Tag Archives: construction project

First Day of Spring Break

21 April

It was our first day of SPRING BREAK. I had thoughts of sleeping in and being lazy.

But I was asked to help Hosanna Industries.  Callie and I were happy to get up bright and early, 9am to about 2:30pm.  In that short time, a ramp was built, a sidewalk laid, a roof replaced, some light landscaping and fellowship and prayer happened.

Volunteering with this organization gives you an opportunity to work hard.  BUT it also gives you an opportunity to see LOVE at WORK! Every person in the group belongs.  There is work for everyone to do.  Helping place shingles on a roof, raking up leaves, building a wheelchair ramp, visiting with clients, placing paving stones or simply picking up after the work is done–everyone belongs. The best part of volunteering with Hosanna however, is getting to know people and loving strangers–hugging someone you didn’t know before, listening to stories of life, laughing with a new friend, witnessing tears of thankfulness…

Christan & Callie (age 7), volunteering with Hosanna Industries on Maundy Thursday, 2017

The folks at Hosanna WORK HARD, but they LOVE even HARDER! And during this Holy Week, I wouldn’t have wanted to be any place else.  It is important to me to raise my daughter to know this kind of love.  I want to help her understand how God loves her, and the work Hosanna does mirrors how HE has called us to love.  You can see WHY they work so hard! HE is the reason! And the love is so true and genuine.

Thank you folks for being such living sacrifices! Happy Easter!

-Christan Baker, Volunteer

March 2017 Newsletter / Hammers, Hearts, and Hands

05 April

March 2017 Newsletter

A few days ago, I stopped at the mission’s Gibsonia campus to check on a few things, and was delighted to arrive just as Amy and Emily were unloading the kiln from the previous day’s firing. They took a moment to show me the beautiful results, and I was thrilled to see the finished work of a dozen participants, most of them novices, who recently attended the mission’s four week clay construction class. Coffee mugs, trays, bowls, and other interesting and useful articles had been hand-crafted from clay, allowed to thoroughly dry, fired once, then glazed in a variety of colors and styles, and finally fired once again to melt the glaze onto the surface as a permanent glass coating. I was really impressed with the designs, the workmanship, and the final results. I hope you can become involved in one or more of the many programs offered there in the months to come, each of which is intended to further develop your God-given creative instincts in a setting that is focused on the One from Whom all blessings flow.

As I handled and observed these newly-fired ceramic creations, I thought about what they once were. Clay is a truly amazing substance. It comes from the earth. It can be wedged, formed, rolled into a coil or a slab, or thrown on a wheel. It can be shaped, while soft, into a countless number of shapes, forms and structures. When the shaping process is over, the item is left to dry thoroughly, until void of moisture content. At this stage, the item is called Greenware, and although it is hard and breakable, it can actually be reconstituted into pliable clay once again if exposed to enough water.

Once the first firing takes place, however, the Greenware is converted into Bisqueware. This is a physical transformation that turns the Greenware into a hard, brittle, glasslike substance that is no longer capable of absorbing water anymore. The firing process changes the clay into something it never was before, rendering impossible any chance of returning to what it once was. You can take a piece of the Bisqueware and grind it into a fine powder and mix it with water, but even in this state, it will never return to clay. This thermal process, known as vitrification, changes the clay forever.

A few hours ago, I had the privilege of listening to a newly posted podcast of a sermon preached by the Rev. Dr. Richard A. Morledge, then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown, on Palm Sunday, April 8, 1990. This sermon and nearly 30 years’ worth of others are being made available due to the graciousness of Dr. Morledge, the tedious efforts of our friend,Tom Shoup, who copied more than 1000 sermons from cassette tapes to a digital system, and the labors of Amanda Becker and Julie Wettach, both mission workers at Hosanna Industries, who are methodically uploading those sermons onto a newly established “It’s a Great Day in the Kingdom” podcast site which is linked to Hosanna’s website. We hope that these proclamations will be helpful to you in your own journey of faith, and I encourage you to frequently listen to these sermons as preached by a man whom I consider to be one of the greatest communicators of the Gospel in our lifetimes.

In the particular sermon which I listened to, Dr. Morledge described those whom he referred to as “Hosanna people”, those who are in desperate need, people who are crying out for God’s help. He taught that the word “Hosanna”, heard by Jesus on the first Palm Sunday 2000 years ago, was not really a word of praise as is commonly thought, but was instead a prayer. Its true meaning is, “Save us now.” Jesus answered that prayer in seven days. Later He sent His Spirit on the first Pentecost to equip the newly born Church to be His body in the world, continuing His great work of salvation.

