When Giving Leads to Gratitude
by Laura Soltau
Last weekend, over 20 of our PCJH friends gathered for some building and bonding with Habitat. The missions committee and our church have decided to focus some of our financial resources and our volunteer efforts in supporting the local Teton Habitat for Humanity. On Saturday we came together to strengthen foundations, sheath walls, finish window installations and clean up the build site. Many of these tasks required us to learn new skills (at least for me! Quite a few of our fellow PCJHers are incredibly handy!). Regardless of the task, they all granted us the gift of gratitude and empathy.
After we finished a delicious lunch break on site (thank you Amy, Claudia and Bobbi!), a mother and her two snow-suited children wandered over. They began talking to the Habitat staff, and we soon learned that they were receiving one of the homes. They come by frequently to say hello and thank you to volunteers. For the rest of the afternoon I had a face to go with the walls. As we worked through our tasks, I found myself wanting to do every task to perfection, wanting the very best for these families. I prayed over the nails and the boards and envisioned the laughter, tears, and memories that would occur within those walls.
That Saturday we were able to play a small role in giving some of our deserving and hardworking community members a permanent home. We came to help others, to reach out in love, but as with most volunteer opportunities, I received more than I gave. I learned an incredible amount of new skills, I met new friends, and I gained a renewed sense of gratitude for the many blessings in my life.
As we walk into the Thanksgiving and Holiday season, my gratitude flows. I look forward to focusing on giving not only within the next few months but more regularly in my life. We each have so much to offer through our actions, our time, our prayers, and our love. Thanks for this opportunity to serve our community and grow.
Enjoy these pics from our day. I hope you will join us in our next PCJH Build Day! Happy Thanksgiving.
Ephesians 2:10 ~ “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good work, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”