Church Ministry Furnishes New Home of Family of 13 Displaced by Fire

After living almost a month without a place to call home, a Fairfax family of 13 is all moved into its new space.

News4 has tracked the Muhanyis' journey from fire victims to house guests to their newly furnished home.

Shortly after the fire in mid-June, a local Marine family, the Carlins, opened its doors and made room for Pastory Muhanyi, his wife Alphonsine and their 11 children.

This past week they finally signed the lease on a new rental home, allowing them to move out of the Carlins' home.

However, the fire didn’t spare any furniture.

That’s where Gracing Spaces came in to help.

The group, a ministry of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Clifton, Virginia, furnishes homes of needy families across northern Virginia.

A couple of times a week, more than two dozen volunteers load up donated furniture.

Friday, after they sweat, they prayed together, then headed out to change the Muhanyi family’s life, the transformation from house to home now underway.

“We’ve made one little step for them,” said Kathie Baumgart, a Gracing Spaces co-founder.

Curtis and Mitzi Carlin also spent much of their day helping the family for which they’ve already done so much.

Even the children’s school principal, Barbara Dalmut, lent a hand.

Then there’s 8-year-old Dylan Holt, who carried his weight and more. It was the fifth home he’s helped furnish this year.

“To help people and be nice,” Dylan said. “It makes me feel good that we’re giving people who don’t have furniture and stuff like that (deep sigh) a new home.”

“People are so generous,” Pastory Muhanyi remarked.

Pastory, a refugee from genocide, had one more thing to hang for the house to really be home.

“Before everything is done in the house, that flag has to be there. Only one flag, the United States of America flag,” he said.

Perfect timing to celebrate Independence Day.

Gracing Spaces has furnished 146 homes in northern Virginia this year alone.

To make a donation to help the Muhanyi family, click here.

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