Disciples News Service

SAIL had a mission to bring home

The Lafayette Christian Church (Calif.) and First Christian, Concord, teamed up with Habitat for Humanity for a one-week Lafayette program for children 4 to 11 that included an introduction to Habitat for Humanity. Some might call it vacation Bible school, but the Lafayette/Concord collaboration goes by the acronym SAIL – Summer Adventures In Learning.

The traditional stories, games, crafts, and Bible stories for  “Under Construction: Kids Building Hope with Habitat for Humanity” were paired with a  bit of construction work of their own and meeting some of the family members involved in the Habitat project.

“Best program ever! Okay, I always say that, but this was really a remarkable year with the children becoming so engaged in learning about Habitat for Humanity and the idea of Building Hope. The kids and their parents loved it!” said Carol Somerton, co-director, Lafayette Christian Church.

On the first day the children were given cardboard house banks. During the week they did extra chores at home and by Friday had collectively raised over $90 in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Sunday worship included the children singing the theme song “We’re Building a House” and a special blessing of the coin box gifts and the two-by-fours they had signed for use in the homes.

Instruction included working with tools and the importance of safety, illustrated by “gearing up” for construction in a relay race. The children got to use hand tools and watched power tool demonstrations. 

The students learned about and saw videos from the local Habitat development, Pleasant Creek – 10 new homes in neighboring Walnut Creek. To welcome the families, the children decorated pots and planted flowers in them. The gifts were accompanied by hand made “Welcome Home” cards. 

Habitat homes usually take from six months to a year to build. Sometimes though, Habitat has a Blitz Build where hundreds of volunteers can build a whole row of houses in one week! The children participated in a Lego Blitz Build. Working in teams they planned, designed and build a house in 15 minutes.

“It was a true joy and blessing working together this week at SAIL. Combining the themes of Habitat and Hope was great. It was wonderful to have all of the participation from so many marvelous volunteers including the pastors of both churches,” said Ellie McDougal, co-directior, First Christian Church, Concord.