2020 Habitat for Humanity Build – A Relay Team Effort

By Ken Loher

SOTV has been participating in this outreach ministry for many years. This local ministry helps bring affordable housing to low income families in the Twin Cities. Participation on a Habitat build project is like being part of a relay team. Each group has a vital role to play in getting the finished product across the finish line! The house SOTV volunteers were working on is sponsored by Thrivent Financial. Each week, a group of 8-10 volunteers from different churches and organizations come together to pick up where the previous team left off. Each build is managed by a Habitat staff foreman who coordinates the specific projects that need to be accomplished each day. No matter your skill level, tasks were available for everyone. Due to COVID, the work crews were kept smaller this year, around 8 crew members instead of the normal 12-14. All workers wore masks, and strived to maintain social distance protocols.

During the week of August 10, several SOTV members participated in a Habitat  project on Maryland Ave in St Paul. Our crew worked on several projects, including: finishing putting up the outside walls, securing insulation and water barrier to the outside walls, building the inside staircase to the second level, cutting openings for windows, and putting up some of the roof trusses that will ultimately support the finished roof. Boards needed to be measured and cut, scaffolding assembled, trusses lifted, braces secured, and hundreds and hundreds of nails were pounded throughout the week as we worked together as a team to complete our assigned daily tasks. “It was very gratifying to see the progress made in the 5 short days.” The house will not be fully completed until the spring of 2021, but knowing that we played a vital role in this building project was extremely rewarding. While we did not meet the future owners of the home, it was gratifying to see the completed house we worked on last summer which is now the treasured home to a new young family just a few doors down!

As I reflected on this thought of being part of a relay team, I came upon the following quote by Christine Caine: “Christian life isn’t a one person race. It’s a relay. You are not alone; you’re part of a team assembled by our unstoppable God to achieve his eternal purposes.” Many thanks to all the SOTV volunteers who came out and gave their time and talents to participate in this team effort!  This is truly an impactful local outreach ministry of neighbor helping neighbor!