Habitat for Humanity

Habitat Volunteers Build in Vietnam

What does a team of 10 people, thousands of bricks, two countries and one family have in common? They were all parts of the construction of the family’s Habitat for Humanity home in Vietnam last October. I’m Erika Nossokoff, Faith and Global Engagement Manager with Fort Collins Habitat, and I was able to lead a team of people from Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church to the Thai Binh Province of Vietnam to build a simple, decent home with and for a Vietnamese family. We ranged in age from 50s-70s and included people with various skill levels and global exposure. What we shared was the goal of building a sturdy home to keep the family dry and safe for generations to come.

Instead of using hammers and nails like we use in Colorado, we built the house with bricks and mortar to withstand Vietnam’s tropical storms. “Cart man!” was a common shout whenever we heard the sound of his motorized cart hauling, and then dumping, hundreds more bricks for us to move and then stack. We got quite good at the “brick line” where we handed off each brick to the person next to us. One team member said, “We wish we had time to write a message on each brick as it passes through our hands,” although that’s hard to believe coming from the same person who estimated the thousands of bricks that we used!

God built more than a home, though, through this trip. He built relationships and peace across countries that were once divided with each other. We were struck by the sense that we’re all part of a shared humanity and felt honored that we could build something positive together. Our affiliate is very aptly named “Habitat for Humanity.”

If you’re part of a group that wants to build internationally with Habitat for Humanity, please contact me for more information on how you can get involved. I lead about two global Habitat trips each year where we build homes and relationships as well as participate in wonderful cultural activities. Join me!

Email Erika at: enossokoff@fortcollinshabitat.org