By Deb Patterson
NORTH WEBSTER — A downpour Sunday afternoon, June 27, in North Webster did not dampen the excitement and spirit for the family of Cody and Lyndsey Hensley. They were moving into a new home. Their own home.
Unlike many of the Habitat for Humanity home dedications at a new home, this dedication was held in the sanctuary of North Webster United Methodist Church. It wasn’t long after the dedication service began that pounding rain could be heard on the church roof. Following the service, a heavy rain continued, but the sun was shining, with all present sure there was a rainbow over the Hensley home.
“It is a blessing beyond words,” said Lyndsey Hensley. “We are so grateful to those who have shared sweat and tears with us.” Her husband, Cody, who is a cancer patient and unable to work, spent many days at the site from start to finish.
“The kids are excited and happy,” she noted. They were leaving behind a dwelling that had black mold, with windows and a roof that leaked, along with poor ductwork under the home allowing dozen of mice to enter. The home was also too small with only three bedrooms and with one who is a high-functioning child with autism needing a room of his own. “The black mold was making us sick,” she stated, noting they were glad to be moving into a home big enough for the family and one that was safe.
Their new home, a one-story home with a full basement, has five bedrooms, two baths.
Their story is unique. The Hensley’s were married in 2018 and together they have six children: Lainey, Amara, Samantha, Katie, Andrew and James. Despite challenges of combining the two families and living apart from Samantha, who lives with her grandmother due to chronic health problems, they have learned to love each other and successfully formed one family.
But their goals have met unexpected issues. Cody’s goal of becoming a carpenter in the construction business was halted by cancer, he hopes to recover and pursue that dream. He’s undergone three surgeries and continuing radiation treatment. Lyndsey has also put her own dream of starting a business on hold as she struggles to support the family.
The family was accepted into the program in February 2020.
During the service Dennis Judy, Habitat Construction manager, noted there were mistakes made during the build. Some little, some not so little. Some were easily worked out, others could not be corrected. “Just like life. Not everything works according to our schedule,” he stated.
He noted the craziness of 2020 with the pandemic and expensive cost of construction materials. “We were fortunate … worked according to plan.” He did note the last kitchen cabinet was installed Thursday and there were still a handful of projects needing completed. But, while it was not 100% complete it was livable and the family was moving in that afternoon.
Judy, who noted there were a large number of scripture focusing on housing and home, he shared three passages. “We built a house. But it’s more than just a building. A home offers protection, security … Home has a different feel.” He referenced Deuteronomy 11:18, Isaiah 32:18-20 and Hebrews 3:4-6.
The Hensleys thanked those who supported them through the process. “It means very much to me,” Cody said, noting his family will now be safe and secure. “That’s a big blessing not to have to worry about that anymore. His wife echoed his appreciation adding it has been a roller coaster of emotions and more stressful than she thought it would be. Yet “words can never express how grateful we are.”
Ben Logan, Habitat Executive Director, officially handed the keys over to the family along with presenting them with a Bible to keep in their new home and a Christmas ornament.
Following the dedication those attending were invited to tour the home. During the tour the children were happy to show all guests their bedrooms and new beds as well as the rest of the home.
This is the fourth Habitat home dedicated in the North Webster area.