We are so very excited about opening our doors to the House of Hope, our new house of hospitality in Langley this Monday, Memorial Day. ( Interesting conjunction there!) Pondering this amazing transformation our volunteers have done at the house. We have had a team of Heros and Sheros who have been working there for the past three months completely renewing and restoring this lovely little home built in 1935.(the same year Alcoholics Anonymous AND the Catholic Worker were born by the way!) Not a surface of the home has not been touched with loving hands in repair, repaint, remodel and restore. I can honestly say I have never lived in such a sweet place myself. I won’t be living there but spending most of my days and nights for the time being. We have however a host of volunteers stepping up for overnights and also for meals. Also, thanks to volunteers and community we have every item a household could need from apple corers to couches to towels, and everything in between! Such a blessing it will be to folks coming into such a warm and wonderful environment.
I was pondering this morning what it means to come into a community of caring and supportive people. I have lived in intentional community off and on for most of my adult life. The challenges are great, but the rewards can be lifechanging. My gratitude for both intentional I’ve lived in, and the community of South Whidbey is deep and abiding and it is why I do this work. There are more lessons to learn.
Persons who live in poverty are generally isolated from a surrounding community. Keeping basic needs met is challenge enough and leaves little time for building deep and meaningful relationships with the surrounding community. And sometimes there are biases on both sides that keep the poor from joining the circle. Trust issues are a major factor, and we don’t truly trust one another. It is only in the middle of a caring community that we can ALL learn trust.
The House of Hope was built on a vision a few of us had a couple years ago, and the continuing work of a former sainted member of our community who originally purchased this home 30 years ago to serve the poor. Ms Margaret Mead has stated “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” South Whidbey is such a community and you all have proven that. We now take this opportunity that providence has laid on us and begin this journey of transformation and renewed trust in the human heart within the arms of an intentional community built and fostered in Love here on South Whidbey.