Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blessing the Building Blitz

We interrupt this month’s marriage series to deliver the following public service announcement.

The Amazing (Building) Blitz is happening in Sioux Falls right now.

Did you know that? If not, I understand. I get most of my news awareness via twitter because listening live often provides an education my small children are not yet ready for.

But this is incredible. And, thanks to Life 96.5 radio, I heard about it.

Here is the low down. Each year the “Blitz Home Builders,” a nationwide group of construction volunteers, picks one city to complete an incredible project. And this year they selected Sioux Falls. Through the local Habitat for Humanity, they are building three homes in just nine days. An extreme home makeover meets Habitat for Humanity of sorts.

The families receiving homes get a “hand up, not a hand out,” as the HFH coordinator explained to our family. They will make mortgage payments. However, the homes will have better rates than the apartments these large families are currently living in.

I couldn’t help but get excited when I heard this. Of all the cities, ours was selected. Responsible homeowners have been chosen. Over 100 individuals are donating their time to construct the homes.

This is an opportunity to rally together and show the Blitz Builders and greater world the heart of Sioux Falls.

I immediately got on the Life 96.5 website to see what kind of opportunities existed. An “on call builder” was completely out of the realm of possibility. I screamed when making my simple plastic number one key chain in middle school home economics so loudly that my teacher came running in, took control of the electric saw/knife thing (aren’t you impressed with my tool knowledge?), and finished it for me. Carpentry is NOT my thing. Providing meals is a better option for an organized group. Hanging out on site to register volunteers, pick up, bring water, offer first aid, etc. would be a neat experience, but not practical for a stay at home mom of three children five and under. With the intense heat we’ve been experiencing it would not be safe to have them outdoors. Providing treats. Wait? Cooking (or purchasing goods)? Now that I can do.

I called the volunteer coordinator and asked if they could still use goodies. And let me just tell you, he was thrilled beyond belief. There are over 130 volunteers pounding away in this heat. They can use a little energy goodness.

So, my two older girls and I set to it. My five year old picked two types of bars that we could make. We landed on Special K bars and Oat & Fruit bars. All afternoon my three and five year old took turns putting ingredients in the bowl, stirring, spreading, etc.

And we had so much fun!

During that time, we had an even more incredible discussion. Thanks to this project, doors were once again opened to talk about God’s desire for us to help people in need as well as a kid friendly application of 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

We may not be good at building things, but there are people that are. We may not have a large group to serve dinners, but there are people that do. We may not be able to tolerate the heat, but there are some who can. In fact, some love it. But, just as God calls some to use their skills as the site, He wants people to volunteer to help those volunteering with food and nourishment. Then, together as one group in spirit, we accomplish Godly work.

A fun opportunity to teach Scripture and serve at the same time.

Last night our entire family brought our homemade goodies to the site. I was blown away by the work completed in just two days. The “bones” of the houses were already complete. And, the volunteer coordinator invited us to take a look inside so the girls could see why we made the food and see builders hard at work to know who it was for.

We had so much fun making extraordinary use of an ordinary afternoon. I’m so thankful.

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