From a house to a home: Habitat Davie helps Davie family

Published 2:04 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Jessica Gwyn couldn’t say thank you enough.

As the new home she will share with her three sons – Joshua, Caleb, and Judah  – was dedicated last week, she thanked God and the multitude of people he put in her life.

It was Habitat for Humanity of Davie’s newest home, built in the Ridgemont community of Mocksville.

But for Gwyn, it was an answer to prayers.

She compared the journey to the book of Exodus in the Bible, which she is studying in church. God had asked Moses to build a tabernacle, and Moses quickly realized he couldn’t do it by himself.

“It hit me that God had sent that message,” she said to the 65 or so gathered for the ceremony. “There are hundreds of people who have helped.

“God is such a good God. He chooses to use us to do part of His plan. You guys are that important, that He chose you. Lots of you rearranged your lives to be a part of our lives.”

Jessica joined volunteers for many of the hours spent building her home, a chore that almost got to her. She remembers sitting in a closet, tired and depressed, when God gave her reassurance.

“I want this to be about God. He cares about what you’re going through.” Two years ago, Jessica said she was in a deep valley with little hope of getting out. “He carried me through to the mountaintop.”

Taking part in the Habitat build also brought new, positive friends into her life.

Friends like Jessie Elmore, Davie Habitat director.

“I have been to quite a few dedications in my 10 years with Habitat, and I’ve never had a more committed family,” Elmore said. “Jessica, she has been here five days a week.”

Affordable housing is essential to any community, and Mocksville is no different, said Mayor Will Marklin. It is expected to grow more than surrounding areas in the next 20 years.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is housing, affordable housing,” Marklin said. “Habitat is a great partner. And the folks who helped will always have a memory of this house. We’re looking forward to more houses to go up.”

“It’s no longer a house, it’s a home,” said Dwayne Thompson, Davie Habitat director of family services and the ReStore. “Jessica is amazing. One of our missions is changing people’s lives forever and empowering people.”

When the build started, Jessica was timid with no construction skills. Before long, she was using the saw, he said.

“I can’t think of anything she hasn’t done on this house. Jessica has put in more hours than anybody. This was literally built by Jessica’s hands.”

Habitat is always looking for volunteers, to work on houses and at the ReStore in Bermuda Run. Just shopping at the ReStore helps with the Habitat mission, said Nathan Broyles, Davie Habitat board president.