Peace Chapel Assembly of God Church, in Upton, will partner with Convoy of Hope during the Houston Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 10. As an interpretation of the Houston Chamber of Commerce theme, “Christmas Stories,” the youth of the church are presenting, “Thomas’ Christmas Delivery.”

With the help of carpentry work by Texas County resident Delbert Campbell, Thomas the Train will be available for children to have their picture taken from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Lone Star Plaza. Other characters portrayed by the youth group will be Sir Topham Hatt, engineers, conductors and Christmas villagers. The group will accept donations to be given to Convoy of Hope. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own cameras.

In the Thomas the Train book, Thomas works late on Christmas Eve delivering presents and a Christmas meal to the town, the school, the hospital and to a boy who has a broken leg. Because of putting others first, Thomas works so late that he misses Father Christmas. But his diligence, care and concern for others earns him the highest honor of being a “Very Useful Engine,” and his stocking is full of coal on Christmas Day – just what he wanted.

Like Thomas the Train, Convoy of Hope used the Kansas Burlington Northern – Santa Fe railroad (BNSF) to deliver supplies this fall when Hurricane Matthew hit the southern United States and the Caribbean. The BSNF railroad (in Edgerton, Kan.) partnered with Convoy of Hope to deliver 45 containers filed with 11.8 million meals, plus tarps, hygiene kits and cleaning supplies bound for Haiti. The donation containers carried $5.6 million worth of supplies. BSNF donated the transportation, which was the largest transport that Convoy of Hope had done.

That many supplies, that far at an expedited rate, would normally have cost a fortune. Thanks to hundreds of volunteers, the train was loaded a day ahead of schedule. Convoy of Hope reported that Haiti was in desperate need of help because hurricane Matthew had damaged thousands of homes and hundreds were dying of cholera, and the use of the freight train was a mission of love.

In the past 20 years, Convoy of Hope has been active in 48 states and providing disaster response, conducting community outreach events, and directing nutritional programs and sustainability projects.

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, international, humanitarian-relief nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches and disaster response. Its world-distribution center and corporate offices are in Springfield at U.S. 65 and I-44, and its goal is to bring help and hope to people who are impoverished, hungry and hurting.

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