By David Snell,
President, Fuller Center for Housing
I spent a few days last week with 100 or so of my best friends. We had our annual Fuller Center for Housing Covenant Partner and Global Builders Conference along with a board meeting in Indianapolis. It was an outstanding series of events. What made it especially significant is that almost everyone there are volunteers, people who are giving of their time and resources to move this ministry forward. These are people who could have spent the weekend in any number of ways but chose instead to come together and talk about how we can better serve God’s people in need. I am amazed and humbled by their dedication and zeal.
The Fuller Center for Housing is committed to a single notion: We want to demonstrate our faith by following Christ’s command that we reach out to those in need, and we focus our energy on working to assure that every child has a decent place to call home. We’ve started a project with some eminent researchers to document the effects that housing has on such things as academic performance and childhood health and obesity. It is demonstrable that children who live in a decent house have a tremendous advantage. The home is the launching pad for a good life.
We had some inspiring participants in this year’s conference, among them the first Fuller Center homeowner from Philadelphia, Miguel Diaz. We welcomed Louis Green and Hilton Dennis from Cape Town, South Africa, our newest Covenant Partner, and signed the covenant with the whole crowd cheering us on. Sandra Gourdet, the Africa Executive for the Disciples of Christ/UCC Global Ministries program, stopped by. This was especially meaningful as it was as Disciples missionaries that Millard and Linda traveled to Zaire forty years ago.
It was cold — some of our southern partners experienced temperatures they’d never felt before! But it was pretty much dry, so the roads and the airport treated us well, as did our CP hosts, The Fuller Center of Central Indiana. They worked hard to make sure that the facility, the meals and the accommodations were perfect. A special word of thanks is due to Pastor Greg Dixon and the gracious folks at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple who opened their doors and provided an ideal setting for the event.
There is nothing more inspiring to me than to share time with those who make this ministry work. It is on the ground in places like Indianapolis and Armenia, Hammond, Louisiana, and Louisville, Kentucky, (the site of next April’s Millard Fuller Legacy Build) that the hands and feet of Christ are hard at work. Our board members, covenant partners and Global Builders teams are reaching out to God’s people in need in a profound and significant way. I feel honored to be in the company of such saints.