Howdy! We trust and pray that each of you are doing well in this season of awakening – Spring has Sprung! And it looks like the clamps on nursing home residents required by the threats of COVID-19 are beginning to loosen up a bit in spots all over our great country. We continue to pray for God to give our medical and governmental leaders wisdom and compassion as they fashion our journey out of the darkness of this pandemic. We especially pray that political agendas do not get mixed up with practical aid, comfort and relief to those who have been living under this cloud in long-term care settings.
As a ministry focused on the spiritual encouragement of the care center Christian population we have interacted with several staff members of facilities in our local area. Among them we have found deep, genuine concern and care for their residents. Every person under their attentive eye is important to them, without regard to race, gender, age or station in life. From the comatose residents, to the bed-bound, to the alert and active, the facility personnel that we cross paths with are sometimes overwhelmed with protectiveness for the well-being and compassion for the suffering of those they care for.
Those of us on the “outside” must guard ourselves from the “out of sight – out of mind” syndrome! It is human nature to become absorbed in our own cares and circumstances and neglect the ones who are suffering with illness and deprivation that we can only imagine. And, as the long-term care industry begins to relax, we are in danger of relaxing too.
Here is the raw fact: the heightened level of suffering and loneliness and on-going isolation in nursing homes over the past year have made it to the forefront of national attention…and rightly so. But suffering, and loneliness and isolation have been at the core of the plight of nursing home residents for as long as we can remember! And this fact will probably remain a reality for the foreseeable future! Are things better for the care center population as compared to fifty or sixty years ago? Absolutely! But to that little, wrinkled, weary, slowly dying, lonely, saint of God who is struggling to make sense of her faith and her walk with the Lord as she faces completely uncharted pain – life has never been worse – pandemic or no pandemic!
That is why we have devoted our time and energy to the production and distribution of the Christian ministry materials that we make available without charge to any one who will help us place them in the hands of the elderly and infirm. That is why we have begun purchasing CD and DVD players, and large print New Testaments and Gospels of John to give away locally for use in care center ministry. That is why we maintain our website and stock it with as many free downloadable resources for nursing home ministry as we can. We do not want to charge our hurting friends one dime to find a few moments of truth, peace and joy in the midst of their storm.
We close this note with a word of encouragement from a care facility activity director:
“Can’t begin to express my appreciation for your ministry and for your vision in serving the nursing home community. Budgets are very tight and we would perhaps have to do without such wonderful resources were it not for your generosity and of those who support you. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for these materials, which will be an encouragement to God’s children and bring glory to our Savior.” – K. A.
Jerry and Dar Johnson