Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Just as spiritually we need to ask for God’s forgiveness before we can go to work in His kingdom; so also we need to be careful this Winter about hand washing when we go into the nursing homes to visit. Just as having a selfish lifestyle taints everything we touch so we also need to be extra diligent when we are visiting with our friends in long term care.
Shaking hands or giving an occasional hug is an important part of what we do in nursing home ministry. Imagine the loneliness of living in a world where no one touches you without getting paid to do so? But to the normal concern of hygiene during this year’s flu season is the added alarm over the spread of the corona virus. What can we do as volunteers? One idea is to sit home huddled in our room with a box of hand sanitizing wipes until Spring. But imagine if all of the doctors and nurses took that approach! Our resident’s spiritual needs are no less important than their medical ones but as we go to our normal visits; there are some things we must pay attention to.
These simple steps are not just a matter of routine. They may save a life. As I was taught we need to gel in and gel out with hand sanitizer when entering and leaving a residence hall. Secondly I am sure to wash with soap and warm water (Including my wrists) before leaving home and on my return. Last of all be sure to always ask the staff before entering individual resident’s quarters. I am a regular in room visitor to people however I have never gone in to pray, sing for or visit anyone without an invitation. That protects not only the residents but also yourself from unneeded risks. Here is a simple and fun video you can watch and share. Have a blessed day and don’t forget to wash those hands!
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
Often lost in the whole pro-life/ pro-choice debate is the heart of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the defender of life but we must not be so focused on life beginning at conception; that we forget it doesn’t end at birth. In God’s eyes; life is not only about its opening chapter, but also about its closing lines. The same Savior, who writes down the name of every child in His book also offers to carry each of us in His arms to the very end. Where we stand on the issue of life is not only about what we say, but more importantly is about what we do. How we chose to invest our time and hearts in the lives of others will reap returns for all eternity. What better pro-life statement can we make than to serve the real people in our own small corner of this world from conception to their final breath?
Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4
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!
What a lovely and very different idea for Christmas at this nursing home! The young children with the elderly connects the generations for Christmas. The idea of dance focuses everyone’s attention on the theme of Christ and His night. Even those who cannot hear well can enjoy the “Steps of Grace” children. Bravo!!! what a Christmas treat!!