First official build! – Billy Ponko

First official build! – Billy Ponko

Today was the first official Fuller Center build and it was awesome! The team is unbelievable and so moved to be here working together. Many have worked with Millard before and have a connection with this untouchable cause, and all are here launched by their faith. Faith and the Spirit is strong with this group.  

I will get to the work of the day in a bit, but how the day ended is truly a reflection of how this program will spread like a virus–the “Fulleritis virus.” This is a group of men and women, all ages, all denominations, joined together, from the Indianapolis area, with one common goal: to let faith lead them through their lives. They found themselves here in Haiti working with FCH to improve the lives of humanity.

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It was the end of the first day that brought us together as a team. It started in the middle of the afternoon rain storm when a flat bed loaded with 700 cinder blocks arrived. There are no forklifts or lulls to unload the blocks. We used simple, old fashioned team work. We found ourselves in two lines forming a 20-person chain passing concrete block. Amazingly after a long day, the cooling rain washed away our sweat and offered one last burst of energy, with only a few blisters to show for our efforts.

This teamwork seemed to be a good base to come together after dinner and what I believe was a basis to introduce ourselves and share our faiths. It was not just names and residence, but included what moved each of us as individuals. It was reassuring that others let their lives or choices be led by something they also might not understand. This kind of support helps bring clarity to the first weeks here in Haiti–the cause is at the surface and our support is growing. The ball is rolling now and I am excited to keep it that way. I’m excited to meet all these great people, and to create something that was not here yesterday.

During the rest of the day we prepared and laid out the block walls for the first duplex, decided to start the footing and slabs on the revised design for a second duplex, laid out the street and entry to this new village community, pouring foundation for an entry wall. Plus, we were all hopefully making friends and building relationships with the local contractors and people. The heat was intense as usual, but I find myself acclimating a bit. It could be that we are only in the low 90’s; I have not looked at a thermometer. Either way I still sweat, but now I just smile and wipe it away.

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