Tag Archives: Mission Worker

More Lights

03 March

Earlier this week, I started my work day as I normally do.  Check the emails, respond to any messages, outline my day, la la la.  I couldn’t help but notice that I felt a little off.  Maybe another cup of coffee?  That didn’t change the feeling.  How about a slice of pizza?  (Yes, cold pizza for breakfast.)  Pizza didn’t do it either.  I still felt something was off.  I checked in with many of my coworkers.  What’s my problem?

As I was checking in with everyone I realized what was bothering me.  Some of my work family aren’t here, so I can’t check in with them.  They are in Richwood, West Virginia, serving the community there.  I’m certainly glad they are there doing what they are doing and I am very proud of them.

Since I came to Hosanna, one of the big themes has been Community.  Do things together.  Work together, learn together, discuss together, laugh together, chances are you’re going to suffer together; but what a blessing it is to be together.  It’s always hard on me when the team gets “split up” for the sake of what needs done.  I just don’t like the feeling of being separated.  Did you ever put two different socks on- one kind of thick like a boot sock and the other thin like a dress sock- it kind of feels like that.  Just a little weird.

Then I remembered that Jesus didn’t always keep all of the disciples together, and that sometimes they had to go out in smaller groups or pairs, in order to multiply.  I remind myself that being separated doesn’t mean you’re less, it just means that the light has now been multiplied.  When we are all together as one big green machine, we are (when we have our heads and hearts in the right place) a bright light, and when we become separated- when the Lord needs some of us here and some of us there- the light doesn’t dim but it becomes more LIGHTS, to work in more places, and to touch more people.  How wonderful is that!  I think that I would rather have many bright lights on my Christmas tree than just one big shining bulb.

Amen to learning things!  Amen to lights!

Dear reader, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing; if you feel a bit lost or a bit disconnected, just let that light shine even brighter, and it will spread!

-Emily Cadenhead, Mission Worker

Katie’s reflection about teaching

26 December

A couple of months ago, I was given the privilege to work with students from Mars Home For Youth. I guess you could say I was consumed with faith, as I said yes to this opportunity, not knowing what I would be encountering during this experience. Donn and I were the ones that were chosen and asked to lead this particular engagement at the MHY facility, located directly across the Mars High School. We were to lead students in constructing 6 picnic tables and 3 park benches that would be placed in various locations throughout their campus.

Once Donn and I arrived onto the campus that morning in our bright green vehicles, we received plenty of looks full of intrigue and slight confusion. We were then greeted by one of the lead faculty members, followed by 20-25 students and a handful of teachers. The students came from various backgrounds, ages, skills, and learning abilities; but the one thing that they had in common was that they desired to be better individuals! This was one of the reasons that the Lord led Hosanna to MHY on this very day, at this very moment.

Photo Credit: MHY Family Services

Photo Credit: MHY Family Services

I’d like to express 2 occurrences that impacted me the most, and placed emphasis on why God called me to be a mission worker at Hosanna Industries.

Be open. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get myself into. I wasn’t sure at all what the environment would entail or how the students would interact or react to us being there. But I let my mind be open to whatever was going to happen, because I knew that God had intentionally led Donn and I to be with those kids. Not only was I being open to a new experience, but also being open to God, letting him use me how he wants. In turn, because we gave the kids the impression we were open to giving our time, most of them were open to learning and receiving the knowledge and skills.

Photo Credit: MHY Family Services

Photo Credit: MHY Family Services

Absorbing knowledge that’s being passed on to you, but also passing on that knowledge to someone else. When I came to Hosanna 5 years ago, I had never thought about going into the construction field. I didn’t even know how to hold a hammer the correct way. Today, I know how to use tools the proper way, shingle roofs, install windows, install flooring, minor plumbing and electrical, etc. I would have never thought I would have acquired these particular skills to the point where my family members call me for favors that involve home repairs. Not only have I learned hands on skills, but I have learned the ability to teach and how important is it to pass on the knowledge that was once exposed to me. Knowledge is extremely valuable and is a key to accomplishment and success. Because I have been richly blessed in being taught by some of the smartest people I know, how could I not pass on what I’ve learned to someone else? When I was presented the opportunity to teach these kids who had never read a tape measure, used a power saw, or used a hammer drill to drill a hole for a lag screw, I took full advantage of it. I used the knowledge that was once told to me, and passed it on to these students. Not only were these kids acquiring new ideas and concepts they had not yet been exposed to, but I was teaching myself how much I have grown over the past 5 years, and that I have the ability to teach what I was once taught.

