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Blue Heron in the botanical gardens of Norfolk, VA

Christian Concourse
Newsletter of the Month

November 2011

 

Dear Friends of Christian Concourse,

We have said it before and we say it again: Ministry in a long-term care setting is a calling from God! Having made that statement, let us say immediately, that just about anyone can be a blessing to a nursing home resident. There are many kinds of activities and meaningful chores that volunteers can do, and do effectively for the benefit of the infirm and elderly in local care facilities. Christians often have the impression of "nursing home ministry" as doing "church services" with song-leading and preaching...and that's about it. Preaching and singing might not be your cup of tea, but there are scores of things you can do that might just be right down your alley. Note the list below. If you are so inclined, we encourage you to go today and pay a visit to the activity director of a home near you and make yourself available...even if just for one hour a month or once a quarter. You will be the richer for it!

 

Matthew 6:20-21 Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 

Upon even brief reflection on these scriptures, it is evident that God's heart is, in a special way, with those around us who are hurting and helpless. It is the will of our Master, Jesus Christ, that we respond to this fact out of our love for Him and in an expression of the love He has given us for His "little ones." When we do, we are laying up treasures in Heaven! This is answering His call in our lives for service to others.

But, admittedly, there are many areas of our society in which there are weak and suffering souls, and the long-term care arena is just one of these. So, what are we to do? The answer is simple....pray! Ask the Lord Jesus to guide you in such an important decision. Consider the absolute fact that He has saved you for His own purposes, and one of these purposes is to be a blessing to others.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

 

Let the Word of God speak to your heart. Does He want you involved in jail ministry, or helping unwed mothers in crisis pregnancies, or helping the homeless, or supporting orphanages...or volunteering in nursing homes? Ask Him! Really...ask Him what "good works" He has prepared for you to do. Ask Him if He wants you visiting the residents of your local care facility. He will not steer you wrong. If you feel He is leading you into nursing home ministry, contact us and we will help you any way we can.

Some of you have already considered this question and you have responded to His call for your service in long-term care. We praise God for you. Some of you have been impressed by the Lord to support us as we go – and we continually minister humbly aware that your kindness helps make it possible. Indeed, it is our prayer that He richly reward you. Thank you.


Love in Christ,
Jerry and Dar
Jerry and Dar Johnson

 

Things a Volunteer Can Do to Help in a Nursing Home: This is not a complete list; neither are all of these activities appropriate in every facility - see your activity director for guidance. If doing a "church service" is not appropriate for you, maybe this list can help redefine nursing home ministry for you!

 

activities bulletin board helper
activity director's helper (gopher)
adopt-a-grandparent programs
art therapy
audio tape programs
balloon volleyball
beach-ball toss
bingo
bowling
care packages

general
holiday
birthday

celebrity impersonations
clothing
clowning
Christian Ministry

Bible Games

Bible trivia
Christian board games
Complete-the-verse

Bible reading
Bible Studies
Christian concerts

group
individual
instrumental
vocal

church services
dramatic reading of Christian
stories
eucharist/communion/Lord's supper
hymn and chorus sing-alongs
large print Christian reading materials
memorial services
pastoral counseling
plays
transportation to and from a local church
skits and dramas on Christian or Biblical themes
concerts

groups
individuals
instrumental
vocal

crafts

beads (of course)
centerpieces
Holiday decorations
plastic model airplane and ship assembly
this list is endless!

current events
dramatic reading
entertainment events (misc, in-house)
garden therapy
holiday facility decorations
large print reading materials
leading special body exercises
library materials

audio tapes
books
video tapes

monthly calendar maker
museum trips
music therapy
newsletter helper
one-on-ones

board games
cleaning and straightening belongings
computer loans or purchases
computer training
doing chores for the bed-ridden
greeting cards (preparing and sending)
just being a friend
laundry
making store runs
meal-time helper
reading and writing letters
outside walker/wheelchair strolls

pet therapy
plays
popcorn popping and delivery
preparing and sending cards
outings

chaperones
transportation
tours of local landmarks
shopping trips

quilting (simplified, if necessary)
reminiscence discussions
sing-alongs
skits
slide and video shows

family vacations
old home movies
travelogues
local landmarks

snack time delivery
sports discussions
video tape programs

cartoons
feature presentations
old movies

 

 

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