Snakes and Rats
When an elderly, low income homeowner in Oxford contacted Good Neighbors Home Repair to address his kitchen floor, our project managers discovered that they were in for quite a surprise! Upon their arrival, they realized that the collapsing kitchen floor was hiding more than termite and water damage. The floors and broken cabinets had become a second home to a few rats and snakes! With courage and ingenuity, our project managers Phil and Tom were not only able to replace the floors and cabinets, they also ensured that the pesky visitors never returned! Our needy neighbors are sometimes faced with the worst imaginable living conditions. Thanks to supporters like you, our work is improving the lives of people right here in our community by restoring their hope and dignity!
A Newark homeowner contacted us seeking help with some home repairs. She and her husband had run a prosperous business, but he died, and she had to assume all of the duties of the business herself. Her situation was complicated further when she was diagnosed with a debilitating disease. Whatever financial resources she had left were wiped out by medical expenses. And you can probably guess what happened next: unable to work, she had to shutter the business.
Here is a woman who worked hard to hang on after the devastating loss of her husband. She worked hard, but in the providence of God, her situation was harder. It was our joy to be able to repair her furnace and chimney, and it was her joy, too—she wept at the completion of the work, overwhelmed with gratitude. May God grant her mercy in her circumstances, and lasting hope in Christ Jesus.
Last week, we shared some photos to social media from a project in Wilmington. The homeowners are a couple who have lived at their address for over thirty years, and are recently facing health challenges. The husband had a heart attack some years ago, and still faces ongoing issues with pain in his arms and hands. His wife was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we began work on their home.
After New Castle County building inspectors sent violation notices for several issues, the couple reached out to Good Neighbors to help address them. They met our criteria, and we set about working on the home. So far, we've worked on rebuilding their back porch, fixing damaged plaster, and putting up new siding.
Please join us in praying for this couple. Pray for healing for her cancer, and pain management for the lingering effects of his heart attack. Pray that the Lord would provide for their financial and physical needs. Above all, pray that our work—done in Jesus name—would point their eyes to Jesus, the only true and lasting provision for the healthy and the hurting, the prosperous and the poor.
Love, Inc is a mercy ministry in New Castle County. This past summer, a local homeowner reached out to Love, Inc because her roof was in terrible shape, and the leaks were making their way into her kitchen, utility room, and bathrooms. Mold was starting to form, and with herself and two daughters to care for, she had no way to pay for the repairs on her own. But without any attention, the roof would likely have caved in and put this family in a far more dire situation. Love, Inc evaluated her case and referred her to us. After an interview, we determined that the homeowner qualified for repairs and we set about doing them.
Over the course of several months, Good Neighbors staff and volunteers—including a group from our Youth Camp—set about converting this family's house from a source of anxiety into a warmer, drier, safer, healthier home. In addition to the roofing work, we painted, replaced gutters, replaced a window, and replaced the damaged drywall on the interior ceilings.
We received a letter from the homeowner, thanking us for the kind disposition of our volunteers, and praising God for his provision. This warms our hearts, and we hope it warms yours, too. We repair homes as an expression of our love for Jesus, that we might restore lasting hope to the people we serve. Thanks be to God that this dear woman knows the source of her help and hope.
I received a call from Good Neighbors Senior Project Manager Tom Hilferty yesterday. He wanted to relay a great story of the Lord's gracious provision for one of our homeowners. But it actually starts with a couple that's doing just fine.
This couple—who attend church with Tom—had come to a point where they needed to replace their oil-powered hot water heater. They decided to go with a natural gas model for the replacement, but the particular one that they wanted had to be special-ordered, and it would take some period of time to come in. In the meantime, they needed hot water! The couple decided to purchase an electric model to hold them off until the new one came in.
Flash forward, and Tom gets a call from a homeowner. She had recently found herself in a tough spot. She'd moved to Chadds Ford with her boyfriend, and the two started a business together. After a time, he left, and with all of the business assets in his name, she was left with a mortgage and very little else. She's lost so much, but by God's grace, she still had a roof over her head; one of the things that she didn't have, however, was a working hot water heater.
You can guess how the story ends. The Lord saw this woman made in his image—saw her suffering from a broken relationship in a broken world, with a broken water heater to boot. And out of his abundant mercy, at precisely the right time, he provided what she needed. Why did the couple need a water heater now? Why did they want to switch from oil to gas? Why were they unable to get the model that they wanted right away? There are secondary causes for all of these things, but at the root, the answer to each question is the same: because our sovereign God had purposed to bless this homeowner with something she sorely needed. Please pray for this dear woman as we continue ministering to her. Pray that she would see our work for what it really is—a sign pointing her eyes to the only hope for the poor and rich alike, our Lord Jesus Christ.
March Mission Moment
When we at Good Neighbors learn of a low-income neighbor requesting our help, we typically call and then visit the family to scope out the needed repairs.. Frequently homeowners tell us that they’ve tried every possible resource, and no one seems willing or able to help. Glimmers of hope start to reappear, however, once homeowners learn more about GN and the work we do in Southern Chester County. In fact, they often describe us as “a real answer to prayer”...sometimes a very specific prayer.
Such was the case with "Mrs.C". Her home needed significant repairs: roof, kitchen, attic, basement, windows, electrical, etc. Sadly, due to her disability and limited income, she could neither attempt the work herself nor afford a contractor.
Mrs. C could pray, however, and pray she did! One night, in tears and total desperation, she’d gotten down on her knees, and prayed that God would somehow provide a way for her home to receive the repairs it so desperately needed. The very next morning, (unaware that her application had just been approved) Mrs. C received a call from a GN project manager who wanted to set up a work schedule and begin the requested repairs!
Of course our project timing isn’t always so dramatic – sometimes folks have to wait. However, “coincidences” like this remind us that God still hears and answers prayer. Now that’s a compelling reason for all of us – homeowners, donors and volunteers alike – to seek a deeper relationship with the God who love us, and hears us, and answers us. Have you spoken to God recently? He's still listening.