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Habitat, church partners build in India

Habitat for Humanity and church partners build homes in India in partnership with tsunami-affected families

AMERICUS, Ga. (Dec. 5, 2005) – A new partnership between Habitat for Humanity, Granger (Ind.) Community Church, World Relief and The Bible League will assist families affected by last year’s devastating tsunami in Asia.

By Dec. 26, the first anniversary of the disaster, five more families will move into their homes in the Kanyakumari district of India, in the state of Tamil Nadu, due to the efforts of the partner organizations.

Habitat for Humanity is working in the hardest hit areas of India to rebuild, repair and renovate damaged homes, and providing employment and training opportunities in building centers to those who lost their livelihood as a result of the tsunami.

The first team of volunteers from Granger Church and local Bible League churches begin building houses with partner families on Dec. 5. When they return home, they will train house leaders who will lead more teams to build up to 100 houses within the next two years. Many of the homes, such as the five being built in December, will be for families affected by the tsunami.

Granger Church is leading efforts for the “P.E.A.C.E.” plan in Asia for the worldwide “Purpose Driven” network of churches. Part of the mission for churches participating in P.E.A.C.E – Planting Churches; Equipping Servant Leaders; Assisting the Poor; Caring for the Sick; Educating the Next Generation – is to care for people who face extreme poverty. The plan mobilizes every member in mission, believing that ordinary people can be empowered by God to make a difference together wherever they are located.

“No one can bring holistic help like the local church. The local church is the hope of the world,” said the Rev. Mark Beeson, senior pastor of Granger Church. “No one can outpace Habitat in the arena of building houses. Habitat is the largest nonprofit housing provider in the world. Together we are a formidable force for bringing God’s Kingdom!”

“Participating in this partnership makes us realize that it is so much more than just what each of us brings to it,” said José Luis Villaseñor, international program manager for Habitat for Humanity’s Church Relations department. “What we are doing is building God’s Kingdom, and bringing churches together to work with the poor in India helps us focus on building the Kingdom.”

The next team from Granger Church and local Bible League churches are scheduled to travel to India in March 2006 to build at least 15 houses.

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people.

The Bible League is a worldwide ministry, which provides Scriptures to people in need and seeks to make sure those Scriptures are used for evangelism, discipleship, and church growth.