From our timing to God's plans

 “Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace.  Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step.”

Sarah Young from Jesus Calling,
      Enjoying Peace in His Presence
Each morning at The Fuller Center headquarters in Americus, we begin with devotions. We have been reading an excellent daily devotional by Sarah Young which was given to us as a gift from Rick Allen and Laura Berry who, along with Clay Boardman and board president Anne Catherine Murray, head up the Augusta-Harrisburg Fuller Center for Housing.
Monday’s reading for Jan. 25 was exceptionally meaningful for our local team. Wayne Nelson is heading up the duplex we are building on Elizabeth Street. After hearing the reflection on God’s timing, Wayne said, “That is tough.” He went on to explain how much pressure he put on himself to reach the goal of having the foundation poured in time to raise walls on Martin Luther King’s birthday. For our leadership team, it was a self-imposed goal with meaning and marketing significance for The Fuller Center ministry. It didn’t happen. At least the way we planned.

The rains came, and the subcontractors wisely held back to make sure the slab foundation was done correctly.

Quietly, or perhaps not so quietly, we adjusted to plan “B” and got some lumber and went to the parking lot behind our house sponsor Americus First Presbyterian Church. We built the interior walls.

By Friday, the walls did go up.

By Saturday, the roof was on and all went amazingly well.

Wayne reflected on all the wonderful things that happened because we didn’t make our planned deadline:

  • In the parking lot, our partner homeowners Thaddeus Harris and Chuck Davis got to meet for the first time
  • Tom MacFarland engineered some sawhorses that allowed Thad and Chuck to work together building walls
  • The delay freed up representatives from SIPS Team USA who drove up from Bainbridge, Ga. to volunteer to lend their labor and expertise in standing up the exterior walls, a 3,500 laminated support beam, and heavy roof panels
  • The delay made it possible for Fuller Center president David Snell to be on site to lead us in devotions on Friday morning. What a joy it was for us to have him celebrate with us!
  • Local contractor Rick Arnold offered a previously rented lift to save us at least $1,000 in rental fees
  • The owner of a local florist shop, Jerry Dill, was able to volunteer on Friday and Saturday. Recruited by our construction manager David Landis, Jerry did not know at the time that homeowner Thaddeus Harris was one of his employees
  • Mennonite Voluntary Service staff, Allen Slabaugh and Alyssa Hostetler and Koinonia Farm’s crew including Craig Martindale, Nashua Chantal, Chuck Wilbanks and Phil Buczek were all available on the weekend. We can honestly say that the roof and walls would still be sitting in a pile without their incredible help in the cold by these angels in work boots
  • Members of Americus First Presbyterian Church were available to work alongside the homeowners, volunteers and board members. They even grilled us up some delicious lunch!
Sarah Young reminded us of the following verse from Hebrews 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.” Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Campaigns have to be flexible to be effective.

The symbolism of walls going up on Martin Luther King’s birthday would have been wonderful, but perhaps not as helpful to Chuck and Thaddeus as was our community coming together a few days later, on God’s time, to build relationships and by building a house.

God’s timing resulted in the manifestation of an important symbol of God’s Kingdom realized a little bit here on earth, in Americus, on Elizabeth Street.

Take a look at some more photos from the day in the brief slideshow below:

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