By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor
Edward and Angela Binion turned the key to their home of 17 years to discover nothing less than a Christmas miracle this week.
Earlier this year, the Binion family fell on hard times, with their Hough Circle house falling into severe disrepair and the couple’s three children put into foster care as a result.
Struggling financially and out of options, Edward and Angela feared all hope was lost to fix their home and put their family back together.
“We didn’t know what we were going to do,” said Edward Binion. “It’s been rough, but sometimes God uses these things to open doors and avenues that lead you to people who really love you. And that’s what happened here.”
Back in September, word spread of the Binion heartbreaking story. That’s when Olivia Laborn, a board member of the Morgan County Habitat for Humanity, decided to take action.
“I was at a Habitat for Humanity meeting when I heard about this, and I thought, instead of just talking about it, we should do something about it,” said Laborn. Laborn recruited friends Marie Perriman and Judy Thomas to visit the house that was built by Habitat for Humanity 17 years earlier. Edward and Angela agreed to let them help, never anticipating that in just a few months their entire home would be renovated from top to bottom, complete with new flooring, bathrooms, paint and furniture.
Laborn orchestrated the efforts, calling everyone she could think of to procure materials, labor, and other donations.
“No one told me no,” said Laborn. “I was blown away. Everyone worked so faithfully and it turned out great. We all just want these kids to be able to go home again.”
Last week, over 40 people gathered for the house dedication, celebrating the home’s makeover, as Edward and Angela settled back into their home right before Christmas.
“We still can’t believe it,” said Edward Binion. “The atmosphere was great with all this positivity and support surrounding us,” said Binion of the home dedication.
“This is the reason that God gave us his Son Jesus to show love,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman. We are not only to show love during this time of year, but all year long. This kind of coming together of the community shows that our community is one that truly cares about each other. It’s just a miracle to see what has taken place in this home, in this family and shows a true commitment of this community to take care of each other.”
“As Christians we are taught to bear each other’s burdens,” said Laborn. “And that’s what we did here. When you carry each other’s burdens you are doing the will of the Lord.”
“We saw a family in need,” said Marie Perriman, who volunteered to help restore the home. “It’s easy to say you love someone. But love is an action word. When you put action to love, it lets a person know how much you really care.”
In addition Laborn, the Perrimans, Judy Thomas, Betty Clark, Butch Thompson, who works with a ministry at the First United Methodist Church of Madison, Curtis Smith Scott Webb, Pat Reams, Mike Conrads and Donna Prior all contributed to the project to renovate and refurnish the Binion’s home.
“It was quite amazing to see all the diverse folks coming together to do this,” said Mike Conrads, who donated to the effort “There was a definite need for this family in trouble and all these folks just came together to get it done with the leadership of those strong women with a network of people to make it happen. People came together to do Christ’s work. It’s just wonder that the community came together to pull this off and I think there are more things like this to come.”
According to Laborn, the experience brought everyone involved closer together and strengthened in their personal faith.
“It is a brand new, beautiful house with the spirit of the Lord in it,” said Laborn. “They have everything they need to have a nice, comfortable house. We wanted to help this family make their dream come true to get their children back and I believe that’s what will happen next.”
Edward and Angela plan to stay in touch with everyone who helped as they move forward.
“We feel like we became a big family,” said Edward. “We have learned to put God first and to stay humble. We have prayed and had to be patient, but sometimes when you are really going through something like this, God brings secret angels–the people who are there watching out for you.”