...for several months about what might be next for our ministry. A couple of years ago, we had "landed" in Livingston, Texas, for no reason other than "...it just felt like the right place to be...." And we had been blessed by new friends and a great church in the Livingston community. But a part of us felt guilty for leaving Livingston six months each year to serve in other parts of the country with SOWERs.
God responded. Upon our return from our 2018 SOWER travels, Ken was surprised by an offer to fill the position of Executive Director for the Habitat for Humanity team located in Livingston. Deb and I had a feeling that 2019 would be something different for us, and it turns out that God did, too. In November (2018), Ken accepted the offer. A new chapter begins.
Habitat for Humanity of Polk County 600 South Washington Avenue Livingston, Texas 77351 (936)328-8529
In April 2018, the Habitat office moved into a new location (where the red paddle is on the map). I was fortunate to attend the ribbon cutting and meet a lot of the team. This was just a few weeks before we left town for our summer mission trip. Hmmm...
In April, I gave a talk at the local Presbyterian church. The comments afterwards were favorable, except that they think that I talk too much with my hands . No way, I say!
What do you think?
Advocacy! In early February about 30 HFH affiliate leaders joined together at the Texas state capitol in Austin. Our agenda was threefold: to raise awareness of poverty housing, to introduce a forthcoming Bill that would provide more funding for Habitat for Humanity houses, and to talk to as many State Representatives and Senators as we could.
What an amazing experience it was! After we met with each elected official we invited them down to one of the capitol's rotundas where we were actually building the walls of a home for a family in Victoria, Texas (the family's prior home had been destroyed by Hurricane Harvey). It was refreshing to see so many politicians "get it" and come down (in their suits) to the rotunda to hammer nails and write messages of encouragement and bible verses on the finished walls.
I love this team! On Saturday, 19 January, twenty wonderful young ladies from First Baptist Church came to help us re-arrange our Habitat retail store in Livingston. They moved merchandise, cleaned, arranged, set up shelving, stocked product, and moved furniture for us. Wow! What a great help they were to our store team -- so much work, fun, and energy joined us that day!
Ken meets his HFH mentor, Susan Robertson, at a new home build site in Lufkin, Texas, on 10 December. Susan has spent an entire career of servantude in non-profit management. After spending just one day with her, my brain was already full!
BLESSING THE HOME. Filling the walls of a HFH home withscripture is common practice. As we learn more about the family that will live in the home, we add verses specific to the mom, dad, and kids. Blessed as you come, blessed as you pass, and blessed as you go....
Ken and Ray Gering, founder of Habitat for Humanity of Polk County, talk with visitors at Polk County's Trade Days event in November 2018.