Then Dr. Morledge went on to describe to the congregation of that great Church that a new mission was to be launched that day. Its name would be Hosanna Industries.

Following the sermon, additional words were spoken, announcing what this new mission was intended to do: “Whenever – wherever we hear as Christians the Hosanna cries of God’s needy children, our faith demands that we do something, representing a powerful Savior instead of an impotent theological idea. We cannot anymore bear the shamefulness of poverty that is unaddressed, nor can we bear mission mediocrity… this Church today in establishing Hosanna Industries is proclaiming loud and clear that ultimately some day the love of God in Christ will heal all the world’s ills.”

The mission was born as an outward expression of the Kingdom of God. It was born to proclaim the Good News by way of home construction, repair and rehabilitation for the poor; vocational training of the unskilled; small business development for would-be entrepreneurs; job creation for new and future mission workers; and volunteer mobilization, locally and beyond, to locations of impoverishment and calamity.

The first five young mission workers were called forward from the congregation. The first assistance project was to begin the very next day, less than a mile away from the church, at the home of an elderly woman and her disabled daughter. Their income was less than half of what the government defined as poverty level. A newly donated used pick-up truck was parked outside, donated by the late Frank Reese, president of North Pittsburgh Telephone Company, painted Hosanna green by Bart Williams, president and owner of Parks Moving and Storage and serviced by Tom Henry of Tom Henry Chevrolet.

Then, as this unique worship service drew near to its ending, Dr. Morledge asked the mission workers to kneel at the chancel, he asked the more than 500 people in attendance to rise, and he asked all to join hands.

At that moment, a Spirit of quiet holiness descended upon that assembly of believers. Some people shed tears. As I listened to the recording, I sensed a nearly palpable silence in that place 27 years ago. Then, with his voice momentarily breaking, Dr. Morledge offered the following prayer:

“Father, in faith we reach out to try to follow You, and like Abraham of old we’re not quite sure where we’re going but we go now to be your people in this community and clear to the uttermost parts of the world. Father, thank you for these individuals whom we set apart in Your name, please indue them with your Holy Spirit and empower them to be people who reach to the Hosanna people and in ministering may they be ministered unto, and as we join hands as a great church, Father, bind us in this time of faith, not with criticism but with our love, to try to grow and become even greater the people that you want us to be. We thank you for all of the blessings of the past and now we ask a special blessing. So please Father, to these six individuals, whom we now set apart and commission as mission workers of Hosanna Industries, thank you Father, thank you, please place Your Hands upon the heads of these particular missioners. Thank you Father, we feel Your Presence, we go out in faith in Christ’s name, Amen.”I knelt with those five young men that day, and remember the first sounds a new-born mission heard were those of the organ, beautifully phrasing,“Hosanna in the Highest!”

We were clay then. Soft, pliable, malleable. We were ready to be shaped by the Potter’s Hands.

I suppose the years have vitrified us through the hard and often difficult firing of work, striving, learning, succeeding, and sometimes failing. Whatever we may or may not be, I’m certain we could never go back to become what we once were. Though we’ve learned much, and tried hard to refine our efforts into a vessel of grace useful to the hands of God in this world, I still hope that something within the heart of Hosanna is yet soft and pliable, ready to be shaped at the Master’s bidding.

Over the years, Hosanna Industries has been privileged to help more than 3400 needy households. We’ve blitz built almost 200 new homes. We’ve received more than 160 mission workers, each one leaving a mark, some weaving at least a part of their hearts into the mission’s own heart. In the past 27 years, the mission has travelled about 2 1/2 million miles, moving more than 60,000 tons of material, working with about 150,000 volunteers, in spending less than 16 million dollars to get almost 60 million dollars worth of work done. We’ve had a presence in 35 states, provided disaster relief work in nearly a dozen locations, and given assistance to more than 40 charitable organizations who needed help. We’ve provided intensive trade-skill training for hundreds of people, and we’ve witnessed the creation of at least ten small entrepreneurial businesses that were an outgrowth of our influence. On occasion, the Lord has sent us abroad to five different countries, and we have hosted volunteers from a half-dozen nations and all 50 states in the United States of America.

Just a few days ago, I held a newly fired ceramic cup in my hands and admired its beauty. I can estimate the time when, not long ago, it was nothing but a lump of clay, but I could never know for how long it may be of future service to someone who finds it useful.

I believe God inspired the birth of Hosanna Industries. I’m grateful that His hands have molded and shaped this mission into the vessel of His choosing. I’m very grateful that the commissioning prayer of Dick Morledge 27 Palm Sundays ago has been answered innumerable times.

