Tag Archives: trade skill learning

2017 Summer Staff Wanted

19 May

We are looking for 2017 summer staff!
Each summer we hire a few high school or college age students to support our efforts during the busy summer months. For some high school students, it is an introduction into the building trades and allows them to further consider their career possibilities.  For other students, working with us introduces them to a whole new world and their hearts and minds are opened to needs they never knew existed. Contact us f you’re interested in learning more.

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 do you do this?

19 March

I like what I do. I enjoy the computer work that is necessary to keep Hosanna’s books in order. Writing and producing our quarterly newsletter is a nice change of pace. Dealing with insurance – well that’s just a necessary evil because of the times we live in. Helping out with our special events is fun. Seeking support from foundations so our mission workers can continue doing what they do is an honor and when successful is one of my greatest joys. And, of course, I work with some of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met. The work they do each day on behalf of others is nothing less than amazing. I love to hear their stories.

But, what I love most about my job is those rare occasions that I need to visit the people we help – whether it is to get a paper signed, to meet briefly with one of my colleagues on a jobsite or to lend a helping hand in one way or another.

Last Thursday I got to see some of my favorite people once again. In 2013 Hosanna Industries opened the Terrell Trade Skill Learning Center. This facility was named after one of the great supporters of our mission, Mary Jessica Terrell. She was there when Hosanna Industries was founded almost 25 years ago. She was part of many of our blitz-builds; as the furniture was moved in and curtains were hung Mary made sure the finishing touches were completed with precision, love and care. She served on our Board of Directors. Through our Traveling Teacups program she made sure our loneliest clients received cards and visits. Mary went to be with the Lord recently but while she was here with us she quietly changed lives though Hosanna Industries.

But, I digress. It’s been two years since we opened the Terrell Trade Skill Learning Center. We started then working with a group of young men from Homewood, one of the poorest, most derelict neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. These are tough guys. They have lived with pain and poverty surrounded by drugs and violence all their lives. But they have huge hearts.

I had the opportunity right before Christmas to call a meeting with the guys to tell them about the semester we planned to begin in January this year, renovating an abandoned house in their neighborhood. Every one I talked to expressed their gratitude. One guy, Rich, called me three times in two days to make sure everything was still a go. (They haven’t experienced much reliability and accountability in their lives). Their smiles, hugs, and kind words filled the room when we met. Later one of the guys told me that having another semester was the best Christmas present he got (they don’t have many opportunities to better themselves in Homewood). Last Thursday when I went to the jobsite I went to help get glasses for James. We had taken him to Bissell Eye Care in Gibsonia a while before for an eye exam and now needed to order glasses for him. It turns out I was there the day before his 34th birthday. When I had finished what I needed to do, I ran to Giant Eagle and grabbed some cupcakes. When I walked back into the house where the guys were working and handed James the cupcakes, he turned away from me. He pulled his shirt up to his face and scrubbed back and forth. He looked at me and said, “Why do you this, Miss Julie? Why do you do this for me?”

I didn’t tell James that day. I just smiled and gave him a hug. But I did this because it’s part of my job. I did this because everyone should be treated special on their birthday. I did this because it obviously wasn’t done enough in his lifetime. I did this because it was the right thing to do.

Whatever you do today, take a moment a make a difference for someone else. Give someone a reason to smile, a reason to believe in themselves, a reason to dream of a brighter future.

Julie Wettach, Mission Worker

June 2013 Update

01 July

We have completed our 26th week of work this year. We owe a huge thank you to our very generous supporters and volunteers who have made miracles happen in the lives of our needy neighbors. Because of you Hosanna has been able to help 60 households, has wrapped up the second semester of our Trade Skill Learning Center program, and is changing lives here in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We have provided $472,920 of market value work already in 2013. We’ve taught ten young men who couldn’t read tape measures at the beginning of January how to frame a house and lay brick. And we’ve led volunteers for more than 3480 hours of community service. Beyond all this, people’s lives have been restored. They have been cared for. Their hope has been renewed. Their dignity has been restored. Their safety and security have been improved. Hooray! Our busy season is directly ahead of us now. Keep us in prayer. There are households in need throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania because of the effects of poverty. There are also many people who are hurting and looking for answers following the many natural disasters that have occurred recently. We are planning a trip to help the people of West Liberty, KY whose homes were destroyed by an EF-3 tornado. Your support of our mission and the people we help is so greatly appreciated.

-Julie Wettach, mission worker