We learn in James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” A great opportunity that we have been given here at Gospel Baptist Church is to visit the “widows (and a few widowers) in their affliction.” Twice a month, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, a group of believers from Gospel Baptist Church visits local nursing homes and/or assisted-living homes. Currently, we visit five homes every month.
One may ask what we do for the residents of these homes. We provide a “mini church service” for them. We begin by spending time greeting each resident that comes to the meeting in order to get to know them and their particular needs. Then we sing the old songs of Zion like “Amazing Grace”, “In the Garden,” and “Rock of Ages,” just to name a few. Finally, we share the wonderful words of life found only in the Bible. We conclude our service with a presentation of the Gospel, and a final hymn. We bring great encouragement to those who seldom receive visitors, and to those who can no longer attend a regular service at a local church.
The heart of the nursing home ministry is those who volunteer to go each month to the homes. Without the many volunteers, this ministry would suffer greatly. I am so thankful for many volunteers who faithfully participate each month, as well as several who come down during the winter and get involved in this ministry. Some volunteers play the piano, sing, preach, or maybe just greet the residents. I am often reminded of Paul’s words to the church in Corinth. I Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”