By David Snell,
My plan for today was to catch a flight to Nicaragua. The weather and Delta conspired against me, so I find myself with time I didn’t expect to have — seems like a good opportunity for a blog post.
The Fuller Center for Housing is going through a growth spurt. We have new covenant partners formed or forming in Perry, Ga.; Sarasota, Fla.; Spokane, Wash.; Nashville, Tenn.; and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These are great developments and, as U.S. covenant partners raise their own funds, they don’t create financial obligations for us here in Americus.
It’s different overseas where local fundraising is very difficult and support comes from generous donors here in North America. Some time ago we put a cap on new overseas partners, arguing that we needed to get our fundraising to the point that we could adequately provide for those we already had before we took on new ones. An interesting thing happened along the way — we didn’t see much growth in our fundraising efforts. Looking back, I can see that we put ourselves in a sort of anti-faith limbo. We were scarcity thinkers, so scarcity became our reality.
I think that the good Lord got tired of our faithlessness because we suddenly find ourselves in discussions with a number of countries with such compelling programs that we have had to lift our self-imposed ceiling and welcome them in. We have new partners in Thailand (where the first house is already being built), Cameroon (which just completed their first house) and Bolivia. We are in active discussions with Ethiopia, Albania and Papua New Guinea.
All of this means that we’re going to have to raise a lot more money. This would be daunting if our history weren’t so rich with miraculous blessings. After Millard died and I had to start worrying about this sort of thing, I have to admit there were some sleepless nights. I came to learn that when things were at their bleakest suddenly gifts would come in to carry us through. I moved from worrying about the money to wondering how the next crisis would be solved. You’d think that this sort of continuing good will from on high would foster a better quality of faith. But, alas, humanness settled in.
Now, though, we’re back in faith mode. I have no doubt that the resources we need to house God’s people in need in these new countries, while keeping the work moving apace in the older ones, will come our way. I admit to having serious doubts as to how, exactly, but my job is to do everything I can to make it happen and then have sufficient faith to let the Lord do His part.
This faith business is a curious thing — the more you exercise it the better the results. I’m convinced that Millard Fuller’s outstanding success was a direct result of his great faith. Of all his many attributes, that is the one I most hope to emulate. An attitude of abundance versus scarcity is really a matter of faith versus faithlessness. We’re going for abundance.