For many people, houses built during the week of Sept. 11-17 will have a foundation of faith, walls of hope and a roof of service.
The second week of September is "Building on Faith" week, a time when Habitat for Humanity affiliates celebrate their partnerships with faith communities by building houses and conducting communitywide worship services. Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International founder and president, has challenged affiliates worldwide to start, finish or work on 10,000 houses during that time this year.
"Building on Faith encourages partnerships that stretch all parties to put the 'theology of the hammer' into practice," says HFHI director of church relations Sister Betsy Van Deusen. "We can build simple, decent, healthy and affordable homes with God's people in need, and that will change the world while it changes each of us."
Some affiliates are blitz building, some are encouraging different faith communities to come together to sponsor a house and some are simply raising awareness about substandard housing.
New Castle County HFH in Delaware will blitz build four homes during Building on Faith week.
"We hope the blitz will be a way to get our name out, get people involved and act as a springboard for the future," says Nathan Ulrich, affiliate volunteer coordinator.
This annual event culminates on the third Sunday in September, the International Day of Prayer and Action for Human Habitat.
The Day of Prayer, born of a desire to put housing on the minds and hearts of people everywhere, provides a specific opportunity for people of faith around the world to pray for those in need of shelter. Bulletin inserts are available for download in English or Spanish. Printed inserts also can be ordered by calling (800) 422-5914 and requesting item #3500 for English, #3636 for Spanish or #3601 for Jewish congregations.
-- Rebekah Graydon
Magazine Ranks HFHI Among Top Builders
According to the May issue of Builder magazine, Habitat for Humanity International ranks 15th in a listing of the nation's top 100 homebuilders in the United States.
The magazine is the trade publication of the National Association of Home Builders, a federation of more than 800 state and local builders associations representing 200,000 members. Each year in May, Builder magazine announces its "Builder 100" listing. Ranking is determined by the number of house closings by Dec. 31 of the previous year. Habitat for Humanity International ranked 19th in 1998.
-- Karen Free
U.S. Capital Hosts Build
Ambassadors to the United States representing more than two dozen countries on five continents joined in the construction of three Habitat for Humanity homes in northeast Washington, D.C. in June. Working alongside the ambassadors were Habitat for Humanity International president and founder Millard Fuller, and HFHI Washington Office managing director Tom Jones.
The ambassadors worked on three new houses in the capital's northeast area, joining Habitat volunteers from Northern Ireland and the AmeriCorps National Service Program. Also joining the ambassadors was D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams.
The Ambassadors Build is the first project leading toward the first "World Leaders' Build" scheduled for August 2001, which will see current and former heads of state building Habitat houses simultaneously in their capital cities. The project will be led by Habitat for Humanity's most famous volunteer, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and will coincide with the 2001 Jimmy Carter Work Project in South Korea.
At a ceremony during a break from construction, His Excellency E.M. Maceda, Philippines Ambassador to the United States, presented a hammer to K.T. Moon, Counselor of Health and Welfare for the Republic of South Korea's U.S. Embassy. The Philippines hosted the 1999 Jimmy Carter Project. Philippines President Joseph Estrada was the first head of state to commit to participation in the World Leaders Build.
"The Ambassadors Build brings us closer to Habitat's vision of eliminating poverty housing," Fuller said. "As you build," he told the ambassadors, "I believe you will catch the vision and take it to your own countries. We hope and pray that all nations will give the highest priority to ensuring that everyone on earth has a simple, decent and safe place to live."
Reprinted from Habitat World Magazine, August/September 2000.
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©2000 Habitat for Humanity International