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‘Faith Builders’ brings youth together to build Habitat home

Habitat’s ‘Faith Builders’ brings youth together to build a home

LIMA, Ohio, June 28, 2004 — Christian youth groups will put their faith into action this summer in Lima helping build a home during Habitat for Humanity’s first “Faith Builders.”

Thirty-nine youth, ages 14-18, and adult supervisors will travel from Palos Park and Western Springs, Ill.; Manassas, Va.; and Salem, N.J., to help raise walls and put in landscaping. The students will work in two groups during two sessions, July 11-17, and Aug. 1-7.

“We have had many youth groups from churches contact us about working with Habitat during the summer,” says Karla Amstulz, Habitat for Humanity International’s Campus Chapters and Youth Programs department. “We hope that Faith Builders will be an opportunity for church youth groups to get involved in service and also strengthen their faith.”

The volunteers will participate in activities such as morning devotionals, group discussions and other activities that highlight Faith Builders’ theme, “Servant Leadership.” Each evening’s activity will relate to that day’s completed task, helping the youth draw a connection between their faith and community service.

Lima Area Habitat for Humanity was selected to host the first “Faith Builders” program and there are plans to offer Faith Builders in five locations across the country next summer.

The Lima community is coming together to help Habitat make the week successful. Mayor David Berger will begin the week by welcoming the youth groups. In addition, Christ Church Episcopal and other churches are donating lunches and area restaurants are donating dinners. Trinity United Methodist Church is providing lodging and YMCA is offering shower facilities.

“We are very excited to host the first Faith Builders,” said Lavon Welty, executive director of Lima Area Habitat for Humanity. “This will be a wonderful time to get our partners and these youth groups involved in helping people in the community.”

The first Faith Builders Habitat home is being built in partnership with Teresa Morton and her family. Teresa has been disabled since birth and uses a wheelchair to complete many of her daily tasks. She rents an apartment but has always dreamed of owning her own home. Because Teresa lives on a fixed income, previous attempts at getting a mortgage from a bank have been denied.

“It is nice to know there are people out there that care about the underdog,” says Teresa. “I thank God for everything he has given me.”

Anyone interested in making a donation to Habitat for Humanity’s Faith Builders can call Lima Area Habitat at 419.224.3507 or e-mail

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.