A new Habitat home for a western Michigan family was a labor of love for an entire classis.
Seventeen congregations of the Christian Reformed Church’s Classis Georgetown recently partnered with Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity to build a Habitat home in Jenison, Mich. (A classis is a regional group of churches.)
“It took about a year to get rolling, then the build took another year, and we were finished this year in August,” classis coordinator Jim Roskam said.
The seed for the project was planted three years ago when Habitat representatives met with classis leaders to discuss the possibility of partnering on a project. Roskam said the project fit in with one of the values outlined in the classis’ vision statement: to capitalize on the strengths of each congregation and pursue collaborative relationships.
Congregations within Classis Georgetown raised $103,000 toward the project, including purchasing the property.
“We didn’t put any pressure on (the congregations). We indicated that if they would shoot for a goal of $3,000, that would help us out if each one did that,” Roskam said.
Once the money was in place, out came the volunteers from each of the congregations. A total of 150 volunteers worked on the project, Roskam said.
“One of the problems I had thought about was that you’d have too many (people) there, they’d get in each other’s way and they’d be frustrated. That never happened,” he said.
Now, the classis is looking ahead to a second Habitat home project. About $30,000 has already been raised toward that next build, Roskam said.
Travis Steinhoff, volunteer and outreach coordinator for Lakeshore Habitat, said having that many churches come together to support the project was a sight to see.
“The support was higher than we ever could have imagined, and we are very excited to work alongside them for another project,” Steinhoff said.