So be open– to any and all possibilities and opportunities that God leads your way. You never know what you will encounter or how God will use you.

Take in knowledge, and pass it on to others. It’s important to pay attention to the knowledge and the lessons that are being taught all around us; to grasp it and never let go. The opportunity may never come around again.

-Katie DeJournette, Mission Worker

Read more about our trade skill training programs here.

Why I do what I do -Katie

16 July

Why I do what I do

Homewood – one of the areas in western Pennsylvania that has become an area Hosanna Industries finds itself visiting on a regular basis. We have helped a lot of households in this particular area over the past several months. One day we were working on an elderly lady’s home in Homewood, doing some drywall patching, painting, and installing laminate on her kitchen floor. I was outside cleaning out the mud pans and knives when a lady, walking up the sidewalk, happened to stop and glance at our green tool truck. She preceded to ask me who is Hosanna and what do we do. I told her that we are a non profit and help needy households. She nodded her head and continued to walk. She then stopped again, turned back around and asked me the one question that definitely got my attention, “Why do you do what you do?” I have gotten asked this question more recently than I have over the past two years of being at Hosanna. My simple response that seemed to have caught her off guard was this, “because it’s what God has called me to do, to help people who need help.” This is why I do what I do; it’s part of the ministry of Jesus.

-Katie DeJournette, mission worker

God is still working here

01 June

Working for Hosanna is not a job. Yes, the mission workers get paid – we need to be able to pay for food and utilities, mortgages and taxes just like everyone else – but working for Hosanna is really not a job. It’s truly a calling. For each of us at Hosanna, we know that for one reason or another, this is where we are meant to be. For me, it’s the people we help, many of whom would not be able to stay in their homes if it weren’t for the mission workers of Hosanna Industries. When a single mother’s income is less than $10,000 a year and her roof leaks so badly that her ceiling is caving in and her electrical system is compromised, how long will it be before she must look for a low-income rental unit? When an elderly widow’s furnace is red-tagged, how long will it be before she must move in with her children? When insurance no longer permitted the ambulance driver to carry Lillian Mike from her home so he could transport her to her dialysis appointments, how long could she have stayed in her home without the loving support of Hosanna’s mission workers? Hosanna is not a job. You can’t walk away at the end of the day and leave your work at the office. You keep hearing the Hosanna cries, “Rescue me now!” You know that this labor of love will not be complete in your lifetime but you commit your life to it.

It’s not just the clients we help, though. It’s the young man who is a little lost. He’s struggling through high school, trying to find his way. He may be bullied. He may have a difficult situation at home. He’s not sure of his place in life or his value. He comes to volunteer with Hosanna. He works hard, side-by-side with our mission workers. He changes the life of a household in need. He’s an important part of the work that gets done. He suddenly recognizes that he is valuable, capable. Our work is so much more than just a job. We are transforming lives every day.

And it’s not just the clients or the volunteers. A while back Hosanna was replacing a roof for an elderly widow with a great group of volunteers. We were in a nice neighborhood. It was a gorgeous sunny day. Everything was going smoothly. I was working down on the ground when the mailman walked up to make his daily delivery. As he came to the house we were working on, he paused. Just stopped to soak everything in. I wandered over. He asked about what was happening and I told him. It was a conversation that lasted less than a minute. He turned to walk away saying, “So God is still working here, huh?”

Yes, God is still working here. He is not dead. He’s working through you and me. He’s working in the lives of our clients, our volunteers, and others who observe our work. There’s no question that working for Hosanna is a calling. And for me, there is no job that could provide more value or meaning than this vocation of service.

