In 2004, John and Tracy Houston started John Houston Homes (JHH) with a mission to reach people for Christ and give to the kingdom. Today, almost 20 years later, JHH is employee-owned by over 100 team members, is ranked among the top home builders in the United States, and builds hundreds of homes a year in four major market areas across 40+ communities.
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Since 1997, HOPE International has focused on serving underserved communities.
Our program leaders have consistently sought out communities at the margins, inspiring a goal in our last strategic plan to serve 10 unreached and underserved communities. Praise be to God who led us above and beyond that goal.
Last week, the Homes for HOPE team gathered in Shawnee, Kansas at the Legacy Crossing community to launch Arise Homes' very first Homes for HOPE Project. A year in the making, the day was filled with eager anticipation. Drake Holtry, the Homes for HOPE Western U.S. Representative, painted a vivid picture of HOPE's work to a crowd of guests while they savored delicious Kansas City barbeque. Joining in the celebration were Matt Mabe and Austin Chamberlin, the owners of Arise Homes, who expressed their excitement for the project. Alongside their committed trade partners, they are determined to make a positive impact on the lives of underserved individuals worldwide by providing a hand up, not a handout.
We were honored to have Judah Mooney join us for the launch of the Keystone Custom Homes Homes for HOPE project in North Carolina last month. Judah is the president of Diaconía, HOPE’s microfinance partner in Paraguay. Judah, who is a part-time homebuilder himself, paid his way through college in the United States by framing houses. After college, he felt called to return to Paraguay, the country where he grew up and felt most at home, in order to serve its people. It is not often that our home launches coincide with a field leader's availability, as they are based in the regions where they operate and are rarely stateside. During his time with us, we were privileged to hear stories of transformation from the field.
Last month, we told you about how Jacobo Benjamin, an immigrant in a difficult situation, laid a foundation for his family’s success. Because of Jacobo’s diligent savings over the years, his daughter Yasquina became the first person from Batey Margarita to attend university. Since then, her two brothers and eight other young people from the community have followed her example. After earning her medical degree, she returned to her hometown.
Keystone Custom Homes' newly acquired division in North Carolina (formerly Evans Coghill Homes) launched their first Homes for HOPE project on a beautiful spring day in Charlotte, North Carolina. Trade partners, suppliers, and service providers gathered in a gorgeous model home with the subtle sound of saws and hammers in the background as homes are going up quickly in the popular, developing community. After a time of connecting around a meal, division president Alan Banks along with HOPE International’s founder, Jeff Rutt and others shared the vision of leveraging the impact of the building industry to invest in the dreams of underserved families around the world.
Earlier this month Keystone Custom Homes held a trade appreciation event to celebrate the resilience, perseverance, excellence, and generosity of their trade partners and suppliers over the past five years. Homes for HOPE had the privilege of attending as well and thanking those in attendance for their sacrificial support of our mission. Utilizing Keystone’s unique Virtual Homes for HOPE Project model, they have generated donations that keep increasing year over year enabling us to serve an ever-growing number of talented entrepreneurs who are living in poverty around the world!
When Esperanza International, HOPE’s microfinance partner in the Dominican Republic, first arrived to Batey Margarita in 2006, Jacobo Benjamin was the first of his neighbors to take out a loan. Previously, Jacobo had worked in the nearby sugarcane fields, cutting and processing the crop. But when the processing company announced it was closing, Jacobo knew he would need to find a new a new source of income.
Walmart might have put Northwest Arkansas on the map, but the bike trails, cost of living, and southern hospitality have people moving to the Natural State in droves. Last week, Homes for HOPE had the opportunity to see what all the hype was about while celebrating the completion of Rausch Coleman Homes’ very first Homes for HOPE project.
It with a heavy heart that the Homes for HOPE team shares of the passing of builder partner and friend, Ron Froehlich of Froehlich Signature Homes in Bakersfield, CA.