As most you know I work for our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, over the years we have built two hundred homes and I had a part in almost 100 of those. We get out land from various resources, like donated, donated with a house on it, tax sales, and buying lots out right. Late last year I accepted a donation of a lot from a bank, this was a foreclosure. The house was in a really nice neighborhood however the past owner did not take care of the home. When I assessed the property I deemed it not suitable for rehab. This house was built in 1973.
Habitat selects their families based on three criteria, basically ability to pay, currently living in substandard housing, and willingness to partner. The family that selected this home was selected over three years ago and they were wanting a house in the same school district that they currently live with their six boys. When I first met the family they were so gracious that they were able to have this lot for their home. They really are an awesome family.
Back to the house, today we demolished the old house; it was a block party on the street. The neighbors came out in force to watch the giant track hoe take the house to the ground and collapse it into the basement. No less than 15 people stopped over and thanked us for cleaning up their neighborhood and welcomed Habitat and the family. We had so many offers to provide help building the new house, providing lunch to the volunteers, and parking in their driveways. I really felt good about today. We are not only serving a family in need but a neighborhood and community in need. I love my job.
In all my years I have had over 30 homes demolished and been at everyone to insure they go okay and to field any questions about Habitat. Today was no different except I took my assistant and our intern whom neither watched a house be torn down. They were amazed and brought to my attention that 45 minutes after we started the entire house was down and crushed into the basement. Now that really hit me. It takes us 20 weeks from start to finish build a house at the most, no less and 40 different deliveries of materials, and several inspections. Today in 45 minutes it all came down, tomorrow 3 dumpsters will haul it all away. There will be no inspections or pats on the back for a fine job.
That is kind of sad in one way, that a family’s dream of homeownership was reduced to trash in a matter minutes. However today a family’s dream came true seeing this as the start of their new home, I was touched to see the mom and the oldest son (15) drop to their knees and pray for their family, for the Habitat volunteers, and for the family that lost this home.
My moral to this is of course God hears us, just not a quick as we would like him too. But also, a house is nothing more than rubble if we don’t bring love in to it. One of my favorite bible verses is 1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds on it.
I am proud to be a master builder! When we build a home and dedicate it we give the family, a homeowners manual and encourage them to use it every day. We are all master builders if you don’t believe that open up your homeowner manual and start reading. Your homeowner’s manual is also referred to your manual to life or the Holy Bible.
Good luck to everyone with your goals, give your heart and prayers to others, take time to give thanks for being alive, pray for our servicemen and women, our fire fighter and police officers, to the people in Japan, and Libya.
less than 45 minutes later