The cries of the Hosanna people have been heard, not ignored. I don’t know how long this vessel called Hosanna will be useful to God’s hands, but I’m so deeply grateful for your part in it, and for all who have gone before. Without you, and all the other wonderful, gracious, generous, believing people like you, I don’t think God could have ever shaped the mission His hands have made.

Happy 27th birthday, Hosanna! And thank you, dear Hosanna friend!

~DDE

Rev. Dr. Donn Ed, Executive Director & Founder

Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

28 March

At Hosanna, we encounter hundreds of individuals every year: clients, volunteers, business men and women, etc.  Among those, usually at least a handful stand out in our minds.

I believe I have met a couple of them already this year!  One homeowner in particular stands out for me so far this year.  She was the daughter of the homeowner.  She had been through a lot in her life, more than any of us ever endure, and yet she greeted me with a smile and bright attitude when I met her for the first time upon inspecting the home.

It ended up that we would replace 8 windows for the household.  Sometimes at Hosanna, plans change quickly.  I phoned Diane the evening before we were planning to come and she was very excited.

Upon arrival the next morning, all the window treatments were down and lunch was being prepared while we installed the windows.  She was also receiving a new gas oven to replace her 30 year old appliance that very same day!

At one point, Diane had mentioned that she didn’t sleep much the night before preparing for us and shopping and preparing food.  She looked exhausted by lunch time.  It was one of the best lunches we’ve ever had made for us by a homeowner!

At day’s end, I commented that she worked harder than us and she said, “Well isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?” I was taken back by such a comment.  As we live in a society where most everyone expects much with little to no input, Diane stood out like a beautiful rose in a field of tall grass.

It was an honor to serve Diane, her mother, and Diane’s daughter and to provide them with warm safe new windows.

Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!

-Becky Hetzer, Mission Worker

Sandra’s story

21 December

I’d like to think that after answering the telephone here for 26 years I would be used to the sad and tragic stories I hear every day. But I got a call from Sandra that just hit me hard.

It began with a request for home repairs because water pours out of outlets when it rains and the walls are spongy and crumbling in the kitchen from a chronically leaking roof and clogged gutters.

As I began asking questions I soon realized that Sandra is one of those amazing people with a loyal heart and a strong back and spirit. She has been married for 35 years. 34 years ago her husband of 1 year had a massive brain hemorrhage and has needed 24/7 care ever since. She became pregnant in that first year of marriage and has a 35 year old daughter who recently dropped her two year old son off at Sandra’s and said, “I can’t raise this child. You take him,” and promptly walked away and out of their lives.

Sandra worked for years hiring people to care for her husband during the day, but had to quit because she could not afford the cost of the daily care and now has to care for both her husband and grandchild too.

Her voice sounded exhausted but not bitter or angry. She said, “I never asked why me? I figured why not, but I just don’t know what to do now. I have bounced so many checks trying to keep up!” I told her we will help her. She said,”Well, forgive me if I believe it when I see it, but I’ve called so many places and some don’t call me back and the rest that do say they can’t help me. I’m feeling a little hopeless. I’m not pitying myself, but I’ve always counted on myself to get things done and I’m running out of steam.”

I said, “I aim to restore your hope. It is what Hosanna Industries is all about.” She broke down and sobbed. Through her tears she said,”How do you do this…and why?”

How? Through divine guidance and generous support.
Why? Because God’s work is everybody’s business.
On behalf of Sandra and those like her, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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

Hosanna Industries Raising $1.5 Million for West Virginia Flood Relief

12 July

Hosanna Industries is planning multiple trips to the Richwood community of Nicholas County, West Virginia.  Plans include building 15 new homes for impoverished households that lost their homes to the flood, repairing 30 homes with new drywall, electrical, insulation, etc., providing 30 furnaces and 50 hot water tanks, as well as other household appliances, miscellaneous household items and tools.  Hosanna plans to refurbish an industrial building in the community for housing volunteers, storing materials, feeding people, etc.  Total costs are around $1.5 million, all of which will be provided through donations.

Richwood, WV has a poverty rate of 46%, according to the Nicholas County Community Foundation, and many are recently unemployed due to the coal mining operations being shut down.



Donate online via credit cardOR

mail a check payable to Hosanna Industries to 109 Rinard Lane, Rochester, PA 15074.  Mark gifts “West Virginia,” and all gifts received will go toward rebuilding efforts there.

Contact Amanda with any questions, or if you would like to set up a donation drive.

West Virginia Flood Relief Hosanna Industries

 

On Saturday, July 9, Hosanna Industries flew to WV to determine the needs, and how we could help. We flew in the plane donated from a friend of the mission 5 years ago. This plane was donated for just this purpose, and we are grateful for the gift.

