This is a short video that our church filmed recently highlighting the opportunity and need for nursing home outreach. For those of you who have followed by blog for a while you know that my passion has been to reach into Long Term Care homes around our community. Ministering to the needs of residents is about more than simply singing a few songs or showing up on the holidays. Serving the needs of those in long term care means also reaching the community around them, including family members, staff and other volunteers. My prayer is that you will hear God’s call to give time, energy, prayer and resources in this New Year ahead to make a difference in the lives of those in the Long Term Care Community.
In 1967 while I was busy turning on and tuning out; Athiparampil Thomas, was answering God’s call to Bhutan. Having just finished Bible school at 19 years of age he left Kerala state in South India for the long journey North. Following the plan that God had put in his heart he traveled to the Indian city of Jaigon which sat directly on the border with Bhutan. Stepping off the bus in Jaigon Pastor Thomas began looking for stay. He had limited funds, no Western missions organization behind him and no friends or family there so his first night he spent sleeping on the sidewalk and praying for God to lead him.
Now 52 years have passed since Pastor Thomas began his ministry to Bhutan and Northern India. By God’s help Emmanuel church was planted with outreaches not only into Bhutan but also into many of the rural villages in the tea growing border region of West Bengal State. Emmanuel ministries also has reached as far West as refugee camps in Nepal and west to Sikkim state in India. Other outreaches of Emmanuel ministries included Emmanuel school, a rug making facility to offer jobs for the women and classes and a lunch meal during the day for local neighborhood children. for His dear wife and oldest daughter have already gone on to the Lord and my friend lies in a weakened state. We are praying that God will spare him once more and that God’s peace will surround Him and his family. What a privilege to have known my dear friend who has been an example and joy. He has shown me what it really means to surrender all and to live a life of faith. Will you join with me in praying today for our dear friend and for God’s best and perfect will and grace?
For we walk by faith, not by sight: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:7-8
“I gained a whole new appreciation for what new beginnings meant when my wife and I chose to retire last year. Our lives had radically changed direction the year before when Nancy had survived major cancer surgery; which was followed by six chemotherapy treatments over nine months. Then as summer rolled around while she was getting her strength back, things seemed to come into place for us to move to Florida.
At first we eagerly raced ahead towards what seemed an exciting though uncertain future. Driving away from chilly, rainy Pennsylvania, we both felt like shouting, “Wahoo we’re going to Florida! No more ice! No more snow!
No more dark colorless months of barren and cold landscapes!!” But somewhere in the middle of making new friends, finding new doctors and settling into a new church we realized that the challenge of beginning again was much bigger than we thought it would be.
For me, one vital part of starting over for me was to begin to volunteer in a nursing home ministry…” (From New Beginnings in Care Ministry)
It’s been quite a while since I released anything new on Nursing Home Ministry. The book “New Beginnings in Care Ministry” is a reflection of my coming to see a wider view of Long Term Care ministry in my own ministry restart. Care ministry looks beyond simply the traditional nursing home setting into the lives and needs of special needs children, residents in special needs assisted living as well as those in memory care. If your life has been touched by long term care, through a family member, your job or as a volunteer this collection of stories and insights with lots of photos are just for you. It is my prayer they will both be a practical as well as a spiritual be a blessing in your own personal journey. This is available in both softcover and E-book formats through Amazon.