Finally!  The long-awaited build with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) in Macon, GA is in full swing.  I am so excited and blessed to be here with these wonderful people.  Our projects this week and next are rehabbing and recycling two homes.  A rehab is one new to HFH, which is in much need of TLC and lots of elbow grease.  Floors need to be replaced, the bathroom and kitchen need to be tiled, all trim work needs to be replaced, and there’s lots of cleaning and painting to do.  The “recycle'” where I am working this week, is a home, formerly refurbished by HFH, but due to financial circumstances, the owners have had to give up their home, and HFH is refurbishing again it for the next owner.

Not only am I learning a great deal about handiwork around the house, but I am learning more and more about HFH.  Every morning, following our devotional, we join hands and say, “Habitat is not a hand-out, but a hand up!”  The homes, whether built from scratch or remodeled and refurbished, are not a charity gift to the new home owners.  First, they must qualify by being gainfully employed, earning a certain level of salary.  They must also put in 300 hours of sweat equity, either working on their own home, a different home, or even in the office.  It’s a win/win for everyone.

HFH also builds brand new homes.  Two of those are going up right now, near completion, as a joint project with the City of Macon.  HFH builds energy-star homes, and is the only builder doing so at this time in Macon.  It is my understanding that a new home is a lot of fun to work on…..everything is fresh, everything works, and there are not any termites, grain weevils, or cockroaches to deal with.  Oh, that’s another thing:  I’m learning about the bugs in the south, too!  Yuck!

Moments of grace:  even with a few aches and pains, I am smiling and happy.  I am so grateful for the warm people who make HFH what it is.  They are changing lives and changing neighborhoods.  One nice home in a run-down neighborhood sets an example, and soon you see others making an effort to improve their own situation.  It’s contagious, and it’s a blessing!