Would You Go For One? Challenge Day 2

India and Nepal 101

My Pastor,Dr. Joliam Sampaio often spends extended time on the mission field in various third world countries. He has traveled to Ethiopia, Nepal, Peru and India, as well as several nations in Africa. While on a two week missions trip with him I learned one of the secrets that helps keep him going. When people were late, when the road was filled with holes, when nothing worked according to plan, instead of getting stressed he often just laughed and said “In all things have fun!” Whether we were in the slums of Katmandu or some obscure village in India he knew that one secret of effective servant-hood is just enjoying the people around him. One day during a visit to a little village in India he (as a former dentist) gave a dental hygiene demonstration with a huge toothbrush on a funny looking oversized set of plastic teeth. Afterward he passed out toothbrushes to the 25-30 children who came for the meeting in a building with a dirt floor covered by carpet. One tiny girl so treasured her toothbrush that as we were singing she decided that the safest way for her toothbrush was  hidden under the rug!

I had traveled thousands of miles yet in that one moment the value of why I was there was reflected in the face of one single child. Whatever the challenge God lays before you this week, remember the value in a single soul. Only one question for this day’s challenge:

Would you do it for one? 

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Luke 9:48

Would You Go For One? – Challenge Day 1

The difference between reading about nursing home ministry and committing to this short training course is the same as the difference between what Jesus did when He met the woman at the well and what the disciples did that day.

Nepal and India 126Jesus used  the opportunity to help just one person and he reached an entire village. The disciples went into the village without telling a single person about Jesus! When I was able to travel to Nepal a few years ago we had some days when we only did what the disciples did, we walked through the towns and met people just like the woman at the well, but we didn’t say a word. We were separated by language and culture from knowing how to even buy a single fruit from the vendors. But on special days we went into small villages and by the help of translators and local pastors we were privileged to share the message of the love of Jesus What unforgettable moments those were!

Nepal and India 139

Here is your challenge for week one. Meet one person who is a resident in a nursing home. If you already know someone (like a family member) and have visited on occasion, then dedicate this week to meeting someone new. After you have made your visit this week take some time and begin a journal on your efforts. Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself.

  • Who else is visiting them and how often do they come?
  • How many people are in the facility where they are living?
  • Is their stay permanent or will they be going home?
  • What area did you have the biggest struggle with?
  • What did you like the best?
  • What ideas, plans or feelings changed as a result?
  • When will you visit next?

Being a Good Neighbor

IMG_5023  I have often published news of our Nursing Home Ministry work on the Praise2worship blog but today God has put on my heart the plan to launch this separate blog site on WordPress. Here we will be devoted exclusively to Visitation / Nursing Home Ministry. I will be posting about twice a week with a variety of training material, personal stories and updates on our activities. It would be great for others who have an interest in this to interact with us on this blog-site. We would love to hear what others are doing and how you are encouraged in any way by the posts here. God bless our fellow workers in this often overlooked and underestimated outreach.

If you are considering Nursing Home Ministry or any other kind of work for God, this blog-site is for you!

Let’s begin our first post with another look at, “the Parable of the Good Samaritan”

Luke 10:30-35 NKJV Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  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.  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

The first person we meet is the man who fell among thieves. His story was 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 different people came by the man that day. The first was a priest. He came from a good family, 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. He passed by, saw the need but chose not to get involved. The second man was only a follower of the first, so he simply took the same path – the path of least resistance. Last in line came the Samaritan. This was the man from whom no one expected any help. But when the Samaritan passed by that place, 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…

This blog is designed not just to inspire you, but to challenge you to become a “roll up your sleeves” neighbor! Why? Because there are countless men and women left to die at the side of the road in every community. I did some research and discovered that within seven miles of the center of our small city live 2700 people in long-term nursing home care. From the street they look clean and well landscaped. The entrances are nicely decorated but what is lacking for the vast majority of the residents is someone, anyone who will come to visit, listen to them and call them by name. To be a nursing home ministry worker doesn’t require a special title, God is just looking for neighbors. Are you ready to be a neighbor?