-Julie Wettach, Financial Steward

5 Common Misconceptions about Hosanna Industries

20 May

5 Common Misconceptions about Hosanna Industries
1.Our name is Hosanna Ministries
Hosanna Industries is our name, and Hosanna Ministries is actually a different ministry organization that doesn’t have much in common with us. Hosanna means “rescue me now, Lord,” and the second half is Industries because we believe in the value of hard work. We are a ministry, it’s just not a part of our name. Read the story of our founding here.
2. We are “just like Habitat” or in fact a part of Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is another nonprofit charity that also provides some charitable construction. That describes how we are similar, but there are many ways that we are different. Habitat is an international organization, with different affiliates all over the country and the world. We are the only Hosanna Industries. Many of our clients would not qualify to be Habitat clients, as they don’t have the means to provide the sweat equity or to pay for the materials. We don’t have our own lending department, and we don’t have age limits for volunteers. Basically, although Habitat is a very well-known and reputable charity, we’re not them.
3. That we only work in the spring and summer
Although the “busiest volunteer season” for us is in the warmer months, we work all year round in all types of weather. Normally we use the colder months to complete interior jobs or jobs that may not require volunteer labor. You’re welcome to come work with us anytime of the year, not just summer!
4. That we only help with poverty in the city
Poverty is not just in the city, but also in the rural areas. Many times poverty in rural areas is not as evident, and does not get much attention from funders. We help our needy neighbors, whether that is in Hazelwood or Chicora or Cranberry Twp. There is need everywhere, and God’s work is everyone’s business.
5. Our mission workers are volunteers
Our mission workers are paid staff. Many of us felt the call to serve The Lord through Hosanna after or during a time when we volunteered. There are nine of us and we all wear many hats. We don’t get paid the market rate for contractors, directors, bookkeepers, fundraisers, etc., but that allows the donated dollars to stretch further and help more needy households. We work with hundreds to thousands of volunteers every year, and we always keep in mind that some day they may be working alongside us as staff.

Being a Woman

03 April

So, I remember being a young mission worker out in the field, trying to lead a group of volunteers. Typically the women and teenagers were pretty willing to listen to a woman, probably because they didn’t know too much about construction and were willing to trust whoever was in charge. Men tended to be more challenging to lead. All of us girls knew that. Before a man was likely to follow our lead, we had to prove ourselves to him. You had to be sure of yourself. Confident in what you were doing. Able to communicate the plan clearly. I always felt like I had accomplished something when I could look at a group of men, tell them what we were going to do and have them follow my lead.

Now I work in the office and I’m not so young anymore. My challenges are different, but the experience and confidence I gained in the field help me every day with the work that I do writing foundation proposals. Not too long ago I needed to meet with our Executive Director. I went down to our warehouse where he, the field workers, and a volunteer were loading a truck for a blitz build. A pile of 2×6’s needed to get on that truck. Literally thinking nothing of it, I jumped in and helped load the truck. Later the volunteer, a great man, came up to me. He was so impressed that I was moving lumber. I’m still not really sure why – everyone else loading with him other than our Executive Director was a woman. Maybe it was my title, Financial Steward. At Hosanna, though, people are so much more than what others expect. Our titles don’t limit what we do. Our gender doesn’t either. God uses people young and old, male and female, black and white to move mountains through Hosanna Industries. People all across Southwestern Pennsylvania (more than 2800 households in fact) are living with more safety and security, more dignity, more peace and hope because of all the people who work with their hammers, hearts and hands at Hosanna Industries.

Julie Wettach, Financial Steward

You’re a fire-girl

25 February

So, as Financial Steward I occasionally need to visit a client to get a signature or two because of requirements from certain funding sources. Wednesday was one of those days. I called ahead then drove down McKnight Road, on all these side streets and finally down this little alley to pull up in front of the house. Harold welcomed me in the home which was worn but neat and clean. He signed the document then called his wife to come in. He gently asked her to come into the living room four times. Finally she shuffles in. She is severely mentally challenged. Their fourteen year old son follows her in. He is quite challenged as well. Harold makes sure his wife knows she needs to sign her name. I point to the place on the paper to sign. She puts the pen some other place on the paper. I gently move her hand to the right location.

“Here?” she asks.

“Yes, right there.” Then she moves her pen about an inch and a half across the paper and writes her name over there. Okay. At least her name is on the page. Meanwhile, the boy has picked up three plastic fireman hats. One for each of us. So I’m wearing this little hat while she is signing the paper. When she’s done I turn to the boy, “Hey, we’re all firemen!”

“No,” he responds. “You a fire-girl.”

We chat a little and I head back to my deskwork. I scan the document and send it to the funder with a little email explanation as to why the signature isn’t where it belongs. She is a good woman. She understands. She feels bad that I had to go get the signature under these circumstances.

Then I have the chance to explain to her. I love what I do. I love where I work. When our staff went to Harold’s house, they went to provide a handicap-accessible shower, a few appliances, and to renovate the kitchen. While they were there, they saw there was no food in the kitchen. No food in the cupboards, no food in the refrigerator. The next day, two of our mission workers went grocery shopping. They stocked Harold’s cupboards and refrigerator with staples. Then, shortly before Christmas, some volunteers went back to Harold’s house. They gave the family Christmas gifts and some meat. Where else could I work that would not only provide repairs on the home but put food in the cupboards and gifts under the Christmas tree? Who else does what Hosanna does? I’m proud to work here – even if it does mean that I have to wear a plastic firehat sometimes.

Julie Wettach
Financial Steward