Posted by: Marcia Davis | September 12, 2011

Erin: “Our Neighbors Made Us Feel Special”

While Erin’s husband, Mustapha, was working overseas as a linguist, the couple did a nationwide search online to locate a community in which to raise their toddler son, Zachary, where housing is affordable.

They were living in Sacramento, California, at the time and ended up choosing Holland for their new home. That’s when they met Jeannette Brownson, who is a real estate agent and the wife of Jonathan Brownson, the pastor of New Community Church in the Westcore Neighborhood.

Erin said, “When I walked into our white house in the Westcore Neighborhood, I knew it was the house for us and within 48 hours we had purchased our first home.” But they barely had enough money left for Erin and Zachary’s cross-country move.

When they arrived at their new home, Erin was moved by the outpouring of help and compassion from her neighbors. In the middle of a snowstorm, Jeannette and Jonathan got on the phone and organized groups of neighbors and church members to come over and help unload the moving truck. “It was amazing,” said Erin. “People just started showing up to help. They brought food over. Someone donated a microwave. Someone brought over a Christmas tree with ornaments.”

Over the next few weeks more neighbors stopped by to introduce themselves and welcome the new family with open arms.

Since August of 2010, Mustapha arrived home and the couple has been trying to find full-time employment. “We are blessed to have found such a beautiful place to live with such wonderful people,” said Erin. “We are excited to give back to our neighbors.”



  1. All I can say is, God brought Mustapha and Erin and Zachary to our neighborhood to be a great addition and wonderful neighbors. To receive help so graciously is in itself a gift – the the response of the Feryates to the help given them is the key to neighborhood relationships. So many times, Erin and Mustapha have blessed me with their words of kindness and expressions of gratitude, and now they are giving back so much of their time and talents, when they themselves are still needing work and income. It is humbling to be in a neighborhood where the people who seem to give the most, are the ones who have so little themselves. It is a joy to know these friends, and to share in their lives as they adjust and get involved with us in the Westcore neighborhood. I love each one and pray for them to find meaningful work so they can stay with us a long time.

  2. We too feel blessed to have Erin & Mustapha in our neighborhood and want to acknowledge the many ways they have already “given back” to the neighborhood.

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