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Habit for Humanity Big Build Cambodia Alexandria, MN Follow

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Over the past 20 years members of First Lutheran have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to make home ownership a possibility for families in Douglas County.  Keeping with that tradition Greg Tvrdik, Steve Heseltine, and Mark Bergerson feel called to expand the reach of First Lutheran Church globally by joining Habitat for Humanity on an international build in Battambang Province, Cambodia.  This build is happening as a partnership with Habitat, Thrivent, and the Cambodian government.
 
We are blessed in the United States with a stable, forward moving society that allows people to own a home and land.  In Cambodia that is not the case. Since the tyranny of the Khmer Rouge in the late 70’s to the end of civil war in the early 90’s all land titles and data were destroyed.  People were forced to build “squatter” homes on any piece of available land, even with no title.  The government can retake those lands at any time and because of no title they do not spend money to do any type of improvements. Habitat for Humanity has partnered with the government of Battambang province to secure 82 plots of land to develop and build upon.  The build in November of 2017 with bring together 200 volunteers from around the world to build 15 homes in one week on these secured sites.
 
Why do we feel called?
 
Mark Bergerson: I have been a volunteer my entire adult life.  I am a volunteer firefighter, along with volunteering with the national ski patrol, coaching youth sports, and chaperoning First Lutheran Church youth on trips and conventions.  I also feel the call to share my time with the less fortunate.  I have contributed to Habitat for the past 2 years and have assisted in local builds.  When Habitat shared the vision of having a Douglas County team join in the Cambodia build in 2017 I immediately felt called to be a part of it. Working with others, sharing my faith, and helping those in need all appeal to my persona.  Expanding my world vision is also crucial in my growth as a Christian.  I feel compelled to join and participate in this Habit for Humanity Big Build in Cambodia.

Steve Heseltine: I have worked in many volunteer positions over the past 20 years. I have been a Cub Scout Leader, Soccer coach, Confirmation Guide and mentor as well as being part of organizing committees for 5k runs and golf tournaments to benefit a variety of nonprofit organizations. Since becoming a staff member at First Lutheran Church, I have had the opportunity to be introduced to Habitat for Humanity. I have spent time helping to build on 3 houses in Douglas County and the experience has been very rewarding. Last October I learned about the Thrivent Big Build in Vietnam and was fortunate to be able to take that trip with my son, Nick. A group of 200+ volunteers built 20 houses in 5 days. It was an incredible experience in so many ways. I was able to create a deeper bond with my son; we were able to provide affordable and safe housing for a family that had experienced some devastating situations. However, the biggest impact was how this trip touched our hearts and how we could see the hand of God at work through us. We built friendships and relationships with Vietnamese families as well as with the people we worked alongside each day.
As a follower of Jesus we are called to serve others. As a member of First Lutheran Church I am proud to be able to represent our congregation by serving in this way.

Greg Tvrdik: Going on a mission trip means that you will stretch yourself, sacrifice your time, talents, and resources to serve others doing so in the name of Jesus. I believe that this is one of the highest honors a believer can receive—to be the mouth, hands and feet of the Lord. I feel I am privileged to have this opportunity to go to Cambodia and participate in Habitat for Humanity’s Big Build.
There has been a scripture that has been running through my head as I discerned why I wanted to be part of this Cambodia Big Build in partnership with Habit for Humanity. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38).  I believe my harvest is plentiful and I have what I need and I ought to share that with others. I may not be the best builder, but I am willing to put in my time and efforts to help those who may need.  I have heard over and over how one’s life can be changed just by having the standard things in life such as a roof over their head, a bed to sleep in and a place to be proud of and call home, what a privilege to be able to provide that stability to families over  8000 miles away.  I believe that Jesus has gone through the ultimate mission trip.  He sacrificed everything, including his very life, to seek and save. I want to reflect Jesus and serve in the mission field as well. 

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support as we plan this Cambodia trip.
 

 

Cheryl Franson

2017-10-18 17:02:47

This is in honor of Mark...a former student who made a big impact on my life when he was in 3rd grade. This is just one of his examples of caring for others even as a very young child.

Kim Taylor

2017-10-13 02:36:04

Thanks for your willingness to make a difference! Blessings on your journey! The Taylors will be holding you in prayer!

Valerie Lind

2017-09-29 18:10:01

Have an amazing, blessed trip, Mark and team!

Greg Tvrdik

2017-07-10 20:04:45

Thanks!

