Habitat for Humanity of Wake County just dedicated the first “Abraham Build” house on Sunday, May 6, 2012.  This is a joint effort between faith traditions that are all descendants of the biblical Abraham:  Jews, Christians and Muslims.  While there are Abraham Builds in other places, this is the very first one in Raleigh.

Present at the dedication were many faith leaders, neighbors and friends, including our very own ministry leaders Diane and Bob Steinbeiser and parishioner Renee Revaz (pictured L-R).  Revaz sits on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County and was very instrumental in getting The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi involved years ago.  Since them, we have become a strong partner through our financial and volunteer support.

We are participating in three builds this year:  The Apostles Build (an effort of 11 Christian churches), the Catholic Coalition (numerous Catholic parishes working together) as well as the Abraham Build.

In fact, it is almost developing too quickly!  “There have been some growing pains,” says Diane Steinbeiser.  With volunteers going to so many builds at different times, it has been a challenge keeping up with it!  The Steinbeisers have a deeply held personal commitment to nurture community for St. Francis parishioners.  Knowing how hard it can be to get to know others in such a large parish, they want parishioners to have an opportunity to meet and work side-by-side with others from our church.

The potential for bridge building while house building cannot be overestimated.  Kevin Campbell, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, remarked that the builds in Egypt provided an opportunity for Muslims and Christians to be in each others’ homes for the very first time.  They offered each other hospitality while their houses were being built.  While they were building the doors to their homes, they opened the doors of their hearts.

The same can happen—and is happening—here in Raleigh.  “We have proven that we can work together!” says Farris Barakat from the NCSU Muslim Student Association.

Contact the Steinbeisers through our St. Francis Builds Ministry at 846-8026 or go to https://sites.google.com/site/sfahabitat/Home