Grandparents Day, celebrated annually the first Sunday of September after Labor Day, was established with the goal of educating youth of important contributions seniors have made throughout history. We celebrated Grandparents Day with the residents of our nursing and senior homes with Happy Grandparents Day cards and flowers. The day was also an opportunity for us to visit room to room and meet residents who don’t normally attend our Sunday services. Our members describe below some of their experiences from that day:
Alice: Mr. G, after being absent from our services for about half a year, joined us today! He felt very special to find out today was Grandparents Day, saying it is a holiday for him. After service, he rejected my invitation to stay for lunch fellowship; I think he felt awkward to stay since he had been absent for a long time. Then Grandma G asked him to stay. She has a special diet and so normally doesn’t join us for lunch fellowship, but decided to stay today in order to keep Mr. G. accompany. Indeed, her invitation made Mr. G stay and we all had a great time talking about today’s message on blessings.
I’m encouraged that Mr. G came back, and also encouraged to see how Grandma G proactively invited Mr. G even though she is not a Christian. She was initially hostile toward Christianity because of previous bad church experiences, but it’s clear that God is softening her heart. She also accompanied the other grandmas to visit Mrs. L who cannot come to service because of health reasons. I learned today that she was reluctant to discuss death because death is taboo in the Chinese culture, and it is sad and fearful to think about death, but I’m praying that she will know the victory we can have over death through Jesus.
Kevin: After our service, we walked around the nursing home handing out our “Happy Grandparents Day” cards. I had been looking for an opportunity to visit some rooms that I hadn’t really been in yet. In one of these rooms I met a resident named R, who cannot talk, and his older sister Ms. M, who visits R daily. When I showed her the postcard she began to talk about her faith. She told me that her mother died when she was only 16, and when her mother died, she lost everything. At that time, she said, she put her faith in God to lead her through life. She said that now at 83 she has had a great life and that it is because of God. Then she reiterated it. This is the truth, she told me. It was clear that her faith and knowledge of God was real and true, and it was encouraging to meet her during my visits.
Ulia: I’ve been praying for a couple we first met last Easter when we visited room to room to pass out gifts of potted plants. Neither attend our services on Sundays because they generally stay up late and sleep in past our morning service. Ms. P is Catholic, and when she received our card and a flower, she was so thankful, and said our visits are God’s grace to her. Mr. S is an atheist, looks disdainfully at organized religion and Christians in particular, but when he received our card, he was really touched. He commented how beautiful the cards were, and he said that our religion is good, that it’s so good of us to remember them. This was encouraging to hear, since during our first conversation he had insulted Christians and Jesus. His response gave me a chance to share that we are motivated to do these good things for others because we have been touched by God’s love, and want to share God’s love with others. He thanked us, and invited us to come to visit them anytime.
Chris: After the worship service, I talked to Grandma C, who made a salvation decision two weeks ago. Since it was Grandparents Day, I asked her how many grandchildren she has. She replied that her son who lives nearby has two children, but she did not expect to see them as they were probably unaware that today is Grandparents Day (and understandably so, as not many people know about this day). I asked her how she enjoyed today’s worship service. She said there isn’t much to look forward to at the nursing home, but the Sunday worship service is one thing she looks forward to. I also found out that it’s getting hard for her to read the Bible because the font size is too small for her, so I told her we would bring a large-font Bible next time. I am thankful that we have opportunities as these to care for the elderly.