Picturing Faith in Action

You clear the calendar and gladly pour your heart into how many things every year without fail? Easter Sunday worship services? Holiday celebrations with family? Vacations to a favorite destination?

In October, former President and Mrs. Carter will join volunteers from around the world for the 30th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. They have worked alongside Habitat for Humanity homeowners in New York, Hungary, South Africa and Mexico. They have brought hope to families in Pikeville, Kentucky; Windsor, Ontario; and Chiang Mai, Thailand. They have helped rebuild communities after disasters along the Gulf Coast in the U.S. and most recently in Haiti.

This is no ceremonial event for the Carters. I first worked alongside them in India in 2006 and have been with them every year since. I can tell you that no one on the site works harder than they do. President Carter has said that he is the honorary chairman of many charities, but Habitat is the only organization to which he commits his time and labor.

Helping to alleviate human suffering is, for the Carters, a matter of faith. As Christians, they believe they have the responsibility to serve where they can and to bring hope to those who are hurting. Working with Habitat provides them a means of drawing nearer to God, and I draw great strength from their rock-solid faith.

This issue of Habitat World also recognizes another 30-year milestone. We are grateful for the support of The Dow Chemical Company, which was Habitat’s first corporate partner. They have supported our affordable housing efforts for three decades — including serving as a major sponsor for the Carter Work Project for 22 years. Together, we are helping families build the foundation for a better future.

You will find many powerful photographs in this issue. Some of them document the history of the Carter Work Project; others show ordinary people involved in Habitat projects around the world. I am in awe of our outstanding photographers who show us not just pictures of houses and families — but energetic expressions of indescribable joy and boundless hope.

As I write this column, the Habitat faithful are coordinating rebuilding efforts in New York, New Jersey and Texas after storms wreaked havoc in those areas. Like you, they have felt the call to respond to their neighbors in need and are helping us move closer to a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO