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.


1 comment:

ty_steffy said...

scott townsend is the conductor of the little train who could! he really worked hard to get this done and we are very blessed to have him as a member of the church in Kittanning!!