Building Toward 1 Million

Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford helps raise the wall of the organization's 800,000th house.
 
In early November, Habitat for Humanity marked a significant milestone, raising the walls of our 800,000th house. This means we’ve helped 4 million people around the world improve their housing situations since 1976. That’s a little more than the population of Los Angeles.
 
I am so grateful for the commitment of countless people, like you, who have helped. A lot of prayers, sweat, tears and sacrifice went into that total. Thank you!
 
In typical Habitat fashion, we are setting our sights on the next milestone: our 1 millionth house. With your help, we can reach that goal in the next two years. It will be a stretch, but it’s a celebration I look forward to: the day we can proclaim that together we have partnered with 5 million people to create safe, decent, affordable shelters.
 
Even that number pales compared to the 1.6 billion people around the world — roughly the population of China and the U.S. combined — who lack adequate shelter. A number like that could make us wonder if it’s possible to win the battle against poverty.
 
So why do we build?
 
Because doing nothing is not acceptable. American writer and minister Edward Everett Hale reminds us: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” We are to give our best response to God’s repeated instructions to care for the poor and to share our blessings. God will take care of the rest.
 
More contemporary author Henry Blackaby suggests we should take on God-sized tasks because then it is clear who deserves the credit. Our task is great, but our God is awesome.
 
We know that behind the numbers lie the stories of real people. I’ve been privileged to see amazing transformations. I’ve witnessed orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa move from hopelessness to anticipation. I’ve celebrated with Haitian families grateful for stability after the 2010 earthquake. I’ve talked with families on three continents who have told me their Habitat home meant their children were no longer sick from living in toxic environments.
 
Their successes, and those of many others, make me want to do more. Energized by the vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live and empowered by the God for whom all things are possible, we will keep building toward 1 million … and beyond.
 
— Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO