Left to right, lay evangelists Lauren Bowerfind, Karel Wallace, Rebekah Hammond, Elizabeth Christiensen, and Abebech Tebeje review their visit to a Washington, D.C.-area nursing home with team leader Rhonda Rowe on July 17, 2014. They followed the “Nursing Home Gospel Soul-Winning Script” during their visit. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Left to right, lay evangelists Lauren Bowerfind, Karel Wallace, Rebekah Hammond, Elizabeth Christiensen, and Abebech Tebeje review their visit to a Washington, D.C.-area nursing home with team leader Rhonda Rowe on July 17, 2014. They followed the “Nursing Home Gospel Soul-Winning Script” during their visit. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (RNS) Rhonda Rowe and her team gathered around a diagram of the nursing home’s floor plan and determined how to split up to avoid praying with anyone twice.

Rowe made her way to a room where a 93-year-old woman lay in her bed while her 87-year-old roommate sat in a wheelchair. Rowe knelt between them and went through her “Nursing Home Gospel Soul-Winning Script.”

“Fill me with your Holy Spirit and fire of God,” the 93-year-old repeated. “I’m on my way to heaven. I have Jesus in my heart.”

Rowe was soon off to the next room, but before she left, acknowledged that she might never see them again on earth. “I’ll see you girls in heaven!” she chirped.

Welcome to the world of nursing home evangelism, where teams of lay evangelists target senior citizens for one last chance in this life for glory in the next.

Rodney Howard-Browne speaks during the “Celebrate America” revival in downtown Washington, D.C., on July 15, 2014.

Rodney Howard-Browne speaks during the “Celebrate America” revival in downtown Washington, D.C., on July 15, 2014. RNS photo courtesy Christine Matthews, RMI Publications


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Rowe, who attends The River at Tampa Bay Church, was in town for a three-week “Celebrate America” revival in downtown Washington led by the church’s pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne. Each night, attendees heard Howard-Browne preach at the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Constitution Hall. By day, as others hit the subway stations or visited Capitol Hill, Rowe and other team members made a beeline for local nursing homes.

“Do you know, for sure, that you will spend eternity in heaven?” Rowe would ask a typical resident.

Pastor Eric Gonyon, coordinator of the Celebrate America revival, reviewed the rules before the teams departed.

“If you do go to the nursing homes or assisted living homes, there’s HIPAA rules and we do follow them,” he told about 60 people at a training session, referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal law that governs patient privacy. “You can’t give follow-up information in nursing homes and assisted living homes. We don’t bring anything in.”

Pastor Eric Gonyon, coordinator of the Celebrate America revival, leads a training session in Washington, D.C., on July 15, 2014.

Pastor Eric Gonyon, coordinator of the Celebrate America revival, leads a training session in Washington, D.C., on July 15, 2014. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Ministry officials had contacted a nursing home here ahead of time to get permission for the visit. After checking in, the team immediately went to work for about an hour.

Sometimes, Rowe and her five-member team asked residents who couldn’t speak for nonverbal answers, such as blinking their eyes or squeezing a hand if they agreed with the script.

“There’s no more ‘I’ll do it next year,’” said Rowe, who has traveled with Howard-Browne’s ministry to nursing homes as far as California. “There’s no more ‘I’ll decide about this in 10 years.’ This is it.”

The website of Revival Ministries International includes detailed instructions on how to search Google for nursing homes, determine the size of a visiting team based on the number of beds and tally the decisions garnered during the visits.

Of the millions of souls the ministry claims to have won, Gonyon says more than 500,000 came from commitments and recommitments at retirement and nursing homes since 2007.

“Pastor Rodney says: ‘The retirement home is the bus stop to eternity,’” Gonyon said.

“Many of these people, they don’t have friends or families that visit,” said Lauren Bowerfind, a 27-year-old student at Howard-Browne’s River Bible Institute who was on Rowe’s team. “We’re the only Jesus that they may see.”

Some experts on elder spirituality said the methods give them pause. Nursing home residents are, after all, a mostly captive audience — many of them hobbled by mental as well as physical ailments.

Nancy Gordon has worked at the California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging as its director since June 2008.

The Rev. Nancy Gordon has worked at the California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging as its director since June 2008. RNS photo courtesy Nancy Gordon, Front Porch

“In a sense, it’s good that they were remembering older people who often are just totally not remembered, but I do just have some reservations about the sort of conversion emphasis,” said the Rev. Nancy Gordon, director of California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging.

“From where I sit, it’s a little disrespectful to just launch into nursing homes and start to talk to people with a script, basically wanting them to believe in Jesus,” Gordon said.

The Rev. John McFadden, a retired United Church of Christ minister and the memory care chaplain at Appleton Health Care Center in Wisconsin, said spiritual care in elderly home settings ranges from a “wonderful, person-centered” approach to those “fearful that some of the residents are going to go to hell if they don’t do the deathbed confessions.” Most religious groups, he said, tend toward the first option.

But McFadden said a Catholic resident, for instance, who might not be aware of a conservative Protestant context, could think, “’These are church people, so it’s got to be OK’ and kind of goes with the flow.”

During Rowe’s recent visit here, some residents were more receptive than others. A 57-year-old man halted a solitaire game on his laptop and let Elizabeth Christiensen, another Bible institute student, pray for “a favorable report” at an upcoming doctor’s appointment.

Lauren Bowerfind holds the tally of decisions for commitment and recommitment to Jesus that she and her team garnered during a visit to a Washington, D.C.-area nursing home on July 17, 2014. They were in the area attending the three-week Celebrate America revival led by Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne.

Lauren Bowerfind holds the tally of decisions for commitment and recommitment to Jesus that she and her team garnered during a visit to a Washington, D.C.-area nursing home on July 17, 2014. They were in the area attending the three-week Celebrate America revival led by Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Abebech Tebeje, a first-time trainee from Silver Spring, Md., found her English script was too hard for a bedridden resident to repeat. When she switched to Amharic from her native Ethiopia, the man followed along and repeated her words. But a woman, who was standing in another room when Tebeje approached, listened as she started the script and eventually said: “Not today. I’ve got to think about it.”

In the hallway, where the 1950s song “Lollipop” was piped through the sound system, the evangelists discussed whether each discussion merited an addition to their count or not. Once outside, Bowerfind tallied their total: 16.

To those who question their mission, Gonyon said the ministry answers to a higher power.

“We have no response to those who are critics other than obeying Jesus and the Great Commission to preach the gospel regardless of the physical condition of the hearer,” he said. “Eternity will answer their questions!”

KRE/MG END BANKS

135 Comments

  1. Ugh, preying upon the vulnerable, infirmed and desperate with religious fearmongering and facile appeals where they keep “score”.

    Is there anything about evangelizing at nursing homes which doesn’t sound remotely tasteless?

    OK, one thing, getting these seniors to donate their money to these churches.

    • Totally agree Larry. The purpose of spreading the Gospel is to tell people who have not heard of Jesus and his religion. I should think at the age of say 88, in America you probably at one time did hear about Jesus.
      Kinder to ask someone if they are Christian and if they want to pray together.
      As a Pagan, if Obama doesn’t kill me, if I make it to a nursing home at 88 and had to endure this theological fright fest, I would most likely have to be sedated as the “crazy lady” merely because I would want them out of my room pronto!

