It all began on Dec. 29th of 2003 with a phone call from Don who said that he wanted to do something that would “Galvanize the Congregation” and he wanted me to head it up. This call would change my life and the lives of thousands.
Along with the goal of getting 1000 different volunteers while making a statement in the community this project was all about service to others. These elements would be our compass when we had tough decisions to make. The House on the Corner had a special destiny although we didn’t understand it at the time.
That “destiny” initially looked like a failed project in the early weeks of the project. We didn’t have any land to put our house on. The only lot available was big enough for 4 houses and the owner wanted $100,000 for it. We also didn’t have any money. The owner dropped his price a bit, then five of us formed an LLC and financed the land deal and put seed money into the operations. God had stretched us like a worn out rubber band and this was but a precursor for other miracles to come.
The “land miracle” started to embed itself into the volunteers who were doing things that no one thought they could do. How refreshing it was to get those people who typically “just did church” to volunteer and bring friends to show off what we were doing. The joy of serving led us to get that ever elusive group of those who “seldom did church” to serve as well.
As the word spread throughout the community that there was something special going on at the corner of Coit and Parker even more miracles began to emerge. Nearly 50 merchants and sub-contractors donated materials and services. We did not solicit this. They did it because they saw the buzz in the newspaper stories about the project and they just wanted to be a part of it.
When we moved the house to the Douglass Community the people in the neighborhood were taken by surprise. At first they were just curious but soon no less than 40 people stopped by to visit. Some simply said “thank you for what you’re doing to our neighborhood”. Some asked “Did you all build this by yourselves”? Our reply was “Yes, us and about a thousand others”.
What was once just a construction project wove its way into a tapestry of events that would culminate in the execution of an exquisitely divine plan. We only realized this later as we looked backwards on the miracle we were a part of as God used us for such a grand purpose.