RISING to the CHALLENGE
T WO HUNDRED THOUSAND HOUSES BUILT
One million people living in Habitat homes. At work in nearly 100 countries around the globe. More than 900 campus chapters. Nearly 2,400 affiliates working in more than 3,000 communities. Founded in 1976. Twenty-four needed to build the first 100,000 houses; the next 100,000 built in just the past five years.
I was deeply honored and tremendously humbled in early August to be selected as the next chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. Mv total immersion in the Habitat over the next few days filled my mind with numbers and facts, such as those above, about the amazing accomplishments of this ministry.
That first week as newly named CEO also gave me an opportunity that trans-cended any number. I was privileged to be in Knoxville, Tcnn., to help raise the walls of the 200,000th house that Habitat for Humanity has built world-wide. And I was able to talk to the family that will occupy that house and to the volunteers who were there to help build it. Individuals, young and old. Black and white. Women and men . Deeply caring people, all of them. Their faces, their sweat, their hearts and hands joined in creating a safe, healthy, affordable place to live ----people are truly what Habitat for Humanity always has been about, and always will bc about.
Just 24 minutes after the Knoxville house was dedicated , the dedication of Habit-at’s 200,001st house took place across the world in Kanyakumari, India. One house ----the 200,000th ----represented the culmination of a longtime goal to see I million people living in Habitat homes they helped build and now are buying. The house in India---- the 200,001st---- represents our commitment to continuing to build, and to build at an even accelerated rate. Instead of completing a house every 24- minutes, the current pace, why not a house every 12 minutes, or every 2 minutes? With your continued help, and relying on God’s guidance and blessing, we can do it.
And I believe we must because the need is so staggering. More than 1 billion peop1e worldwidc live in inadequate shelter; nearly 100 million people have no home at all. Even in the U.S.., some 95 million people face housing problems.
So many numbers---- of accomplishment, of continuing hardship. So many faces---- of those desperately in need of simple, simple, secure housing, and of those ready to help. I am thrilled to begin the journey as Habitats CEO. I ask humbly for your prayers and support as together we build houses and healthier communities where, as Habitat’s mission statement says, “every person can experience God’s lose and can live and grow into all that God intends.”
Jonathan T. M. Reckford
Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993