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Words From Their Mouths

21 March

The first semester of the Terrell Trade Skill Learning Center is coming to a close. We’ve poured our time, talent, and treasure into the lives of the young men attending this program. I had the immense privilege of participating in the end of the semester interviews of four of the young men. I’m not sure my words can adequately describe this moment in my life. You’d have to meet the men yourselves. You’d have to see them. Shake their hands. Hear the words from their mouths.

My background is so very different from theirs. They know the ghetto. They have experience with gangs. They understand life on the street. They know pain and suffering and poverty like I’ll never know.

Yet they yearn for more. They want a future. They want to better themselves. 23 year old Eric looks at two men aged 55 and 62. He says, “Where I come from you don’t see many men your age living… and doin’ good.”

And my mind reels… You don’t see many 60 year old men living? Where do you come from? Some third world country? No, I know you live half an hour from my own home. Where are your men? Where’s your dad? Who’s your role model? How are you going to learn to be a man? Who’s going to teach you to be a daddy to the baby you’re expecting in five short months?

And suddenly I know that I am incomprehensibly blessed. No matter what I struggle with today it is nothing compared to what these young men have experienced day in and day out all of their lives. And here they are. Putting their feet on the floor every morning. Deciding they want more. Not that they deserve more, not that they’ve even seen what “more” looks like, not that they know what this “more” is. But they want it. And they are learning to trust that we might be able to help them get there.

Mike, slouched in his seat with his hoodie pulled up, looking at the floor and fiddling with his feet, is really quite eloquent. He says it best. “When I first came here I couldn’t picture myself in an environment like this. I was angry. But I committed myself to being a part, to learn what I can, and not to distract others. I did what I said I would and I’ve come to like it. I have a feel for being here, for wanting to be here. I think the people here are good people. They make me feel welcome, a family feeling, you know what I mean? It makes me want to get up in the morning and come out here. You see our different backgrounds. You can’t really understand them, you know what I mean? But you work with us. Everyone’s patient.”

We’re throwing our heart and soul into these young lives and we might be the first people they’ve ever known to do that. But they’re doing even more. They’re learning to trust. The relationships they’ve known in the past haven’t helped them learn that. And once they dare to trust, their whole world will change. They will have the opportunity to learn and grow and dream of a bright future. They will have the chance to make something of themselves. They will be men. And their little boys will have role models worth looking up to.

Thank God for people with visions who are willing to step out in faith and act upon them.

-Julie Wettach, Mission Worker


Hosanna Industries to celebrate $50 million in charitable work

20 March


Hosanna industries to celebrate nearly $50 million of charitable work
Local Nonprofit Mission Celebrates 23 Years of Service on Palm Sunday

NEW SEWICKLEY, PA- On Palm Sunday 23 years ago, Hosanna Industries was founded. Three mission workers, a used donated pickup truck, and a budget of $30 thousand allowed for 13 projects completed that first year. Now, starting its 24th year, Hosanna Industries has done nearly $50 million of charitable construction work for a cost of less than $14 million.

“We are profoundly grateful for the many ways in which the Lord has used the gifts, skills, and generosity of so many people in our world to allow us privilege of helping those in need during the past 23 years,” says Reverend Dr. Donn D. Ed, executive director of the mission.

On Palm Sunday, March 24th, at four thirty in the afternoon, Hosanna will host a short service in the Morledge Chapel on their campus in New Sewickley Township. Here, the 10 full-time mission workers will be recommissioned for service to the needy, like many of them have done for multiple years in a row now. Afterward, the Community Center on Hosanna’s campus will be dedicated to the Glory of God in memory of Bob and Bernie Kennedy, with an informal reception to follow.

In the past 23 years, many lives have been changed by Hosanna Industries. Over 2500 impoverished homeowners have been helped with free home repairs, over 150 houses have been built for those in need, 143 mission workers and over 150,000 volunteers have learned the construction trades and the benefits of providing hope. Two and a half million miles have been travelled, and over 50,000 tons of materials have been used, while approximately 10 former mission workers are now running their own companies with training that they received from Hosanna Industries. Countless individuals, churches, businesses, and foundations have provided for the success of the mission.