      • Notice the discussion of HIPAA. These bible thumpers are specifically targeting others based on religious stats. Actively looking for last minute converts among those on death’s doorstep. Selling religion to seniors like the Home Shopping Network.

        • Perfect example is my father’s death. Literally hours before his death-knew it was coming-he expressed doubt and a bit of fear of “the afterlife”. Knowing his was frightened and asking for assurance, I told him, “Yes there is a God and all you have been taught is true There is a Heaven.” We did not share the same beliefs but ON HIS DEATH BED I was not about to start a epistemological discussion and create more fear. I let him go into that gentle night and held his hand. Did I lie to him? I don’t know. But he felt better.
          Now, if an Imam was pushing Allah down his throat, that would have just been cruel and stressful.
          And if these God pushers REALLY cared, they would volunteer, as I did, at a nursing home just to let the patients have someone to talk to.

        • Excuse me sir, you are judging what you do not know. I’ve bin with dr.rodneys teams into needing homes and manny people who had heard the gosple but never made a commitment did so that day. The numbers are so we know that we made a differance in eternity that day, not to boast. Wether someone is young and healthy or old and frail, they are still preshous to God. If you truly love the elderly you would tell them how much Jesus loves them and lead them to Jesus instead if criticizing those who do so

          • You self aggrandizing hypocritical parasites are taking advantage of the lonely, needy and frail to coerce a bunch of empty hosannas. Do people actually request your presence there or do you just go down there for the heck of it?

            Christians love using their faith as an excuse to act in obnoxious manners.

          • And you are judging what you do not know. While there are many words of great articulation and perfect eloquence in the English language, my personal response to you is “Byte me”.
            Do we understand each other? If I truly loved the elderly—don’t go poking that bear sonny boy. Stop ramming your god down the throat of the poor, fragile, scared, elderly and lonely-whatever their chronological age.
            If you truly loved humanity, you would speak less and listen more. And for GOD’S sake, stop tabulating your conquered souls-reminds me of the Spanish in the New World who killed those who would not convert.
            And use spell check next time.

          • Your comments would carry a little more weight if you learned how to spell before you attempt to take part in the discussion.

          • Clare Whitbeck

            How does one know that people haven’t made a commitment? Many people carry in their hearts and lives a much stronger commitment than repeating words said to them by an intrusive stranger who may be the first person to pay attention to them for months.
            Nursing home residents often suffer from dementia. Did they know which residents did suffer from dementia? If they did know then the nursing violated the HIPAA law. Would Christ be pleased by an illegal invasion into people’s privacy to get them to parrot some words?

        • In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus makes it clear that the reward is the same for the last as well as the first. I understand you are not a believer. But, in all fairness, can you not understand that we who do believe feel obligated to carry out The Great Commission ?

      • Belkor: haha. Crazy lady indeed. As a kid I was in a boy scout troop that once went to a home to sing christmas carols. They lined us all up on a stage, looking dapper in our uniforms. Wheeled in the old folks. Then somewhere about mid song a lady in the back in a wheelchair with a tube in her nose started yelling “get outta my house!”…over and over. Then a man started yelling it too. The song sorta died cause some of the troop started stifling a chuckle. It was awkward, to say the least. Funny now to think back about it though.

      • Everyone needs Jesus regardedless of age because some one came to me while I was on the streets I was witnessed to by a member of the River and my life has been changed my name is Robby Lopez I love these men and women of God and I go to nursing homes neighborhoods and tell others about Jesus regardless of what others think e is the only awnser for America and for the World and if no one goes and tells how will they ever know so I agree with going to nursing homes jails schools anywhere to get the Gospel preached so people can be given a second chance I agree with preaching on nursing homes 100% all the way

    • 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. The Way, the Truth, and the Life

      5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

      7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Father open the hearts of man Amen.

    • Yes, Larry, it is especially sad when religious persons use the doctrine of a fiery hell forever if the elderly don’t give deathbed confessions …especially when such a place does not exist…only the common grave, where the dead (both good and bad) are asleep in death or conscious of nothing at all (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10).

      Equally disturbing is the fact that most of mankind have the hope of everlasting life on a cleansed earth after they die to be reunited with their family and friends (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15).

      The earth will be our forever home where sickness, disease, old age, violence, wars, hate, starvation, pollution, even death will be done away with (Revelation 21:1-4).

      This all will be accomplished through the upcoming 1,000-year rule of Jesus, King of God’s kingdom or heavenly government, and his 144,000 co-rulers or born-again Christians who were previously humans on earth (Revelation 14:1-5; 20:4-6).

      These elderly ones (along with everyone else) definitely have something marvelous to look forward to on earth, especially re-acquiring the “youth” and “health” they have lost!!

    • Because God obviously wants you to harass old people into declarations of loyalty out of fear and coercion.

      Why does your God like such empty false forms of praise?

    • Frank: the best policy I have found for dealing with larry is non response. He’s a trained blogger Zio jew who followings all their talking points well. And as such just not worth the effort.

      • Because you know, thanks to me there is a Mossad hit team looking for you. They specialize in taking out people making online comments. They send the signal right through your computer screen. We are still tracking down the last 3 Hitler clones from the “South American Experiment” :)

        • Lets make this clear Frank, if you are going around to nursing homes trying to evangelize, you are a depraved parasite. A predator of the weak and vulnerable in service of your ego and faith.

          Notice how none of these evangelizers here talk about being asked to come there by the residents. They just take it upon themselves to take advantage of their fears and loneliness so God can keep score for them. Tasteless at the least, an absolute atrocity if these people are also soliciting donations.

      • So, you believe certain people are beyond saving and so you refuse to even try.

        I believe the phrase is “by their love shall ye know them,” but then I suppose love like that is beyond fundamentalist Christians.

    • Firstly, which God? I have been told, on good authority, that Kali Durga is the true deity who takes you through death.

      Secondly, why would you want to worship any deity who is so petty, deceptive, false and angry as the Christian deity?

  2. Michael Gompertz

    I am 64 years old. I hope to avoid nursing homes. Now I want to avoid them even more. The last thing I want to hear is some evangelist preaching to me when I am about to die and have lost a good deal of my mental and physical functioning. Such preaching is abuse of the elderly. It robs them of their dignity.

    Christian creeds say that Jesus is more than a prophet and more than a Messiah. They say he is God in the flesh. I consider that belief to be idolatry. It is just as much idolatry as saying that Julius Caesar or Barack Obama or George Bush is God.

    The earliest Christians were Jewish. As Jews, they did not view Jesus as God. They viewed him as their Messiah, a man of great spiritual strength but nonetheless a man, not God in the flesh. It was only in the Fourth Century that Christians decided that Jesus is God in the flesh. There was a dispute among Christians–is Jesus God or merely a man? So the Roman Emperor Constantine asked church leaders to resolve the issue at the Council of Nicaea. By majority vote, the bishops decided that Jesus is God. That doctrine is not expressed in a straightforward manner anywhere in the New Testament. If it were clearly expressed in the New Testament, the Council of Nicaea would not have been necessary.

    • The debate at Nicea was not about whether Jesus was God or not. None of the early Christians disagreed about that, and the concept was literally all over the gospels. The debate was whether He was co-eternal and co-equal with the Father, or a sort of subordinate expression of God CREATED by the Father.

