Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Mich., has distributed 13,000 pieces of furniture and other household items over the last 10 years—and they’re still counting.
(L-r) Jamie Anderson receives new furniture from Covenant volunteers Gord De Boer and Dave Scheltema. Photographer: Bob Theule
The church gives out everything from tables, chairs, and couches to towels, bedding, and silverware.
Libere Dusabe, a refugee from Burundi, received furniture after he arrived in the United States. “I didn’t have what I needed. They helped me a lot with the new furniture—a dinner table and chairs—because I didn’t have one.” Dusabe has since become a member at Covenant.
But the ministry doesn’t focus only on furniture.
“First of all, it’s a witness-type program,” said volunteer Bob Theule. “The furniture is just a vehicle to meet the people. We give them a Bible when we give them the furniture.”
The church has thirty to forty volunteers—many of them retirees like Theule—who either use the church’s three trailers or their own pickup trucks to distribute the furniture.
“We ask if they have any prayer requests, and sometimes we pray with them right there,” said Theule. “We ask if they belong to a church, and if not, we’ll contact one of the local churches in their neighborhood.”
Covenant gets furniture and other household items from members of local churches, furniture stores, and rest homes that are remodeling.
They put the donations in a large storage garage, where a garage manager takes inventory and arranges the furniture.
“That’s a great feeling: knowing that you’re doing something for someone in need,” said Theule. “We come with a servant attitude and try to seek out the needs of people.”