At ITEC, we decided a long time ago that we were going to use the word “HELP” sparingly and we weren’t going to invent emergencies. -Steve Saint
MeMaw help! MeMaw help!
Our two-year-old grandson urgently called from the back room where he had been happily playing with his cherished “twucks, twacktos and cawos.” By the time I finally got to my feet to stagger to Joe Joe’s rescue, Ginny sped past me – “Meemaw to the rescue.”
Just as Ginny got to precious little Josiah I made it far enough to see the little drama unfold. No blood. No finger pinched in the dump twuk. And, no tears. Little Joe Joe had a huge smile on his face as he explained the emergency in the understated eloquence of a beginners vocabulary, “MeMaw play me, twucks, twacktos, cawos.”
Josiah had apparently just realized that if you want something and you want it NOW, the word “Help!” yelled loudly in an urgent manner gets results. Some day we will have to tell him the story of the little boy who cried “Wolf” one too many times.
Using The Word “Help” Sparingly
At ITEC, we decided a long time ago that we were going to use the word “HELP” sparingly and we weren’t going to invent emergencies. Nevertheless, we have had an emergency headed our way for the last few years. A good emergency, very much like Joey’s emergency. We have had more really good ministry “twucks, twacktos and cawos” than our staff could justify keeping to ourselves. We were tempted to yell “Help” but we beat back the urge and you know what? Miraculously, highly talented, capable and passionately motivated ‘just right for the job’ people started asking if they could do inventing, training and equipping with us.
That started bringing on another emergency that tempted us to scream out the “Help” word again. We simply didn’t have enough room for all of the growing Team ITEC to play. Miraculously, again, some very good friends of ITEC who aren’t even known to most of our staff, visitors and volunteers asked if they could join in all the fun we are having.
The end result is that we just dedicated about 60% more office space than we had which created another almost emergency of the furniture type. Yep, miraculously again, two new members of our staff who are closing their offices because God told them to become ITECers, asked us to let them give us the office furniture they didn’t know what to do with. We are very graciously resolving their furniture problems.
The History of our Facility
For those of you who haven’t come to visit our research and development headquarters yet, let me quickly summarize our facility history. After renting and borrowing facilities for several years, we built our first, very own, facility in 1999. We built a 6,000 square foot hangar with about 1,200 feet of office space on one side. Since that initial build-out, many volunteers have graciously helped us make changes to the space, filling the needs of a growing team God has been assembling. Now, all but about 1,000 feet of the original hanger has been built out, two stories high. I-MED, I-DENT, I-SEE, I-FILM, I-FLY, UAV, all have their own space. Miraculously (This is getting repetitive isn’t it?) a close friend of ITEC told me we were going to run out of space before it was reasonable to think such a thing. He wanted to help us solve our distant problem. So, while we have lost most of our 6,000 square feet of hangar space, it has been replaced by a beautiful 10,000-foot hangar.
We really did almost have an emergency when the fire Marshal told us the new hangar put us over a magical size threshold which required both the new and original facilities to have a sprinkler system installed that would have cost almost as much as the new hangar. He finally decided we could build a firewall between the original hangar and the new one. With six layers of fire-shield sheet rock, it cost only a fraction of the cost of the sprinkler system. We couldn’t have anticipated that just three years later we would need that wall as part of our office expansion.
A Mural by Lawrence Saint
Now for the cherry on top of the whipped cream over the fudge brownie. My Dad’s father, Lawrence Saint was a stained glass artist who also painted a number of large murals for churches. One of his murals depicting key men and women of the Bible is titled “Walking With GOD.” Over 12 feet high and 37 feet long, it needs a big and very sturdy wall to hang on. As I understand it, the church that commissioned Grandpa to paint the mural went out of business. They gave the mural to a seminary that did some remodeling and no longer had a wall big enough to hang the huge painting. An enterprising visionary did not want to see “Walking With GOD” going by the wayside and rescued the mural. It was finally offered to me about the time the fire marshal decided we needed to build a huge and very sturdy firewall. Miraculously, yet again, an ITEC board member handed the enormous painting off to a couple who will probably give you a tour of ITEC when you come visit. They drove from Florida to Pennsylvania and back pulling a huge trailer so that an almost 70-year-old oil painting can now hang on our firewall.
“Walking With GOD” requires that we go where he leads. When we dedicated our new offices, there were so many of us that the only place we could all meet was out in the new hangar under the gaze of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Hannah and little Samuel, Lois, Paul and Barnabas and many other heroes of the faith.
It’s our turn now. Some give, some invent, some build, some heal, some fly, some fix, some full-time, some part-time, some very young and one of us now ninety-two. Being disciples or discipling others. All of us learning to walk with God.