Several Legacy Build volunteers talk about their week of Christian service

Several Legacy Build volunteers talk about their week of Christian service

Dozens of volunteers from across the nation are working in unseasonably hot Valley, Alabama, this week to help four families have simple, decent places to lie during the 2016 Millard Fuller Legacy Build. Actually, it’s the second half of a Legacy Build double-feature as a dozen Armenian families got new homes during the international portion of the Legacy Build in July.

Some of these volunteers come from the local Chattahoochee Valley community, which includes adjacent Lanett, Alabama, Millard Fuller’s hometown. Most are from out of state and include expert builders and enthusiastic less-skilled friends and family. Others have come after getting acquainted with The Fuller Center’s affordable housing ministry through the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure or the Fuller Center Global Builders program.

But all are here to put faith into action. As Millard liked to paraphrase from the Bible — “Faith without works is as dead as a doornail!”

Meet several of the volunteers who spoke with us about putting their faith into action this week:


 

A.J. Jewell
A.J. Jewell, left, has been a house leader on multiple Fuller Center builds.

A.J. Jewell (left) has been a house leader on multiple Fuller Center builds. We asked A.J. why he chooses to spend such an intense week working to help others.

We get the satisfaction of helping somebody, of helping God’s people in need. We’re getting to spend some God-given time helping God’s people in need and that’s what life is all about — helping each other through this thing that we call life.


 

Douglas Wall
Douglas Wall (center) is a night-shift nurse at East Alabama Medical Center-Lanier who showed up on site Tuesday morning after learning about the build from a hospital email.

Douglas Wall (center) is a night-shift nurse at East Alabama Medical Center-Lanier who showed up on site Tuesday morning after learning about the build from a hospital email. We asked Douglas what led him to show up out of the blue on Tuesday.

I used to work with Habitat before, and it’s been a while since I’ve gotten to do this. This is really exciting, and I’m happy to be here. It brings back great memories, and it’s beautiful weather. I’m thankful to be here with great people, building houses. It’s really fun. And it’s very well-organized — The Fuller Center has done a great job organizing this build.


 

Chuck Lee
Chuck Lee is a house leader on the rehab project of the build, along with his friend Bob Pack. We asked Chuck why he volunteered to help lead the rehab project when many volunteers prefer to build a new home.

Chuck Lee is a house leader on the rehab project of the build, along with his friend Bob Pack. We asked Chuck why he volunteered to help lead the rehab project when many volunteers prefer to build a new home.

Of course, I come with Bob Pack, and he is really the leader, and we just really enjoy doing the rehabs versus the new houses. I kind of like it because I learn new things that I can take back home. I guess I can identify with it as far as doing the rehab and repair work. I just enjoy it.


 

Susie Graber
A veteran of multiple Fuller Center builds at the age of 81, Susie Graber is always happy to be working on a home. We asked her what keeps her — along with husband Merle and several other family members — coming back for more Fuller Center builds.

A veteran of multiple Fuller Center builds at the age of 81, Susie Graber is always happy to be working on a home. We asked her what keeps her — along with husband Merle and several other family members — coming back for more Fuller Center builds.

I guess it’s just being around other people that have the same desire to serve. It’s just a good feeling to have the homeowners be so happy with their house. It’s just a blessing that the good Lord gives us that we can do this and the health that we can still do it. I’m just thankful that I can still do a little bit. Every little bit helps. A decent home to live in is so important.


 

Dan Bosovich
Dan Bosovich (right) talks with homeowner Max Pierre, whose house is undergoing major renovations this week. Dan is also a dedicated Global Builders volunteer, so we asked him why he also enjoys his international volunteering, as well as working here in the U.S.

Dan Bosovich (right) talks with homeowner Max Pierre, whose house is undergoing major renovations this week. Dan is also a dedicated Global Builders volunteer, so we asked him why he also enjoys his international volunteering, as well as working here in the U.S.

These are people and places you would never meet or see. I would never go to Armenia if it weren’t for The Fuller Center and being able to help these people. It’s just a great experience. But we’re still helping people in the United States. You see how those people live in these other countries, and they don’t have all these modern conveniences. It just gives you a great perspective on how other people live in other parts of the world. It helps you as a person get a better idea of what’s going on outside of the little area where you’re at all the time.


 

Karen “Toolie” Warkentien
Karen Warkentien (right) poses with friends Eddie and Nicetas Proctor at the Legacy Build. Better known as "Toolie," Karen started as a volunteer but now also serves as a member of The Fuller Center's International Board of Directors. We asked her about why it is important for her to continue volunteering while also serving as a board member.

Karen Warkentien (right) poses with friends Eddie and Nicetas Proctor at the Legacy Build. Better known as “Toolie,” Karen started as a volunteer but now also serves as a member of The Fuller Center’s International Board of Directors. We asked her about why it is important for her to continue volunteering while also serving as a board member.

You’ve got to lead by example, and the way to do this ministry is by getting your hands dirty — and coming out and meeting homeowners and working together and communing with other folks who have the same goal. We’re going to give a hand-up to some deserving families this week, and it’s going to be a wonderful experience.


 

 

 

 

 

Chris Johnson
This post was written by
Chris Johnson is the Director of Communications for The Fuller Center for Housing, a multi-award-winning columnist for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer and author of 4 books.

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