News from Hosanna Industries

The latest and greatest from the crew at Hosanna Industries!

Hammers, Hearts, and Hands: March 2018 Newsletter

10 April

When Hosanna Industries was born 28 years ago, two words were coupled together in an attempt to bring enduring identity to a newly-founded mission. “Hosanna” is the ancient Hebrew word that Jesus heard the crowd crying out as He entered Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday. It is a word of faith that means,“Rescue me; save me, Lord!” “Industries” is a word that refers to the energies of work, production, skill, giving, and effort in bringing help to those who need God’s help in today’s world. It’s a very simple combination of words implying an equally simple formula for compassion-based mission in these days: faith + work = God’s response to the desperation of the human condition.

We’ve tried through the years to bring our faith to the doing of a lot of great work, and in many important ways, through your working, praying, giving, and volunteering, you’ve been an integral part of that effort. Humbly and more gratefully than my words can adequately express, I thank you.

Hundreds of new homes have been built, thousands of existing homes repaired, hundreds of thousands of believing people have rolled up their sleeves through the years to help the needy and to work very hard in the name of the Lord to get the job done, and I applaud that great and gregarious effort, but I do so cautiously.

Our work should never become more important than the wonder of God’s grace, more pressing than the beauty of God’s love.

Sometimes the work itself, the human effort, can become the ultimate aim, and when that happens, terrible things can occur. Work can become an idol, a false-god, and our attentions can be distracted from the divine to the base.

When I think about the mission’s work through the years, the item that first comes to my mind is the swinging of all those hammers and the driving of all those nails! We didn’t keep count, but a little fair estimating and arithmetic tells me that we’ve probably driven somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10 million nails through the years! That’s about 20 tons of nails, or 1428 pounds per year, 120 pounds per month, 30 pounds per week. That’s a lot of driving and a lot of work. I hope it’s been good work.

Today is Good Friday. 2000 years ago, an innocent carpenter turned preacher died on a Roman cross. He didn’t deserve to be executed. He committed no crime. He was only 33 years old, but He made some very powerful people want to eliminate Him, and for a while, they did.

That was bad work. Somebody had to work hard to trump up false charges. Somebody had to work hard to antagonize a crowd. Somebody had to work hard to craft a rugged cross. Somebody had to work hard to forge those spikes. Some unfortunate soldier had to work hard to seize a hammer in one hand and drive three large nails, one through each of the wrists of that young man named Jesus, the third through the metatarsal bones of both of His feet. That’s what crucifixion involved back then.

Bad work. Ugly work. Shameful work.

It would be very easy to despise that work and condemn the workers except for one plain fact. I was there. Maybe you were, too.

Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to conduct good and faithful work, but sometimes our work strives after things that aren’t so good, things that might even be bad, dishonorable, unhelpful, or self-promoting.

Thank God for the three nails that crucified Christ. The gravity of human effort meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. That one nail stands as a reminder of God’s forgiveness for all the wrong I’ve ever done. That second nail stands as a reminder of God’s forgiveness for all the wrong ever done against me. That third nail stands as a reminder of God’s forgiveness for all the sins of the whole human race, the entire weight of all the world’s wrong.

Three nails.

May the eternal meaning and the profound mystery of those three nails and what God accomplished with them break upon your consciousness like the dawning of the first Easter morning, throughout this sacred season, dear Hosanna friend.

~DDE

Read the 2018 March Newsletter here

Truck for Sale

04 April

Every now and again Hosanna has tools, vehicles, materials,equipment, and other items that no longer meet our needs. Rather than simply holding onto these items we prefer to find someone who can use them, sell the items at a reasonable price, and use the proceeds from the sale to advance our mission.

Currently for sale for $8000 we have a a 2002 Chevy 3500 Express tool truck with ~96,000 miles.

Contact us if you’re interested in seeing the truck or making an offer.

Update:  This truck is sold!

 

 

Hosanna Industries to Help Hurricane Victims

21 February

Local charity to travel to Texas to rebuild

Hosanna Industries is planning to help relieve the horrible suffering that has resulted from the catastrophic hurricane in August, 2017 in Texas.  The group will be working in Rockport County, TX, and staying at the First Presbyterian Church of Corpus Christi from February 25 – March 2.  Hosanna Industries will be working with more than 20 volunteers from Meridian Presbyterian Church near Butler, PA, and other Western Pennsylvania churches in the Rivers of Life Presbytery, to complete comprehensive home repairs for two impoverished households, both of which have not had power since Hurricane Harvey.

Current needs:

    • Please uphold the mission in prayer as Hosanna Industries discerns the directions they believe the Lord is leading, and please remember all of the people in the Houston region who have suffered so gravely.

