“This picture echoes our reality”

By Tom Protack and Melissa Korik, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity community engagement director and public relations coordinator

July 27 was a traditional build day for Sussex County Habitat for Humanity. It was a beautiful summer Saturday with clear skies and radiant sun.

Our team of volunteers were working on two houses in a community called Georgetown Point. It was an extra special day because not only did we have our regular volunteers, partner families and AmeriCorps members, but we were also joined by Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and 17 members of his staff.

During the build day, partner family member Melissa Price was doing an ordinary task — moving material from our storage trailer to the site — when an extraordinary thing happened! As Melissa carried the material, the sun created a cross out of the shadows.

At this moment, I realized that in the past year I had taken countless photos but that this one captured our mission. Melissa, a single mother, carries the burden of a cross that often is not seen. Many of our partner families carry the cross of worry, doubt and anxiety as they walk through life wondering about their family’s future.

On this Saturday, no doubt, Melissa was working and carrying material, but she also was carrying the cross of the demanding journey toward homeownership, a journey that requires inner strength and a search for hope.

If you have ever doubted God’s hand in the mission and ministry of Habitat, this picture echoes our reality. We seek to put God’s love into action, and it often happens right in front of our eyes — on an ordinary build day as we do extraordinary things together.