Building on Faith
Two of the students on the high school Mexico GO Team will be among those baptized tomorrow! I’ve gotten to know and love them during this year of learning to live on mission.
One of our Ensenada projects with our global outreach partner Agua Viva was to build a home addition alongside a foster mom and her local church. Last Sunday, that same group of high school students signed a beam for the Chapel Hill Habitat for Humanity home just about to break ground here in Gig Harbor. They chose Matthew 7:24: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” You have a last chance to “Bless the Beams,” too…tomorrow morning in the Gathering Place. And that’s just the beginning of a grand summer building project for all of us here in town! (More on that below…)
Baptism and building houses have a lot in common. The water will dry. Our earthly tents break down (2 Cor. 5:5). But the choice to be baptized or to buy a home is a privilege beyond anything we can earn because they are both SO COSTLY! Paying off that mortgage, if you can even get one, takes a lifetime. Going underwater is giving up control of our lives (Rom. 6:4). Jesus said to count the cost of following him, just as you would budget a commercial building project (Luke 14:28-33).
When the church goes in together to build a house or to welcome more children into God’s family, we show people that Jesus pays our impossible debt so that we can live in his love forever. The floor plans, the soggy hugs, the swinging hammer, the meals together…they are all signs, like John’s vision of heaven, “Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good” (Rev. 21:3-4, MSG).
The reason Mexico has such a housing problem is because people cannot access mortgages. So they gather what material they can find and afford, paycheck to paycheck. It’s not enough. Like trying to do life without Jesus. Our efforts run out. In Gig Harbor, people who have been living and working here do not have enough to stay because of rising housing costs.
The Chapel Hill Home is our commitment to stable families and economic diversity and a community that cares for each other when crises come. It’s a confession that we all have debts we cannot pay, but God gives us the joy of paying him back anyway! This house is a bold statement that God intends to dignify all people through the way that we love our neighbors.
Putting in sweat equity shoulder to shoulder with Habitat homeowners has been a life-changing experience for Chapel Hill member Rich Phillips. Along with Local Outreach coordinator Chandra Hallam, Rich and several others have been a big part of our preparations this year. He remembers when the first Habitat home was funded by a member more than 20 years ago!
Check out our Habitat webpage and fill out the form to let us know your interest in participating. We will have work every weekend for four months. This is a perfect project for inviting a coworker or friend who doesn’t follow Jesus yet. Regardless of skill, all of us can be praying for specific needs, especially for the families who will live there! We want to work in a way that grows positive relations with other homes on the street and a good name for Habitat so they can do more great work in our county.
Let’s build a place called home!
Director of Outreach