Contact: Amanda M. Becker, office phone 724-770-0262 or email [email protected]

About Hosanna Industries: Hosanna Industries, Inc. is a faith-rooted, 501 (c)3 non-profit organization in southwestern Pennsylvania that was founded in 1990. The mission includes new construction and repair/rehabilitation services for low income homeowners; leading volunteers in disaster recovery; and training young people in the trade skills to give them a hope for the future. Their typical single client household in 2012 had an income of less than $13 thousand a year. Hosanna Industries depends on the generosity of others to complete their work. For more information please visit


What I Learned

14 March

I learn something new everyday.

Take that back, I learn so many new things everyday, that it has become a constant occurrence.

When I first came on the summer staff at Hosanna Industries in the summer of 2011, I knew I had a great deal to learn. I had no prior experience in the construction field.

Since being on the full time field staff, which started at the beginning of this past summer (2012), I have learned so much more than can be expressed in one blog post. But one of the things that I have recently learned is, in order to do God’s work, it takes a lot of risk and a whole lot of faith. There are numerous clients that we help on a regular basis that don’t know what the next steps are going to be, or what tomorrow holds, or if they will live to see tomorrow. We just have to trust God and have the faith that He knows what He is doing and that He is the one in control. Doing God’s work is risky business, because the road ahead isn’t always perfectly clear and lined up the way we would want; all we can do is trust God’s plan at the moment and do the best that we can do with it.

This is what Hosanna Industries is known for – its “faith based” composition.

-Katie DeJournette, Mission Worker

Trade Skill Learning from the Director’s Point of View

10 March

The Trade Skill Learning Center began early in the new year at Hosanna Industries, after many years of moving toward this goal of establishing a top-notch, reputable learning center where underprivileged people would be charitably taught how to productively work with their hands in pursuit of building a better world for others and a better life for oneself.

As we near the end of the semester 1 of a contemplated 9 semesters within a 3 year program, I believe a great deal has been learned already. Currently, our student body is comprised of 1 young man from Butler and 9 young men from Homewood.Hosanna Industries Trade skill learning center

Topics covered thus far include: Attributes of a Builder, Fundamental Builder Math including basic algebra and geometry, Carpentry Tool Familiarization and Basic Technique, Tape Measure Proficiency including fractions and decimal conversions, Fundamental Design and Drafting Methods, Scale-Model building, full-scale Basic Residential Framing, Truss Design and Proper Construction, Roof System Construction including proper bracing, Basic Electrical Theory and Practical Technique, Window and Door Installation, Insulation, Finishing, Introductory Drywall Installation and Finishing and Introductory Painting.

Throughout the term, lessons have been continuously provided with respect to safety, economy, efficiency, and high productivity.

In the little time remaining for Semester 1, we will learn: Basic Siding Installation, Roofing, Interior Trim, Flooring, and Proper Completion of a simple project.

As a practical and test stage, the students when not in the classroom setting have been building by hand and under proper supervision a small 12′ x 16′ micro-house, suitable for use as a hunting and fishing cabin, a spacious young boy’s backyard fort or a young girl’s backyard playhouse, a large tool shed or outbuilding, a writer’s retreat, etc. We intend to complete this project house by semester’s end and would like to sell it to an interested party, using proceeds to offset anticipated expenses in the second semester. If interested, please call Amy Ed at the Hosanna office 724-770-0262. image

Our country is and will be in dire need of young, strong, capable, diligent, proficient, honest, productive builders. A great future is available to the young man or woman of today who is willing to invest greatly in learning how to become tomorrow’s expert builder! Please pray that our current students may find the internal drive to commit themselves to this worthwhile goal, and that future candidates may be led to Hosanna, so that their tomorrows can be full of faith, work, and success along life’s way.

-Donn Ed, Executive Director

March Mission Madness

08 March

March Mission Madness is here!

In the first 24 days of March we are aiming to raise $24,000 to help Hosanna kick off its 24th year on Palm Sunday, March 24th. Be a part of March Mission Madness by donating to Hosanna Industries today!

Please join us on Palm Sunday for the commissioning of Mission Workers followed by light refreshments and fellowship.  Thanks for your support!

Contact Amy Lee Firek with any questions.