Helen knew she was lacking something. She just didn’t know how or where to find it. She had been married and then widowed. She had raised two children, but was no longer hearing from either of them. Having outlived most of her friends and family, she felt isolated. The body she lived in was declining. The facility she lived in was confining and seemed like anywhere but home. She felt the people around her were only there because they were paid to take care of her. She knew the difference between “being taken care of “and “being cared for.”
When we first introduced ourselves to Helen, she made no eye contact. Her caregiver had said “she doesn’t really talk.” We let Helen know that we were content to just ‘be’ with her and if she wanted to express anything that we were “all ears.” We asked if we could pray and share some words with her and then return again next week. She paused and gave a reluctant nod.
The next two visits were no different. We greeted her and left after a time of providing prayer and a presence. A month to the day after we met, we approached her the same way. This time she looked up and said, “I missed you.’ This led to her sharing her life story with us and our sharing the Story of Life with her. She embraced Jesus through the Gospel message and was placed as a child in His family. Her spiritual growth has made an indelible impact on the staff and other residents as she not only verbalizes her faith but joins in singing His praises as a freed captive.
Join us in praise to our great God for “placing the lonely in families” as He has for Helen. Her daily testimony is that God has set her free from bondage and has given her neighbors to love!
~ Dave and Teri Compton, Love Your Neighbor Ministries, Gresham, OR