Sunday, February 20, 2011

Takes me back!

12:57 p.m. Today's project is to go with Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley's Young Adult group and Pastor Mark to the ICC Rest Home to minister. My daughter Heidi,who is heading up the effort, invited me, so I said yes. I'm not sure what we'll be doing, but I'll just follow the group's lead.

This ministry opportunity takes me back to when our kids were toddlers and preschoolers. I would take them with the women and other children who attended the Home Bible study I taught during the 80's to visit, sing and minister to the people in rest homes. The residents just loved the little ones, and Kriss, Heidi and Heather loved it, too. (Steven wasn't born yet, and Sean was in school).

As they got older, they'd go caroling in rest homes with Brownies and Boy Scouts,troops Steve and I volunteered with at Harvest. They never had to be talked into it, because the fellowship and appreciation of the residents was so remarkable. How blessed I am to see our daughter taking the lead in visiting the elderly now as an adult!

8:45 p.m. Before I could attend the gathering, I needed to drop Steve off with our friends Bob Debbie's house for a relaxed afternoon visit. I think visiting a rest home with residents who may have dementia would be very difficult for Steve, who has expressed a dread of ending up in a facility, as I imagine many of us would feel. But Integrated Care Services is just beautiful, filled with caring, loving attendants and managers. The even have an Alzheimer's and dementia wing, firsthand information that may come in useful, should Steve need 24-hour nursing care. But, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," said Jesus in Matthew 6:34, and I fully agree!

The staff prepared a barbecue and asked that we be served first, because the residents eat at 4 p.m. and their meal schedule is kept the same each day. It's similar to Steve taking his meds and supplements like clockwork, as long as I don't forget! A cosmetology school had sent over some students to fix hair and give manicures to the ladies, and we had a chance to talk to the ones who were waiting. One lady told me that they also have a church service in the facility. When I mentioned that we were here from our church, she said, "I can see it in you. I can see it!" Hopefully that was meant as an answer to a prayer I lift up to my Father often, that others would be able to see Christ in me! Later, I was hugged and kissed by a sweet woman who said, when I asked her when she arrived at the home, "Oh, this morning!" Truthfully, she seemed quite settled in, but it was a lovely conversation anyway!

The hit of the afternoon was a 93 year old lady who sort of blended in with a friend from church and me at our table, but was caught snacking on chips an hour before her 4 p.m. dinner time by a bemused caregiver. The attendant walked her away for a while, but the lady waited until the attendant wasn't looking, and swiftly took a bag to her room! I believe she managed this at least twice. Pretty spry!

The official meal time came, we visited some more with residents who arived at the dining hall, and then we had to go, most of us headed out to get ready for Home Fellowships at 5:30. I picked up Steve and visited with our friends for a while, and returned home. It was a precious afternoon. Before I can visit regularly, however, I'll need to get a TB clearance, which I may still be current on from teaching. I'll have to find out.

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this," says James 1:27, "to visit orphans and widows in their trouble..."

Furthermore, when Jesus commended those who feed and clothe the poor, visit the sick and those in prison, He said in Matthew 25:40 (KJV),

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.

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