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Project Stories

Stories from the frontlines of the ministry\\\\\\\'s home repair and accessibility projects, volunteer perspectives and interaction with homeowners.

Mary's Story

We received a call about Mary, a middle school principal, recovering from surgery to remove glioblastomas (brain tumors which are usually highly malignant). There were several situations around the house that were adding to her stress. A leak in the roof, causing mildew stains on a section of wall and ceiling in her bathroom, was her chief concern. The problem was isolated to one area, a fairly steep section of the roof over the second story.

Mary ministered to us more than we did to her. What an example of simple trust in the Lord's love for her, and even with her diagnosis/prognosis, was resting in His grace and mercy. After praying with, and being encouraged by her, we set a day the next week and replaced an area of rotted roof decking, reinforcing and shingling to complete the repair. Mary was almost speechless with gratitude for the help.

We need your help to serve more people like Mary. HRM is projecting to complete more than 220 projects again, for the second straight year, as well as serving 104 households and over 200 people (estimate). Can you help us provide that level of support, for low-income and hurting homeowners like Mary, by making a generous year-end donation to HRM? We need raise $130,330, by December 31, to help us stay on track to complete 231 projects, and reach two hundred+ people with Christ's love, in 2017. Hitting our funding target will also put us on strong financial footing entering the new year.

Make a year-end donation

Categories: Mercy, Project Stories, Why We Serve Tags:

"The Biggest Blessing I've Ever Received"

We got a reminder recently of what a difference a relatively mundane thing, like putting on a new roof, can make for a hurting person. This should be an encouragement to all followers of Christ. You have practical skills and abilities you can use and give to bless others. What are they? Putting that gift to use for someone in need might just give you an opportunity to share why you're doing it. That's the great thing about a mercy ministry like home repair. What a great way to introduce a hurting person to Christ, or encourage a believer going through a trial!

Ms. Ingram had experienced an incredible series of major difficulties befall her. She shared, "I'm a widow of two years and shortly after my husband’s death I went blind. My roof was leaking and then part of my ceiling fell in." .

The Lord has provided for her in some amazing ways. After four surgeries, her vision was restored. But she still had house problems to deal with – roof leaks and several other necessary repairs. That’s where, through supporters like you, HRM was able to enter the picture.

The eave of Ms. Ingram’s roof was improperly built and had large gaps. We stripped the roof, rebuilt the way the fascia boards were attached (gutters had torn them loose), did a lot of deck repair and reinforcement, and installed long-life shingles. Representatives from five churches participated.

Ms. Ingram

A Recent Widow Received Several Repairs and a New Roof.

The project had an amazing impact on her. Here is how she described it in her own words:

"I'm very grateful to Harvey, Andre, and the volunteers for the very hard work they put into my new roof and all the major repairs needed. I've had my eye surgery and with my restored eyesight and new roof I can work. This is the biggest blessing I’ve ever received in my life and carries heavy on my heart to pass this blessing forward."


So, who are your Ms. Ingram's? How can you be out in the community showing and sharing Jesus' love with people in need? If your church is interested in pursuing home repair as a mercy ministry, we'd love to help you get started. We have no-cost resources designed to help churches start or grow teams. Learn from our mistakes! Church home repair resources



Homeowner Spotlight - Rodrick

Rodrick and His RampMeet Rodrick Peterson, or as Andre, our Urban Atlanta Ministry Director calls him, Rod the Determinator (for his resolve). Rod’s strong desire was to be able to get his power wheelchair out of the house and up the street so he could catch the bus (or a ride with a friend), visit his doctor and just live life. He could barely get out of the house and up the street on his crutches, but by the time he got there, he was completely worn out. Andre built him a ramp, which lets him get up the hill with his wheelchair, see his friends and live independently. Rodrick has asked for Andre to disciple him.


Serving the Hurting - Meet Thelma

When we met Thelma, she was a 72-years-old, and also a grandmother and a strong Christian. She had rescued her six- and seven-year-old grandchildren from the foster care system in New York. One of these children tested positive for prenatal crack cocaine exposure, and she thinks that the other one was exposed, as well. She was working to adopt them, and had already paid a large sum in attorneys' fees. She also had been hit with a large, unbudgeted repair for her septic tank drain field. So, when a sliding glass door rotted and fell off the track, she did the only thing that she could think of - jam it closed from the outside with a wooden wedge. Now she had an inoperative door, no rear exit from the house (a significant safety issue), no budget and no idea where to turn for help. This is just the sort of scenario that we love to get involved with!

