It’s time to repair the roof.
Entering people’s homes teaches you a lot about them. From treasured heirlooms and pictures of smiling family members to holes punched in walls and newspapers stuffed around doors, our homes reflect our best hopes and sometimes our worst struggles.
Some of our most meaningful work with families on the White Mountain Apache reservation has started in their homes.
Together with our partner, the Open Bible Lutheran Church (a WELS mission), our work gained a reputation for caring deeply about the welfare of the elderly and disabled whose homes we had the privilege of renovating.
This year we stepped back and asked the community where we could do more. We quickly realized that we were targeting only one family at a time, while hundreds of homes are on a “waitlist” for renovation due to issues ranging from broken windows to water damage caused by leaky roofs and faulty plumbing. Repairing the homes ourselves wouldn't create sustainable change in the community but would only perpetuate "band-aid" solutions. If we wanted to create change that would have a positive, long-term impact for the people on the White Mountain Apache reservation we needed to do something different.
Our solution? Provide locally accessible and easily understandable DIY (Do It Yourself) Home Repair Workshops to help families learn the skills necessary repair their own homes. Gaining these home repair skills gives families a way to reclaim pride in their homes and helps them be resilient. It also gives people an opportunity to gain skills that can help them secure a job in the trades if they want it in the future.
Skill building sessions on local Lutheran sites such as Open Bible Lutheran Church and the East Fork Mission show community members that they are welcome there anytime. Local church council members such as Ermon “Lollie” Stover present the gospel in a devotion before each workshop.
One attendee said, “Lollie was not ashamed of the gospel. The way he spoke up there brought joy to me, because I know where he came from.” What an incredible testimony to God’s power working on the hearts of our brothers and sisters on this small Apache reservation!
Our work on the Apache Reservations