Anglican Relief and Development Fund, Fuller Center partner in recovery efforts

Anglican Relief and Development Fund, Fuller Center partner in recovery efforts

AMERICUS, Georgia — The Anglican Relief and Development Fund was looking for a reliable partner through which it could deploy teams of volunteers to help families across the United States rebuild after natural disasters.

The Fuller Center for Housing has a long history in such recovery through its Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders, as well as with various covenant partners whose service areas have been impacted by disasters big and small. What The Fuller Center can always use more of is volunteers.

These needs made ARDF — and its many connected church groups and faith organizations — a natural fit to work through The Fuller Center for Housing’s nonprofit affordable housing ministry.

“We are very excited for what God has in store for our two organizations, serving together to restore housing to those survivors of natural disasters and others that just need restoration!” said Tommy Lamb, ARDF’s Director of its National Disaster Response Network, formed in 2020 as a complement to its similar global efforts.

“I first learned of the Fuller Center for Housing through Jake Stum, our Executive Director, who had reached out to Fuller Center President David Snell to introduce himself and explore a partnership,” Lamb continued. “I took that as a green light to reach out to David and introduce myself and continue to explore the partnership. As we talked, it was clear God had put us together as we had so much in common — it just made sense!

“What excites me the most about our partnership is the opportunity to unite over 900 churches in ministry and outreach to those affected by poverty, natural disasters, or maybe just bad luck,” Lamb added “Our two organizations are mirrored in Christian principles, our partnership approach to ministry and the reliance on God’s people, not only to provide the financial resources for rebuilding, but also to provide skills and labor, bringing hope and community into cities and towns, demonstrating the light and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

ARDF Director of Development Kelli Hample and National Disaster Response Network Director, Tommy Lamb were part of the crew helping residents in Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian.

“From the earliest days of his 40-year housing ministry, Millard Fuller looked to the church for support, and the church always came through,” Snell said. “This new partnership with the Anglican Relief and Development Fund will continue that great tradition.”

While both are Christian organizations, the ARDF and The Fuller Center also have a commitment to being ecumenical and welcoming all of those who want to work toward a common goal of helping God’s people in need. For Lamb, that commonality was hammered home when he visited the Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders base in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“The ACNA is ecumenical and in communion with many denominations, and FCH is also ecumenical with many denominations currently serving alongside FCH,” Lamb said. “When I visited with Greta Willis in Lake Charles, I met representatives from Mennonite Disaster Services (MDS), the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the local St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, and the local Episcopal Church — all working together in a coalition to help rebuild after two devastating hurricanes, a flood, and a freeze in 2020 and 2021.”

Lamb believes working with The Fuller Center will provide a common goal for a church community that is spread out geographically and sometimes in priorities. Helping people help themselves, however, is something with which everyone can get on board.

“Some view the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as fragmented, with 29 dioceses shepherded by 29 Bishops scattered across the United States and Canada,” he said. “Our partnership enables us to come together as a denomination, united to build God’s kingdom, serving those in need. I am excited about our parishes having the support and encouragement from ARDF and FCH to reach out into their communities and discover ways to empower citizens’ lives through the rebuilding of homes. Independently, ARDF may have never achieved such a ministry. Partnering with the Fuller Center for Housing enables us to offer this ministry nearly instantaneously.”

The ARDF has helped send volunteers to work with the Disaster ReBuilders even before this new partnership was inked and has teams signed up to work this summer. Working with multiple Fuller Center covenant partners through The Fuller Center’s U.S. Builders and Global Builders programs presents even more opportunities for service.

“ARDF is already working with the Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders, sending teams to Madisonville, Kentucky, to help with tornado recovery,” Snell said. “ARDF will provide volunteers, which The Fuller Center will host and put to work. This is a partnership made in Heaven! We share Tommy and ARDF’s excitement about building God’s Kingdom together!”

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