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Foundations: March 2010 -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Foundations: March 2010

Trusting in God’s Abundance
By Jonathan Reckford



It takes someone special to be first. Ellen Williams was a founding member of South Carolina’s Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County 25 years ago, and she can remember the fear she and others felt before nailing that first piece of vinyl siding on a rehab project that took three years to complete. But Williams, who is featured in this issue of Habitat World, is working on her 40th house.

We owe a debt of gratitude to all the pioneers at Habitat for Humanity—individuals like Williams who felt God’s call and who promoted the idea of partnership housing to get the first projects started in their communities. They spread the word and invited others to join them; and now more than 750,000 volunteers a year help their neighbors improve their housing situations.

And I am amazed by homeowners around the world—homeowners like the ones featured beginning on page 12—who have worked hard to make their house payments on time, to go back to school, to organize improvements in the community, to help their neighbors and to keep hope alive. They are my heroes.

While the mortgage lending industry at large has suffered during this economic crisis, Habitat continues to enjoy one success story after another as homeowners pay off their mortgages and move from cycles of poverty and despair to opportunity and hope.

Habitat’s recently released Shelter Report 2010: The Case for Low-Income Homeowners emphasizes that homeownership for low-income families is worth defending. Statistics show that children who are able to stay in one house have a much better chance of doing well in school. We also find that children who live in a stable home are healthier, and that homeowners are more likely to volunteer in civic and political activities. Through paying taxes and making purchases, homeowners contribute financially to their communities.

Like the fishermen who were called to extraordinary purpose along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, each of Habitat’s first partners had to be courageous and willing to believe that God could be trusted to change lives and change the world. We must be willing to make that same leap of faith—to trust that even in difficult times, God is still a God of abundance who will be present with us to care for our neighbors in need of adequate shelter. Thank you for keeping the faith and for continuing to allow God to bless others through you.