      • Shawnie,

        That’s interesting because Jesus himself said:

        “You heard that I said to you, I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is GREATER than I am. (John 14:28)

        Jesus further said, when approached by a man who asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life, said:

        “… Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God.” (Mark 10:18). Jesus was referring to his Heavenly Father.

        The apostle Paul also confirms the position of both Jesus and God as follows:

        “But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn the HEAD of the CHRIST is GOD.” (1 Corinthians 11:3). It is evident that Jesus is in subjection to God and is in a position just below God, his Father. This is also reflected in the human family, where the son is in subjection to his father.

        The model prayer at Matthew 6:9-15 is also addressed to our Father in the heavens, with no mention of Jesus.

        Lastly, when writing to the Colossians, the apostle Paul referred to Jesus as follows:

        “He is the image of the invisible God, the FIRST-BORN OF ALL CREATION, because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth.. ” (Colossians 1:15,16). It is evident here that Jesus had a beginning, not like his Father, God, who from time indefinite to time indefinite is God (Psalm 90:2).

        The entire Bible does not teach the trinity doctrine and God, the Father of Jesus, whose name is Jehovah, is the Most High over all the earth (Psalm 83:18).

  3. This is a truly awesome ministry. As the title says for many people these homes are a bus stop to eternity. Through prayer we’ve seen many miracles, many healings – people who haven’t spoken for years becoming lucid to respond to a salvation prayer. And countless thousands of lives swept into the kingdom of God!

    • You have no respect for what little dignity these people have in their final years.

      Instead of harassing old people into declaring their love for Jesus (so you can keep score), spend your time doing real work for the Lord.

      Volunteer your time to give real aid to the elderly, not empty homilies and praises.

    • Jesus said that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The psalmist at 115:16 tells us that “As regards the heavens, to God the heavens belong, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.”

      Psalms 37:10,11 promises us:

      “And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. But the MEEK ones themselves will POSSESS the EARTH, and find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”

      The promise of grand blessings from God to MANKIND, not angels (since they do not die), is found at Revelation 21:3,4:

      “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with MANKIND, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God will be with him. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more,neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away.”

      This will be accomplished by God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44), comprised of Jesus as King and 144,000 co-rulers, or born-again Christians chosen by God, who were former humans on earth (Revelation 14:1-5; 20:4-6).

      Gone on earth will be old age, sickness and death, something the elderly today can look forward to!!

    • But what if the Jehovah’s Witnessses went round doing the same thing, Would that also be awesome? Perhaps, you are happy for the Mormons to seek converts at this time? The Catholics are also willing to do such conversions., still happy?

  4. Tony Carpenter

    The bus stop before eternity it’s so important that we reach the loss especially in the nursing home, just a little while ago I was able to witness to a whole group to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior many of them did, many of them were refresh and encourage and reminded of God’s love for them, Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature! let’s make an impact on the nursing home communities

    • Yes, Tony, Christians today should preach earth wide the good news of God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44) as the only hope for all mankind (Matthew 4:17), instead of putting their trust and faith in man’s failing governments that will soon be replaced by God’s kingdom. :-D

  5. Evangelizing in the nursing homes is one of favorite places to go. Many of the residents have no family, they are lonely, and left to die. The nursing home is really the last place before eternity. Always when I go witnessing in the nursing homes there is an overwhelming appreciation from the residents because rarely do they get visitors from people that care. Furthermore, many haven’t received Jesus in their heart and they have an opportunity to receive salvation.

  6. Jake Peterson

    It is such a privilege to go into the nursing homes to share the gospel. I have met many people who Jesus healed miraculously and saved. One person had a cane and was crippled, but God restored her body and the pain was gone. It could be someone’s last chance to receive eternal life.

    • Nick and Lori

      Nick & I agree with Jake, as we see same in Nursing Homes in N Florida! This is a work of The Holy Spirit! Do not criticize what you do not do! Jesus Christ said those who are not against Me, are for Me. Many Seniors praying for us to come!

  7. Lois Williams

    We went soul winning as a family and as we went into one room, a lady was thrashing around in the bed, tossing and turning and moaning, clearly in great distress. As we asked her if she had been told that God loved her and did she know where she would spend eternity she stopped thrashing, lifted her head and stared at us and cried, ‘no’ . She said the prayer of salvation and tears rolled down her face. She thanked us over and over again and we left her lying peacefully in her bed knowing that at last she had secured her future in Heaven. It is so wonderful to be able to bring the life and peace of Jesus into people’s lives.

  8. I went into a nursing house with the gospel soul winning script while on a Great Awakening tour a few months back. I seen many rooms of people who had been forgotten. This had been my 1st time evangelizing inside a nursing home. As my team and I began to share to the gospel the tangible love of God filled the room. Some began weep, and some didn’t want us to leave. It was a great privilege to pray for someone’s mother, someone’s grandmother, someone’s friend. Many that we talked to weren’t sure of their salvation, but they received Jesus right there. Many are at the end of their lives and if they died right now they would spend eternity lost in hell. God wants to use us to go into these nursing homes, and snatch them from the grips of the devil. Get a nursing home script from revival.com and go to a nursing home in your area.

  9. Clover Williams

    I have been to these nursing homes and prayed withbthe people. Giving the people hope as never hurt them. They are people who deserve a chance to receive Jesus in their heart just as much as anyone regardless on their situation. To deprive them of this opportunity just because they are in a nursing home is not fair. I think we need to continue doing the work and spread the Good news to all who will hear!

  10. Going to Nursing Homes, is not only a heart touching experience but It is an honor to be able to go into the Nursing Home to share thr Gospel of Jesus Christ with many individual, many times I have had the people as well as staff thank me for sharing the word of God. I have had the opportunity to pray with over 250 people in the nursing home using the prayer on the nursing home gospel soul winning script – People want the truth regardless of their age, and the truth is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins!

  11. I have gone to many nursing homes to simply love on the residents, to engage in thoughtful conversation, or to simply be present company to residents. I have personally found that many who are in nursing homes need peace regarding the afterlife. Sharing the Gospel is Good News! This subject should not be taboo or avoided. Anyone who would take the time to visit and share their Christian faith is a blessing. Nursing homes have guidelines…there are also residents who don’t wish to be visited and those room numbers are usually given ahead of time to ppl who want to visit – we respect that! If you look hard enough at anything, you will find fault! My experiences in sharing my time and my faith with nursing home residents has been a rewarding experience. All people should be afforded the opportunity to make a decision regarding eternity. No one is forcing anyone to do anything. Keep doing the work of sharing the Great Commission.

  12. Come on somebody!!! Jesus said, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to EVERY creature. (‭Mark‬ ‭16‬:‭15‬ KJV) Young or old… It doesn’t matter. Elderly people need Jesus too!

  13. I have been to many nursing homes during the past seven years to share the good news of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a unique experience to minister to precious men and women who are lonely and often have lost all hope. I have watched tears stream down their faces as they pray and ask Jesus into their heart and then forgive anyone who has hurt them. Their sorrow turns to joy and a great peace comes over them. Some are not saved and others have gone to church all their life but have lost sight of Jesus and His great love and compassion for them. Some receive healing in their bodies and others slip away into eternity sometimes within hours after they have prayed and asked Jesus into their heart.

