2 years ago, shortly after we began our adoption journey, we decided to do a fundraiser called J1:27.
I blogged about it here. In most ways it ended up being horribly unsuccessful as a fundraiser, but the day we spent doing the fundraiser and the relationships that were built ended up being eternally significant in many other ways. Through that fundraiser we met Ms. Mattie.
We, along with many others, spent a day working on her house. To say that her house was dilapidated would be a gross understatement. That day we built a wheelchair ramp, did some cleaning inside, and cleaned up her yard a bit. But I remember stepping outside her house at one point in the day and just crying because I felt desperate and powerless to REALLY change her circumstances. She needed so much more than the few bandaids we were putting in place that day.
Well, if you know my husband at all, you know he doesn't do desperate and powerless.
Duane stayed in touch with Ms. Mattie and would send our college students to visit her regularly. I've referred to this verse often when talking about the orphan crisis and adoption, but it also applies to how we felt about Ms. Mattie and her living conditions:
"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act."
It took 2 years, but Duane finally came up with a plan to get Ms. Mattie out of her horrible living conditions. He decided to have a "Blitz Build" over spring break and have our college students build Ms. Mattie a house in one week! He quickly enlisted help. Our church and the community responded with willing hearts and hands.
It was a long, hard, fruitful week. There were nights that they worked around the clock. I say "they" because I didn't really get to be involved nearly as much as I would've liked since the kids and I were sick for the majority of the week :(.
On Saturday, Ms. Mattie came out to the site and saw the house for the first time.
Ms. Mattie is settled into her lovely new home. She's gonna be our neighbor when we move to West Circle. Her house will practically be in our backyard!
There's no way for me to list the people who helped, donated, led, fed, or contributed to this week. Because, while the Blitz Build may have been Duane's idea, it was the work of a community willing to be Christ to Ms. Mattie that made it possible. But since this is my blog :), I do reserve the right to say that my husband is an amazing man with an amazing heart.
Here's a video that was created to highlight the week!