“Hey, Adam…do you know if you have any desks for high school students available?” This is the call I received from Troy Howell, Pastor of Aldersgate UMC, Mechanicsburg. Troy explained that he was helping a friend, “Gomes”, who was building a school in Angola, through a mission called “Hope for Angola.” Gomes was looking for desks and other supplies and equipment for the first shipment to the new school. This school was going to help by educating children during the day, teach adults at night, serve as a community center and help in many other ways.
I remembered seeing a few on a shelf in the warehouse, so I told Pastor Troy that I thought we did and would double check for him. I asked how many he was looking for and Troy said that he’d likely take as many as we had…hundreds were needed. As it turns out, we had a tractor trailer load of desks, chairs and tables sitting in the parking lot, ready for someone to take. I immediately called Troy to share the good news. Troy called Gomes and a meeting was set up.
We toured the warehouse and I explained the history and mission of Mission Central. We ended the tour with an inspection of the trailer and both Troy and Gomes were blown away. There were several hundred desks stacked up in the trailer. At the back, were conference tables, chairs and other miscellaneous items. Gomes could not believe that this was available and that we would simply donate it to his school.
As we talked, we discovered that the school would have dormitory areas to house guests. A local company, D&H Distributors, donates (among other things) refrigerators and microwaves to Mission Central. I offered to give him a supply of those items as well. The need for computers for the school was realized. Gomes was hoping to get 20 computers. I directed him to Computer Ministry, who rebuilds donated computers and puts complete, working computer systems out into the world. They were able to give him the 20 desktop computers that he needed. A small fee of $10 per computer is required, which goes to Microsoft for licensing. We also connected with a local school district, Red Lion, who had additional desks to donate.