“Attempt something so impossible that unless God is in it, it’s doomed to failure.” John Haggai
I love this quote. I have used this quote on several occasions (although I didn’t know who was responsible for this profound sentence until today). But now that I am walking this quote…it is scary and overwhelming. This journey God has us on is so big that when it plays out and we reach the other side, He WILL get all the glory and honor.
In January I received a phone call from a friend, Benny, who is one of the leaders of the San Carlos Housing Authority. Several elderly Tribal members had applied for grants through the United States Department of Agriculture to have repairs done to their homes (i.e. new roof, new windows, new doors, basic winterization, etc.). Benny thought if they could find volunteer labor it would help the grants go farther. This idea led to a meeting with the Tribal Chairman, the Director and the Finance Director of the Housing Authority, Benny and myself. We were able to talk about the needs of the elderly. This conversation had a heaviness and urgency to it as an elderly Tribal member froze to death in January. He had been living in substandard conditions. Everyone was in agreement to work together to do what we could to meet the needs of the elderly.
After another meeting with the Tribal Chairman and the Director of Housing, we found out the grants required licensed contractors to do the work. As we looked at the need and the Housing Authority looked at the finances, the San Carlos Housing Authority volunteered to provide funding for 3:18 Ministries to do seven projects for elderly Tribal members. I am still amazed at how God works and opens doors we weren’t even knocking on! These projects will be a combination of rehabbing some houses, but several will have to be new construction built from the ground up due to their current conditions. Our short-term ministry team last week from Vail Christian Church was able to build part of a house for one of the gentlemen on the list. His house was pretty rough. For pictures check out: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=145105585511703&aid=46357
They were able to build a 10 foot by 12 foot room onto the existing structure. Next we hope to build on a 20 foot by 12 foot extension on to the home and maybe even give this gentleman a front porch. On Friday the Public Health Nurse stopped by. She had done a presentation last year to the San Carlos Housing Authority Board regarding several elderly Tribal members. She showed pictures of the living conditions and asked for someone to do something to help. Friday she said to me, “You guys made my week. I have been asking for someone to help and finally something is being done.” I received a copy of the PowerPoint presentation she did and am trying to figure out how to post it on this blog.
This past Monday Benny and I went to check out the living conditions of a couple of other people on the list. The first home we visited was rough. This elderly gentleman had pieced together various sizes of 2x4’s to build a structure. I can’t even find the words to describe it. No elderly person should have to live that way. This couple has medical problems and needs a stable, solid place out of the elements. Our next stop was at a house that had a fire less than a year ago. The walls were covered in soot. The ceiling was gone and the rafters were burned. Two elderly Tribe members live there along with a younger man who takes care of them. The lady is unable to get out of her wheelchair by herself. They have been living for several years without running water and their only electricity is an extension cord run from the neighbor’s house. I was heartbroken and overwhelmed.
God has called us to come alongside the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council and Housing Authority to do something about these situations. I feel like I am in over my head! I am in no way qualified to lead these builds. I have very little experience in this type of thing and yet God has opened the doors and shoved us through. Here is what I do know…we are attempting something so big that without God it is completely and totally bound for failure. However, I believe deeply that with God, He can and will accomplish what He wants to do for His glory. How is this going to work out? I don’t know, but God has His perfect plan all laid out. I feel once again we are on a rollercoaster and the cars are ticking as we are beginning the initial climb. We are getting closer and closer to the top when we will start this ride of our lives. We just have to hold on as He lead and guides!