I just returned from a trip to Beius, Romania with the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program. I was part of a team that spent a week in Beius building a 3-unit house for Habitat families. Our team of 10 people (coming from the U.S., Canada, Korea, and Slovakia) met for the first time when we arrived in Budapest, Hungary. Laura Ferent, our amazing and inspiring Global Village Team Leader, met us in Budapest when we arrived.
I believe that everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live. And since Habitat homeowners pay for and participate in the building of their homes, it's a perfect example of a hand-up, not a handout. A safe and stable home creates a foundation that allows people to build better lives for themselves. It can affect their ability to get a job, their health, their children's education, and so much more.
In the U.S., when we think of poverty we focus on material poverty... but we can be blind to the spiritual and relational poverty that exists in the developed world. Whenever I volunteer around the world, I always meet inspiring people with close-knit families, strong communities, a vibrant faith in God, plus amazing hospitality, generosity, and resilience. Without exception, I am the one who is blessed by these experiences.