The Fuller Center for Housing

A few days ago, our community here in Palo Alto had a conference call with Millard Fuller, whom you may remember from my entry a while back on Koinonia Farms. Millard founded Habitat for Humanity after being at Koinonia, but was recently fired from the company he started for “philosophical” reasons. The way he tells it, he was trying to put more money back into housing projects, whereas the rest of the board was trying to become a Big Corporation.

Anyway, the conference call was the result of some chance interactions that several in our community had with Millard (which, incidentally, were the reason I heard about Koinonia, etc…), and the purpose of it was to see if there were any good ways for us to partner with Millard’s new organization, the Fuller Center for Housing. This new company aims to help people who are “too poor” for Habitat to work with.

Some in our community were pretty excited about the prospect of doing work with an organization like this, even before the conference call, and as we listened to Millard share his vision of basic housing for the entire world, it was indeed inspiring. Already there are lots of projects all over the world for the Fullers–more than they can handle, in fact.

We discussed a few next steps for various members of our community, and we will probably try to get together with Millard again soon to talk more. We’re hoping that, at the very least, all of us could go work for a short time on a project somewhere, maybe overseas in Nepal.

Personally, I have no desire to devote myself to hammering nails in Nepal, even if that is a genuine need in the world and even if it is a mandate of Christ to do that sort of thing. Well, that’s not true–I do have a desire for it, just not as great a desire as for other things which I feel have an even stronger hold on my passions and abilities, and my heart. This dream of ours at Teleios, for example, is keeping me very centered in my “calling”, to use a bad Christian word.

Still, something about physically bringing some of the signs of the Kingdom to a part of the world is very attractive, and I think that discipline is all too often overlooked by Americans in particular, and evangelicals especially. So I am glad to be in a community where such disciplines are true loves, and where I can support efforts to those ends with the resources that I have, whether it is friendship or freelance web design or physical action.

So I’m not sure what is going to happen with this; who knows, maybe in a year a few of my friends will be moving to Sri Lanka to head up housing projects there! For me, I’m excited to see what will happen.

By Jonathan Lipps

Jonathan worked as a programmer in tech startups for several decades, but is also passionate about all kinds of creative pursuits and academic discussion. Jonathan has master’s degrees in philosophy and linguistics, from Stanford and Oxford respectively, and is working on another in theology. An American-Canadian, he lives in Vancouver, BC and has way too many hobbies.

2 replies on “The Fuller Center for Housing”

If you do stuff in Nepal, I have friends there who would both greatly benefit from such kingdom work, and could also connect you with others… Maybe I’ll go myself – I’ve kept putting it off for years.

I’d love to know more – sounds wonderful. I’m more likely to hammer nails into myself than into boards, but there’s a part of me that wants to get involved somehow.

I did hear about the Millard-Habitat break from the other side – good to get the other side of the story.

Pretty cool. God hangs out among the poor and needy. I love to hang out where God hangs out!

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