Nursing home ministry
By Nick Sigur
Wednesdays are special. I spend the day with my wife. That’s not what’s special. I work out of our home. Rose and I spend nearly every day together. What’s special about Wednesdays is the hour we spend apart. I drive Rosemary to Abbeville where she ministers to the residents at Maison Du Monde nursing home. I spend the hour working on my laptop in the parking lot.
Rosemary spends hours each week preparing her lesson. She prays over and struggles with each teaching. She doesn’t just teach. She really loves these people. I take her partially so I can share in the glow and excitement she radiates when she emerges from her time with her friends. She shares how the teaching went, who attended, and how they are doing. When the flooding of 2016 closed the nursing home for a while, Rosemary searched out as many of her friends as she could find in other nursing facilities.
Nursing home ministry is tough. I’ve tried it. Many of the participants are non-responsive. I need audience feedback when I teach. Your participants die and the decline of their health and mental abilities are often observable week-to-week. Ministry at a nursing home can be an uncomfortable preview of our own futures. It’s too tough for me. I’d rather deal with murderers and rapists at Angola.
Jesus loves the tough-to-minister-to. He calls us to widows, orphans and prisoners. Real ministry is never about the minister—it’s about the Lord and those others have forgotten, who He really loves. Like most things with Jesus, you get so much more than expected. Imagine the blessing when a usually silent resident grabs your hand, looks into your eyes and says, “I love you.” You have to go expecting to give and be blessed by the wonderful things you get. Just ask Rosemary on any Wednesday.