Thursday, May 11, 2017

Through our eyes - Robin Pfalzgraf

Habitat for Humanity of Marion County Inc. Executive Director, Robin Pfalzgraf
I was excited in January of 2017 when I received a call from the Board President for Habitat for Humanity offering me the position as Executive Director in my community.  The Lord had given me a desire, many years ago, to help people that had needs in my community.  I learned through my previous experience in non-profit that there were few needs that could not somehow be met.  Through that experience, I grew to love helping others.   Habitat for Humanity would get me right back into the position of helping others find the answers, and what better help exists than helping people get a secure home of their own.

The weekend before I officially started working for Habitat I attended was their 20th Anniversary and 50th home event.  At the event was the couple that would be the 50th homeowners.  I went to them and introduced myself wondering how over the next several months I would get to know them on a more personal level but only time would tell. 

The Kennedy family
They were excited, it was evident on their faces, to own their home and to be part of the partnership with Habitat for Humanity.  In a brief moment, I wondered how my life would impact theirs over the next year or two, but it was a fleeting thought at best.

As the weeks passed, I saw them a little more often.  I had the opportunity to take them to their home one day to drop off some items they had purchased that were going into the construction process.  When I talked to them, their excitement was contagious.  I saw in them the same excitement I had when I was preparing to move into the home I live in today.
We had a nice visit in their kitchen, and I realized that I REALLY was beginning to like this couple.  They talked to me about their future dreams for their house, their children, and their lives.  We talked about how much they are enjoying the process of working on their own home through both sweat equity and volunteer hours.  

Our HFH office was required to host an open house for the local Chamber of Commerce, and we
were blessed that many community members showed up to support our organization.   Near the end of the event, Mike arrived.  He wanted to come and support us.  When Mike arrived, the majority of people had left, and I had the chance to visit with him.  Mike talked about his past, his dreams, his future and the fact that this home was a symbol of a future that once he only dreamed.  He said, "You know it's like the biggest dream you've ever had and you're going to live to see it happen.  You wonder if there will be anything in life you ever look as forward to again."  Mike told his story of the Mike he “used to be" and the Mike he's “become."  My respect grew even more for both he and his family. 

When we take a minute to think of our homeowners as the people they are, as the dreams they have, as the cumulative measure of decisions of the past both good decisions and bad decisions;  those decisions are what placed them at this particular place at this particular time it gives me time to pause.  God may not be blessing this family as much as he is blessing and teaching me.  Being a piece of the puzzle that gets them to a place that they only thought would be a dream is a blessing beyond measure. 

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to act.

This story is shared with you with the permission of Mike and his family.  When you help a Habitat for Humanity Family you are helping a family with a story.  Some are similar and some are very different but the key is the “hand up” you’re giving another family in our community.

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