Michigan Church Teams with Habitat for Humanity

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Each month last fall a small contingent from Boston Square Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., met a few blocks from the church to participate in Habitat for Humanity of Kent County’s Faith United Build [PDF] project.

Dave Huizenga paints at the Habitat for Humanity worksite.

Photo by Jay Blankespoor

Jay Blankespoor, pastor at Boston Square, explained that the congregation adopted a vision statement in 2008: “a passionate community experiencing spiritual transformation for building the kingdom of God.”

“We are making that who we are,” he said. “We felt we’d seen the first two phrases becoming reality, and this was a way to work on the third.”

Seeking opportunities for service in the neighborhood, they discovered the Habitat Faith United Build site about half a mile from the church. The Faith United Build project seeks to involve local churches in revitalizing neighborhoods in Southeast Grand Rapids, which has been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.

Church members worked one Saturday each month. The remodeling project brought members together to work and learn from one another, build skills, and help a family in need. “The church felt a sense of added community,” said Blankespoor.

Dave Huizenga, a member of Boston Square, participated in three of the four work days. “It was an opportunity for good fellowship,” he says, “doing something in God’s name with a diverse group of people to provide substantial help for people in our neighborhood.”

Over four months, the house was gutted to the studs and rebuilt to the point where it is nearly ready for a family to move in.

Church members are looking forward to the official key ceremony, when they will celebrate with the family who will move into the home. Because of its proximity to the church, they hope to develop a relationship with the family.

About the Author

Noah Kruis is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Grand Rapids East and Grand Rapids North.

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