“When we [came] over here I was like, maybe it’s a dream, you know, maybe it’s not true,” Opongow said.
That dream is very much a reality. Opongow is now a home owner and celebrated with volunteers, donors and sponsors.
“We are celebrating the homes of four families today, families moving into this home where we are today, a second family is moving into a home just two doors down, a third family across the street and a fourth family in a rehab home nearby all were built by Habitat volunteers,” said Senior Director, Kate Loe.
For Opongow and his family, it’s been a long time coming. Last summer he was helping to work on the house he now owns. The hard work paid off.
“I think that they are so overjoyed to be here and to have this new foundation for their family and their kids, they have been absolutely alongside for every step of the way, as they have gone through that financial coaching, through those home ownership classes, they spent hours and hour at our Habitat offices as well as out here on-site. Kwot talked about putting in his sweat equity hours on the build site, volunteering out here alongside all these other volunteers that came to work on these homes, and he worked on this home and the other home that he is now living in, so it’s really an inspirational story to see what that family has done to get here today,” Loe said.
Opongow still reminisces on the day he got the phone call that changed his life.
“She said, ‘you know, you’re selected for the house.’ At that time I was numb, I was like ‘ahh,’ she was like, ‘are you still on the phone?’ I was like, ‘yes,’ she said, ‘what happened?’ I was like, ‘I don’t believe it,'” Opongow said.
As him and his family begin to meet their neighbors and get adjusted to the area, the dream finally feels real.
“I’ve never been in a place like this one, you know,” he said. “God gave us the house.”