  14. Teresa Basine

    The Gospel is Good News & Good News is for EVERYONE! I am a Christian and I tell people about Jesus young and old. Nursing Homes are the perfect place to share the love of God. Christ died for them just like he did for the teenager on crack, the business man or the single mom with 3 jobs. I have been to nursing homes and prayed with people that told me they had NEVER been told that Jesus loved them & they didn’t know if they would go to heaven. I have prayed with people that received Jesus in their heart and when I went back they were no longer alive. God forbid that I would “pause” to tell anyone about Jesus Christ at any age, nationality, cultural, social or economic background. This is not a selective Gospel. Jesus Christ died for EVERYONE.

  15. Davis Turrentine

    What an awesome opportunity to share the GOOD NEWS of Jesus with someone, giving them an opportunity to accept Him as their Lord and Savior in this last stage of their lives. Thank you to those who have given up their time to pray with many who are lonely and long to have someone to talk with. TODAY is always the day of salvation, and all of Heaven rejoices over one sinner who repents and comes into the Kingdom – no matter how young or how old!

  16. Scott Bradberry

    I was beyond blessed and privileged to be apart of a soul winning team that was given the opportunity this year at Celebrate America DC to go into a nursing home and share the Good News. We were welcomed by all and even the Sr. Administrator said yes to Jesus!

  17. Nursing Homes are always such a wonderful place to share Christ with those precious men and women! As I’ve had the privilege of leading many to a saving knowledge of Jesus in these homes, the joy that spreads across their face and is heard in their voice, the sparkle of life that comes into their previously full eyes, the deep peace that they’ve told me that fills them, is nothing short of miraculous! There’s no greater gift that can be given to these precious people than Eternal Life – they’ve lived full lives and now they have the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven when this life here is through! What a fantastic way to leave – total peace and joy and assurance! I would encourage everyone to share Jesus with everyone you meet…everywhere! Bless this team that ministered the gospel in the nursing home!

  18. Ministering to families and those who have none to speak of in nursing homes is a priviledge and an honor. I have been able to reach soo many with the Gospel who, even in the USA at their age, stated they had never heard God loved them! How amazing to be used by God, even minutes before they pass into eternity, to help them make a decision for Jesus and call upon Him.

  19. The scriptures say “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Christians speaking to others in a Nursing Home that are patients is essential. We, as a culture, do not like to think about dying but it comes to each of us. Saying yes to Jesus is needed in any life stage but especially in one’s “golden years.” Those patients that have ever told me they did not want to pray with me did so with respect. Most patients are happy to pray with us. We come in peace.. not forceful or pushy…if someone has a problem with this process, they have a problem with love.

  20. I’ve had the privilege of going into nursing homes to share the love of God with the residents using the Gospel Soulwinning Script. Many in the nursing homes know that their time on earth is short, and are hungry and ready to receive the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel Soulwinning Script is a wonderful way to show the love of God with the nursing home residents because it simply shares the truth of the Gospel – that God loves them and that they can receive salvation and forgiveness by calling on the name of the Lord. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes. I have been able to lead many people to the Lord in nursing homes, and each one is so precious. The most common response I’ve had from the residents is, “Thank you! Thank you!” Jesus told us to GO and preach the Gospel, and using the Gospel Soulwinning Script in nursing homes is a great way to obey the Great Commission! :-)

  21. Stephanie Loos

    Its amazing how using the Gospel script, which just simply shares the Good News of the Gospel & gives a person an opportunity to receive it can totally change a person’s life. I’ve seen it over and over the past 12 years.

  22. What an incredible ministry it is to reach people in the retirement homes! Many of the elderly that I’ve personally witnessed to are so thankful and appreciative that I took the time to tell them how they can spend eternity in Heaven. This is not a case of people being upset or harrassed, but rather one of great happiness and joy when they realize they are on their way to Heaven. I highly recommend you to try it!

  23. This is awesome! I remember a time when I went to visit one of my mother’s clients in the nursing home. I was told that she had been laying there unresponsive for days. She could not talk or even open her eyes. The moment I shared the Gospel script with her she started squeezing my hand and her eyes started fluttering. There’s no doubt in my mind that she understood and accepted Jesus into her heart. I found out just days later that she had passed away. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation! All of heaven rejoices when one gets saved! What an awesome privilege it is to share Jesus to those in the nursing and retirement homes!

  24. These great men and women that have served our country and have been the back bone of our great nation and they deserve the right to make right with God.

    Most of these people have been left in these nursing homes to literally wither away into a lost eternity. The SOUL purpose of these teams is to seek and save those that are lost and broken, not to pester or abuse these people with mere religion and traditions of man. We go into these nursing homes to bring the good news, news that even in their old age that they can truly have a relationship with Jesus Christ and be seated with Christ in heavenly places.

    In some cases literally on our way out some of these people we pray with pass away. But it is only Jesus that in his perfect timing gives us the opportunity to reconcile these people back into the arms of Jesus.

  25. Having the opportunity to share the love of God through Jesus to these dear people in nursing homes is just awesome. Many times after you tell them God loves them and share the Gospel, as they pray and after they pray tears often fill their eyes and they grab your hand and simply say “Thankyou. Thankyou for coming and sharing that with me.” It’s then you see the love of God meeting them at their point of need in the most gracious and respectful way as only God can! We may not know one thing about them or their life, but God does and He can use you to be a blessing in bringing them Good News!!

  26. One day I passed a room where a lady lay comatose. The nursing home staff told me that no family had visited her sinse she had been diagnosed with AIDS. I sat down and talked to her.i told her my name and encouraged her that God loves her . I said that if she wanted too,she could receive the gift God has for her of eternal
    Iife by asking Jesus to come into her heart, and that she could pray a simple prayer to do so right after me. Slowely i prayed the prayer of salvation,pausing after each sentence to allow her time to say it in her heart if she wanted to.Nothing changed ,as the very thin middle aged lady lay staring at the ceiling and I softly departed from her room. I did not know that she had been terrified to sign the papers of the docters allowing them to give her comfort measures in her end of life care plan. 3 days later I returned to visit more people in the facility, to encourage,to offer prayer. Staff came running to me;” She is asking for you! For 3 day,she has!” as soon as you left,she rang her bedside bell. We found her sitting up,smiling radiantly asking to sign the papers! When we entered her room ..those who knew God felt Him with her and we began to cry, those who did not ran scared from the room…she had been in a coma for at least 2 months! She said;” I need to sign the papers,..I know where I am going!” As soon as I walked into her room I saw her sitting up for myself. Smiling she said; ” you were the lady who told me that God loves me, …I prayed to ask Jesus to come into my life you know!” I knodded “yes”and smiled back at her through my tears. Every one should have the right to hear the gospel and receive prayer for their salvation . My new found friend passed away peacefully, but not before touching many peoples lives herself. ” He’s real! ” she said to me;” I never knew that you can be loved this much!”.

  27. Thank you Jesus! This is what it’s about! I had an aweosme opportunity to lead someone to the Lord at a nursing home in Tennessee, she was so thankful! It’s so true, going to the nursing home truly is the last bust stop to eternity! I’m glad that there are people going beyond the four walls of the church doing what God has called us to do! To preach the gospel!

