Christian City Seniors Show Serving Hearts
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
Church worker. Social worker. Missionary. These are just a few of the things that Christian City residents dreamed of becoming in their younger days. Some of their dreams came true as they aged. Others remained aspirations as the residents came to live in the nursing home and assisted living center at Christian City. Many of the residents share a common desire to serve and help others, regardless of their age and living situation.
“The mission of Christian City is to extend Christ’s call to love your neighbor through housing, health care and crisis intervention for children, families and older adults. And our promise is to provide life-changing hope through faith, community and care,” said Steven Sheets, Administrator of Christian City’s Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. “Our residents, staff and volunteers seek to live out this mission and promise every day at Christian City,” Sheets said.
Each year, the Pruitt Health team at Christian City, serving in skilled nursing and rehab, assisted living, pharmacy, hospice and home health, interview senior residents to hear about their dreams. Some of the dreams are big, like a vacation to Hawaii. And some are simple, such as attending a baseball game. But, one common thread ran through many of the interviews this year: serving in simple ways and helping others was the dream of many senior residents at Christian City.
“The staff put their heads together to fulfill the dreams of our ‘giving’ residents,” said Hudie Langston, Administrator of Christian City’s Assisted Living Center. “Matthew 25:40 tells us, ‘The King will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ This is the foundation of this project for our residents who have a heart for serving others,” Langston said.
“Some residents of nursing homes and assisted living homes are viewed as less fortunate and unable to help others at this stage of their lives, but these residents feel that they still have so much to give. When presented with the opportunity to help those in need, the residents jumped at the chance!” said Langston.
Rick Couch, Christian City maintenance director with ties to an organization that feeds and ministers to the homeless in Atlanta, was quick to come on board to help with the project. He reached out to Broken Pieces Ministry about a partnership, and the ministry director, Joel Crumpton, thought it was a great opportunity to enrich the lives of senior residents as well the homeless. Broken Pieces provides a hot meal and ministry service to the homeless every Tuesday and Thursday. This has allowed them to build a relationship of trust and faith with the director and those who serve with him.
The seniors wanted to help serve a meal and also provide a gift that would help the homeless individuals know they are loved by these senior servants. Several of the men who regularly come for a meal at the location managed by Broken Pieces were asked to name a need that could be fulfilled by the Christian City senior residents. “Their answers were simple: a pair of waterproof boots, a bike and to eat a steak again!” said Couch.
In fact, five of the seven homeless men interviewed requested shoes: four pairs of waterproof boots and a good pair of tennis shoes. “None of the items requested were anything elaborate, just the basic needs of someone on the streets where walking is the main means of transportation,” said Couch.
On an evening in early March, the Atlanta Dream Center hosted Christian City residents and staff along with Broken Pieces to share a meal and their gifts for the homeless individuals. The group also shared in a service to shed light and hope for all in attendance.
Christian City staff members escorted the residents and assisted them with giving the purchased gifts. In addition to providing the boots, shoes and other requested items for the seven men interviewed, Christian City senior residents, along with their family members and staff, had prepared snack and hygiene bags to provide to the 50 homeless individuals who attended the night of the meal service.
The participating residents felt blessed to give back to those in need. Some of their comments were, “Believe in yourself. Don’t give up. If you believe, He will come into your heart.” Without a doubt, dreams were fulfilled, and servant hearts were made full through this effort to help someone in need.