Linda Fuller is the co-founder of The Fuller Center for Housing. She submitted this report from Peru, where she iswith her husband Paul Degelmann on a Global Builders trip. During the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 4, 2019, she and Paul will be working at the Millard Fuller Legacy Build in Beauregard, Alabama.
“Fuller Living” features the people who make this ministry possible, talking about their experiences in their own words.
Editor’s note: Linda has updated this post with additional thoughts upon returning home from Peru. Scroll to see the update.
Friends and Partners,
I want to share an incredible story with you. A few weeks ago, I noticed a post on Millard’s Memorial Facebook page that read, “I know Millard Fuller has passed away, but He was a great person and I am honored to have that name.”
Usually, I do not respond to these posts but curiosity led me to check on this person’s profile. I discovered he is from Puno, Peru, and that he is now a sculptor living in Lima. This was exciting news for me because Millard and I visited Puno in the mid ’80s to see the first Habitat houses built in Peru.
So I wrote to Millard and told him about our good visit there long ago. He replied that he was the first baby born in a Habitat house in Puno, which means I could have very well seen him when he was a baby. I asked him if he remembers Zenon Colque Rojas who was the driving force behind that excellent work. He told me he had heard of him and seen videos about him but he doesn’t remember him because he was so young. Then he tells me “Zenon” is his middle name — Millard Zenon Rodriguez.
Just a few weeks prior to this Facebook encounter, Paul and I had signed up for a Fuller Center Global Builders trip to Peru with plans to spend several days exploring Lima before joining our team to work for a week in La Florida. I told Millard we would like to meet him and he asked me to call when we arrived in Lima, which I did.
After visiting at the hotel, he offered to show us around the city. And that he did for three amazing days!
In addition to various historic sites and ancient ruins, he took us to the National School of Arts where he studied for five years. He told us that during his final year of art school, he won a scholarship to study English. (He got a lot of practice with us because Paul and I know very little Spanish.) Millard’s dream is to get his master’s degree in art so he can return home to Puno and start an art department at that small university.
Truly, I am blessed to be “reunited” with Millard Zenon Rodriguez to see the fine young and inspiring man he has become. And, by the way, I had Zenon meet us at a restaurant so Millard could meet his other namesake. I think there will be more to this story as God unfolds it in the future. Stay tuned.
Editor’s note: There was more to the story indeed — here is Linda’s updated report with a few more photos upon returning home from Peru …
With 14 persons from the U.S. and Canada loaded in a van, our Fuller Center Global Builders team headed out of Lima south along the coast for a 2.5-hour ride to La Florida. Before leaving, Millard Zenon expressed an interest in joining us later in the week if he could get permission to miss English classes.
La Florida’s project director, Zenon Colque Rojas, told us about a dedication planned on Friday afternoon for the 100th house completed in La Florida. So Millard wanted come help us build for a couple of days and join in the celebration.
Arriving by bus on Thursday, he did just that! At the job site, he teamed up with our own Bike Adventure leader Connor Ciment laying bricks like a pro. Millard had never done masonry work before, but it came as no surprise that as a sculptor he was well suited for the task.
Here we see a fine and talented young man who was the first baby born in a Habitat house in Puno now helping another family have a decent place to live. And, he is with Zenon, me, our team and numerous La Floridians to dedicate the milestone 100th Fuller house.
As I contemplate about how Millard has re-entered the “picture” after 32 years, it shows that life, indeed, does flow in circles. One never knows when the seeds we plant will spring forth, all in God’s perfect timing.
As you can see from the photos, our beloved Millard Fuller was very much remembered and present in the form of a very large poster and memories spoken by Zenon. What could be more fitting than to have with us on this grand occasion Millard Fuller, Zenon Colque Rojas and Millard Zenon Rodriguez?
God is good!
Photo gallery provided by Linda Fuller (Right-click and select “view image” to see photos in full-size):
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