  28. Preaching the gospel in nursing homes is so vital to bringing people into the kingdom before their last breath. So many people that I’ve shared the gospel with in nursing homes “hoped” they we’re going to heaven, trusting that their good works would be enough to get them there. without someone sharing the good news with them that they don’t have to depend on their own goodness but on the saving power of Christ, they could be lost. One lady, even in her old age, said that no one had ever told her that God loves her. Also, even if they already are saved, they are usually happy to see a friendly face, especially if they don’t see much visitors.

  29. Stella Brownlee

    One day while visiting a nursing home, the worker standing in the hallway told me that I may not want to go into the room she pointed toward because the person in the room could not hear or respond to the Gospel. I walked into the room, presented the Good News of the Gospel and the person heard and prayed the prayer out loud to receive Jesus Christ! I wanted to see the worker to tell her that these precious people do hear! They do respond!
    They may look like they are sleeping but they wake up to Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.
    The Gospel is the power of God and that power awakens them and they are led into salvation.
    They were waiting at a “bus stop to eternity” and now their destination is Heaven!

  30. I had many awesome privileges of personally going to local nursing homes to pray with the elderly. I will never forget the 89 year old man Maurice that said no one ever told him that God loved him, when I told him that God loved him. He bowed his head and prayed the prayer of salvation and accepted Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior. Another woman who said she could not hear me at all when I began sharing the Gospel with her, was suddenly able to hear me completely! Jesus opened her ears to hear the good news! What a great God we serve! She repeated the entire salvation prayer after me line after line. I have been honored to pray with hundreds of people in nursing homes, for salvation and healing. Only heaven knows the eternal impact and how many have gone home to be with the Lord! Somebody’s mom or dad, or grandfather or great grandmother was heading for hell and now they’re heading or in heaven!!! How beautiful!!!

    • There is no place of fiery torment forever that mankind needs to worry about since there is only the common grave of mankind where the dead are not conscious of anything at all (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10).

      A limited number of humans from earth (144,000) have the heavenly hope since they will be ruling with Jesus, King, and form God’s heavenly government that will rule over mankind during Jesus’ millenial rule (Rev. 14:1-5; 20:4:6). They will live forever in the heavens.

      That kingdom will rule over meek mankind on earth, where they will live forever in peace and security (Psalm 37:10,11).

  31. It is such a blessing to be a part of the nursing home ministry. Nursing homes are places that need the love and hope of Christ. Many residents are depressed and have lost all hope. Bringing Jesus to them restores their hope and joy, and brings healing often times as well. The times I have been to nursing homes, most of the patients are so grateful for the prayers and time spent. Many times after they accept Jesus into their lives, they immediately feel better and like weight has been lifted off their shoulders. This ministry has not only changed the lives of the residents I’ve spoken with, but It has changed my life as well.

    • Lauren…..my heart has been heavy for many months now to begin a local ministry in our nursing homes/assisted living facilities. We placed my mother in assisted living 3 years ago and I’ve had the opportunity to display the love of Jesus there to others but I’ve not taken the “big step” of actually witnessing to those who may not know about God’s love gift given through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus! My mother is Catholic (although no longer actively practicing her faith)……I’ve given her books in the past about Heaven and she has not read……more recently I’ve begun talking to her about Jesus, Heaven, seeing my dad again (she “hopes” she will see him again) and speaking more boldly about knowing in her heart without a doubt that she will go to heaven. She is still not comfortable talking about God on a one on one with me…..my prayer is that she will soon as her health is starting to fail much faster. Regardless…..I will keep trying as I know God has been speaking to my heart to do that as well as share His love with others in that community and wherever else He sends me. As a further sign….just 4 weeks ago, our church began a series about witnessing to the “ones in front of you” (which, in my case, is time spent at my mom’s facility) and the Holy Spirit has really spoken to my heart about starting a nursing home ministry. I took the step 2 days ago to speak to the facility’s activity director about doing this and her eyes lit up and said “I have the perfect person for you to start with” (that was truly my strongest affirmation so far that God is all over this)!! I get my TB vaccination this week and hope to begin very shortly after this. I will tell you…… I’m not ready, I’m very nervous and not the best, most articulate person on Biblical teachings …,,,,,.but God knows all this and He will equip me as He has leads me!

  32. I’ve had the honor and privilege of preaching the gospel in several nursing homes many times and more often than not the nurses, doctors and staff members hear the message and along with most of the residents they too ask Jesus to come into their hearts and be their Lord and Savior. Oh how sweet it is to look into the eyes of them who have believed on Him who laid down his life that all humanity may have eternal life through belief on him and see the sheer joy, peace and love that he gives them is simply priceless. I thank God that man’s unbelief dose not make the Word of God of no effect. God loves us young and old all ages, with an unfailing undying love.

  33. Jonathan Sofge

    I have had the privilege several times to go to nursing homes to minister and share the love of God with the elderly while using the Nursing Home Soul Winning Script. When you have Jesus in your heart,you love people and you want everyone to go to heaven and you want to tell everyone about Jesus because you love Him. At the nursing homes, everyone is always happy to have us and the nurses and patients are always very grateful we came and ask us to continue coming. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” That includes the nursing homes and elderly.

  34. Tim Finlayson

    I think this is an outstanding ministry. All people have to do if they’re not interested in praying the prayer is say no thank you. But to the person who is not made Jesus the Lord of their life yet, I’m sure in eternity they will think the person that led them to relationship with Jesus. There is a hell. People do go there. And once they go there they don’t get to come back. If you believe that and and don’t tell someone about salvation. That is the worst form of terrorism.

  35. Jesus said in Matt 25:34-46, “… when I I was sick, you visited me. When I was imprisoned, you came to me… “. It would not be inappropriate to also say, “when I was in the nursing home, you ministered to me.”

    I remember a time when a lady at a nursing home prayed to accept Jesus. She died within a couple hours. I see it as if she was allowed to stay on earth until the opportunity of salvation was presented. How many more could there be?

  36. Yes! Nursing home ministry is amazing!!! I went into a nursing home and heard an old lady yelling at the top of her lungs, help me, help me, over and over again in torment. I made my way to her room and asked her what was wrong. She was in agonizing pain and the nurses were unable to help her. I prayed with her and rebuked the pain. All of her pain left. I led her to receive Jesus as Saviour. She was very very thankful…as I would have been if I was in that condition and had just gotten totally healed. When you have something real, you cant help but give it away. Ive freely recieved so I must freely give! Id be a completely cold hearted individual to not reach out to those hurting people in nursing homes. This isnt a game. Heaven and hell are real places. The Bible says ” Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, and “How shall they hear without a preacher”. We are called to be demonstraters of His love, His word, His power.

  37. Leyona Coffey

    Time and time again The Lord Jesus gives us and opportunity to be salt and light in a dark and sad world. We must be willing to go wherever he would lead us. The harvest is ripe, but the labourers are truly few. I have had the opportunity to lead people to The Lord in nursing homes. I have had the privilege to see there faces light at the thought of security of in promises that God has given them through The Lord Jesus. Many times the people in these homes are forgotten left there without a person to visit or even call them. It’s amazing to see that The Lord would not leave one person behind. I have see people with dementia have there memory restored, people healed in the name of Jesus, with nurses and doctors accepting Jesus for the first time or rededicating their lives. There is only one motivation. The cross. One purpose. To see people saved. For one reason. It is his will. This is the purity of my purpose to please my Lord and build eternal treasure in heaven.

