WEEK IN REVIEW: Inspiration and perspiration

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

As I’m writing this, dedicated Fuller Center volunteer and team leader Brenda Sawyer is sitting in the conference room 25 feet away from me and telling Fuller Center Global Builders coordinator Hailey Dady about last week’s Global Builders trip to Nicaragua — the Fuller Center’s first ever in the country. By all accounts, it was a wonderful trip.

What struck me and Hailey, though, were photos shared with us by Mary Ann Turner DeJesus, another frequent Fuller Center volunteer and friend who was one of the team members on the trip led by Brenda. Mary Ann went on and on about the wonderful family they worked with and we noticed the kids in the photos looked awfully familiar.

Turns out, they were the same kids Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola met while touring the area in January of 2012 and checking out the operation of a group seeking to join The Fuller Center. He was struck by their constant smiles and joyous laughter — and undeniable cuteness — despite the fact that they lived in a flimsy shack. When he shared photos of the kids back here at headquarters, even the rest of us at the office couldn’t forget the faces of these smiling kids who desperately needed a home.

Now, thanks to Brenda and her team of volunteers, they have yet another reason to smile — not that they ever stopped. The kids now have a safe and decent place to call home. And our work in Nicaragua is off to a fantastic start. Click here to see some photos from the trip and check FullerCenter.org next week for a report from Brenda and Mary Ann about this wonderful first Nicaraguan family served by The Fuller Center. But here’s a sneak preview of the story:

“They welcomed us like we were family,” Brenda just told me. “We had a lot of laughs and cried at the end together. It was just a very deserving, hard-working family.”

I also had a chance to chat with with Rob Minton this week. You may not know Rob, but if you’ve been on a Fuller Center new home build and seen all those Bible verses and words of inspiration written on the walls, well, you’re connected to him. Rob leads CrossRoads Missions, which has supplied the walls for more than 85 Fuller Center new home builds through its Help Build Hope program, which you can read about by clicking here.

And it’s been a loud week here at headquarters as University of Cincinnati students have been walking all over our roof, making much needed repairs. They’re also working on a home down the street from us. They are with the student service group Serve Beyond Cincinnati, which has supplied us with hundreds of volunteers over the years. Click here to see photos from their work trip to Americus this week.

Also making noise are our Bicycle Adventurers during their second annual spring ride down The Natchez Trace. They’re garnering a good bit of media attention, including this great report from the Times-Daily of Florence, Ala. Making noise is a good thing for the Bicycle Adventure because part of their mission is to spread awareness. The other part is to raise funds, and you can help them do that by clicking here.

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