Solid Reflections via Slippery Rock University

x2_4f63a53Slippery Rock students & Homes of Hope

Another week is moving quickly into the weekend here and we can’t help but to reflect over the time we’ve shared with our “Care Break” volunteers from Slippery Rock University. Sixteen students and chaperones joined us from Pennsylvania to partner with our staff and the men in our year-long internship program to rehabilitate a donated mobile home and to do work on one of our affordable housing units. However, basic construction was only a portion of what was accomplished this week and so here we share our latest reflections:

- It’s not just about houses, it’s about lives. The relationships the students formed with our interns reaffirmed that our ministry goes far beyond building housing. Rosie, a Junior at Slippery Rock, encouraged us by her affirmation: “The intention of this program is beautiful. The process is holistic and you can see that the priority is in those you serve. It’s not just about houses, you change lives.”

- Success is more than the basics. Our goal with our male interns goes beyond them learning basic carpentry, plumbing, and construction skills. We want them to feel empowered by the love of our staff, the promises of the Lord, and the challenge to do right in opportunities big and small. We see that uniquely in Jason, who has been with us for seven months, as he shared about his experience this week. “I had the opportunity to be a leader again. I showed the students how to cut vinyl, I ran errands, and I made sure they had something to eat. I told them about myself and I hope I encouraged them.”

- God is in the beauty business. He takes sullied, busted things and wipes off the scuffs and smooths out the dents. He is a lover of beauty; he makes things new! The transformations we witness in the lives of those who come to us with broken hearts and broken pasts who then begin to walk in purpose and triumph, is a beautiful reminder this truth. The transformation of a cluster of individuals to a bonded Slippery Rock team is another beautiful example.

- None of us operate in our own stratosphere. We see this here so often as new staff members, new program interns, or new volunteers join us. Homes of Hope is a family and if you stick around long enough, you’ll get adopted too! There was no shortage of hugs, tears, or pictures as our Slippery Rock friends left us today. They are our newest Northern kinfolk!

Thank you Slippery Rock for your excellent work, the joy of your company, and for being a part of the Homes of Hope story!