Another year is moving into the history books, and what a year it has been! It seems as though we had an extra dose of challenges to deal with over the past 12 months and the news was full of tragedy and sadness. But we survived! And in the midst of all the heartache and grief there were bright shining moments of kindness to remind us that God is still in His heaven and that goodness and love are more powerful than evil and fear.
Here at The Fuller Center for Housing we see this every day as kindhearted souls share of their resources and time to make life a little better for a family in need, a family they may only know through the stories we tell. In 2016 our donors and volunteers helped make it possible for hundreds of families to celebrate Christmas in a safe and decent home. We moved families from a hillside slum into a lovely new community in El Salvador; we helped those who lost everything in the earthquake in Nepal to rebuild their homes and their lives; we reached out to families in Louisiana, where the flood waters did so much damage. In 70 U.S. cities and 20 other countries local Fuller Center organizations built and restored houses at an unprecedented rate, and every house stands as a testament of God’s love.
Now we enter the New Year and indications are that in many ways it will be as tumultuous and tragedy-laden as the year we leave behind. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all and helpless by our individual inability to effect change. The good news is that we can be agents of change, perhaps not at the global level, but every house we build means a profound change to the family that will move into it. We know that children who grow up in a decent house do better at school, are healthier, and have fewer behavioral problems, so the kindness we share turns out to benefit not just a single family but the entire community.
We are deeply grateful to the many donors and volunteers who have reached out with us to help families in need. Without that outpouring of kindness this work wouldn’t be possible. It is our prayer that, by partnering with us, our friends feel the joy that Jesus promises to those who keep his commandment—that we love one another. Together we are changing the world, one house at a time.
Our wish for you is a New Year rich with blessings and, even though we may not be able to bring peace to a troubled world, may we all experience the peace in our hearts that comes naturally from serving others.