Not long ago, I was honored to be invited to share inspirational messages and lead in prayer hundreds of volunteers who participated in Habitat for Humanity of Chesapeake Summer Build Week. From college students to senior citizens, the volunteers gathered together in Baltimore, Maryland, to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope.
Although sun-scorched skies and oppressive humidity hung heavily over Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood during the week, volunteers were not deterred. They worked enthusiastically to renovate the 1930s row houses, some of which had been vacant for decades.
The stories and spirit of the staff impressed me—like LaVerne from the Sandtown neighborhood of Baltimore where protests took place in April. LaVerne became a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity and lives in the same house where she raised her four daughters. After receiving her home, she prayed, “Lord, how can I give back?” God led her to work for Habitat, and for twenty-three years she’s been employed with Habitat and has helped to improve the lives of families with housing issues in her community. “Sandtown has always been my community, and always will be,” she told me.
During my evening talk at a local church, a woman named Mia stood up and shared how several years prior she was also the recipient of a Habitat home. Dick, a 20-year volunteer who was sitting in the front row, lit up with joy. He hadn’t seen Mia since the day he helped her move into her new home. Mia shared, “I was empowered by owning my own home. It gave me hope to dream.” Today, Mia passes on that inspiration by creating tee-shirts and items that feature inspirational quotes.
Every day holds opportunities to inspire hope in an individual – whether it be helping an at-risk student, feeding the homeless or offering companionship to the elderly, the possibilities to bless are endless and the impact limitless. When we put hope to work, hope works with us. Hope imparted in the present fosters faith for the future.
Lord, thank You for ambassadors of hope in our world. Strengthen the hands that spread seeds of love to all, especially to the least of us.
Have you ever received a life-changing gift of service? Share your story with us in the comments.