Pastor and Michigan Congregation Minister to People without Homes

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Pastor Dave Spoelma and Imlay City (Mich.) Christian Reformed Church have helped out before at The Refuge, a local ministry to those without homes. But for an entire week in January, they pulled out all the stops to take care of the men and women at The Refuge.

Every morning at 6:00 Spoelma and Imlay City CRC member Scott McKillican arrived to cook and serve breakfast to those housed overnight at The Refuge and to prepare sack lunches to take along for their day. Each afternoon Brian and Catherine Binkley cooked dinner; other church members came to help serve the meals and clean up. Still others visited with the men and women: some singing for them, others playing cards. One member gave a resident the coat off his back. Another gave haircuts. Others donated money for the food.

These efforts were met with much gratitude. “The men and women all commented every morning how good the supper and fellowship was the night before,” Spoelma said. “They remarked that we went far and above for them in the meals and they appreciated it greatly.”

Spoelma noted that 65 people volunteered that week; 60 of them were new members of church who had been attending for a year or less. “And that brings me great joy as pastor to see the joy of the Lord exuding from them through their hands and feet and mouths,” he said. “Most everyone who served gave up something to do so. And most everyone said that it was a far greater blessing for them than for the [people who are] homeless. I am proud to serve with each and every one here.”

About the Author

Anita Ensing Beem is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. Retired director of education and outreach at North Hills CRC in Troy, Mich., she now resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., and is a member of First CRC.