Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Glory be to the most high God and a great big, “Merry Christmas!” to you. We trust this note finds you joyful in your soul as you walk with Jesus! Joyful and healthy in your frame as you journey toward that day He gives you a glorified body, one immune to disease, injury, tears, pain and death! The day we see our Loving Master in person! What a day that will be!
How privileged Dar and I feel to be called to a ministry devoted to sharing the Good News of Christ’s gift to us and encouraging His little ones in their faith in Him as they face the struggles of aging and illness in their later years. How we revel in the memories of the multitudes of elderly saints whom we have been honored to witness blossoming in their last days in their love and their trust in Jesus Christ. We must also testify that we marvel at how the Lord pours Himself out to these who are often marginalized and forsaken by the world outside their facility.
What a heightened battle our dear care facility residents are facing now. Tens of thousands are enduring the deep, deep dungeon of isolation in their rooms and the life-threatening dangers hanging over them of the lurking COVID-19 illness.
If you are one of those that God has touched to be sensitive to His love and compassion to the widows and orphans of nursing homes, we pray He bless you with a renewed zeal and vision for your ministry. Many of us are now excluded from personal visitation and direct ministry in the facilities. I pray God give each of us new, creative ideas for reaching into the lives of our nursing home population.
We have heard of some new pandemic initiatives in nursing home ministry:
•Individual households in the community surrounding a care center have each one adopted a resident, buying 3 gifts requested by the resident for them to open Christmas day.
•Christmas cheer packs (things like hand-made cards, devotionals, CDs, DVDs, etc.) assembled by Christian volunteers and delivered to several local nursing homes.
•Volunteer ministers going to windows outside residents’ rooms singing hymns and loving them through the glass.
•Some are purchasing items of special need and delivering them to the front doors of the facility, things like CD and DVD players, personal care items, puzzles, etc.
Many staff of nursing homes and many Christian volunteers have requested and received via mail our large print hymn booklets, Christian Christmas Carols booklets, Scripture booklets, instrumental and vocal accompaniment CDs, Devotional DVDs, and Christian Adult Coloring Books. All of these resources are also downloadable on our website (in giant print format) and we can only guess how many have taken advantage of these resources.
The ministry of Christian Concourse is here to help you with nursing home ministry to facilities in your area any way we can. Browse our site and help yourself. Contact staff at your local facilities and let them know about us. Call or email us if you see something we can help you with. And may we say, as we do in every letter, thanks so much to those of you who are able to help us with your prayers and your donations.
Jerry and Dar Johnson