On a glorious, breezy Saturday morning, Elvira Saenz, a single mother to three children, received the keys to her new Habitat home.  Eyes filled with tears, her voice broke as she thanked Mountainside United Methodist Church, the official sponsor of the Joann Cahill home, all the SWAT volunteers who worked so diligently to build her home, Graeter Albuquerque Habitat staff and board members who assisted in all aspects of making Elvira’s dream of home ownership a reality.

Kicking off the ceremony was Reverand Wimberly of Mountainside Methodist Church who administered the invocation, blessed the house and presented Elvira with a Bible for her family and a bottle of blessed oil to keep. 

Various other speakers from both the church and representing GAHH board and staff, presented Elvira with handmade quilts for her and the children, a basket of necessities for the house, a hand-made bookshelf and a Barnes and Noble gift card to purchase books, a toolbox and hammer to get the new homeowner started, and finally, the keys.

Then, with a smile so wide and beautiful, she accepted the scissors from Doug Champlin, GAHH Executive Director, and snipped the red ribbon crossing her front porch.  It was official!  Never again would she have to worry about the rent being raised, or the neighborhood where her kids played – this was her forever home.

The movers were coming that same day with her furniture and as the ceremony concluded, the kids ran inside to claim their bedrooms and excitedly talked about how they would decorate.

In her words, “God brought us to this day.  He heard my prayers and answered them and I will be forever grateful to all involved.  Thank you so very much.”

That’s all the changes I believe we have now.  After July 1, I will need to re-categorize the four Board Officers a new ones will take over. 

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