Habitat Projects: Extreme Heart Makeovers


The title of this article could have just as easily been the subtitle for the story in our Summer 2011 newsletter, "Disciple-Making: Alex's Story", and essentially this article is simply a continuation of that story.  Alex's story of his journey to become a Christ follower is also a story of how a habitat related project, carried out in the context of the Body of Christ, helped to transform a heart.  And, we have many other projects just like Alex's, which need to be carried out.

In our Christmas letter, we shared a similar story of the not-so-extreme home makeover we did for Tanya, and how her children were spared in the final hours the fate of being placed by the state in the same institutional cycle that had been their mother's fate years before, having grown up in the orphanage.

We also shared there about Anastasia, whose daughters were already taken and placed in the orphanage because of her uninhabitable house.  We hope to have her house repairs finished before winter sets on our region again, and then petition the state to return her children to her care. (editorial note: Dec 2013  --  I'm happy to report that due to the commitment of the local church in her community, aided by the missionary Alexey, whose story we shared in a recent Christmas letter, Anastasia's house has been repaired and her daughters have returned to her from the orphanage! Praise God for the Body of Christ showing up to make such a difference for this young mother!)

Sergei is working on his flat currently with plans to move out of Hope House very soon.  And, several other Hope House guys need to be doing the same thing, but for various reasons have encountered what seem to them as insurmountable obstacles.

The two women from the church that were mentioned in Alex's story, who are themselves professional home remodelers, have volunteered their labor and expertise to helping any of our other kids with the same needs.  This comes as a great encouragement.  And, our pastor has offered his help with plumbing.

To take this facet of ministry to the next level, we plan to establish an advocacy advisory board to which our kids can apply for assistance with their houses.  This assistance can take the form of everything from legal assistance with documents, (for many the most ominous task of all), to labor and expertise in the physical remodeling work, to some limited and accountable financial help which in some cases may be in the form of small loans to help with the cost of restoring and/or repairing their houses. 

We also anticipate that this facet of ministry will open opportunities for some of you to come join us on some of these projects, working alongside these kids as we all encourage them to take hold of their lives and embrace their future with the Hope that is theirs in Christ and is represented by the Body of Christ's presence in their lives.

GAP Advocacy Photos