Habitat’s “Faith Builders” to Integrate Faith with Community Service

( [email protected] ) Jun 30, 2004 08:11 PM EDT

Nearly 40 youth aged 14-18 has signed up for the first “Faith Builders” series of Habitat for Humanity, scheduled for Lima, Ohio this summer.

“We have had many youth groups from churches contact us about working with Habitat during the summer,” says Karla Amstulz, Habitat for Humanity International’s Campus Chapters and Youth Programs department. “We hope that Faith Builders will be an opportunity for church youth groups to get involved in service and also strengthen their faith.”

Different from other Habitat Projects, where Christians and non-Christians alike join for the main purpose of building livable quarters for impoverished people, the “Faith Builders” series integrates faith with construction, thereby helping youth draw a connection between their faith in Christ and community service.

Features of “Faith Builders” include daily morning devotionals and group discussions, all which follow the Faith Builders’ theme, “Servant Leadership.”

Habitat reported on June 28, that the entire Lima community has chipped in to make the event successful. The Mayor David Berger will begin the week by welcoming the youth, while the Christ Church Episcopal and other area churches volunteered to provide lunches. Other area restaurants said they would donate dinners while Trinity United Methodist Church offered lodging for the children. Meanwhile, the local YMCA will provide the shower facilities.

“We are very excited to host the first Faith Builders,” said Lavon Welty, executive director of Lima Area Habitat for Humanity. “This will be a wonderful time to get our partners and these youth groups involved in helping people in the community.”

These young faith builders will be working with adult supervisors in two sessions: July 11-17 and August 1-7. Should the plans follow through, Habitat will hold Faith Builders in five locations across the country next summer.

Although construction has yet to start, the first Faith Builders home has already found a loving owner: Teresa Morton, a disabled woman who had always dreamed of owning her own home. Teresa, who lives on a fixed income, will be partnering with Habitat to make her dream a reality.

“It is nice to know there are people out there that care about the underdog,” says Teresa. “I thank God for everything he has given me.”

Anyone interested in making a donation to Habitat for Humanity’s Faith Builders can call Lima Area Habitat at 419.224.3507 or e-mail [email protected]