Why I Help

Submitted by:
Chuck Vogt, President
Central Indiana Fuller Center for Housing


This being one of my first times to blog for the Fuller Center for Housing of Central Indiana. To introduce myself and tell you why I’m involved in eliminating poverty housing. I need to share with you that I met Millard Fuller in 1986 at a Praise Gathering which is a Christian Conference hosted by Bill & Gloria Gaither Annually in Indianapolis. Millard was traveling around the country trying to get 300 carpenters to go to Charlotte, NC in 1987 to build 14 homes in 5 days. I’m not a licensed carpenter, as I just enjoy woodworking as a hobby; but I signed up and have now helped to build over 80 homes all over the United States.

 
At the Praise Gathering in 1986, it was the following prayer that led me to sign up to go. It was written by Michel Quoist about "housing".
 
 
Your Friend in Christ
Chuck Vogt, President
Fuller Center for Housing of Central Indiana.
 
Housing
by Michel Quoist
 
Lord, I can’t sleep; I have gotten out of bed to pray.
It is night outside, and the wind blows and the rain falls,
And the lights of the city, signs of the living, pierce the darkness.
They bother me. Lord these lights–why are you showing them to me?
They beckon to me, and now they hold me captive, while the woes of the city murmur their muffled lament.
And I cannot escape them, Lord; I know these sufferings too well.
I see them rising before me.
I hear them speaking to me.
I feel them striking me.
They were bothering me when I was trying to sleep.
 
I know that in one single room thirteen crowded people are breathing on one another.
I know a mother who hooks the table and the chairs to the ceiling to make room for mattresses.
I know that rats come out to eat the crusts and bite the babies.
I know a father who gets up to stretch oilcloth above the rain-soaked bed of his four children.
I know a mothers who stays up all night, since there is room for only one bed, and the two children are sick.
I know a drunken father who vomits on the child sleeping beside him.
I know a big boy who runs away alone into the night because he can’t take it anymore.
I know that some men fight for the women, as there are three couples in the same attic.
I know a wife who avoids her husband as there is no room for another baby at home.
I know a child who is quietly dying soon to join his four little brothers.
I know….
I know hundreds of others–yet I was going to sleep peacefully between my nice white sheets.
 
I wish I didn’t know, Lord.
I wish it were not true.
I wish I could convince myself that I’m dreaming.
I wish someone could prove that I’m exaggerating.
I wish they’d show me that all these people have only themselves to blame, that it’s their fault they are so miserable.
I’d like to be reassured, Lord, but I can’t be. It’s too late.
I’ve seen too much.
I’ve listened too much.
I’ve counted too much, and Lord, these ruthless figures have robbed me forever of my innocent tranquility.
 
So much the better, son,
For I, your God, your Father, am cross with you.
I gave you the world at the beginning of time and I want each of my children to have a home worthy of their Father in my vast kingdom.
I trusted you, and your selfishness has spoiled everything.
It’s one of your most serious sins, shared by many of you.
Woe unto you if, through your fault, a single one of my children dies in body or in spirit.
I tell you, I will give to those the finest lodgings in Paradise.
But the thoughtless, the negligent, the selfish, who, well-sheltered on earth, have forgotten others–they have had their reward.
There will be no room for them in my Kingdom.
 
Come, son, ask forgiveness for yourself and for others tonight.
And tomorrow, fight with all your strength, for it hurts your Father to see that once more there is no room for his Son at the inn.
 

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