Scripture tells us again and again to be defenders, protectors, and providers for the widows and the aged. Our Lord Jesus wants us to honor and care for those who are frail, vulnerable and neglected. It is not His will that any of them should perish. Yet, there are currently over 1.3 million frail seniors hidden behind the walls of America’s nursing homes, many of whom have yet
As we prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of God Cares, I am reflecting on the way God has led me and others to embrace nursing home ministry as a life-long calling.
Back in 1984, when I first started visiting in a nursing home, I attended a Christmas Eve service at my church. A group of about 30 people came before the congregation to sing a carol. This group – known as “God’s Special Children” – were intellectually disabled adults from local group homes. As they waved their wreaths and ornaments, I was troubled at the sight. I could hear others around me saying “Isn’t that beautiful?” and “Praise the Lord!” I thought to myself . . .
The holiday season is a great time to give the gift of your presence to lonely nursing home residents, many of whom have no family or friends to celebrate with. We are seeking volunteers to “adopt a resident” for the Christmas holiday. This is a simple commitment to visit a resident three times. Your three visits would last about 20 minutes each and include . . .
Sometimes nursing home residents say to me, “I don’t know why God has not taken me home yet…” They feel like they have no value any more. Why is this so?
The announcements have gone out and in a few months the expectant parents will be having a new baby. Friends and relatives are planning to throw them a shower which will provide appropriate clothing, diapers and toys.The room at the end of the hall is becoming an adorable nursery with a comfortable and safe bed, pictures on the walls that will become cherished to that child over the years. A rocker in the corner will be the place where books are read, songs sung and tears wiped away.
Nursing home ministry has such room for individual expression! There are as many unique styles of ministry as there are unique abilities and personalities, all sharing the love of Jesus. . .
The carolers are gone, the visitors have left, the trees, the lights, and the wreaths are coming down, the parties are over and a long, dark winter season sets in.
Now residents are truly facing silent nights and lonely days. They would love to have a bit of that joyous Christmas cheer again; to hear and sing songs and talk with visitors and break the monotony of the long days with pleasant company. . .
Those of you in this mission field know how difficult it is to find truly giant print Bibles at an affordable cost. Well, now they are available! Our hearts were filled with joy at the prospect of helping many of our care home friends grow closer to Jesus. You can go online to obtain these New Testament/Psalms Bibles. . .
Each year God Cares Ministry organizes a picnic, inviting 15+ nursing homes to bring as many residents as they can for a time of fun. This year, about 50 dedicated volunteers hosted over 150 residents and staff…