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Working Together: a Powerful Catalyst for Strong Friendship

November 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

A friend made a profound statement: friendship consists primarily of shared experiences.

Working together on a team toward a common goal is a powerful catalyst to build friendships. It is a fuel that empowers the sense of belonging. This thought put a desire in my heart for the London FOCUS Club to work together on a meaningful project.

When such desires come from God, He always opens doors! My sister works with Christian Horizons, an organization which provides supportive housing services for developmentally delayed individuals. She mentioned their partnership with Habitat for Humanity to build a house for three men with developmental disabilities. She asked if I would like to bring some international students to help build that house. It seemed like a God-provided volunteer opportunity for our internationals.

Quite a leap for them to participate—not one had ever been on a construction site, never mind be involved with a building activity.

Our crew, an 18-year-old Korean, a young Vietnamese lady, five Korean ladies, and me, suitably outfitted by Habitat with safety training and equip ment, was divided in half. Interesting—a team with differing backgrounds means different working styles and understanding. For example, I measure with inches and feet when building; everyone else was accustomed to metric measurements and did not understand when I wrote 22 7/8 . When I switched to metric, the confusion disappeared. As the Bible says, we need to be quick to adapt so we can live in harmony (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Each student thanked me profusely for the opportunity to participate; two want to become regular Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

Here’s a note from an 18-year-old young man who has been studying in construction. He is one of the two who wants to volunteer regularly.

I was exhausted after a day of hard work, but felt happy to help people, and enjoy a meaningful experience with the team. Thank you for inviting us!

It occurred to me that out of the earth’s seven billion people, the eight of us were the only ones sharing the experience of working together on that Habitat build in London on this special day. The bonding experience and precious memories will definitely be remembered!

Stuart Smith
City Director, ISMC London