Dear Residents of Austin County and Supporters of Habitat for Humanity,
It is with mixed feelings that I must report that Habitat for Humanity of Austin County has dissolved. It existed for a decade thanks to a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Really, we thank the good Lord and all of you. There are too many individuals to thank to name them all. However, it is, I think, appropriate to give accolades to two tireless board presidents — Brenda Stewart and Bill Vogel, and construction managers Bob Purcell, James Herring, and Dan Laas. Thanks to every individual and organization that donated time, supplies, and funds. Thanks to all the people who shared food and drink on workdays. Thanks to all the churches who took part. To sum it up, many thanks to each of you for your interest, varied forms of support, and prayers.
What was accomplished in the last decade through Habitat? The most visible, tangible result is four homes. The first was built in Sealy and the next three are in Bellville right next to Mill Creek Church. Five families were blessed through these homes. Catalina Villanueva and children, Rita Edmond and children, Temekia McDade and son, and Arturo and Carmen Orduna and children continue to reap the benefits of owning their own homes. The second home was built with the help of Thrivent (financial company originally for Lutherans) for Kim Padilla and family. They moved, gave the home back to Habitat, and then the Edmond family was selected. These homes improved their neighborhoods. As the board cleaned out old files, this quote was found from one of the families: “I just want to thank everybody. I know that everyone does not have the same religion, but without His help I believe it wouldn’t have happened.”
God used Habitat to bless the community and the world. The ReStore provided cheap supplies for people to repair and renovate existing homes and raised funds for Habitat’s ministry. Cans were collected which not only provided more funds but also took care of God’s creation through recycling. Habitat brought people of many different denominations together, as well as people of goodwill without church affiliation. A tithe was given from all donations to Habitat International – that money was used to build homes overseas, which are much cheaper to build than here in the United States.
What next and why? This Habitat affiliate dissolved because it was untenable to continue without more involvement and financial resources. All of the remaining assets were given to Colorado County Habitat for Humanity based in Columbus, Texas. Enough funds were given to start a new home there. Every donation you gave either went to good use here or is now going to be utilized continuing the same work in a nearby county. Colorado County will also manage the four mortgages for the homes in Austin County. That affiliate received a sizeable grant years ago and has managed to build almost 20 homes. If you would like to be involved with Habitat in Colorado County, contact Scott Mattingly at 979-732-5677, PO Box 1148, Columbus, TX 78934. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21