‘Honoring their service by serving in their memory’

‘Honoring their service by serving in their memory’

Pastor gifted home by veterans’ organization

IYANBITO, N.M.

Pastor Mark Thomas stared at the large structure emerging into the sky on his newly approved home site.

In a bustling beehive of activity, a couple of dozen workers of all ages cheerfully pound nails, drill holes, saw planks, and install windows on the large three-bedroom home that is being built for him.

“The Lord’s been good to us. I see it as a blessing,” said Thomas. “My wife and I, we just cry and weep.”

For joy, that is.

As a pastor at Gospel Light House Ministry, Thomas has been serving others in his community and across the nation for over 25 years, said Pete Belon, member of Cornerstone Ministries in Smith Lake, New Mexico.

‘We’ve worked together to help elders, veterans and families on a volunteer basis,” said Thomas. “We’ve built homes and renovated homes – whatever the need was.”

For these reasons, Belon recommended Thomas for the house-building project organized by the nationwide nonprofit Travis Manion Foundation that also secured a grant for building materials from Home Depot.

The remaining work, including plumbing, electrical, siding, sheet rock, and roofing will come in through donations of labor and funding by community members, other ministries and whoever else wants to help out, said Thomas, who believes it is all a matter of faith.

Belon said a while back one of the mission teams at World Vision had introduced him to Tina Tranauskas, head of expeditions and survivors’ services for the Travis Manion Foundation, a veterans services organization founded in honor of a U.S. Marine who lost his life while showing exceptional bravery and valor during his service in Iraq.


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