I was asked to create a message for an email blast, which I dutifully did. Turns out there’s a whole science to this and, being new to such things, my message was a little difficult to cast into a good email message. So I went through the painful process of being edited. The results, though, were good and you may have received the blast in your email last week. (If not, drop me a line and I’ll make sure your name is added for future messages.)
I kind of liked my original message, though, so thought I take advantage of this space to post it. It has a lot of the same information, but also a flight of fancy or two. So here you go—
It’s springtime, and the earth on this side of the equator is starting to show signs of renewal. I’m writing this from Colorado Springs where we celebrated Easter with four inches of new snow on the ground! But there, by the front door, our garden of daffodils was standing in defiance of the storm with their little yellow flowers poking up through the snow. I love these little guys—they’re always the first of nature’s gifts to announce that spring’s a’comin’ and all will be well.
We had a glorious Easter—the church was packed and the spirit was strong as we reminded ourselves of our Heavenly Father’s great gifts, not just that he gave His Son to die for our sins, but that He rose Him up to show us that there is life after death and that the reward can be ours. Much of what we honor about Jesus’ life we share with those of other faiths—living worthy lives, loving one another, striving to be holy—but two things separate us from all other religions: the redemption and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a great testament of hope this gives us.
The messages of renewal we get from the glory of Easter to the humble daffodil are especially meaningful to us here at The Fuller Center for Housing. We suffered a tremendous loss with Millard’s passing and have had to ask ourselves what that means to us and the future of this ministry. But just as Easter and those little flowers give us hope and promise our Covenant Partners and our supporters around the world have come forward with a unanimous voice saying this work must go on.
And so it shall. I spent last Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis, meeting with some of the folks who are working on the Millard Fuller Legacy Build, which will be held there in 2010. The excitement there is palpable as they begin developing their plans. In the Chattahoochee Valley, where this year’s Legacy Build will be centered, the excitement is turning into action as plans are firmed up and volunteers begin to register.
I just got a note from Sharon McFalls, director of The Fuller Center of Spartanburg—the little Covenant Partner that could!—with updates on a dozen separate projects they are working on or just completing. Houses are going up in Shreveport and Webster Parish LA, and Greater Blessings projects are going on at covenant partners across the country.
There’s excitement on the international front as well. Nigeria will soon be completing their 50th house in their Luvu project near Abuja, and work is moving forward on both sides of the Congo River as the covenant partners in Makana and Bolomba build new houses in places that have seen more than their share of tragedy. There’s great news out of El Salvador where the Many Miracles sewing project has begun. This will provide the women of San Luis Talpa with a real and steady income.
So we are filled with hope in this season of renewal. We are being blessed and those blessings tell us that we are on the right track and that we need to redouble out efforts. We know that the best way we can honor Millard’s memory is by keeping his dream of eliminating poverty house alive.
Of course none of this is possible without the support of friends like you. We appreciate you interest in our work. We have some outstanding opportunities for service, opportunities that give more than they ask for. There’s the Legacy build this fall in Lanett AL which will use hundreds of volunteers. We have Global Builder Work Teams forming for Armenia, Peru, Nigeria and El Salvador. There isn’t a better way to see the world than on a Fuller Center Global Builders Trip. And the 2009 Bicycle Adventure is coming soon. Riders are invited to join the adventure for a day, a week or for the whole tour. And there are always opportunities to serve in one of the ever growing list of communities with a Fuller Center Covenant Partner. Learn more about all of this by visiting our web page, www.fullercenter.org.
And, of course, we can always use financial support. This is a great ministry, but an expensive one. I’ve often said that if Millard’s dream had been that all of God’s people have a decent pair of shoes we could have declared victory years ago. Helping all of God’s people to have a decent home takes a little more work and a lot more cash. We are grateful for the many gifts we receive and promise to use them wisely so that the funds we’re entrusted with build as many houses as possible.
God bless us now as we enter this grand season of renewal.