By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications
Today was a great way to wrap up the week as President David Snell, Global Builders coordinator Hailey Dady, Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner and I hopped on our bikes and rode to downtown Americus for free pizza! The things we will do for free food!
Actually, today was Bike to Work Day, and we were merely throwing our support behind Americus’ efforts to promote the event — which coincided with what Mayor Barry Blount noted correctly was “Chamber of Commerce weather”. And if anyone happened to notice our bright orange Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure shirts and want to know more about our mission, well, all the better!
Bicycle Adventure leader Melissa Merrill wasn’t there, but she wasn’t exactly out goofing off, either. The dedicated volunteer who gave up a great job as a mechanical engineer to lead this year’s adventure was in Tennessee at the Wake Up Convention, a student-led effort to encourage school-aged kids to make a difference in the world. They certainly invited an inspirational example in Melissa, who is gearing up for the 3,700-mile Summer Bicycle Adventure from Savannah to Vancouver that begins June 7.
Bicycle Adventure founder Ryan Iafigliola also was nowhere to be found. What is it with these kids? Oh, that’s right. Ryan had a good excuse, too. He was on his way to Ghana, where the Mercer University women’s basketball team will go this summer to build houses — an effort I’ll get to document this August on my very first overseas trip. David Snell has expressed his disappointment that he won’t be able to witness this Southern boy trying to navigate Africa, something that may be worth a whole book in itself.
Ryan’s trip also is connected to our “40 Years in Africa” campaign as we mark 40 years since Millard and Linda Fuller picked up their family and moved to Zaire in the heart of Africa, where they build 114 houses in a precursor to what would become a worldwide affordable housing movement. Click here to support this campaign — which just got a $40,000 boost from generous donor Dr. Richard Semmler, something you can read about next week at FullerCenter.org.
But that’s enough about what’s happening around my office. What’s important is what’s happening away from this office, in the field, where the real magic of this ministry takes place. Be sure to click here and check out our recent news articles that reflect just some of that activity. It’s pretty amazing how busy things are out there — and the support it is generating for the ministry from people like Semmler and many folks just like you. You are the ones who make this work possible. It takes your time, your generous donations and — and sometimes free pizza — to keep this ministry thriving!