By the time you read this, the structure at 1311 E. 9th Street will have made the transition from house to home. Its partner structure at 1309 made the switch a few weeks ago. The third house on the lot will follow suit in a few weeks. Habitat for Humanity, working in partnership with the Newberg community, builds houses. Churches, businesses, service groups, individuals, and families work together to raise the money and then raise the walls of these houses. At the same time others are partnering with the new homeowners to help them through the process and to teach them how to maintain and pay for their new home. Others still are doing the arduous work of selecting the prospective homeowners for the next building project. Somehow, through the grace and love of God, shared through his obedient servants, the amazing transformation happens and houses become homes.
Newberg Area Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. We work in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International to meet the basic human need for safe, decent, responsible, and affordable housing. We welcome the participation of people from all cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds who would like to build a better community. Through donations of time, money, materials, and professional services, we work with prospective homeowner (partner) families to build and rehabilitate houses. These houses are sold to our partner families at no profit and are financed with affordable, no-
interest loans. Habitat does not give houses away. In addition to affordable monthly mortgage payments, each partner family invests at least 500 hours of their own labor—sweat equity—into building their house and the houses of others. Mortgage payments received by Habitat are invested in the next round of houses we build.
Newberg Friends is a partner in this effort, both as an organization and through the volunteer work of many individuals. This past year, NFC agreed to join other churches in town in an Apostle Build to fund and construct 1311 E. 9th. Money was given, and we had two different workdays manned (and womaned) by NFCers. Construction Supervisor Roy Powell was ecstatic with the work we performed those two days. Whether skilled or unskilled, all who participated contributed and enjoyed the fellowship of hard work. Many other NFCers are involved in the Habitat ministry as well, and at the risk of leaving out a few I want to acknowledge some who have given a great deal of their time and energy to support Habitat and the partner families. Doug Bartlett served as the ReStore manager from its inception to about two months ago. He was instrumental in setting up this venture that provides a service to the community while providing funds to build more houses. Doug recruited a group of faithful volunteers to work in the ReStore, including our own Dick Sartwell. Dick works the cash register and helps with customer service. Bob and Justin Hampton provide their professional plumbing services to Newberg Habitat on a volunteer basis. Bob has done the plumbing in nearly all of the 22 Habitat houses in Newberg. Carolyn Staples and Ron Stansell serve on the Family Selection Committee for Newberg Habitat. The family selection process is long and involved; it can be heart wrenching as they see the need of families in our community and realize we can help only a few at a time. Ron has also served as a mentor for partner families, and he provides Spanish translation services in both formal (title company closings) and informal (home dedications) settings.
If you feel God’s leading to serve locally, I hope you will consider volunteering through Habitat. You do not need strong construction skills; there are many ways to use your particular skills. It is rewarding to serve in a tangible way and to be a part of the process of turning houses into homes.