Hello, Fellow Children of God!
Dar and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and care. Our labor in the mission field of long-term care ministry would be much hindered without the kind and generous participation of each one of you. Many of you have told us that you pray for us each day! We recognize the strength, guidance and provision your intercession affords us by the work of God in this ministry. One part of His provision is your prayers for us and another part is your financial support for this work. Once more we say, “Thank you!”
As mentioned in previous newsletters, facilities nation-wide are opening up to the return of volunteers since COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. More and more Christian volunteers and facility staff are discovering our materials online as they search for ministry resources to aid in their chapel services. This has resulted in requests coming in faster than we can meet them! But, we are not complaining. We’re catching up. And these Christ-centered materials are going out to be a blessing to an ever increasing number of residents!
On the note of rising demand, we are searching for a local printing company who can help us produce our large print hymn booklets and scripture booklets. It is amazing how complicated this is! There is the matter of paper requirements (the brightness and the thickness and the “feel” is important to the feeble eyes and fingers that handle our materials). We want the covers to the booklets the printing company makes to be as close as possible to the color and thickness of the ones we produce. Additionally, the “artwork” involved in producing the proofs for a printing company must have the same appearance as the proofs we have been using, and this process is very tedious and time consuming since we are not inclined to pay the printing company $90 an hour to do it to our satisfaction. Another issue is the type of binding that will be used – staples or glue or stitching or spiral binding? To avoid confusion, our goal is that the printer’s production will have the same content, and the same look and feel, inside and out, as the booklets we have been producing for years. And, most importantly, we are committed to continue to distribute these materials without charge.
We are thankful that requests are increasing, but printing, collating, stapling, folding, cutting and packaging over 9000 booklets a year takes a toll on an aging back, and shoulders and elbows. As we pursue this avenue for providing our free nursing home materials well into the future, we would really appreciate your prayers.
As a result of visitation restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 in 2020 we were forced to suspend our “church services” in nursing homes. Another practical issue was the dangers to Jerry’s health associated with physical issues he has been dealing with for some time. Over the years he has fought with susceptibility to and increased disturbing symptoms suffered by the common cold. He has proven not to be a good candidate for whatever virus is going around, much less the flu or COVID-19. Therefore, we still have not begun doing services again in facilities. This decision is not taken lightly. Jerry was introduced to nursing home ministry by his home church when he was eight years old – that’s 66 years ago! When he finally surrendered to the Lord’s call in his life in 1978, the Lord started almost immediately using him in ministry to the elderly, it just naturally happened. Beginning in the early ’80s, he has conducted numberless regular “church services,” one-on-ones, and other ministry activities in many long-term care facilities (Dar joined him in marriage and ministry in ’97).
Having said all that, we are finding our responsibilities in producing our existing nursing home ministry materials and developing new materials, and maintaining the website, and keeping up with the accounting tasks of the ministry is more than a full-time job in themselves. We feel it is appropriate to focus on these activities as we continue to prayerfully pursue the Lord’s will for our work.
And, again, we are grateful to each of you in this season of thanksgiving for your faithful support in prayer and finances. May God bless you for your expression of love and care for the elderly and infirm!
Love in Christ,
Jerry and Dar Johnson