Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity hosting prayer service on World Habitat Day in Cedar Rapids

Public invited to interfaith event on Monday

Volunteers work to build a Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity home at 282 22nd St., Marion, on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. The home, expected to be completed next year, will be occupied by Jeanbosco and Suzana Ndayisenga and their five children, ages 1 to 13. (Rob Clark/The Gazette)
Volunteers work to build a Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity home at 282 22nd St., Marion, on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. The home, expected to be completed next year, will be occupied by Jeanbosco and Suzana Ndayisenga and their five children, ages 1 to 13. (Rob Clark/The Gazette)

MARION — Jeanbosco and Suzana Ndayisenga are looking forward to moving into their new home in Marion sometime next year.

On Friday, they were busy helping a team of volunteers build that home as part of a Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity project.

The couple has five children, ages 1 to 13, and has lived in the area for the past 10 years. They are originally from Burundi, a landlocked country in East Africa.

This will be their first home in the United States.

Jeff Capps, executive director of Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, said the house, at 282 22nd St., Marion, is one of six his agency has or is building this year. The other five homes are in Cedar Rapids, including one at 919 12th St. NE that has been dubbed “Sweet Home Cedar Rapids” to honor outgoing Mayor Ron Corbett. Another couple from Burundi, Fenias Nyandwi and Agnes Chiza, will take possession of that home, along with their six children, later this year.

The 12th Street home also is the site of a Habitat for Humanity event on Monday that Capps is encouraging area residents to attend.

The World Habitat Day Prayer Service takes place from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

Capps said the interfaith event aims to draw attention to the need many have for suitable housing, both locally and around the world.

“It’s a time we ... bring together people of faith to say, ‘Let’s pray that we will continue to find solutions for people and households in need, especially for those who need housing,’ ” he said. “It is intended to raise awareness for safe, decent, affordable housing all over the world.”

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Capps said an additional focus of the service will be to highlight the recent disasters caused by hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well an earthquake in Mexico.

“Housing issues are in the forefront in those places right now,” he said. “We hope to raise consciousness to say, ‘What can we do and how can we put those prayers into action and inspire some change?’ ”

The service is not designed to exclude anyone, Capps noted.

“We are a Christian organization but we work with people of all faiths or no faiths,” he said. “We believe that is a strength of our organization.”

World Habitat Day was established by the United Nations in 1985 and is celebrated annually on the first Monday in October.

Monday’s service in Cedar Rapids is expected to include local clergy and musicians. More information is available at cvhabitat.org or by calling (319) 366-4485.

On Tuesday, Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, launches a fundraiser at its ReStore, 350 Sixth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, to raise money for Habitat disaster relief efforts. Small house-shaped cards will be sold for $1 to $10 and large cards will be given to those who donate more than $10. The cards will be placed on the wall of the ReStore, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Capps said Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity plans to build seven or eight homes next year as it continues its mission to provide housing to those in need.

l Comments: (319) 398-8260; rob.clark@thegazette.com

If You Go

What: World Habitat Day Prayer Service

When: 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday

Where: Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity house at 919 12th St. NE, Cedar Rapids.

Details: Interfaith service, free to the public.

Info: cvhabitat.org or (319) 366-4485

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