump system. The water travels through a system of filters to remove contaminates. Once the water travels through the final filter it is pumped through a series of pipes that loops back and fourth mixing ozone into the water after being exposed to the Ultra Violet lamps. Once this is completed the purified water is stored in a separate holding tank ready for use.

With minimal maintenance this system should last for several years and will provide clean, pure drinking water for kids who really need it and will truly appreciate it. Giving these kids a chance to succeed is one of the greatest physical gifts we can give them. We are excited to be able to provide these systems and hope to install additional systems in the future. If you would like more information about the water purification systems or would like to contribute to the project, please feel free to contact me at reeves.tl@gmail.com

So, when you take your next shower, or brush your teeth, or even flush the toilet, just think of all of that clean, pure water going down the drain. And be thankful you live in a country where something as important as this can be taken for granted. 150 gallons per person per day…. Just think about it.


This is a photo of the water purification system that was installed at Mission Lazarus in San Marcos, near Choluteca, by the mission team from Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, TN, this spring.

Friday, April 10

He arose!

Low in the Grave He Lay

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,With a mighty triumph o’er His foes, He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever, with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior; Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose, With a might triumph o'er His foes, He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever with His saints to Reign. He arose! He arose! hallelujah! Christ arose!

Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior; He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,With a mighty triumph o’er His foes, He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever, with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Music and Lyrics by Robert Lowry 1874

We have victory in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When the women returned to the tomb early that Sunday morning to complete the burial proceedures for Jesus, they found the stone moved away and the grave empty! The angel asked why they seeked the living from the dead? He is not here. He has risen!

This Sunday billions of people across the globe will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. May this Easter be a blessed one as you reflect and remember the greatest story every told; the greatest event in the history of mankind. The greatest victory ever won. And the greatest promise ever kept.

He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the Lord of lords and King of kings. He is our all in all. Jesus Christ.