CBF Field Personnel

Making a Home

By Anna Anderson 

She said, “Jesus gave me these keys.” After losing everything in a house fire earlier this year and staying 6 months in a one-room motel with 2 young grandchildren, this precious grandmother found out she is qualified to move into an apartment that the Housing Authority has found for her. It’s safe and affordable. The new apartment is nothing fancy, new, or especially exciting but it’s home. A home that she has been praying for since April. Today, she has overwhelming gratitude. Something as ordinary as keys have taken on a different meaning for me. 

This is a group from Westwood Baptist Church in Cary, NC who came to see the completed work on Welcome House Conetoe and to pray a blessing on all those who would come to live there.  This church, through volunteers, many of whom are retired, did a major portion of the renovation work in the home.

With the help of a partner church, we have been able to help provide some needed items for this woman’s new home and also some Christmas cheer for her and her grandchildren as well. God is making space for those who have no place to rest their head, not even a manger, on this cold January morning.

We recently completed work on Welcome House Conetoe, a renovation project that took the better part of 2021, including some work done prior to that year. A garden worker who is an essential part of the Conetoe Family Life Center’s agricultural ministry and her family moved into Welcome House. The home they own, which is 20 minutes away from the garden, is in much need of repair to get it to a better, safer place for them to live. 

LaCount and Anna Anderson standing in front of Welcome House Conetoe celebrating its completed renovations.

The hope is that M and her 3 children now have a safer, more up-to-date, cleaner, and closer place to live to her work and their ongoing needs while volunteers can help her own home to be repaired. For her home to be in better shape, she needs to be out of it while it can be repaired and rehabbed. The Welcome House Conetoe is on the property of the garden where she works. She just walks out the front door and down the path, and she is right where her work is every day. New appliances are in the house and M remarked, upon seeing the washer and dryer, “you mean I will be able to wash my clothes in my own home?”

A Sunday School class from an Encourager Church, First Baptist of Ahoskie, NC is pictured with gifts for a family who was burned out of their home 6 months ago.  The class came through with bikes, scooters, clothes, and other gifts for the grandchildren she is raising.  They also found some furniture items for them.

She is thrilled with all the house has to offer her and her children.  She had seen many people come and go throughout the house while it was being rehabbed and renovated—volunteers, some curiosity guests, and last-minute workers who were helping finish up a punch list of things in order for the house to be completed.

She asked the question . . . “when we move in here, will there still be people who will come in and out of the house often?” We assured her this house is to be treated like her own while she is living there. We assured her that she has the keys while she is a resident there and should be treated just like a home she owns. But better, because it’s a welcoming place for her family and she doesn’t need to worry about repairing anything about the house.  It’s safe.  It’s decent. It’s warm in this cold weather. It’s comfortable. 

Anna Anderson is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel living and serving in Northeastern, North Carolina with her husband LaCount. They are working with Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition, focusing on providing poverty relief and finding more sustainable solutions to systemic poverty. You can help support their ministry here.

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