As a Christmas gift, we gave each of our nursing home residents a poinsettia plant and with it a verse that proclaims the good news of Christmas: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” Our gifts gave us an opportunity to meet residents who normally don’t join us for Sunday service. These visits really encouraged the residents, and encouraged us as well.
Here are some words from our members about their experiences:
Jen: I visited a Chinese resident who was very thankful of our poinsettia gift. As I explained the meaning of Christmas to him, he said he had just heard about the Christmas story through the Chinese radio on Saturday, and seemed more receptive to hearing about Jesus because of our gift.
Cheng: PC was so thankful that we gave him the plant. He shared with me that he really looks forward to our service every week, because it is really one of the only things during the week that cheers him up. Even though his memory is not very good, he would often bring up the time that we weren’t able to hold service because we were all away at our church-wide Thanksgiving Retreat, so that tells me he really cherishes our Sunday services.
For the first time I also met a woman named G, and she was very happy to receive the poinsettia. I am not sure if she is there temporarily, but she did have surgery for her heart conditions that are still giving her a lot of problems. Hank, Kevin and I all prayed for her to heal. Kevin visited her again recently, and because she remembered that he was one who had given her the poinsettia, that gave him an opportunity to pray with her again as she shared with him that she was very sad.
Audrey: M’s daughter joined us for Sunday service the next day with the intention to thank us for our poinsettia gift for her mom. Since M wasn’t in her room, we had left the gift on her table. M’s daughter later found it and asked the staff for the time of our service the next day, and she joined us for service, thanked us, and she has been trying to bring her mom to our Sunday service.
Barbara: Overall, coming into their rooms with a poinsettia seemed to just brighten their faces, and most were willing to just talk even though it was the first time I had met some of them. C was so happy to see us she gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. She had just finished a snack and wanted to talk. W was also happy to see us. When Chris came into the room, she said that she really enjoys hearing from the preacher on Sundays. I pointed to him, and asked, “Do you mean this preacher?” “Yes!” And she asked him to come closer and to pray for her.