Margaret Bell reflects on the amazing Habitat homeowner she met during Everest Build in Nepal and how we are called to work in partnership with our brothers and sisters of any faith or no faith to create a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to call home.
The prophetic vision from Micah 4:3-5 is also a Habitat for Humanity vision. It is a beautiful vision of peace in a world where everyone has a place to eat (sweet figs) and to drink (wine from the grapevine), a place to feel safe and a place to feel at peace. This sounds a lot like our modern-day Habitat vision of a world where everyone has a safe, decent place to live.
In 2010, I took part in the Everest Build in Nepal. Hundreds of volunteers came from all parts of the globe to help build 40 bamboo homes in a week. Our partner homeowner was an 82-year-old widow named Som Maya. Her new Habitat home had a kitchen and a porch where she could safely prepare meals for her family, and a bedroom and living area where she and her family could feel safe and secure. She no longer needed to fear the cold winds of winter, the monsoon rains of summer, the threat of disease from having to cook inside, or the possibility that rodents would scurry about her as she slept. Recently, we learned that Som Maya has departed this earth, and we grieve her indefatigable spirit, her infectious smile and the memory of our shared tears of joy the day her Habitat home was dedicated. It is my hope and belief that Som Maya lived out her last years in her own home unafraid and at peace — just the way Micah envisioned. Micah’s vision didn’t stop there, and neither does Habitat’s vision! Micah goes on in verse 5 to say, “For all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.” As we strive to keep God at the center of all that Habitat does, this verse feels like such encouragement. We are called to work in partnership with our brothers and sisters of any faith or no faith to fulfill the prophetic vision — be it Micah’s or that of Habitat’s founder, Millard Fuller — to create a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to call home.
Loving God, we have heard Your call to serve one another, to give refuge to the stranger, to show hospitality to those in need. When we answer this call, we give witness to Your grace and love and help bring healing and hope to our communities. We long for the coming of Your Kingdom, when all will find shelter and all will know the safety of home. We humbly ask You to grant us the faith, hope and love to keep God at the center of all that we do. In Your grace and power we pray, Amen.
Click here to download all the reflections and prayers from the Habitat world during the 40 days of Lent
Click here to find how you can take part in Everest Build 2014