17 December 2017

Faith in Action

raLuke Williams, who is 20 years old and studying Theology, travelled as part of Habitat’s Global Village 2012 programme to Ethiopia.

Luke shares of his experience: “This summer I was part of a team of 8 which travelled to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to be part of Habitat’s water and sanitation project there. Addis is a sprawling city of officially around 4 million people (although locals told us it was more like 8 million), most of whom live in slum areas without proper sanitation.

As part of Habitat’s mission to give everyone a decent place to live, we were able to improve the conditions of living for most of a neighbourhood by building toilet blocks in 3 different slum communities.

One of my favourite stories is Jesus having breakfast with the disciples. Jesus already has breakfast prepared but still loves to see what his followers have brought.

Being part of a Habitat team is a lot like this. Everyone has an important part to play, each team member and the local people as well, inviting everyone to be part of the same table regardless of race, religion or social status.

Our team was greatly impacted by what they saw and we have come home knowing we have gained just as much as we have given, if not more so. It is a great pleasure to actively participate in the Kingdom of God. Every time you make a poor attempt at the local language or share a moment with a smiling child you can’t help but realise that we are actively participating in bringing more of the Kingdom of Heaven to earth, something 1 Peter tells us even angels long to look in on.

raFor me, Habitat is ‘faith in action’ but it’s also much more. We are recognising the need to serve others as much as we serve ourselves and respond to Christ’s call to love our neighbours as ourselves, not just in Ethiopia, but at home as well. Picking up a hammer for two weeks might not teach you to be the greatest builder in the world but it will teach you to better love and serve the world you are in.

On our last day of building we were treated to an entertaining ceremony of great coffee, bread and some African dancing before some of the beneficiaries of the project stood to share their stories.

Each of their stories reinforced how much more blessed it is to give than to receive but what struck me most was one woman, who having been widowed, was left with no proper home, one son and another on the way. She told us how not only had Habitat created a place for her to live but now had extended that by making sure she had excellent sanitation; her second son’s middle name is Habitat.

People are at the heart of Habitat’s work. The Habitat staff in Ethiopia work to serve their community every day and each of the families we met, worked beside and laughed with, is a new friend. Global Village is an opportunity to live the simple command to love others like Jesus did.”

Habitat is committed to extending support for global programmes which alleviate poverty through housing, improving health, increasing educational opportunities and providing livelihood support. Volunteers play an important part in Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Global Village brings new hope to families and their local communities. Volunteers have the privilege to work beside local people helping them as they build their own way out of poverty. The goal is to educate individuals about Habitat’s mission and how they can contribute, activate volunteers to serve with Habitat, and create long-term supporters who are motivated to make poverty housing a thing of the past.

To find out more about Habitat’s work or to take part in Global Village 2013 contact:

www.habitatni.co.uk

www.habitatforhumanity.org.uk

www.habitatireland.ie