“God grant that this tragic midnight of man’s inhumanity to man will soon pass and the bright daybreak of freedom and brotherhood will come into being.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a letter to Clarence Jordan.
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. It is God’s love that we carry with us today, as we honor and remember Dr. King, and every day as we focus on our mission. This is the love we seek to share with those we serve and those who work alongside us. Those we bring together in an effort to build homes and establish a stronger, more stable community that is empowered by God’s love.
Dr. King had a dream. He dreamed of a world that was fair and just. He dreamed of a world that was built on God’s love and he called it “the Beloved Community.”
That dream has been a part of our mission even from our organization’s earliest days on Koinonia Farms, where Clarence Jordan and Habitat’s eventual founders worked to establish equality and create opportunity for all. With his dream of the Beloved Community, Dr. King provided the blueprint for the work we did then and the work we do now – this mission of putting God’s love into action. And when Clarence Jordan and our founders faced harassment and hostility for their efforts, Dr. King wrote to them, encouraged them, and prayed for them.
“You and the Koinonia Community have been in my prayers continually for the last several months. The injustice and indignities that you are now confronting certainly leave you in trying moments. I hope, however, that you will gain consolation from the fact that in your struggle for freedom and a true Christian community you have cosmic companionship,” he wrote.
It was this notion that through God’s love, we had “cosmic companionship” in our commitment to building communities, hope, and a world where everyone has a decent place to live. This inspired Clarence and our founders as they remained dedicated to the mission.
Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties holds onto that inspiration and we carry on with the threads of Dr. King’s work. We carry on because we must. Because that “bright daybreak of freedom and brotherhood” has yet to come. And because, as Dr. King says, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
At Habitat, we bring diverse groups people together and create opportunities for connection between individuals who might not otherwise interact. We bring people together to share their valuable time, to build with their hands, and to work alongside one another. We bring people together to create access to a basic human need that far too many people don’t have access to – decent and affordable shelter. In doing so, we’ve fostered a strong community that continues to come together for this mission. We do this because every person – no matter who they are or where they come from – deserves a decent life and the opportunity to build a better future.
Home, community, hope – we believe these are the keys that can create that reality. Access to a decent and affordable home can break barriers for families and empower them with strength, stability and self-reliance. Community can build bridges to new relationships and opportunities. Hope can motivate us to work together, to believe in better things, and to act in favor of creating a world that truly reflects the love of God.
This is our work and we do it because we believe in Dr. King’s dream of the Beloved Community, we believe in the “bright daybreak of freedom and brotherhood,” and we believe that one day, we will open our eyes to a world that offers opportunity, community, and home for all. It is with God’s love and the inspiration passed onto us by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself, that we continue to work towards this world – together.