4 Years of Heartwarming Visits to Nursing Home

By Yi Yang, February 25, 2017 08:02 AM

The co-workers of Shangxiang Church visit the home for the aged

On Jan 18th, the co-workers of the senior fellowship of Chengdu Shangxiang Church visited the Gongyixiang nursing home in Chongzhou, led by Hu Yali, secretary-general of Chengdu Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee (TSPM) and Pastor Mo Ronggao. Built by Chongzhou Bureau of Civil Affairs, the nursing home is 35 km away from Chengdu. They visited lonely elders and brought food, programs and blessings.

Sister Zeng from the Senior Fellowship shared that in that morning the fellow workers bought fruits and two pigs before driving to the nursing home from an agricultural wholesale market. This was the fourth time that Chengdu Church visited the nursing home. Zeng said before their first visit they planned to bring winter supplies. However, the director of the nursing home said the government already sent winter quilts, and the church changed the plan to buying socks, gloves and other things. However, when she went to the cafeteria and saw the menu, she found that the food for the elders was too simple. "It was almost all vegetables. We were sad when we heard the director tell us that the elders really wanted some meat," said Zeng.

Zeng recalled the first visit. There were 262 senior residents in the nursing home and the condition was not good. "It was lifeless, without laughter. Seeing this, the secretary-general of Chengdu TSPM included the elders there as objects for visitation." Fellow workers of Shangxiang Church also visit there periodically. For example, the brothers and sisters from the senior fellowship go there and cheer them up since they're very joyful. They would prepare shows and interact with the residents. They sang "The river of life, the river of joy" and passed the love and joy of Christ to them. After several visits, the director felt touched too, for the seniors from the church brought happiness and the home was lively.

In the following visits, fellow workers of the church always took four sides of pork. They also took TVs, cups, socks, towels, and more. During Spring Festival, it was basically food that suited the seniors. Zeng recalled that they would buy food in the first few years like candies, but as soon as they were on the table, people from the front row took them all. Though the director reminded them many times not to do so, that everyone has their share, some stronger people were bitter and put things in their pockets. "They have no concept of loving and helping each other. However, we are going to pass the idea of loving each other so they can learn how to care for others."

Zeng realized the living condition of the residents there was very poor. Chances of eating snacks and pastries were rare. This time, In order to avoid people rushing for food and make sure every elder received some, fellow workers of the church put the food inside little bags. It was all soft food suitable for elderly people, like caramel treats, puff pastries, flaky onion pastries, and other pastries. However, she still noticed that some elders fought for food. Seeing this, Zeng thought the society needs to help the elders without families. The church, in particular, needs to pay attention to them regularly.

The visits to the nursing home are co-hosted by Chengdu TSPM and Chongzhou Church. Considering the financial condition of grassroots churches, the money for buying things for the visits is provided by the city's TSPM. Fellow workers of Chongzhou Church mainly do activities with the elders.

Moreover, the haircut team of "Home for seniors" of Shangxiang Church (Senior Fellowship) also went to the nursing home. Zeng said that Chinese would buy new clothes and groom themselves to look their best before Spring Festival. However, things are different for this nursing home in Chongzhou because they don't have children to care for them. So fellow workers brought haircut sets with them for this visitation. They asked if anyone wanted a haircut on the spur of the moment, and many people stepped up. The director said that these people were too stingy to spend money on haircuts. "We feel sorry for only bringing two clippers. Next time we will organize more people and cover the needs of as many as possible. What's important is to help and love them from the bottom of our hearts. We hold hands for activities every time so that they can feel the love," said Zeng.

Zeng talked about the faith of an old brother. He is almost 70 years old and once a critical patient with a cerebral hemorrhage and hemiplegia. But God healed him and he and his wife love God greatly. This brother had haircutting skills from when he worked in a factory. He was very moved when he picked up the scissors again. "He was healed by God and now he serves other people with a grateful heart."

Another fellow worker, 72, is an orphan. Though she suffered hardships, she understood the love of God, and she had a grateful heart to serve the elders without families.

Zeng also said that this nursing home is different from most places, since they're alone without children. "Many seniors have plenty of fruit and pastries, but in the nursing home we went to, plate after plate of fruit was grabbed very quickly. We're sad and feel responsible seeing these elders without faith and hope in their lives." She hoped they can bring more love for these elders.

Translated by: Grace Hubl

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