For as long as I can remember, the phrase, “The House That Love Built” has taken me back to my time at The Ronald McDonald House. It is a house that I frequented during my college years—a house I felt obligated to invest in as an active (and philanthropic) member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Through my four years serving at The Ronald McDonald House, I learned that love truly was at the core of its foundation; however, I have recently discovered that a different house—“Molly’s House”—now seems to come to mind whenever I hear those five small words.
I first learned about the Mizeraks when I was briefed on their family history about two weeks before they arrived in Zambia last summer. I was informed that John Mizerak and three of his children—Chris, Sammy, and Jamie—would be serving on the construction side of a short-term mission team that would be joining me and my co-intern during the latter portion of our summer abroad. Over the course of one week, John and his children, along with the other members of the building team, hoped to finish the construction of “Molly’s House”—the seventh orphan home in the Chongwe community.
I remember being slightly thrown off at the mention of the name “Molly’s House,” seeing as every other orphan home in the EOH community is referred to as “My Father’s House.” But the testimony I discovered in response to my plaguing curiosity both put my mind at ease and served as one the most touching stories I have ever heard (keep in mind that this is only a brief summary; for a longer and far more beautiful version, please click here).
Molly Mizerak met Gary Schneider, the founder of Every Orphan’s Hope, in 1999. After hearing about Gary’s desire to serve the orphans and the widows of Zambia, Molly quickly jumped on board with the mission. Though she wasn’t sure if she would ever visit Zambia in person, she was certain about one thing: She was deeply passionate about the heart of Every Orphan’s Hope and she couldn’t think of a better ministry to invest in.
Just under a decade later, while dwelling in the comfort of her home in the States, the Lord gave Molly a vision of the orphans in Zambia. While she rested in her bed, she saw a vivid picture of several African children lying uncomfortably on dirt floors, desperately trying to get some rest. After seeing this vision, it became clear to Molly that she would spend the rest of her life partnering with Every Orphan’s Hope to fight for these orphans in mind, body and spirit.
Sadly, Molly passed away a short while later after an unexpected battle with brain cancer. In response, her husband, John, decided to donate her life insurance money to Every Orphan’s Hope. The money was put toward the construction of another orphan home—“Molly’s House”—in the Chongwe community to honor both Molly’s dream and memory.
After this money was donated, John’s children asked him if they could travel to Zambia to be a part of the team that physically built “Molly’s House.” Long story short, John asked Gary, Gary agreed, the Lord provided in miraculous ways, and the Mizerak family arrived in Zambia at the beginning of last August to begin construction. “Molly’s House” was completed just four-and-a-half days later, and the family left Zambia with full hearts, knowing that several children would eventually call it home.
Earlier this summer, eight sweet children moved into “Molly’s House” with their new Mama, Sarah. And earlier this week, John arrived in Zambia once again and had the opportunity to meet each and every one of them. As he took pictures with the children on his final day in Chongwe, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling down my face as the words I once read on his blog echoed in my mind:
“Molly’s House will be a refuge for the orphaned and the widowed. A place where the brokenhearted will be comforted, the captive will be set free and the lonely will be placed in a family… It will be a house of prayer. It will be a light on a hill. It will be a beacon of hope to the hopeless. It will be a house where the glory of the Lord dwells, not in bricks and walls built by men, but in the hearts of orphans and widows who know they’ve found a family in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Molly’s House is a promise fulfilled, an answered prayer.”
To this day, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in Zambia is John Mizerak and the children of House 7 gathered together in front of “Molly’s House.” It is a sight I will never forget—Romario making crazy faces; Jacob getting distracted by bugs crawling on the ground; and John beaming while holding little Idah who is just squealing in delight—and it is a sight that I will forever associate with that beautiful phrase, “The House That Love Built.” The love Molly Mizerak had for the Lord, and for the orphans and widows of Zambia. The love that John Mizerak had for his wife, and that Chris, Sammy and Jamie had for their mother. The love that propelled a family to honor their beloved and deeply missed Molly in the most beautiful way—by taking her dream and turning it into a reality.
Because of “Molly’s House,” eight children are now in the process of being made new. The Lord is binding up their broken hearts, cleaning out their wounds, and filling them with a deep, unshakeable hope. He is instilling within them a sense of purpose and value, and He is daily showering them with His love. “Molly’s House” truly is a promise fulfilled and an answered prayer, and we cannot wait to see these little lives forever changed because of it.
– Kate Colwill
Read more from Kate Colwill on her blog: Counting it All Joy.