David Snell: Remembering Millard Fuller’s dream of “No more shacks!”
In 1992, upon accepting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, Millard Fuller said, “He was a man of aggressive goodwill. Because of his dreams and because others dreamed with him, we do live in a better day.”
He was speaking, of course, of Dr. King, but it’s a statement that applies to Millard as well. Millard had a dream, that “Everyone who gets sleepy at night should have a simple, decent place to lay their heads.” And Millard had the rare talent of getting others to dream with him. Thousands of donors and volunteers rallied to his call and as a result millions of people around the world now have a simple, decent place to lay their heads at night.
Today, on the seventh anniversary of Millard’s passing, we pause to honor his memory. But we don’t pause for long because the need remains great and there are still millions of people around the world who need a simple, decent place to call their own.
The dream may have started with Millard but as he shared it, it became the dream of all of us who follow in his footsteps. Millard was a builder and knew the importance of putting a solid foundation under the houses he built. In that same way he put a solid foundation under the ministry and so, even in his absence, the work continues to prosper and grow.
We miss Millard to this day. His wisdom and enthusiasm inspired us all. He was more than the spark that started a movement, he was a raging fire that kept it moving and growing at a remarkable pace. He was a friend to the poor, to the marginalized and the needy. He sought to share the gospel not just with the houses he built or the sermons he gave but by the way he lived his life.
The only way to truly honor him is to follow his example, and so we here at The Fuller Center for Housing remain committed to his dream — No more shacks!
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