I am a lover of all things historic and I would much rather watch a movie based on a true story than a sci-fi flick anytime. I think that’s why it’s so exciting to me that Pittsburgh and Panama have a true historic relationship? The story is wrapped up with the most significant landmark in the entire country of Panama – the Canal.
You can Google the long version but the short one is basically this…
The construction of the canal began in 1880 by the French but it was the American’s that finished the job in 1914. The project was one that needed to be rescued and because he saw the great potential, Teddy Roosevelt decided he was just the US President to tackle that job.
There were many challenges to overcome in building this intercontinental, water-highway but one of the last and largest obstacles standing in their way was how to construct the giant gates needed for the locks that would neither warp nor wear out with long term use in water. This is when they turned to the experts of their day in steel construction. The Pittsburgh Company of Blaw Steel was awarded the opportunity to construct the largest gates to ever swing. They used an astronomical 53,000 tons of structural steel, castings, plates and other material to do the job. In the end Pittsburgh successfully delivered the giant gates by 1909 for canal installation. Because they took on the challenge of this global project they played a critical role in this country’s history, identity and value to the world economy even to today! Without their contribution, huge sea vessels would still be traveling 8000 miles or more around Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America to get around the America’s.
This brings me to a thought. What part would Pittsburgh people have to play if God had a heavenly project of global significance underway in the country of Panama today? I wonder because I think it’s actually happening. I see the Gospel exploding in that country and the surrounding regions and I see the church and its leaders in desperate need of fortification. What if believers in Pittsburgh or other areas of the world were asked to play a part? Right now there is a call out for a significant challenge that the church there is facing. They are trying to put some final pieces in place so the success of the Great Commission can continue to flow and that is leadership development and healthy, biblical church planting! It is a giant job but we don’t have a history of shrinking back from giant jobs.