November is coming fast!
October 18, 2017, 11:31 am

Quick update on our progress.  Some members of our Douglas County crew leave in 10 days to head east!  The Boys of First will be joining them in Thailand on November 8th.  From there we head to Siem Reap Cambodia and on to Battambang City to our work site.  We can't beleive how fast this is coming up.  People always say that there are certain things in your life that you experience that will change you forever.  We are confident that this mission trip will be one of those things.  It is hard to express the gratitude we have for all of you who have been praying for us and who continue to support us as we finalize our trip.  20 days!  Cambodia here we come :)

Less than a month and we are off!
October 10, 2017, 3:38 pm

Reality has set in.  In less than a month we will be leaving MN and travelling 1/2 way around the world to join 200+ other volunteers in Cambodia.  A BIG THANK YOU to all the people who have donated and prayed for us.  We really appreciate all of you thinking of us and supprting us on this mission. 
First Lutheran has adopted a them for this year's programming.  It Is Deep and Wide.  Growing Deeper in our relationships with God, Congregation, Community,and the world. Reaching Wider with our hearts and our faith with God, Congregation, Community, and World.  This mission trip with Habitat International is a tangible experience directly tied to this theme.  If helping others, while sharing our faith, isn't growing deeper and reaching wider in the world I am not sure what is.  The Boys of First feel blessed to have this opportunity to share our passion for Christ and our love for our neighbors on a global scale.  When we were called to join this group we knew the impact it would make on those we are helping.  We never completely realized the impact it would make on us.  Just reading books about the atrocities that have happened in Cambodia, and the suffereing that continues today makes you pause.  We live in a plentiful nation with an abundance of wealth and opportunity.  Giving hope, and more importantly a new home founded in faith and built with love, to these people will forever change how we perceive the world and our part in it.
Please continue to pray for us as we get ready to depart for our journey, and if you feel called to donate to help with the costs....Thank you.

The Boys of First

Update #4
September 18, 2017, 4:32 pm

Exactly 50 days until we head over the Pacific to Cambodia for the habitat Big Build.  We are so excited to be joining the 200 people from all over the world that are participating in this wonderful mission.  Flights are booked, hotoels are booked, passports are up to date, vaccines are scheduled.  All we need know is for all of you to pray for us and also think about donating to this great mission.  We appreciate all of your support.

Update #3
August 31, 2017, 12:58 pm

It has been a busy past couple of weeks!  Many of our 9 person team met to work on travel plans for our trip.  We have booked airfare, a couple hotels, and even one fun excursion to Angor Wat (the largest religious temple complex in the world).  The next step for all three of the Boys is to get immunizations and vaccines current.  It is hard to believe that we leave in just 68 days.
We are really looking for your support with prayer and financial backing. Please consider donating to help offset some of the programming and travel costs associated with this trip.  We feel called to this mission and are extremely excited to serve with Habitat International.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.

The Boys of First.

Things are happening fast!
August 14, 2017, 11:30 am

Wow! It has been quite the whirlwind of activity the past few days.  Last week we found out that 6 more people are joining our group ( Douglas County Habitat) on our journey.  On Friday we found flights to Thailand that were cheaper than anything we had seen in the past month and all of us booked our flights within 30 minutes of eachother.  Even though this trip is still 85 days away we are in serious planning mode.
People have asked about our fundraising goal.  The total cost of this trip is going to be around $15,000 for the three of us plus spending money and incedentals.  We have pledged to cover 1/2 of that on our own and are hoping with this campaign to raise the other 1/2.  This would help offset program costs, flight and hotel fees.
When we decided to jump on this opportunity to serve others and build homes in Cambodia we knew it was going to be an amazing experience.  Like our profiles say we feel called to help these people, just like we are called to help in our own communities.  Hopefully we make our goal prior to leaving for our trip.
Thank you to the genreous donors who have already contributed!  God Bless You.

The Boys of First

We are officially registed!
August 9, 2017, 2:25 pm

Our Douglas County Team is up to 9 people! Look for more updates to come!  

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Campaign Creator Avatar
Campaign Created by:
Habit for Humanity Big Build Cambodia Alexandria, MN Follow

$4,430 of $8,250

54 % Complete 17 donation(s)
8

Recent Donations

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Anonymous Donor

686 day(s) ago


$100

Cheryl Franson

702 day(s) ago

This is in honor of Mark...a former student who made a big impact on my life when he was in 3rd grade. This is just one of his examples of caring for others even as a very young child.

$25

Kim Taylor

708 day(s) ago

Thanks for your willingness to make a difference! Blessings on your journey! The Taylors will be holding you in prayer!

$50

Rich & Kathy Moen

716 day(s) ago


$320

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Kathy Shurson

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Valerie Lind

721 day(s) ago

Have an amazing, blessed trip, Mark and team!

$100

Joel A Jorgenson

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$800

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Kristofor Chisholm

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Gregory Billberg

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Greg Tvrdik

802 day(s) ago


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Greg Tvrdik

802 day(s) ago

Thanks!

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