  38. Mom of Jeromy Perez

    My son was given the privilege to serve the elderly, offer hope and demonstrate the love of of God to those that have already surpassed him. As a mother of a 14 year old young man it blessed my heart to see the smiles, the love, and the joy that the elderly received from him as we went door to door greeting the residents. Most of them spoke of feeling forgotten and were elated to see a friendly face. May God touch more families to reach out to those that can no longer attend church due to being in an assisted living facility. My son and I did not just visit the elderly we brought love, hope, and joy to each life with the message of the gospel. What a privilege to love each person and appreciate them in their advanced years! My son and I will never be the same. This visit helped me see things in an eternal perspective. I felt we visited Jesus not just people in a residential setting for the elderly. Jesus said, (Matthew 25:34-40 amp)
    “Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me. Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.”

  39. Go Team, GO!! This is the last stop before Heaven or Hell. I can’t think of a better place to share the GOOD NEWS! I pray that this article is an eye-opener for evangelists all over the country and world to take the Gospel in more nursing homes. Thanks for publishing!!

  40. Evangelizing is great & I need to do more myself. Jesus is for everyone!!! Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the nursing homes is just as good as anywhere. They still have a choice to accept or deny Christ & this gives them a choice (a final one for some of them). Many have never heard that Jesus loves them & there’s hope after death. It can give them a sense of peace. It’s been a while since I have evangelized in a nursing home; however, I support & encourage all who does. Eternity is just that eternal & if we can make a positive difference in someone’s life before they die, PRAISE THE LORD! You should consider where you are going to spend eternity if you were to die right now, because The Lord loves you & have a wonderful plan for your life.

  41. samuel Johnston

    In my professional life, I have visited nursing homes regularly for over forty years. I visit one old friend, a 98 year old resident whose mind is still active, every week. Some residents are so far gone that it’s only a guess how much they can comprehend.
    My 78 year old sister is in a senior choir at her church, and they perform regularly with a mixed program of hymns and spirituals at nursing homes in our area. She asks no one about their beliefs.
    These old folks deserve respect and regard. These evangelicals too often treat them like children or “charity cases”, or worse- a way to gratify their own egos. One day I will be among those in a wheel chair, in an institution. Those evangelical folks better watch out for me, because I may speed a few of those mindless morons along the path to the next life.

  42. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shared the Good News of the Gospel using the Gospel Script in nursing homes and had residence faces light up and start thanking me and sometimes even cry tears joy. They are so precious.

  43. I have gone into countless nursing homes with The River church and have seen many people come to the saving knowledge that is Jesus Christ, by the gospel being preached. I was also able to go through the script with my grandmother who, before she went home to be with The Lord, suffered from a brain tumor. She was given home care but the script worked just the same. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and I KNOW that she is in Heaven. She loved Jesus all her life but who knows if in those last weeks/months of her life she had things she wanted to ask forgiveness for but couldn’t because she couldn’t speak well on her own?? God used me as a willing vessel and the nursing home script as a tool to ensure that she was at that “bus stop” and got on the right bus, the bus to Heaven.

  44. samuel Johnston

    My older brother was a policeman who worked on a motorcycle. He was in hospital in very poor condition after an accident. The doctors advised amputating his arm. Naturally, some “well meaning” evangelical made his way (uninvited) to his room to “pray” with him. Now my brother is not an atheist (theory is not his strong point), but his reaction was to the presumption of the guy. “When you have been in the religion business as long as I have, you be sure and come back.” was his response.
    These folks always seem to presume that they “know” the answers, and they are going to “save” us sinners because some half educated preacher has told them so.
    Another time, my doorbell rang and there stood a neatly dressed young woman with two young school age daughters. Her job was to spread “the word”. The day was hot, the children were tired, and my heart went out to them (naturally I invited them in and gave the children some refreshment.
    What sort of stupid/evil person sends these poor troubled souls out? Obviously a person who cares nothing for humanity, only for his own power trip.

    • @Samuel Johnston,

      “These folks always seem to presume that they “know” the answers”

      Indeed. Yet how little they know!

      “They call it faith because it isn’t knowledge” – Christopher Hitchens

  45. This is GREAT! Nursing Home revivals, bring it on!!! I’m so glad they can reach the elderly when very few consider them, they are often treated as a burden & many are just waiting to get the call that dear grandma or granddad finally went home to be with The Lord… But what if heaven wasn’t their final resting place – what an awful thought & for some a reality. I applaud this group for “making sure” they know their final destination & IM SURE their loved ones who are praying for them are glad they are sure too!

    • The earth will be the “living place” for many who are still asleep in death, just as the earth was before they died. There is a resurrection hope for those who have passed away (Acts 24:15; John 5:8,29).

      However, the earth will be cleansed of all the wicked ones and wicked conditions we now face every day, and peace and security will be the norm, as well as living forever on that cleansed earth (Psalms 37:10,11; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 21:4). I hole to live forever on that earth; not in the heavens.

  46. Matt.4:16 says “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts it’s shadow, a light has shined.”
    That’s the point of Nursing Home Ministry! Bringing The Light of The Gospel to people in darkness!

  47. Those people who happened to arrive in a Nursing home situation are no different than anyone else,perhaps more fragile. They need to know that God loves them, Jesus died for them, and there is forgiveness extended towards them.Their last days can be in comfort with God ‘s presence!

  48. Before I became housebound due to my fear of athiests and gay persons, I used to do evangelism at the local nursing home. At first they tried not to let us in because it is supposedley illegal to harass senile people and encourage them to leave their estate to the church, but the word “lawsuit” changed the nurses attitude. Christians take note: always threaten to sew them! It works!

    One time I ended up in the room of this guy who kept telling me to leave him alone and go away. I guess he was an athiest. I could tell he had the Devil in him and he was acting up and I was afraid he’d get me in trouble, so I just put his pillow over his head until he calmed down. He seemed really calm after that so I figured Christ had healed his termoil. I was still afraid of getting in trouble from all the noise he made before so I just sort of quitely snuck out of his room and that was the last time I evangelized at the nursing home.

    Anyway, I am so glad to see my fellow Christian brothers and sisters in this thread sharing their tales of spreading the GOod News! Awesome work, guys! Keep it up!

    • @Ronald,

      Um…
      “I could tell he had the Devil in him and he was acting up and I was afraid he’d get me in trouble, so I just put his pillow over his head until he calmed down. He seemed really calm after that so I figured Christ had healed his turmoil.”

      1. Pillow over his head? Was he still breathing when you left that room?
      2. How do you know ‘the devil’ was in him? How did you determine that?
      3. Calm? Christ did it? How did you determine that?

      Sounds like you were a genuine intruder in unfamiliar surroundings with no idea of how to handle any situation in any way in that place.
      Unprepared and blundering, these evangelical messengers are the most inhumane people on the planet.

      As Christopher Hitches says in “Mortality” – “In the midst of one’s dying agony the last thing you want to see is a crucifix which celebrates it.”

