Hello, on this cold March day! February certainly went by fast and it underlines the phrase, “Time stands still for no one.” Well, as time is ticking on, it seems the Lord has brought us to a place of realignment in this ministry. This missionary work began in the Spring of 1991 as Jerry’s response to the call in his heart to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and promote unity in the Body of Christ on a full-time basis. At that time he was directly involved in three different areas of ministerial activity: 1) helping to lead a small-group Bible study, 2) printing pamphlets and handouts of Christian original writing and, 3) volunteering to conduct “church services” in local nursing homes. In the process of initiating, developing and refining the purpose and the activities of Christian Concourse, the structure soon came to reflect this call in his heart and to encompass these activities in which he was involved in from the outset.
Much has been accomplished over the years through the vehicle of Christian Concourse in addressing the call to share the message of Jesus and promote Christian unity. Through it all, our efforts have remained almost exclusively in the areas of small-group Bible study and prayer, Christian publications, and nursing home ministry. For a long time we approached these ministries as separate and distinct while keeping them under the same umbrella organizationally. We say again, in all of our work, we have maintained and fully intend to continue in our purpose to share the Good News of Jesus and promote unity in His Church.
In 1997 Dar joined Jerry in marriage and in ministry. Since then, we have continually added tools and armament to our arsenal of free care center ministry resources. Sensing the Lord’s leading, and in response to the demand, we have dedicated more and more of our efforts to His calling to the long-term care population.
Through much experience, we have come to realize we were being challenged to bring all of our lessons and our resources to bear in answer to the needs in the immense mission field of nursing home ministry. From the beginning, we have stood before a huge open door for Christian outreach to the long-term care arena. Certainly, our efforts in nursing home ministry have never ceased. Instead, this dimension of our original focus has grown and is continuing to grow. In fact, we are compelled to recognize that we have been given a precious and priceless role to play in Christian ministry to the elderly and infirm. As we write this letter, the resources and the tools and the materials we currently provide are being used in little bands of nursing home residents in places all over the United States, and indeed, the English-speaking world!
This does not mean we are going to abandon the other two areas of our ministry. No! Instead, we are going to intentionally increase our efforts to weave the experience and concepts of the Bible study and prayer initiatives of Christian Concourse into our war-chest of care center ministry resources. And, as you know, we are already knee-deep in publishing Christian material for long-term care ministry. Now, we are bringing Bible study, Christian publications and Christian ministry fully into the support and propagation of Christian service in the mission field of care facility ministries.
Within the boundaries that our time and financial support allow, all of our activities and resources in nursing home ministry will continue to be provided without charge. In addition to our direct ministry in local care facilities, we will continue to actively cooperate with care center staff and Christian volunteers wherever they are. Through our website and by word-of-mouth we have been and will keep on working to provide Christian ministry materials for care facility residents in the Hampton Roads, VA area and throughout the world.
This is what we mean by “realigning” the ministry. Please know that we continue to need your prayers and financial support. Dar and I, and the board of Christian Concourse are deeply grateful. May God richly bless you for your love and care for His feeble children in nursing homes. One more note: on the issue of Christian unity, every service we have ever conducted in nursing homes has been to an inter-denominational audience!
Jerry and Dar Johnson