“There are a lot of broken lives all around us,” says Bryan Cuthriell. “And if I could do or say anything that might help or at least be a source of encouragement, then that’s what I want to do.”
Bryan has followed up on that mission for the last 10 years as a volunteer at Rebuilding Hope.
At a Brotherhood meeting in 2009 at Central Baptist Church, Bryan and brother-in-law Cliff McClanahan, also an RHI volunteer, heard a presentation by Randolph Wilson, the RHI coordinator.
“I was greatly impressed with the mission of RHI, and I committed to being a part of these services in any way I was able to contribute,” he recalls.
After an accident in 2001, Bryan says he’s been unable to do heavy construction work and focuses on encouraging those who do the heavy work.
“For the most part, I have manned the phones and served as greeter to individuals who call or visit RHI,” says Bryan, who has also assisted with fundraisers and other events and cleaned and sorted supplies coming into the warehouse.
“I find particular satisfaction in being able to witness and share Jesus with everyone who comes into contact with me at the desk,” he says.
Among his volunteer experiences, Bryan recalls one that stands out:
“We had a preacher in the area come in looking for a project. Going over the worksheet we found a woman who needed work done on her front porch.
“Seeing the address, the preacher realized that she lived across the street from his church, but he had never noticed the porch or visited the people who lived there.
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“He took on the project, and it’s my understanding she is now attending that preacher’s church.”
Would he encourage other to volunteer at RHI?
“Absolutely, yes,” Bryan, a native of Chesapeake, Va., says. “The fellowship with other Christians is phenomenal alone. There is a lot of fun and laughter and sharing, and the food is good, too. I think any volunteer will tell you that you get far more back than you will ever be able to put in.”
Bryan says he enjoys visiting with family and “telling the same old stories over and over, boring my wife and family to death”; listening to good music; and church fellowship, “particularly when we sing the old hymns of the faith. I love that.”
A member and deacon at Central Baptist Church, he is retired from the Naval Base Norfolk Fire Department where he served for 30 years.
Bryan and Joan will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in May. They have two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.