Shining Light to Seniors


Mary was one of the first people I met back in '79. In a real sense, she is partly responsible for the fact that I am still involved in this ministry today in 2011! As I walked about, meeting the residents one by one, feeling awkward and finding it hard to know exactly what to say, I ran into Mary. I told her that I was a volunteer from my church and that I would be visiting on a regular basis from then on.


"Oh, you'll be like all the rest," she replied. "They come for a while and then we never see them again."


Zap! Her words struck my heart and I knew I'd have to some pondering and praying and deciding. At home later that day, I committed to "sticking to it." God was moving in my heart, I know, for His plan was for me to serve Him in this way for a good long time.


Mary prayed to receive Christ after a few months of friendly visits, and then her husband, Lou followed. His body and mind deteriorated a little at a time and eventually, he died. Ken and I felt certain that in a lucid period of his life, he had truly prayed the sinner's prayer and passed from death to life. 

Mary did well for such a long time. We became very good friends, spending time just talking and reading and praying together. Her personality began to shine and the nursing home, noticing that she had come out of her shell, began to give her responsibilities that made her feel good about being there.




Ken and I lived across the street from the nursing home which was convenient for us, and for the administration which often needed someone to fill in for a church service when the regulars did not show up. One cold Sunday morning, we heard a knock at the door. There, standing in the cold was Mary. She wanted to go to church with us! That began a period of regular church attendance for her.


After a couple of years, I noticed that she was slipping and soon, although she always knew who I was, she could not remember much of anything. She went deeper and deeper into depression, not wanting to leave her room. Mary was not herself anymore. To most, it would have appeared that Mary never really did put her faith in Christ for salvation; to me, I knew she had and that I just had to trust God that He remembered and that He is a compassionate and forgiving God.


Every week, I reminded her of the day she and I had prayed; every week, she told me she didn't remember that at all. It was a step of learning for me, to believe that God had saved her and she was in His hands. I know I'll see Mary again...and Lou.