Alabama Baptist retirement centers give hope to seniorscomment (1)
November 24, 2011
By Traci C. Gyan
To present a genuinely personal report on the Alabama Baptist Retirement Centers to the state convention, Billy Austin, president of the centers, said he thought a video highlighting three residents would be the best way to achieve that.
Ava Kee, a resident of Randolph Retirement Center (Knollwood) located in Roanoke, shared her story, including her feeling of hopelessness. After leaving an abusive relationship, Kee was homeless and living out of her car.
“When I got here, I felt worthless,” Kee said. “Once here, I knew I had a place and that the people here, and God, were always here for me.”
The Retirement Centers exists to help senior adults retain their independence and dignity.
Austin writes in the Book of Reports, “Many (of our residents) … are like Caleb (in Joshua 14), full of life and a desire to ‘conquer their mountain,’ even if it is inhabited by giants! The giants they face may be financial, health related or just plain old loneliness, but they are giants to some residents, many of whom, like Caleb, are living in their eighth decade!”
Next on the video was Lura Cox, whom attendees watched celebrate her 100th birthday. “I’ve had a great blessing being here,” she said. A representative of the century of wisdom of senior citizens, Cox is a resident of the Montgomery Retirement Center (Eastview).
Austin encouraged attendees to embrace the great resource that is our senior citizen population. “Whether your church is reaching into one of our retirement centers or into its own membership, I encourage you to not overlook the wealth of wisdom and maturity available in your elder statesmen,” writes Austin in the Book of Reports.
The last resident highlighted in the video was Joyce Bigham of Hutto Tower Retirement Center in Dothan. Bigham shared with viewers the struggles of poverty and not being able to meet the maintenance needs and upkeep of her deteriorating mobile home.
An emotional Bigham stated, “There was no way out of the poverty I was living in until I learned about Hutto Tower.”
“Many (residents) are living life to its fullest, every day! Our campuses of care, located in Montgomery, Dothan and Roanoke are surrounded by churches, many of whom have members and friends living in one of our retirement centers,” stated Austin in the Book of Reports. “Working together, Alabama Baptists will never forsake the elders of our state!”
The Baptist Village of Dothan is the fourth location of the retirement centers.