For any gift made to our Year-End Campaign of at least $100 through Dec. 31, we’ll send you this gift pack with a coffee mug, bucket hat, pin, bandana and keychain — each with the Fuller Center logo. If you donate by check, include “YearEnd2020” in the memo line so we’ll know you want the gift pack.
Jose and Gloria will welcome their first-born child into this new Fuller Center home in Nicaragua — a much better start for the little one than the flimsy metal shack in which they had lived until recently. These are the kinds of projects you make possible through your support of our ministry — support that is desperately needed, especially since the economic downturn that has gripped the entire world in the wake of COVID.
Perhaps the only thing better than seeing a child move from a shack to a decent home is seeing them start their lives in a safe home that provides a strong foundation for the future.
What a year it has been!
So very many across the country and around the world have had their lives turned upside-down. My heart goes out to those poor families who’ve had to shelter in substandard places, in shacks made of tin and plastic. On top of the pandemic we’ve seen storms ravage coastal communities and civil unrest destroy homes and businesses, among other disasters. All of us will remember 2020!
In the midst of all this hardship, though, there are still wonderful things happening. Thanks to the support of friends like you our work continues. Our partners are building in Haiti, Armenia, and El Salvador, and in the past couple of months three new houses have been dedicated here in the States. Our Disaster ReBuilders have rushed into Southern Louisiana and already have a volunteer base set up there.
It’s hard to keep righteous people down!
In the midst of tragic disruption, we all look for messages of hope. I’d like to share three hope-filled stories from 2020 that demonstrate what this ministry is all about and what people of good will are able to accomplish.
Let me flash back to seven years ago when Army veteran Miguel Guigni partnered with us to build a house in Shreveport, Louisiana. Miguel had fought his way out of homelessness and worked alongside more than 500 volunteers during that 2013 build. He was excited to work for his home and eager to repay the costs through a no-interest, no-profit mortgage. He made his monthly payments because he knew that they would help others get that same hand-up into a good home. He was so eager, in fact, that he paid extra and this past summer paid off his home completely. In a few years’ time, he has gone from homelessness to outright homeownership!
Meanwhile, this year began much like last year for Vietnam veteran Ray Moneymaker in Panama City, Florida — with hopelessness. Shortly after Hurricane Michael struck in 2018 and severely damaged his home, his wife died as they had trouble getting her the oxygen she needed to live. Ray then suffered a stroke. When our Disaster ReBuilders met him earlier this year, he was severely depressed as he sat in his wheelchair amid moldy walls and damaged floors. His home has now been fully restored.
“They’ve been a real blessing to me,” Ray said of the volunteers who came to work on his home, many just before the pandemic hit and volunteer trips were temporarily paused.
Looking forward, we head south to a nation many of our volunteers have grown to love — Nicaragua. After finishing our work in the village of La Florida, we were invited to help transform the community of Zaragoza near Leon. Recently we completed the new home of Jose and Gloria, who are expecting their first child. They have moved out of their flimsy metal shack and now have a simple, decent and safe home in which to raise their son. Perhaps the only thing better than seeing a child move from a shack to a decent home is seeing them start their lives in a safe home that provides a strong foundation for the future.
“It is God who has heard the prayers, and we have wept with joy,” Gloria says.
In March, we marked our 15th anniversary by looking back at many of the accomplishments supporters like you made possible. That’s when things took a downward turn. This year has been a test of faith for many, and, as proud as we are of the 15 years of success stories you’ve made possible, it’s no time to bask in past accomplishments. We must press forward as this year has further highlighted the need for families to have decent places to live, especially in tough times.
Thank you for helping Jose and Gloria’s son have that strong foundation in which to grow and flourish.
Thank you for restoring Ray’s hope.
And thank you for helping Miguel complete his journey from homelessness to homeownership.
And I thank you for your continued partnership as we take the “Theology of the Hammer” into a new decade. Our mission, with your generous partnership for 2021: Bring new life and hope to our brothers and sister in need using nails and hammers (plus a bit of construction material!).
A blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas to you and your loved ones!
Fuller Center for Housing President and co-founder