Building a Forever Home
Blog post written by Crys Bettes, Little Elm, Texas
We started our 4th day day of ministry with a shopping trip to Walmart to buy all the supplies needed for the home that we helped to build for a family in Santa Ana. We were all a buzz with excitement! The sweet family from TX that sponsored our Walmart trip felt lead to donate $600. We split into 7 teams, hoping to make the budget. And it was ,amazingly, within cents of the exact amount we needed ($600.41)! We headed back to the community to put the finishing touches on the exterior paint and to move the furniture and decorations into the home. It was so amazing to see that even though our team had split up to buy different items for the house, once it was all placed inside everything looked like it had been purposefully color coordinated. What a witness to the fact that God even cares for the smallest of details. We tied back curtains with ropes that had been used to wrap the bedding, folded the towels like swans and strategically placed the groceries and clothing that we had collected throughout the room to show our care and love for this family.
Then shortly after lunch we dedicated the house. What a powerful moment! I had the pleasure of standing inside the home, waiting to catch their reactions as they entered their brand new forever home. I waited in the corner of the 10ft x 12ft structure as the family was encouraged and prayed over by our team. They received their keys and opened the door, with great anticipation. I watched Estela (the mother) as the smile swept across her face. This smile quickly turned to tears as she realized how greatly God had provided for her family. I saw the smiles on her childrens’ faces. I watched as our team leader Jenni embraced her while she wept. Tears filled my eyes as I watched the immense gratitude that the family experienced over that answer to prayer. It is truly an honor to be His Hands and His Feet!
In that moment so many things came into perspective. This one small room that was their bedroom, dining room, closet, and living room. And it was so much more then they had ever dreamed of, a house of their very own made from brick and concrete. This is a place that no one can take from them. It is a very humble home, but they are so grateful. Yet I look at my own circumstances, having cried tears of distress thinking my family of four may end up living in a one bedroom apartment in the states as we experience a stressful situation with the sale of our home. I have grieved over this, thinking that living this way is outside God’s provision. This experience has shown me that God’s blessings come in all different ways. He provides for us not according to our desires but according to His will and purpose. It’s easy as North Americans to measure God’s “goodness” by how big our houses are or how much stuff we have instead of through the small ways we see God providing for our needs or the needs of those around us. And the big lesson that I’ve learned on this trip is that our only real need is to desire Him, to seek Him and to trust Him as our provider. God has been using these hard moments in the weeks leading up to this trip to help refine my faith and let these verses penetrate the my heart...
“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”- Philippians 4:10-13 ESV
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” - Matthew 6:25-34 ESV