On Saturday, July 9, Hosanna Industries flew to WV to determine the needs, and how we could help. We flew in the plane donated from a friend of the mission 5 years ago. This plane was donated for just this purpose, and we are grateful for the gift.

Richwood WV

Richwood, WV has been devastated by the recent flooding, and has left people in the community living in tents or camper trailers.


 

Hosanna Industries planning West Virginia relief

30 June

HOSANNA INDUSTRIES PLANNING WEST VIRGINIA RELIEF

Charity fundraising and organizing to rebuild for impoverished households after recent flooding

 

Hosanna Industries is exploring opportunities to help relieve the horrible suffering that has resulted from the catastrophic flooding last week in West Virginia.  The mission is currently investigating possibilities and developing key relationships with local people of faith who are influential in their communities.  We will shortly be sending ambassadors to the area to identify particular needs.

Current needs:

  1. Please uphold the mission in prayer as Hosanna Industries discerns the directions we believe the Lord is leading, and please remember all of the people in the Southeastern WV region who have suffered so gravely.
  2. Donate online towards Hosanna Industries’  future work in West Virginia mail a check to 109 Rinard Lane, Rochester, PA 15074.  Mark gifts “West Virginia,” and all gifts received will go toward rebuilding efforts there.
  3. Contact Hosanna Industries (724-770-0262) if you know of anyone who was underinsured or living in poverty and was affected by the recent flooding in West Virginia.

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, we assisted over 500 households with rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Ivan flooded parts of the Pittsburgh region.  Hosanna Industries has done work after multiple disasters, including Hurricanes Andrew, Floyd and Katrina, among others.

Media and Fundraising Contact: Amanda M. Becker

About Hosanna Industries: Hosanna Industries was founded in 1990 as a faith-rooted, non-profit mission whose work involves a variety of charitable initiatives aimed at helping our impoverished neighbors.  By the grace of God and through the mechanical and aesthetic arts, mission workers at Hosanna Industries build and repair homes for needy households; teach and lead classes and workshops in art, nature and spirituality; and train young people in construction skills.  Its typical single client household last year had an income of less than $20,000 a year. Since its founding in 1990 Hosanna Industries has provided around $52 million worth of charitable work to the community for around $15 million.  It depends on the generosity of others to complete its work.

Holy Week Blitz Build 2016: Thursday

29 March

On Maundy Thursday at 2PM, we dedicated Jim and Alexa’s new home. At that time, we gave them a few gifts.

Blanket, presented by Emily Cadenhead: 

This next gift comes to you from a new chapter in Hosanna’s story. At our Gibsonia location a group of women have started a fiber arts club, they heard about what we were doing this week and about your story and wanted to do something. They’ve never met you and they don’t know you, but they wanted you to know that they care about you. They crocheted this blanket as a reminder that we are all, strangers and friends alike, woven together in this journey called life.

Bible from Becky Hetzer:

As a mission worker for almost 19 years, I had the wonderful privilege again of presenting a family with a Bible for their new home that Hosanna had just built for them!  I was excited to do so and even more so when the idea came to me of what scripture to read and how to relate it to a new home dedication.

First, I read from Mark’s account of the Last Supper since it was Maundy Thursday when we dedicated the home.  Secondly, I read in Chapter 15 of the death of Jesus on the cross when he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And finally, Chapter 16 and the resurrection of our Lord when the women found the empty tomb!

The message I hope I conveyed to the family and the crowd of volunteers was that I was grateful we have a God who doesn’t quit.  He didn’t stop on Thursday with the Last Supper, nor did we quit after the first day of the Blitz.  Neither of those actions would have helped anyone, whether 2000 years ago or last week.  He also didn’t stop with His masterful plan after the death of his Son on the cross.  Nor did we stop constructing a masterfully designed home for a needy family.  What good would a half-built home do for anyone? How could God’s plan end in such a sad, desperate way?  Thank Heaven God completed his work by conquering death and raising His Son to be with Him again in Heaven – how wonderful is Easter i ask you?!  And Hosanna, in the same way, did not quit and finished a beautiful new home in 3 1/2 days with the help of so many wonderful volunteers!

Easter is real and miracles are real.  Just ask every family whom we have built a home for, or the congregation of the church we built in Arkansas, or the dear little  old widow who received a new furnace to keep her warm this winter.

Keys from Julie Wettach:

This gift is the smallest but please remembered each time that you use it, the volunteers that were a part of this build and how God opened doors so that you can be here. Please remember how doors were opened by Mars Bank so this project could become a reality, and how God is opening new doorways and pathways for you even now.

Thank you for reading this and for supporting a mission trying hard to show the hard, cold world that miracles can be a daily event…if you believe!

See pictures from this build here.

Read more details about this project here.