Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings to each of you in the name of our Savior and our Master, Jesus Christ. Though we do not communicate directly with many of you, other than through this little letter every month, we are always mindful of how dependent we are on our Christian family to help us in the mission field where the Lord has placed us. And in our partnership, your faithfulness in encouraging and supporting us has, to us, been a reflection of our Heavenly Father’s faithful love. As we open this note, we want to begin with a sincere, “Thank you!” for your kindness.
Surely we all have been through times in our lives when we were dependent, at least in some respects, on the generosity and unselfishness of others to get along. But, by the very nature of their circumstances, nursing home residents are even more needful of care for their daily needs. They cannot do for themselves the routine chores and activities that we all tend to take for granted. It really goes without saying, that so many things that we do regularly for ourselves, become the source of constant frustration, anxiety, disappointment and struggle for the dear souls who are the focus of our ministry.
It is given to others to put the toothpaste on their toothbrush; to change their bed-clothes; to fix their meals; to mop the stains off their floor and see to their medication. Nursing home ministers also have an important role in the quality of life of care facility residents, especially those who hold their faith in Jesus Christ as a vital lifeline in their difficult circumstances.
There are those to whom we minister who have faithfully walked with Christ longer than many of us have been alive! They taught Sunday school, they sang in the choir, they attended all the announced services at church that they possibly could. They read their devotional every morning and their Bible every night. And they supported their fellow Christians, their family, their friends, their neighbors, and souls they met in line at the supermarket in compassionate prayer…often on their knees.
And now they face a daily battle that taxes their strength and challenges their faith down to the core. They never imagined the struggle would ever be so intense. But in a deeper way that they had not experienced before, they find their precious Lord Jesus to still be their Savior, to still be the Great Shepherd to His little wounded, hurting lamb.
Think about how spiritually refreshing it is, laying in their geri-chair, rolled into the dining room for “church service,” and they are stirred from their medicated drowsiness to faintly hear “Blessed Assurance” echoing in their ear! Without opening their tired eyes, we have often seen age-worn lips quietly begin to form the words from memory, “Blessed Assurance! Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!”
We are grateful to the indispensable, innumerable nursing home ministers and staff members all over the U. S. A. who are playing our DVDs and CDs, singing with the residents from our little hymn booklets – thank you! And, again, we are so very thankful to you who support us with your prayers and finances. You are a crucial part of the supply chain of this practical expression of God’s love and grace to this needy population. And, the reports we are getting indicate that nursing home ministry is slowly recovering from the setbacks of COVID-19! To God be the glory!