Trying to create a perpetual motion machine has intrigued curious minds for centuries. Leonardo da Vinci was among those who examined the possibility and even penned some drawings, but he ultimately abandoned the effort and proclaimed it unworkable.
The idea of continuous energy, however, sounds a whole lot like what happens with Habitat for Humanity.
Screenwriter Randy Wallace once said, “Habitat is a perpetual motion miracle. Everyone who gives, receives — and everyone who receives, gives. If you want to stay complacent and uninspired, stay away from Habitat. Come close to Habitat, and it will change you and make you part of something that changes the world.”
That has certainly been my experience. The model of helping people move into decent, affordable shelter is one that not only touches hearts, but also appeals to logic. Being an integral part of something successful makes people want to do more and get more personally involved.
That enthusiasm often follows an initial transformation, however. I have heard countless stories of volunteers who suited up for their first build and showed up with visions of how to minister to those less fortunate. After working alongside amazing families, they walked away humbled and forever impacted by the blessings they received.
And how many homeowners have served as inspiring role models? One day, I struck up a conversation with a volunteer on a build in Americus, Georgia. She was a homeowner who told me the two happiest days of her life were when she got her Habitat house and when she paid off her mortgage. Now she volunteers all the time. It’s how she gives back. It’s what she wants to do.
God reminds us every day that the outpouring of love from generous hearts is not something that is used up or divided. Rather, God’s love multiplies with every encounter of kindness.
During the approaching holiday season, I encourage you to consider Habitat’s approach — give of yourself in authentic and powerful ways. Experience the joy of being part of this perpetual motion miracle.
— Elizabeth Crossman, immediate past president of the
Habitat for Humanity international board of directors