Last Saturday, September 6, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity celebrated the new home of Anisa Ahmed, Ahmed Osman, and Adil Ahmed. With the sun shining, friends, family, volunteers, sponsors, and neighbors gathered outside the Frogtown house to bless its rooms and the soon-to-be owners. Two people were missing, however—mother Anisa and her two-day old son. Ahmed was radiating pride and happiness about the birth of his fourth child and the dedication of his new home.
The Holy Hammers, a coalition of area churches, was the Cornerstone Habitat Sponsor of the house. The group was well-represented at the dedication and shared in the family’s excitement for the new home.
Ahmed and Anisa moved from Ethiopia in 2007. Parents of four young children, the couple looks forward to having a greater sense of security in their new house. The home will give their children space to grow and learn. Anisa’s brother, Adil will also be purchasing the house with them. Ahmed, Anisa, and Adil are excited to start this journey so they can create meaningful and lasting relationships with the new people they meet.
At the dedication, Ahmed and Adil voiced their gratitude for Habitat and for all those involved in building the house. They expressed their love for the United States and for their new community.
Win Curtiss, a member of the Dedications Committee, welcomed all those in attendance and thanked everyone for their commitment to the house. Pastor Jeanne Hartfield of Incarnation Lutheran Church, a Holy Hammers congregation, opened the dedication ceremony with a blessing of the home, the family, and the time we had together to celebrate.
Dave Yarusso, a member of Holy Hammers, spoke about the building experience, wished the family well in their new home, an presented them with an album of photos tracking the progress on the house. Jim Fruehling gave each family member with a quilt made by members of Incarnation Lutheran Church.
Imam Hassan Mohamud of Dawah Mosque discussed Muslim practices of generosity, charity, and volunteerism. He spoke about the beliefs shared by many faiths that emphasize compassion and giving. Imam Hassan expressed his interest in and support for organizations like Habitat for Humanity and was excited about the new home for Ahmed, Anisa, Adil, and their family.
Sue Haigh, President & CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, presented the family with a framed Golden Rule written in various languages. She extended many thanks to the sponsors and volunteers, as well as to the family for committing to partnership with Habitat.
To conclude the dedication, Pastor Tim Bernard of the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection asked all guests to gather around the family to represent the circle of love, support, and blessing we offer to them. He blessed each room in the house and prayed for the great memories that will be made in the home.
After the ceremony, guests had an opportunity to tour the home and enjoy a wonderful spread of Ethiopian food and, of course, cake!
Sponsors & Volunteers
The Holy Hammers, a coalition of churches that partners with Twin Cities Habitat, was the Cornerstone Habitat Sponsor of the home. In addition to sponsoring the house, Holy Hammers provided construction crews throughout the building process. Excitement filled the air as volunteers reminisced about their days on site and admired the final product of their work. There were over twenty-five members of Holy Hammers at the dedication sharing stories of their involvement.
Holy Hammers was formed in December 1998 when lay representatives from nine north suburban congregations met and agreed to work together through the Twin Cities affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. The coalition aims to help bring affordable housing to the community by providing direct volunteer and financial support. Volunteers from the churches work on site doing the construction work under direction of experienced home builders.
Today, Holy Hammers is made up of 14 Twin Cities’ congregations and is led by a Steering Committee of representatives from each member church. Each year, the coalition raises $65,000-75,000 and provides over 800 on-site and supporting volunteers. Over the past 15 years, Holy Hammers has built 19 homes and contributed to an additional eight. This year, the group reached the $1 million mark of funds raised for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
Holy Hammers member churches include: Centennial United Methodist Church (Roseville), Christ the King Lutheran Church (White Bear Lake), Corpus Christi Catholic Church (Roseville), Falcon Heights United Church of Christ, Incarnation Lutheran Church (Shoreview), Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (Roseville), New Brighton United Church of Christ, North Como/Knox Presbyterian Church (Roseville), Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (Circle Pines), Presbyterian Church of the Way (Shoreview), Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (Roseville), Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (Shoreview), St. Michael’s Lutheran Church (Roseville), and St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church (Roseville).