Wouldn’t Change a Thing – Moms

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Psalm 139:17-18

Since the birth of Laura in our church family 6 months ago I have been getting a crash course in awareness of downs syndrome children and families. These moms who collaborated to make the video 50 Mums and 50 Kids, come together for this interview to give us all a sneak peek behind the scenes and help us to get in touch with the reality of both the blessings as well as the challenges presented by having a child with downs syndrome in their families.

What we experience with these mothers is a no strings attached love that reflects God’s love for all of us. He values us in a way that is not related to what others think of us or what he can get out of us. These mothers share that  the greatest challenge is to simply communicate that we don’t need to be afraid. Together we can tear down the walls that built on fear and the lack of personal experience.

As a long time chaplain at both nursing homes and an assisted living home that includes some residents with downs as well as various, emotional and physical disabilities one thing that I share with these Mums is the frustration in how little people outside our community seem to understand about us. These heart warming videos help to break down barriers as we see the real beauty of these kids and their mothers together. Pray for us that God would open new doors in long term care ministry as well. Have a blessed week!

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Can you Hear me now?

This month I began learning along with a small group of other prospective volunteers how to help with hospice care. The love and dedication of the woman who is training us has been both an inspiration and example. As a volunteer chaplain and a song leader my ministry at Nursing home has focused on what to say or sing to give hope. This week I was amazed to see just how much hope quiet listening can give. I came away from the orientation sessions with this one quote. I pray it will be a blessing to you as well.

“The quieter we become, the more that we can hear!”.

If you are like me and wish God would speak more clearly, then ask yourself- How quiet has my heart been this week?

Never Lose Hope

The still unfolding story of yet another deranged man with a gun – this time at a nursing home touched a nerve with me tonight. Whatever the motivation for the violence will soon be lost in another shouting match over 2nd amendment rights and gun control. The three dead employees will soon be forgotten by everyone but God. But in spite of the night of hatred, division and fear that seems to get darker by the hour there is still hope. God has not nor will He ever abandon us. If we cry He is listening. When we lie awake sleepless with anxiety, He stands watch. In the deepest despair He plants a seed of hope. God’s kingdom whether in the life of an individual or a community always starts with the tiniest of seeds. Will you plant your seed of hope with me tonight in prayer that together we might see it grow one day into a mighty tree of faith?

How to Get to Heaven

I am posting today’s video not to impress anyone with my teaching at the nursing home but to impress on anyone willing to go; how simple it is to share the hope of Christ in a few minutes. Jesus gave us a great commission but at nursing home it needs to be short and to the point! Please be patient with the quality of the recording as it was done by one of our recreational aides who volunteered at the last minute to run the camera.

This is a ministry that anyone who is willing can do. Your willingness to press on through difficulties, sometimes frustrating slowness in seeing responses and the sorrow of unexpected farewells can lead to a rich harvest for Jesus Christ. We are now approaching our 24th year in ministry at Allied Skilled nursing home. There are three services each week in the various wards reaching between 70 -80 residents each week. It is all volunteer. I am deeply grateful to the staff who willingly and eagerly encourage people to come each week. I am also thankful for our dedicated group of youth volunteers who help put together a special program at Easter, Christmas and during their Summer Vacation. May God inspire you to realize that you can do this too. The harvest really is ripe and God is calling each of us to labor in the vineyard where He has called us. For more detailed questions please feel free to contact me at revpete51@gmail.com or browse our Youtube archives. You will find help in putting together holiday programs, encouraging singing and serving communion among many other short videos. God bless as you do you best for Him!  If you say yes to God’s call to nursing home ministry then I  ask you what Jesus once asked me, “Would you do it for one?”