In this section

Mary Wells has volunteered with Habitat for years in many different ways including Global Village and facilitating our School's programmes. This Advent she reflects on how supporting others can bring joy to ourselves.

There is a Chinese saying that goes:

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.

If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime help somebody”

Advent is a time of the year when we count our blessings and think about the needs of others. The Christian hymn for Advent “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” indicates that God is with us when we reach out to others, “by giving we receive”.

I have had the blessing of volunteering with the Habitat for Humanity Change Makers programme for schools as well as leading students from Assumption Grammar School to build houses in Malawi.

I was reminded of the happiness and joy that the journeys to Malawi gave to my students and myself during a Change Makers workshop recently. A video clip highlighted the plight of Bertha Likeke and her children. Bertha had lost her husband and was destitute. She was forced to move back to the Mulanje district of Malawi to her home village of Nthiramanja.

Our team had the great privilege to work alongside Bertha and her family constructing a Habitat home in the summer of 2014. At the end of the week of work Bertha’s home had four walls and a roof! What a joy for us to see the smiles on Bertha and her children’s faces. It was a beautiful moment of grace for all of us!

On that day, in that little village in Malawi we were acting out the ethos of our school community “The Glory of God is man fully alive”. We had reached out to help Bertha and her family and we had helped ourselves by bringing hope and happiness to those less fortunate.

This advent let us continue to “go out” of ourselves to make life better for others and to bring them closer to the love of God.


Lord we thank you that Habitat puts your love into action and thus shares your joy with the world. Help us to have eyes to see the needs around us and to respond to those needs in joy and hope. Enable us to go out of our comfort zone this season and act in faith and love as we reach out to those around us.

Make a special donation to help families in urgent need of a safe place to call home. Donate here. 

Read more Advent reflections here.

Keep up to date with the latest Habitat Ireland projects and news!