  49. Debra Laorosa

    If you knew Of your loved one heading down a dangerous road, wouldn’t you want to warn them? The bible says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ And you shall be saved And that through His name you receive foregiveness Of sins…Acts 10:43. How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed And how shall they believe in Him Of whom they have not heard And how shall they hear without someone telling them? Romans 10:14. That’s why we tell them so they can hear And believe And confess with their mouth And belive in their heart. Our lives are but a vapor, here For a little while And then vanishes away. So after they call unto the Lord, the Holy Spirit does His Work in their heart And quickens their mortal bodies Romans 8:11. Faith pleases God And the only thing we can take to heaven is people.

  50. GOD IS LOVE. For God so loved tbe world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life ~ John 3:16. Sharing God’s love is wonderful regardless of age. The greatest joy is to see the transformation that takes place when a person receives the free gift of
    salvation. Sometimes there are tears &
    exoressions of joy due to relief from burdens

  51. This is obviously all about getting money from the huge amounts of money often available in wills. This sickening display of preying on the vulnerable is made all the worse by the fact that it is legal, while so many other forms of elder abuse are not. As we’ve seen many times, Christian Privilege reaches into every aspect of our lives. If some other business tried to go into nursing homes to get access to those vulnerable people with days, weeks or months away from disbursing their life savings, we would of course see it as the predation it is – yet, when Christians do the same thing, we turn a blind eye. Sickening.

    • What’s “obvious” is that you know less than nothing about nursing homes and those who live in them. The vast majority of these residents are being paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. Most of those who ARE private payers soon become Medicaid cases as nursing home costs quickly eat up whatever savings they had. Those with “huge amounts of money available” do not reside in nursing homes and are cared for at home by private nurses and aides.

      You’ll find less money in a nursing home than you would in a community of homeless under a bridge. And whaddyaknow? You’ll find Christians at work there too.

      • Fair enough.

        But huge numbers of emotionally and physically vulnerable people live in nursing homes. Perfect fodder for those with a sales pitch for eternal bliss if they just make a declaration for Jesus to the pushy young proselytizers.

        I can see if the elderly people are requesting these people to come to the nursing homes and there was some indication that these volunteers make an effort to respect views of the residents. But none of that appears to be the case.

        I sincerely doubt people who throw around phrases like:
        “Everyone needs Jesus”

        “If you knew Of your loved one heading down a dangerous road, wouldn’t you want to warn them? ”

        “I applaud this group for “making sure” they know their final destination ”

        …really are going to take “no” for an answer if their presence is unwelcome.

        • One of my grandmothers lived her final year in a nursing home, and I witnessed evangelizers come to visit her and others. They were mostly welcomed, but if not they certainly would not insist. Every home has residents whose dementia makes them hostile to everyone (I remember one who called everyone who came near her “ugly”) and of course they are left undisturbed since that is clearly what they wish. In my grandmother’s case she declined missionary-type visits because her dementia made her uncomfortable with strangers and her ability to speak was impaired — but nobody need have worried about her, as she was a lifelong follower of Christ and very beautiful in spirit.

          All kinds of groups come to visit nursing home patients — scout troops, music groups, high school students as part of community service projects. There is no need to single out church groups in particular for assignment of ulterior motives and contempt, nor any reason to resent someone for offering to another what they consider to be the very best of all good things (Jesus). I’ve had people come to my own door offering religion of one stripe or another, and even when I am not interested I always thank them for caring enough to offer to share. Contrary to stereotype, evangelization is not an easy undertaking, nor is it a pleasant one.

          • One need not suffer dementia to find these people to be an unwelcome intrusion. Either due to unintentional phrasing or as a backhanded remark you seemed to intimate that one has to be crazy or without mental facilities to find fault with these proselytizers.

            “All kinds of groups come to visit nursing home patients — scout troops, music groups, high school students as part of community service projects. ”

            But there is a level of self-aggrandizement in the missionaries here that crosses the line into tasteless. They are keeping score as to how many prayers they elicit. These groups are not promoting community service, or even acting on the behalf of the residents, they are promoting their own faith (and keeping a personal tally!)

            “I’ve had people come to my own door offering religion of one stripe or another, and even when I am not interested I always thank them for caring enough to offer to share. ”

            You and I had the ability to shoo them away politely and close the door. These proselytizers don’t have to worry about such things in nursing homes. A captive audience so to speak. This is what makes the act so obnoxious.

            The act itself is intrusive and obnoxious by nature. If the message was anything other than furtherance of your own faith, you would probably find these things to be offensive. Imagine people doing this for Mohammed instead of Jesus. That is another religion with a proselytizing zeal. How would you feel?

          • “you seemed to intimate that one has to be crazy or without mental facilities to find fault with these proselytizers.”

            That is not what I was trying to say…but it did seem that the ones who rebuffed missionaries were mainly the ones who rebuffed everyone else too. Although I surely have not witnessed everything, I freely admit.

            “These groups are not promoting community service, or even acting on the behalf of the residents, they are promoting their own faith (and keeping a personal tally!)”

            I imagine keeping a tally is mainly a means of encouragement to continue, and a way of encouraging others to take up the task in turn (some kind of tangible proof that they are making a difference and the undertaking is worthwhile). As I said, evangelization in and of itself is not a pleasant task. To put it another way…my kids have volunteered in our local food pantry during summers ever since they were in elementary school. Being kids, they were not always enthusiastic about the work at first, but the lovely lady who in charge of the operation helped them get their minds around it by telling them “This is how many families you have helped today…” and their eyes would immediately light up with understanding. Because they could finally grasp the degree of the difference being made. They have been happy food pantry workers every summer since.

            There is a kind of a sense of fulfillment or reward in the process, seeing someone receive what you see as a saving good. I feel it when I serve in the food pantry, for example. No doubt you feel it when you contribute to charity. No doubt doctors feel it when they administer treatment. But that is the nature of serving our fellow man. If we don’t find it rewarding then there is something seriously lacking in us. And it’s hypocritical to dismiss it in others as “self-aggrandizement” just because you don’t personally like the particular thing being offered.

            “A captive audience so to speak. This is what makes the act so obnoxious.”

            They do not bother anyone who declines a visit. Is this the crux of your objection? Do you think they (and myself) are lying about this?

            “Imagine people doing this for Mohammed instead of Jesus. That is another religion with a proselytizing zeal. How would you feel?”

            I have no objection to religious speech in ANY form, Larry, and that includes Islam. Although your “captive audiences” would no doubt be more of an issue in the case of Islam, judging from Newsweek’s recent “Convert or Die” story from Iraq. Tamerlane and Ulugh Beg’s legacy lives on.

          • “I imagine keeping a tally is mainly a means of encouragement to continue, and a way of encouraging others to take up the task in turn (some kind of tangible proof that they are making a difference and the undertaking is worthwhile). ”

            Nice spin. I am not buying it for a minute but it is a valiant effort. :)

            “To put it another way…my kids have volunteered in our local food pantry during summers ever since they were in elementary school. Being kids, they were not always enthusiastic about the work at first, but the lovely lady who in charge of the operation helped them get their minds around it by telling them “This is how many families you have helped today…” and their eyes would immediately light up with understanding. ”

            If they were doing something so tangibly helpful and welcomed by all receiving it I would have no objection whatsoever. Spreading religious faith is a self-serving act.

            But “donating religious belief” (to stretch an analogy to an admittedly silly level) by its nature is divisive and not nearly close to the filling a similar need. Nobody plays upon fears and anxieties of the recipients when donating food. Not so with evangelizing. Especially to the old and vulnerable.

            “They do not bother anyone who declines a visit. Is this the crux of your objection? Do you think they (and myself) are lying about this?”

            You are the only one to mention that!

            The discussion of HIPAA definitely gives the evangelizing a sinister tone. Of deliberately targeting people on the basis of health and religious affiliation.

            More than 50 people chiming in on their work evangelizing in nursing homes and not one mentioned anything that would indicate that they would respect one’s wishes not to hear the sales pitch. Then again, not one of them seemed to want to stick around to do anything more than a drive-by “look at how well I am doing the Lord’s work”.

            Go figure.

          • “You are the only one to mention that!”

            Destiny mentioned it, as did Rhonda, as did Tim. As for “look at how well I am doing the Lord’s work,” I rather think they came here to answer the many false accusations that you, and Belkor, and Jon, did not waste any time in dishing out.

            “If they were doing something so tangibly helpful and welcomed by all receiving it I would have no objection whatsoever. Spreading religious faith is a self-serving act.”

            Because it isn’t “tangible” to you does not mean it isn’t tangible and valuable to someone else. Not everyone accepts everything we offer them at the food pantry. Not everyone accepts the gospel. C’est la vie. But sharing the latter is no more self-serving than the former. Not one instance of nursing home evangelization will get the evangelizer to heaven. None will result in any money or new membership for a church. None will result in anything but that the good news passes from one who has it to one who doesn’t. Period.

            Please get out more, Larry. There’s a whole lot out there that doesn’t fit into any of your set of rather narrow assumptions.

          • “Contrary to stereotype, evangelization is not an easy undertaking, nor is it a pleasant one.”

            I do my best to turn every evangelist into a doubter.
            And it takes nothing but a few questions.

            Knock on my door anytime – I feel like it’s a special gift to De-convert a hapless victim of religion and free them from the dark ages.

          • There is nothing false about how their efforts come off. Nobody is actually asking for them to come to the nursing homes. They will avoid people who bother to speak up and decline. The assumption being that everyone gets the sales pitch for Jesus except when there is a danger of possible action or bad publicity against them. The approach is no different than predatory vendors who target elderly people.

            Lets be brutally honest, people in nursing homes tend to be in a state of diminished human contact and attention. This makes many very receptive to anyone willing to sit and talk to them. No matter the subject.

            “Because it isn’t “tangible” to you does not mean it isn’t tangible and valuable to someone else. ”

            Nobody needs religion to survive. People can go their entire lives without it.

          • “The assumption being that everyone gets the sales pitch for Jesus except when there is a danger of possible action or bad publicity against them.”

            You’re again telling people what their thoughts and motives are. These are just more of the kind of accusations (the first being money-seeking) that people naturally come here to counter. Some of them probably haven’t seen enough of life yet to know that gospel-haters will ALWAYS ascribe the absolute basest thoughts and motives to christians no matter the facts or circumstances. Considering they accused Jesus of having a demon, being accused of predation is peanuts, I suppose.

            “Nobody is actually asking for them to come to the nursing homes.”

            Few groups who visit nursing homes are asked to come. They volunteer, and almost all are welcomed.

            “Nobody needs religion to survive. People can go their entire lives without it.”

            People can go their entire lives without education, without recreation, without culture, without freedom, without love, even. Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, or that those who offer it are to be spat upon. How ’bout if you let everyone decide for themselves what to take and what to leave, ‘kay?

  52. The evangelical fanatics obviously the “honor and privilege” memo. It would be a bit of a hoot if the practice itself weren’t so disgusting. The winning souls numbers game has nothing to do with genuine compassion for these poor vulnerable people. It’s all rooted in the ego of the proselytizer.

  53. My wife and I have done quite a bit of nursing home ministry over the years and we have always had a response of gratitude and appreciation from both nursing home residents as well as staff as we shared the gospel with them. I think it is great what Revival Ministries International (RMI) is doing in the nursing homes and retirement communities. The elderly are often forgotten and as they near the end of their life they need to know that they are still precious and valuable to God and they need the comfort and assurance that there is a better place waiting for them on the other side of death. I know many of the RMI people that go into the retirment communities and though they may use a script to share the gospel, it comes from a heart of deep love and concern for the elderly and the elderly feel it. I salute them for their dedication and sacrifice and I hope that many others will catch on to the fact that God can use them to make a big difference in the the lives of the elderly.

    • Its amazing how little you are concerned with the actual physical well being of these elderly people. They are simply a tick on a tally. People to be read a script to as if you are selling Amway.

      • Oh, be fair, Larry. MLM salesbots go to enormous lengths to recruit people. They make friends, cultivate business contacts, and do hours-long seminars (also, in my case, pretend to be hiring innocent college students in order to give them the pitch). They spend thousands of dollars of their own money to create product marketing kits. These deathbed-predators don’t go to nearly those extremes. Sure, they both prey upon the same crowd–the vulnerable, the needy, the lonely, the poor, the frightened–but MLM pushers definitely go the second mile to hit their marks.

        (Thank you btw for being a voice of reason in this comment thread. You are appreciated. I have no words for how utterly infuriated I’d be if i found out one of my family members was being emotionally manipulated in such a blatantly callous way.)

  54. We must tell them til the whole world knows… Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. That is a command not a suggestion… So we go and we preach the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation…. I have had the privilege and honor of preaching the gospel to the young and old and the look of sheer joy that comes on the face of a life that has just been transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ is totally awesome. We must love people enough to tell them about the same Jesus that saved, healed, and delivered us too.

    • Errica,

      “We must love people enough to tell them about the same Jesus that saved, healed, and delivered us too.”

      Ha!
      If you approached my atheist uncle at 97 years old with that speech, I’m afraid he’d pop you one right in the jaw for saying that to him.
      He’d say it was his act of love
      to snap you out of your delusions.

  55. Sam Harris, whom many of you have never heard of since you don’t read, said it best: “Religion allows people by the billions to believe things only lunatics could believe on their own.

    Look at other relgions such as Islam and Hinduism and see if you don’t agree.

  56. Mark 16:15, “Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel”. I only wish I could have been there. Thank God for your love for those who may never have had and opportunity to know Christ. John14:6 King James Version
    “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. No person will enter Heaven except through the BLOOD, of Jesus. Rev. Grace Harley

  57. Psalm 14:1-7King James Version (KJV)

    14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

    2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

    3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.

    5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.

    6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge.

    7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
    King James Version (KJV)
    Acts 4:12New King James Version (NKJV)
    Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
    www.graceharley.com

    • @Grace Harley,

      “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt,
      they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”

      Gosh – so divisive and foolish.

      Max Von Sydow, who played Jesus
      in the wonderful film, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”
      and later, as “The Exorcist” in the movie of the same title – is a very vocal Atheist.

      Imagine how much scripture he had to read.
      Imagine how many priests and laity have sent him thank you notes.
      Yet, Max Von Sydow still thinks the whole Bible is NUTS.

      If you enjoyed anything in either of those great films
      you enjoyed an ATHEIST’S work.

      Yet you post divisive nonsense; “there is none that doeth good.”
      Shameful.

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