Nursing Home Ministry

Summer – 1973 – Midwest, USA

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” James 1:27

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" was their favorite hymn!

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” was their favorite hymn!

My sister, Linda, asked the director of the nursing home, where we both are working this summer, for permission to have a Bible study for the patients on our day off. The director said “yes” so we had our first Bible study today! Prior to today, I only saw all the patients asleep at night under their white bedspreads in the dark. I was amazed at all the hustle and bustle with the patients up and dressed and either walking with a walker or in a wheelchair. We went room to room and invited each patient to come to the Bible study in the patient lounge. We gathered about 20 residents and began. Linda led them in singing a few hymns while I accompanied them on my violin. Their favorite hymn seemed to be:

What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer! 

by Joseph Scriven

Then Linda read the story from John 3 of Nicodemus, a Jewish ruler, who came to Jesus at night. Jesus said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 She carefully explained God’s wonderful plan of salvation. After concluding with John 3:16, she encouraged each one to receive Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior if they had not already done so.

Afterward, white haired Mary wheeled up to me in her wheelchair with a bright smile on her face. “I received Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was a girl. It was so wonderful to hear the Bible lesson today and sing the hymns I learned when I was young. I can’t see well enough to read any more, so thank you for reading God’s word today!” Linda and I are thrilled that God allowed us to minister to these elderly residents today!

Reflection – 2014

Over the years, God gave me many more opportunities to share God’s word and songs with elderly Christians. I thank Him for our seasoned believers who have willingly shared with me how God encouraged them through difficult circumstances. May we all faithfully run the race today until we are home in heaven above and hear our Savior say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21

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