Jesus didn’t spend a lot of time preaching to crowds in the synagogues. he was more comfortable among lepers, tired fishermen or curious sinners. Nursing home ministry isn’t something extra it is in fact a part of the heart of Jesus Christ! Anyone can do nursing home ministry – even you and me!
Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Luke 10:31-34 NKJV
The man who fell among thieves is a lot like that of the residents in any nursing home. The thieves that caught him by surprise go by various names, such as age, physical disability or disease. People fall into a system where they lose control of their finances, their health and their personal freedom. Three people came by the man that day. The first was a priest. He had chosen to dedicate himself to God’s work and was recognized as a leader in his community. But in spite of his opportunity to show God’s mercy, that day he failed. The second man was a follower of the first, so he simply took the same path – the path of least resistance. Last in line came the Samaritan. He was the man from whom no one expected any help. But when the Samaritan passed by, he saw the need, rolled up his sleeves and got involved. He became a neighbor when he became a part of the injured man’s world.
Nursing homes are filled with suffering and that is easy and convenient to hide from. We hide because we are afraid of the answers we do not have. But we can roll up our sleeves like the Samaritan and understand not the “why” of suffering but the “How can I show the love of God.
“God permits what He hates to accomplish that which He loves” Joni Eareckson Tad
Much of what we who are involved in nursing home ministry tell people is related to the need of the people in institutional care. That is because we see people every week struggling with loneliness, abandonment and depression. Life in a nursing home is a little like living a rough neighborhood. While the staff may be doing everything they can to help there are issues of the heart that only God can change. That is where we as volunteers reaching into where they live with God’s message of hope have a wonderful opportunity to serve. Have you ever thought about going to the mission field? The good news is that there is a mission field right in your community called the nursing home. Do you wonder what it would be like to get involved? In this short video some of our team share what it is like. May you be encouraged today to step out through God’s open door where you live and get started in nursing home ministry! Have a blessed week!