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Rodney Blair travelled to Comănești last summer, leading a group of young people to support Habitat's work in the most vulnerable communities in Romania. Read his Advent Reflection below.

As we enter the season of Advent we are on a journey towards Christmas: it is a journey of excitement but also one of hope. This hope is fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel - which means ‘God with us.’

In July this year I had the pleasure of leading a team of 12 young people from different churches across Armagh Diocese to Comănești, Romania. This was to work alongside four families, helping to build their quadplex. 

This journey was one filled with excitement, walking through the airport, getting the bus to our accommodation and getting to work on the site alongside the families and the local team.  Our team was excited and also hopeful for the work in which we would get to partake. As we journeyed through our ten-day trip getting to treat wood, build wooden panels and erecting OSB boards this excitement and also the hope of what this building would become. In the end, we were building more than just a structure; we were part of building four homes that would change the lives of four families.

In the Bible, the Gospel of John begins with that sense of hope and journey. John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

As we journey through Advent, we journey towards the hope and joy of the Son of God coming to earth to dwell among us. He “came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45) and gives us an example to follow. Through volunteering with Habitat, we have a wonderful opportunity to serve others because we know of the love of God through his Son Jesus.

Prayer

Father of all,

We thank you for your Son Jesus, who emptied himself for us, And who came not to serve, but to be served. Help us to take every opportunity to serve you and our fellow neighbours, And continue to use Habitat for Humanity to make a difference in people’s lives.

Through your Son our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen

Make a special donation to help families in urgent need of a safe place to call home. Donate here.

Raise your voice this Advent and sign our #BuildSolidGround petition.

Read more Advent reflections here.

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