Haitian family will move from shack to decent home — thanks to a song of gratitude

Haitian family will move from shack to decent home — thanks to a song of gratitude by granddaughter of Fuller Center co-founders Millard and Linda Fuller

Sophie Davina may be living in Switzerland now, but the affordable housing ministry founded by her grandparents Millard and Linda Fuller has always been near and dear to her heart. That’s why she came up with the idea of using the release of her new song of gratitude — “Look Back on Every Blessing” — to help a family have a simple, decent place to live.

Generous donor Jackie Goodman embraced the idea and agreed to give one dollar for each stream of the song in its first two weeks of release on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube. Other donors were encouraged to contribute to the project if they were inspired by Sophie’s music. Today, in less than a month of release, Sophie’s plan has come to fruition.

Joseph family

Rosana Joseph has been raising her family in a rotting shack of wood, sticks and mud on the outskirts of Pignon, Haiti. She has four children, but in the past few years she lost two others to typho-malarial fever — a menacing illness all too prevalent in places where poverty housing conditions are pervasive. When she learned about The Fuller Center for Housing’s program in Pignon, she told her story through tears and said she had long prayed for a decent place to live.

That prayer is being answered — thanks to donors and fans of the song, including one who was so inspired that she gave $1,000 to meet the $6,000 total needed to sponsor the home.

“I commend Ms.Davina for writing and recording this lovely song,” wrote the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous. “Since its release the week of Thanksgiving, I have listened to it over and over and shared it with dozens of friends and family members. I like the idea that her time and musical talents are making it possible for a poor Haitian family to move from their tumbling-down shack into a beautiful solid house.

“Having lost my dear husband earlier this year, I find Ms. Davina’s song of thanksgiving and praise a sweet reminder to be thankful for blessings even in the midst of struggles and pain,” she added. “In making this donation, I will need to adjust my gift list but, for me, this could be the best gift of all.”

Newest Fuller Center home in Pignon, completed last week

This success story comes at an important time for The Fuller Center’s partners in Haiti, who have continued to press forward with their building efforts despite enormous challenges the nation has faced this year — including natural disasters, political upheaval and rampant crime. Those challenges have put a pause on Fuller Center Global Builders trips to Haiti, long a favorite volunteer destination.

Yet, under the determined leadership on the ground of Geral Joseph and his team, the building continues in the community of Pignon. The team’s latest project includes helping families who lost homes — and, for some, also loved ones — in the August earthquake that struck the southwest portion of the island. They are partnering to resettle in the relative stability of Pignon with safe, new Fuller Center homes.

“We certainly appreciate Sophie’s love for this ministry founded by her grandparents,” said Chris Johnson, Vice President of Communications, who helped coordinate the effort. “And the folks who’ve joined in the effort aren’t just contributing to a worthy cause, but they also are hearing a very talented young musician and singer-songwriter as she is just getting started.”

Listen to "Look Back on Every Blessing"

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