Recently a local pastor contacted me and told me that he wanted to serve in an AFC home (more on that in a bit), and so the other day I went into the chosen home and met with the staff and the people before the new worship services begin. As I was learning the names of the people and shaking hands I was told that one gentleman had been asking for some time to go to church on Sunday, however, there was no one available to take him so he was never able to go. Then, there was another gentleman who began to weep with joy when he learned that there was going to be a regular Christian worship service in his home. He literally wept…
I talked about this with Megan, and she commented about how disconnected some of these people must feel living in a care facility. Many people have no family, and the ones who do don’t always get regular visits from them. We know that often no one from the local community visits many of these homes – even for Christmas – so the most human contact that they get is from house staff, doctors, and the occasional (usually monthly) shopping trip.
I thought about the loneliness. I generally like being with people so I suspect that this sort of seclusion would work on me a bit. Sure, I can spend a good amount of time by myself with a good book, but eventually I want to be with people again. I like making new friends and discovering the common ground, I like talking to people about the weather, I like sharing ice creams and sodas with people while watching a fireworks show, and I like getting together on a regular basis with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I suspect that the loneliness would erode my self-worth and leave me a bit depressed.
And so now that I know that Pastor Steve from the Memphis Free Methodist Church will be going regularly to help these guys worship, I am excited. While I am not literally weeping, I suspect that I know a little bit about the excitement that would elicit tears of such joy.
It has been some 9 years since our ministry started, and I have been the only pastor regularly visiting local AFC homes via The Sharing Org, but God has encouraged me with a renewed vision for the future.
Dear Prayer Partner,
While I know that my cup always overflows, it really is nice to feel it…
This year we began spending the 3rd Thursday of each month in times of prayer and praise instead of our normal worship service. This past month I was considering the answers to prayer, and I was overwhelmed with the many ways that God has overfilled my cup.
First, earlier this year Terry (one of our monthly prayer partners) retired and began joining me and my grandmother at the Monday morning services. She has been a great blessing as she has helped me with some of the tasks that I usually take care of, plus the residents in these homes love the fact that my grandmother and now Terry come each week to worship with them. It was especially nice this month as my mom had a Monday off of work and joined us, so I looked like I had a regular entourage. J
Second, Pastor Steve from the Memphis Free Methodist Church contacted me and wanted me to help him get set up for providing regular worship services to an AFC home in his local.
Third, a person who asked for prayer earlier in the year asked for prayer about being reunited with her son after too many years of separation. This month God answered this prayer by providing her with the contact information so that they may reunite.
Fourth, another person asked for prayer that they might go out of state to see family. As the courts were not too keen on allowing this, it had already been a battle for many years. This last month the person was granted permission to go home for a visit.
Fifth, and finally, even though I did not pray about it, God protected me from getting scammed out of some $2,500 through a Craigslist deal as I am trying to sell my grandma’s car for her. Yes, yes, my wife was the vessel that God used, but still, He protected me.
Well, it has been a great month of answered prayer, and I am expectant to see what God will do in our lives in this coming month. Thank you for praying with us and I pray that you too will see God in your prayers.
~ The Sharing Org | PO Box 73 | Armada, MI 48005 | 586-949-6885 | www.thesharing.org ~