The youth spent the month of April exploring notions of “home” in the Bible, contemplating together the importance of having a safe and nurturing place to live and then putting our hands to work so that more people in our community can enjoy the benefits of having a place to call home. After an in depth look at the ways that “home” is referenced in scripture to describe how people long ago found community, safety, hospitality, belonging, nourishment, and rest, we recognized that all of these things are still vital for people today and admitted that we sometimes take for granted the love and security of our own homes. Learning about people both near and far, who long for a better experience of “home”, was sobering and humbling. And yet, we were energized by the countless opportunities in our world to reach out and help. At the end of school vacation week, the youth spent one afternoon at Household Goods in Acton, meeting clients who came to shop for furniture and other household items. We helped them shop, loaded their vehicles, and cleaned up the various rooms after they left to make room for more donations to arrive the following week. It was so inspiring to see the good work that this organization provides for families and to actually meet the people who are benefitting from it.
The next day, we spent the morning touring a Habitat for Humanity site in Billerica and learning about how this organization works. We then went to Restore (a Habitat owned store that sells new and gently used donated home goods) to construct a picnic table that will eventually be given to one of Habitat’s newly built homes in the area. It was fun to see the youth come to life on both of these service days. Some like to organize and clean, others like to chat with clients. Some like to pound a hammer and nail, others would prefer to read directions and organize materials. God has given to each of us different gifts and interests. Through a real team effort, we were able to accomplish together what none of us could have ever done on our own. And in the process, a few more people in this world came one step closer to their dream of finding “home”.