Background:

Hosanna Industries travels to areas of disaster to help with the mobilizing of large groups of volunteers to build and repair homes damaged by tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, or other catastrophic events to bring hope and restoration to hurting individuals and communities.  In 2005, Hosanna assisted over 500 households with rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Ivan flooded parts of the Pittsburgh region.  In 2017, Hosanna Industries provided over 40 households with essential home repairs in Richwood, WV, after the flooding in 2016.  Hosanna Industries has mobilized volunteers to rebuild after multiple disasters, including Hurricanes Andrew, Floyd and Katrina, among others.

93 Is Apparently The New 40

09 February

We are getting many calls this week following the recent rains in this area. One woman called to say her roof leaked so badly that her kitchen ceiling has fallen in destroying her stove. She went on to explain that her roof was 45 years old and had been showing “some signs of wear”. She said she has crawled up to patch it herself several times but recently her children have forbidden her to even try. She was rather incensed that they would tell her what to do; after all, she IS the mother! She is 93 years of age and the last time she patched the roof was LAST SPRING! I am sure we will be doing something to help Betty but I just wanted you to know that 93 is apparently the new 40! Have a blessed day!

-From an earlier e-blast (Sign up for our e-blasts at the bottom of our website.)

Our First Tiny House

12 January

Our first Tiny House is complete!

The 8’x16′ home is complete with a full bathroom, washer/dryer, refrigerator, kitchen sink, instant hot water heat, glass cooktop, a queen size loft, single bedroom & lots of unique storage.

The home is for sale & would make a great home, cabin, rental, or retreat.

We have dreams of eventually building communities of these to replace trailer parks, or to provide housing for the homeless, or to provide a home for someone who lost theirs in a natural disaster.

But for now, please contact us if you’d like more information on purchasing our first Tiny House!

Just Listen & Choose Joy

10 January

Anna Jean needs a handrail on her porch as she is disabled and doesn’t have adequate balance. I asked her for some information as is my interview custom. She laughed and said,”Oh I’m sorry I’m not very prepared today. I am getting ready for my only grandchild’s first birthday party. My mind is scattered. It’s just that she brings out the joy in me!” We chatted about being grandmothers and the deep love it forms in us. She said,”I have had 22 back operations in less than 20 years.”

She matter-of-factly said,”Depression sort of set in when my husband left following the death of two of our children.” She explained that her 26 year old son went to bed one night and never woke up. To their utter surprise, the medical report indicated he died of a heart attack in his sleep from undiagnosed heart disease. Five years and three days later, one of her daughters was having a picnic in the back yard with friends. Anna Jean was inside and heard sirens. She went outside to find her daughter dead on the ground with a gunshot wound to the face. Her husband could not handle another tragedy and left her with her other two children; one now married with a little girl and the other living at home.

I was nearly speechless with sorrow for her. I conveyed my deepest condolences while silently praying for the right words to say. As I listened nothing was coming to my mind. I did ask if she finds comfort in knowing they are together now. She said,”Oh honey it gets me through the days when I wake up and wish I could die! They were VERY close and I am so comforted to know they are together again. I have no regrets. I told my children individually every day that I loved them.

I may never be happy again but I do find joy even in the darkest of moments. Like, I can barely walk today and I’m in pain, BUT I get to put a party together for my angel grand daughter! Then you called me and you said I can get a handrail but you gave me even more! You let me talk about my lost babies. Most people don’t want to hear it because it makes them uncomfortable. Thanks for letting me talk. I choose joy today!”

Lessons I learned from Anna Jean:

  1. Sometimes the right words are no words….just listen.
  2. Happiness is a feeling that comes from outside of you…sadness too…stuff happens. But you can choose joy…from within. When you have those dark days, sad times, lonely times, joy may be hard to find. Look within. It is there.

To all who support this mission, thank you for helping Anna Jean find her joy.

-From an earlier e-blast (Sign up for the e-blasts on the bottom of our website.)

Good Job With Great Compassion

09 January

I just got a call from a gentleman who lives in California. He got a call from his 94 year old mother who is a widow and lives alone. She informed him her hot water tank is leaking badly and she doesn’t know what to do. I explained our process and following a brief conversation informed him we can have a new hot water tank installed at no cost to her as he reported her annual income at below 10,000.

He said,” I didn’t mean for her to get it for free but I didn’t know who to trust. I called a Pittsburgh hotline and they told me if I want to rest easy knowing she is getting what she needs AND is cared for, I should call you folks. They said you are the best at doing a good job with great compassion.”

As always, I pass along the compliment to all of you compassionate people that support this mission, in some cases for 27 years, enabling us to assist sons and daughters to rest easy knowing their loved ones are well cared for with dignity and the love of Christ.

-From an earlier e-blast (Sign up for our e-blasts at the bottom of our website.)