Written by: Steffani Zavala, Orange Ride
Hello, readers! I’m connecting with you again from West Lafayette, IN. We came from Paxton, IL this morning, hoping that the storms wouldn’t follow us on the road—they didn’t! We started the route near a lovely little path that we followed for several miles. It was a relatively smooth ride for the rest of the way that took us out of Illinois and into Indiana, a surprisingly anticlimactic moment. We were looking for a state welcome sign, but all we saw were the words “Indiana State Line” on a rather small, green sign.
Our destination was the Unitarian Universalist Church, where we had some time to chill, separate our laundry, and gear up for our picnic with some Habitat for Humanity people. By “Habitat people,” I mean that our picnic was in the middle of a rehabilitated community. Tom Camp, father of Christian artist Jeremy Camp, founded a church in a neighborhood once overrun with bars and strip clubs. Habitat has now taken up the task of renovating houses, creating affordable options for the people of Lafayette and West Lafayette. We were privileged to hear the testimonies of some of the individuals who have a home now, thanks to the work of dedicated individuals. There were even some of the primary builders present. There was something really beautiful about seeing their humble faces in the midst of praise and thanks from the homeowners—some who had been in the community for years, some who were awaiting their home’s construction.
I felt honored to take up a spot at the table and hear how organizations like Habitat and The Fuller Center for Housing truly “build” hope and change lives. All it takes is one life to be touched by the work that is done for it all to be worth it. It’s just one of the many reasons to get on that bike seat day after day and keep pedaling away.