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April 1st, Homes with Hope celebrates fifteen years since we opened our doors. No kidding … April fool’s Day, 2004, was our first day at the office.
There are many stories and friends who were a significant help in getting this nonprofit off the ground – Kathy, Michael, Bert, Julie, Teresa, Bill, Rita, Steve, Kent, Sylvia, Faerl, Anu, Lamar, Larry, Nathan, Andy, Katie, Janice, Rachelle, Mike, Jane, Gary, Donna, Cindy, Ott, Susie … the list goes on and on. Today, I am going to share just one.
A Contractor in My Bathroom
By Tricia Herren
I began working on many components to establish the agency nineteen months before we actually opened our doors. In the beginning, we formed the board of directors, wrote our articles of incorporation and bylaws, started fundraising for the state required amount to be licensed, received our non-profit 501(c)(3) status, and simultaneously worked on our agency license application. A knowledgeable friend who had been working on our application and policies for seven months was then unable to continue the process. Just when you think things are moving along efficiently, the task became mine to complete the process and I did not have much of a clue as to how to accomplish that. I started with reviewing what had already been written and figured we could move it forward a bit but I knew it was not complete. I understood that we had three chances to submit the documents and if they were not approved, we would have to wait another year before applying again. No pressure. So I did something that I knew was a bit foolish, I sent in what we had completed and hoped for enough red ink markings to direct me to more solutions. I mailed it to Austin, prayed, and held my breath. I received it back all marked up in red as I suspected, wrote more policies and then stalled out. I did not know how to complete the remaining parts which was a significant amount.
Hold on, I am getting to the part about my bathroom.
I emailed a few friends and asked for prayer. Honestly, I was scared and desperate for prayer. So many people involved at this point with all kinds of expectations. Two days after I sent the “Hail Mary” email, a friend /contractor returned to my home to complete a bathroom remodel that started a few months earlier from a toilet leak and subfloor damage. I am sharing that because I would not have started a home remodel project while trying to keep my design business going and starting Homes with Hope. I am not that crazy.
The contractor showed up with a helper to complete the project. The helper was in my bathroom when my friend asked, “How is the nonprofit coming along”? I simply stated that we were working on the license, trying not to show any panic. THEN, the helper asked, “What kind of a nonprofit are you working on?” I casually rambled off our plans. He then told me that he helped two agencies in town get their state license. WHAT?!? My brain was unable to respond, my stress was clouding my ability to comprehend, so I went into my home office and sat at my desk pretty convinced that this guy did not know what he was talking about. In fact, I sat there and had a lively conversation with God about it. Then I collected myself, went back into my bathroom and started a conversation that led to several meetings giving me all the direction and coaching I would ever need to get this accomplished. Seriously, the answer to my prayer was in my bathroom? Five more months to complete the task and we were licensed by the state! Four more months and we opened our doors. That helper was only doing temporary work when he showed up in my bathroom. We met during a small window of opportunity. This is an amazing story because of an amazing God.
Philippians 1:6 … being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Happy 15th Anniversary to everyone who has been faithful, helpful, and played a part in God’s plan for Homes with Hope. Thank you and many blessings on all of your adventures with our God.
Out of compassion we are moved to action!