Holy Cross Parish Priest, Town Leaders Welcome First Habitat for Humanity Home
December 2, 2021
BATAVIA—A couple from Kenya became Batavia’s first Habitat for Humanity family after cutting a ribbon, Nov 20.
Janice Owino and George Bikeri cut the ribbon with Steve McCormick, Habitat board chair. The ribbon cutting culminated a dedication ceremony attended by Habitat and government officials, volunteers and friends on the driveway of the home at Wilson St. and Independence Dr. 
Habitat officials, volunteers and the future homeowners broke ground for the project, Habitat’s 68th home in the Fox Valley, in Oct. 2020. 
Rev. Jeff Barrett, Habitat CEO and pastor at Genesis Community Church in Montgomery, emceed the dedication program. 
Father Jared Twenty, parochial administrator at Batavia’s Holy Cross Catholic Church, gave an opening prayer and concluding blessing prayer.
Guest speakers welcomed the new homeowners to Batavia. Speakers included Mayor Jeff Schielke; Steve McCormick, president of First Centennial Mortgage of Aurora, which contributed $175,000 to the project; Cynthia Kieckhefer, president, Batavia Woman’s Club; State Rep. Maura Hirschauer; Jim Cannella, Orange Home Services; and Lisa Farley, Accurate Door. 
McCormick said, “We value the work Habitat does in the community by providing housing for people in need. Partnering with them is a natural extension for us since we work to help people obtain housing every day.” 
Later he presented a ceremonial house key to the new homeowners. Housewarming gifts from community members and Habitat officials included a family bible, handmade quilts and $1,500 in gift cards and other items from Batavia Woman’s Club.
Owino said, “Thank you Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity for building affordable housing in the community. I will remember all those who came out to work on my home and the Habitat staff.
“We are forever grateful that you selected and believed in us to become homeowners. We are truly blessed to start our new life and family together in this beautiful home. It’s such a happy ending,” Owino said.
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity International began in 1976 as a grassroots effort. The Christian housing ministry has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. 
Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. To learn more, call 630-206-5038 or visit 
—Allan F. Benson
Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM