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Homebound ministry a popular subjectcomment (0)

February 5, 2004

By Betty Baggott

Dear Betty, Thank you for the article on the responsibility of church members and pastors to care for those who cannot attend church any longer. It has made me take a good look at what we are not doing in our church. After talking with our educational director, I think things will be different. My 86-year-old mother thanks you too. She is one of those you wrote about who would love a phone call.

Dear Betty, I cannot wait each month for your article to appear in The Alabama Baptist. I can relate to the article in the Jan. 1 issue. I am a widow.

My daughters and son are living away. The days are so long and lonely. Sometimes I just would love for someone to come by or call. I don’t like to be the one who makes all the calls. I cannot get out or go visiting, which I would love to do. Almost all I can do is send cards and write notes, especially to the sick. Even a card to me would be welcome. I really don’t think people who can visit take the time to visit, call or send cards to the elderly. Sometimes, we just need a little cheering up.

In addition to the letters above, there were several letters praising the work of their church in the area of the homebound. I thought about that word homebound. From the response to my article, it seems that even those who get out once in a while would still love to know others care about them.

Some of these dear saints have to depend on someone to pick them up each Sunday.

Other events are not attended as transportation is a problem and people just do not think about the difference they could make in a life if they would give a little more of their time to the elderly.

A Wednesday night outing would lift the spirits in so many ways and allow the taking in of God’s Word and the opportunity to be a part of a praying group of people at prayer meetings.

Tremendous response

Thank you for your response to the article, and I do hope that many of you will inquire about the homebound ministry in your church. Be sure that no one is forgotten.

Now, let me say a word to those of you who are at home day in and day out.

What a time for you to quench your thirsty souls through prayer, not only for yourself but for others.

I am sure that, for most of you, it is an established part of your daily life.

But think of the impact you could have on your church if you called your pastor or educational director and told him or her you would like the prayer list from Wednesday night, the hospital list and the needs of the church mailed to you or asked for someone to bring them to your house. You could then be a homebound prayer warrior.

In one of the churches we served, I remember calling three caregivers and talking to them about doing this very thing. Their response was one of gratitude for giving them the challenge.

I can imagine the impact you would have on the lives of young people if you requested the youth director to give you names of unsaved youth for whom you could pray. Pray and see how God answers. Praying for children, youth and their schools is one of the greatest things you can do.

Power of prayer

God can use the power of prayer to renew your heart and give you even more strength than you have now. I think I’m trying to say that you can help your church increase its prayer level. My, what a ministry.

I am going to be praying for each of you who took the time to write me. In our lives, there are times when we all get down, but God has never failed me. It is He who gives stability and strength through any situation.

I will especially remember you caregivers. It hurts to see a loved one’s health going down, but even in the midst of this time, God will give you peace. It is simply all about being with Jesus ... in that quiet solitude.

Also, I will continue to pray that God will convict more churches that the greatest ministry a church can have is to minister to those who cannot come any longer.

God is listening to their cry for a visit, card or phone call. What will your reply be?

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