CONVOY OF KINDNESS
There is a story from the end of WWII of a statue of Christ in a European city and where once the figure of Jesus had stood in the city square with hands outstretched, the bombs had left mere stubs. When asked why the town did not replace the hands, they said it was a reminder that Christ has no hands but ours.
In the late 1940's the women of the IPHC were organizing , and while some forecast this move would lead to nothing but "gossip fests", the women were quick to show, however, that they were able organizers with a heart for meaningful ministry. One of the first targets of the women was the Falcon Children's Home (North Carolina), soon to be followed by other benevolent ministries, such as the Carmen Home (Oklahoma). Dependent on sometimes sporadic support the women wanted to "remember the orphans."
For about the first ten years this covey of kindness made its way to the orphanage. Called a "cavalcade", "caravan", and "parade" the term "Harvest Train" developed later, coinciding with the "Feast of Ingathering" held on the denominational campuses.
In 1958 Charles Bradshaw wrote in the IPHC Advocate "…I realized that they too were aware of the fact that their pantries and storage rooms were full only when friends who love them came and brought supplies." (Oct. 28, 1958, pg. 5) during the Thanksgiving season it should be recalled that it is a time when its traditional spirit of national thanksgiving calls to each Christian to be the hands of Christ.
Sources: IPHC Advocate; Synan. The Old-Time Power, (1986); IPHC Helping Hand (Nov. 1956, pg. 1).
by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University