Becky Lucas, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, describes how faith has always been at the center of her experience with the organization.
This I Believe: Keeping God at the Center
My first month on the job I received a call that I will never forget. It was from a woman explaining that she wanted my help to coordinate a last-minute domestic mission trip for her and 20 young adults to visit my affiliate and help build homes. She’d be arriving soon from Connecticut and needed a place for her group to stay for a week, help to cover meals, as well as transportation every day. I bristled at the boldness of her request and had geared up internally for my response.
She then shared that this was not an ordinary trip. It had been organized by her son a year earlier. However, he never had the chance to finish the planning nor the fundraising. He was in a tragic car accident, was in a coma and passed away the previous week. He was 18 years old and head of his Habitat Club at his high school. Her request: “help me swing a hammer in my son’s place.”
My heart broke at the fragility in her voice and I was moved to help. However, it was the peak of tourist season in Southwest Florida and my subsequent attempts to pave the way for their trip were failing. When I exhausted all known options, I asked a volunteer for guidance. His response: “this is a faith-based organization, have you tried praying?”
I walked outside and prayed for an answer. A moment later, a driver of an empty passenger van pulled into our parking lot, explained he was lost and asked me for directions. Miraculously, this man ended up providing the group with free transportation and put me in touch with people who provided accommodations and meals – making the trip possible for this group.
That was 20 years ago and was my first of countless experiences where I’ve witnessed the profound reality that through Habitat, we can create ‘space’ for the living God to be present.
At Habitat this space can be viewed as the tangible places we build for people to thrive. For me this space transcends the physical reality and allows us to include our faith into decision-making equations and ultimately space for the humility, compassion, understanding, joy and in this case comfort, that corresponds with Habitat service.
As I write this, I am in my third month as CEO of an organization where for two decades I have experienced profound moments of grace, triumph, sacrifice and redemption for not only myself, but also the diverse people who support and benefit from our organization. Creating the space to keep God at the center means that I know there are solutions and hope that exceed our own understanding and abilities.
-‘This I Believe’ is an ongoing series from Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties highlighting our most dedicated supporters and how faith drives their commitment to make a difference in our community. If you have a story about a profound experience with Habitat and you would like to share it with us for ‘This I Believe,’ please e-mail [email protected].