Building a home for the most vulnerable impacts everyone involved. This interview highlights the impact from the builder’s eyes. Meet Steve Bishop, UK resident and longtime friend of Ten Thousand Homes.
How did you hear about Ten Thousand Homes?
I was introduced to Jeremy and Jen (two of Ten Thousand Homes’ founders) through a mutual friend in the UK. As members of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), we had a number of points of connection and friends in common.
What made you want to come build a home for someone?
As a result of meeting Jeremy and Jen, one of our teams decided to take an outreach to Ten Thousand Homes. When they came back, they told us that they not only got to be involved with the community outreach and children’s ministry, but they also got to help build a house. I started a conversation with Jeremy about the possibility of bringing a men’s team, and the plans started there. My current job involves a lot of meetings and not much practical service. This was something I was keen to address.
Do you have any particular building skills?
Depends on who you ask! When I was younger, I trained as a bricklayer and worked on building sites in the UK.
How many years have you come to South Africa to build a home for someone?
May 2020 will be the fifth year I’ve brought a team. So far I’ve brought over 25 guys from 9 different countries.
How has building a home impacted you personally?
It’s a regular reminder of the power of community, and it helps focus thinking away from yourself. The idea of safety, security, and normalcy are challenged when you are in a different environment. I’ve valued the deepening and strengthening of relationships with work colleagues and casual acquaintances that have accompanied me on teams I’ve brought. It’s been a great way to reconnect with friends, spending time together while engaged in a worthwhile cause.
Is there a particular home or moment that stands out to you personally?
Every time the keys get handed to the owner of a new home build. To work so hard, to give away what you’ve done, there’s nothing like it.
To be involved either in building a home or giving towards a home to be built, visit our Get Involved page!