Reflections on Habitat at our wall raising ceremony

22 YEARS AGO WE HAD A CRAZY IDEA. PERHAPS THE CHURCHES HERE IN THE GOLDEN STRIP COULD WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE A TANGIBLE DIFFERENCE IN A FAMILY’S LIFE. WE CONTACTED HABITAT FOR HUMANITY AND BEGAN RAISING FUNDS AND SOLICITING GIFTS IN KIND FROM OUR LOCAL CONTRACTORS. THAT FIRST HOUSE IS ON HEDGE STREET IN SIMPSONVILLE AND THE OWNER HAS PAID FOR IT IN FULL.

WE BUILT THAT HOUSE IN A WEEK. IT WAS THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL BLITZ BUILD THAT HABITAT OF GREENVILLE HAD EVER ACCOMPLISHED.

22 YEARS LATER SOME THINGS HAVE CHANGED – WE ARE TAKING 12 WEEKS TO BUILD THIS HOUSE RATHER THAN ONE, WE HAVE TIGHTER REGULATIONS, WHICH MAKE FOR A SAFER HOUSE, IT IS A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE, AND WE HAVE ADDED A FEW MORE PARTNERS IN THIS ENDEAVOR.

BUT ONE THING HAS NOT CHANGED. EACH HOME WE BUILD TOGETHER ACCOMPLISHES TWO VERY IMPORTANT THINGS.

FIRST, WE HELP PROVIDE AN AFFORDABLE HOME TO A FAMILY THAT COULD OTHERWISE NOT AFFORD ONE.

AND SECOND, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM ALL DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS.

WE BREAK DOWN BARRIERS FOR THE FAMILY AND FOR ONE ANOTHER AS WE WORK TOGETHER ON THIS COMMON GOAL.

I AM GRATEFUL TO BE ABLE TO SAY THAT THIS YEAR’S HOUSE IS BEING BUILT FOR A YOUNG WOMAN WHO I HAVE KNOWN SINCE SHE WAS A TODDLER. NICKY YOUNGBLOOD HAS DONE THE WORK AND PREPARATION REQUIRED OF HER IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THIS HOUSE AND TODAY WE BEGIN THE PROCESS OF TOGETHER MAKING HER DREAM COME TRUE.

THIS HOUSE IS OUR TANGIBLE WAY OF LIVING OUT THE GREAT COMMANDMENT TO LOVE GOD AND TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR. TOGETHER WE ARE SERVING OUR GOD AND HUMANITY. THANKS BE TO GOD!