Just over a year ago, at the beginning of January 2016, I invited you as a congregation to begin praying about the possibility of renovating the house on our property so that it might be used as a source of temporary shelter for refugees entering the country. We began a process lasting several months that included opportunities to learn more, pray, and discern together whether this might be the direction God was leading this church. While we understandably did not all agree, the church voted to move for-ward with this project, and we began demolition work on the house last May.
From the beginning, I acknowledged that in order for this renovation effort to happen, we would have to trust God to provide the volunteers and the resources. Throughout the process, we have been blessed to have representatives from about 10 different churches participate in hands-on work on the house. We have received sufficient financial support from a variety of Baptist groups, churches, and individuals to pay for all the work that has been done. Some professional contractors have given us amazing deals on their work, and we have had some contractors who have charged us only for materials purchased while donating their labor costs. I certainly had no idea exactly how this process was going to work when it began, but I have seen many examples of God’s faithfulness in providing exactly what was needed at just the right time.
Thankfully, we are now ready to move furniture into the house and begin welcoming families and individuals in transition and in need. We will be hosting a Service of Dedication/Open House on Sunday afternoon, March 5 at 3:00 pm. We invite you to join us as we dedicate this home to the work of God’s Kingdom. You will then have a chance to see the house and enjoy some light refreshments. For those of you who remember the old offices, I truly believe you will be impressed by how nice the house now looks.
While we are still waiting to see how the political situation will unfold as it relates to refugees, we have been in conversation with World Relief Durham, and it looks there is a family who will be our first guests in the house soon after the Service of Dedication/Open House. This family includes a mother with a possible cancer diagnosis and two teenage children. We will share more details in the weeks ahead and let you know how we might be able to support and minister to them, but I invite you to pray for the ministry of Hope House, the first family who will stay with us, and for those who will be our guests in the months and years ahead.