First, HRM talked her through enrolling as a client of Gwinnett County Senior Services. They authorized the funds for a replacement door. We often talk about the importance of partnering with other nonprofits and agencies, and this situation shows why - together we can do much more than we could separately and make a bigger impact on the community! HRM installed the new door at no cost, and was helped by a young man serving mandatory community service hours.

Thelma is thankful to God for providing HRM and meeting her many challenges. Your support help us to invest the time, skill and sometimes money for materials (though we often find someone to make the purchase or deeply discount the price), that homeowners like Thelma need.

These stories are not possible without the generous support of many people. As the year draws to a close, will you prayerfully consider a year-end gift to HRM to help us continue the work of serving homeowners in distress and showing them the love of Christ? Thank you and God bless you!

Make a Year-End Gift to Help People Like Thelma


Every One a Story

There can be a dangerous side to goals for a service ministry. It's easy to look at a major milestone that’s been hit, and think something along the lines of, “YES! We completed 10 more projects this year!” Those can be very exciting moments, and represent something really good, but they can also send us down a wrong path.

Why? Not just because of pride, which is always a threat, but because we can tend to look at the numbers and not see the people behind them. Even in ministry this can be a challenge. But the truth of the matter is, it’s loving people that God cares about (and loving Him!), and every person a ministry serves has a story. They’re all unique, and many of them are fascinating. That's certainly true for our ministry!

Meet:

  • A single mother, suddenly raising five kids alone after a divorce, needing a porch screen installed to protect the youngest son, who has Down’s Syndrome
  • The senior couple tied up in court because of housing code violations, desiring help to avoid fines they can't afford
  • The mother of two young children, valiantly supporting her husband with ALS, and trying to find an easier way to get him in and out of the house
  • A faithful single mother of two adopted sisters with cerebral palsy, looking for relief for her back from carrying one of the sisters, who is in a wheelchair, up the stairs into their home
  • The widow with the tender heart, whom we have helped with repairs before, calling to ask for advice to help a man scheduled to get out of prison
  • A Palestinian widow with no insurance and devastated by a tornado which ripped into her house and through two cars, looking for help recovering from the disaster
  • A lonely man, who just lost his wife, in desperate need of help in the yard to tear our a rotten wooden pool deck, along with some other work on his deck


That’s just a few of them. It’s a blessing to be able to serve all the people we do and show them God’s love, and to be able to share why we are serving - because God didn't just look at us as a group of hopeless, sinful rebels, but personally offered up His own Son, Jesus, to every individual who puts their faith and trust in Him.



Confessions of a (Very) Unskilled Laborer

Hi, my name is Jim and I have a confession to make. I am the second employee at Home Repairs Ministries, and I don't have the slightest clue how to fix much of anything. I once told my boss that I would provide the best assistance I could for a project... by not coming. Oh, the irony of my job (I handle operations, communications and fundraising). God indeed does have a sense of humor.

But a funny thing happened last month. My boss had an urgent project that he needed to get done fast. He needed to get a concrete walkway poured and smoothed for a homeowner who's 88-year old father-in-law was coming home after having an aneurism (we shared this full story in our February 2014 eNewsletter). He asked me if I could help. Obviously, he was completely desperate. A trip out of the office sounded nice, so I accepted.

Pouring the walkway 2I joined with three other guys and Harvey, our Executive Director. Harvey had a concrete business back in the day and was in familiar territory. The other four guys (including me) didn't have much of a clue. By the grace of God, the project actually went very well. Having one guy there who knew what he was doing and giving good instructions made all the difference. We set up the forms (wooden posts that hold the concrete while it forms and dries), poured, leveled and smoothed the concrete (a process called screeding) and finished the edge. Voila! God provided the concrete - it was donated by Ernst Concrete (the company the homeowner had worked with for many years).

We also got to share a bit about why we came to help the homeowner - to say "thank you" for salvation through faith in Jesus (the Gospel). Cool!

So, back to the moral of the story and being unskilled. Even if you are not a carpenter or construction guy, you can still help and serve homeowners around their house. If your church has a home repair team, they probably could use someone to run supplies and help keep the site clean. And they may very well have tasks that you don't have to be very experienced to do. As an example, our ministry sometimes does yard work for elderly folks, which doesn't really require a great deal of technical skills. So, if you like to help in a tangible way for folks in need, there are ways you can serve even if you're mostly clueless like me!

Video - Pouring the Concrete Walkway