There were many incredible milestones met by Habitat for Humanity in 2014! Take a look back at the work we did around the world in this Year in Review video:
I'm excited to announce that I have scheduled my next Global Village trip and will begin my recruitment process very soon. In 2015, I plan to lead a team of up to 22 people to Rabinal, Guatemala to help build at least two homes with families in need of decent and affordable shelter. Here are the details of my trip:
We made a difference. We made great memories.
During our Global Village trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia with Habitat Para La Humanidad, we worked on building a home with the Moya Family. When completed, the home will measure 624 square feet and cost $14,240 US. The family made a $2,000 deposit, so their mortgage will be $214 per month over 6.5 years. The couple has one son and is expecting a baby in December.
My team helped shovel, wheelbarrow and place thousands of pounds of sand, stone, brick and gravel over five work days. We moved, cut, bent and twisted countless feet of rebar that will be used to fortify the walls of the home. Each task, though at times tedious and strenuous, was a labor of love.
For our cultural activities, we toured a center for abused and abandoned children, saw a breath-taking traditional Bolivian dance performance, visited the famous Cristo de la Concordia, viewed the Habitat national office, shopped at the Main Plaza and La Cancha markets, toured the Natural History Museum and the majestic Palacio Portales.
Habitat Para La Humanidad Bolivia has served more than 50,000 families and built nearly 11,530 homes over 29 years. Utilizing Global Village teams, like ours, helps to offset their costs and increase progress on the homes. For example, our team raised almost $15,000 in funds, almost the total cost of the home, using peer-to-peer fundraising for our trip. That doesn't include the offline funds submitted by our volunteers and their supporters. Also, our team of 14 people was able to move enormous amounts of materials on the site in a short amount of time, saving the small construction staff at Habitat and the Moya Family time, money and energy.
I'd like to thank my team members Jerald, Karen, Jim, Andy, Tommy, Amy, Marci, Lori, Kate, Meriem, Ashley and Pieter for accepting the call to service and putting love into action during this trip. I'd also like to thank my supporters, especially my top donors, Bob and Roderick, for their generosity and helping transform lives in Cochabamba. Your compassion has helped make the dream of home ownership come true for the Moya Family!
Please take a moment to view my short video recap of our experience in Cochabamba.
If you can not view the video, watch it here.
There is hope and it requires you to exercise your physical and spiritual muscle.
You've probably seen the movie "Finding Nemo" and remember Dory grabbing the fin of a depressed Nemo and telling him, "When life gets you down, you have to remember to just keep swimming." As they proceed into the dark abyss, Dory begins singing, "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming."
Today the devotional featured in Habitat for Humanity's Lent Guide is my write up about my spiritual reflection while on a Global Village trip in San Juan de la Manguana, Dominican Republic in June 2012. Our team was blessed to partner with two families and helped excavate and build the foundations for both of their homes using their native construction techniques and tools. The work took the entire five days!
From this devotional, I hope that you know that God is present, holding your hand and guiding you into the deep and sometimes dark places of your life. Know that there is hope and it requires that you exercise your physical and spiritual muscle. Don't let fear and anxiety override your faith and don't forget that your work is not vain.
Download the entire devotional guide for more devotionals written by my colleagues and some spiritual advisers from around the world.
Traditionally, Lent is observed from Ash Wednesday to Easter. It is a time of reflection, repentance and prayer. This specially created devotional guide and other opportunities offered here provide ways for faith partners to join Habitat for Humanity in 40 days of prayer, service and sacrifice. These activities offer people a way to share God’s love and lead people to grow in their faith in tangible ways.
My colleague and friend, award-winning photographer and videographer, Ezra Millstein, recently led a Global Village trip to Udon Thani, Thailand. He shared some of his amazing photographs on the Habitat for Humanity International blog this week. In case you are planning to take photos during our GV trip, here are some great examples of eye-catching shots. Click here to view the slideshow. I have also featured Ezra's dynamic video "A Global Village" on my homepage. Follow Ezra on Twitter at @ezramillstein.
Christ-follower. Mompreneur. @Habitat_org Global Village Team Leader. Crab claw lover. Advocate for adequate shelter, releasing children from poverty and ending human trafficking and slavery.