Make yourself at home. What do you think of when you hear that? Maybe it’s a chair in the corner of the living room where you like to curl up and read. Maybe it’s the warmth of your bed on a winter night. Maybe it’s a big meal shared at a table surrounded by good company.
Miss S. was 50-something years old, living alone in downtown Waukegan when she reached out to Love INC. She had been slowly working toward stability after having declared bankruptcy a few years back. She was beginning to learn the skills necessary to stay on top of her bills, but then her life was disrupted from another angle in the form of multiple health issues. Respiratory issues and chronic knee pain were only made worse by the fact that Miss S. was sleeping on the floor. When it came to furniture, her apartment was empty.
After sharing her story with a Clearinghouse intake minister from Trinity Community Church, another volunteer from Spirit Alive was able to schedule Miss S. for a furniture delivery. In early April servants from Christ Church of Lake Forest gathered at Love INC on the second Saturday of the month, as they always do, and brought her a household’s worth. The night before she had been sleeping on tile, and that Saturday night she crawled into fresh linens and slept in her own bed. Donna, a volunteer receptionist from Gurnee Community Church, received a call at our office from Miss S. a few days later, overwhelmed by what God had done for her. “Once I am settled,” she said, “I want to bless someone else in the way you blessed me.”
Miss S.’s story is amazing, but it is also not unique. The stories of God’s work in this ministry are so numerous that it is hard to pick just one to share. There’s Miss C. and her five kids in the two bedroom apartment who received bunk beds delivered by Libertyville Covenant Church. There was Mr. A and his family, struggling with finances as their daughter fought leukemia, who were given a household of furniture and Christmas presents by the team from Village Church of Gurnee. There are even those stories that come out of donation pick-ups made by the teams, like when Beach Bible Church emptied the house of a woman grieving her husband, taking the time to grieve and pray with her, and be with her in her pain.
The furniture teams don’t just deliver and pick-up furniture. They go with prayer, with tears, with laughter, to bear the burdens of our neighbors in need, to pray and encourage them, to allow for someone to do something they haven’t had a chance to do in a very, very long time: make themselves at home.
We want you to be a part of what God is doing through the furniture ministry! Even if your church doesn’t have a team yet, come any Saturday morning and join one of the teams going out. They would love to have you! Another great way to get involved is simply by gathering a couple friends from church together for a pick-up or delivery here and there. There is so much happening through this extravagant ministry. Come and be a part.