Could teens ever bless the elderly?

In my neighbourhood, people’s needs aren’t obvious. No one walks around with a sign that says, “I’m hungry” or “I’m lonely”. If people need clothes or support, there are organisations who specialise in helping with these matters. So it can take a little effort to personally find needs and meet them. It takes the effort of actually getting to know people, mixing with the community, and scratching under the surface. But when we do, there’s a world of hurt, loneliness, depression, and desperation.HomelessMan

Each September, my wife and I take a group of teenagers into a local nursing home in a simple ministry we call “Young to Old”. The teens bake cookies and take them in as they talk, eat, sing, and even pray with the elderly. We give Bible booklets – Daily Strength and You Matter – reading to those who can’t read, and listening to those who want to talk. And boy, can they talk! Many of these folk have no visitors and are in their last few months of living. What a blessing for vibrant young people to listen to, engage with and value those who are forgotten.

The same story could be shared in different locations, meeting different needs all around the world. I was blessed to recently spend time with Pastor Nehe who lives among lepers in Indonesia, giving his life to those who need it most. We hear stories from people who are working among street children; bringing hope and love to those in the sex industry; lifting others from depression; giving words of comfort to the hurting; and meeting the needs of the world around them. Jesus lets us know that as his followers, this is of great value and importance to him. If we choose to engage and follow the example of these teens, it’ll change us from the inside out.

 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers

and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:35–40

by Dan Hardie

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