- 2.7 million men and women are in nursing homes across the U.S.
- 80% of these nursing home residents never have a visitor
- Many need skilled nursing care – some are too feeble and frail to live alone – all are disabled to some degree
- Most are grieving loss of their home, possessions, familiar surroundings, mobility, and personal freedoms
- In spite of service quality, activities and staff attention, the days seem longer; visiting family and friends seem infrequent
Matthew 25: 38-40 “When did we see you sick … and go to visit you?” “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” [fancy_header]Meeting the Ongoing Need…[/fancy_header] Amazing Grace reliability. Ministry every week on the same day same time. The homes and the residents depend on it. Ministers provide the following;
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- Worship with music
- Bible study
- Room-to-room visitation
- Communion services
- Bridges of friendship – staff, care givers, residents
- Special holiday celebrations
- Family support group assistance
- Bringing the church to believers – even bedside
- Motivated by friendship and the love of Jesus – no obligation
Nine years ago Michael “Irish” and Judy Kane saw ministry needs as they visited a Costa Mesa nursing home with a friend. There they noticed that the Christian residents needed some spiritual involvement during the week. They stayed and talked to the people and realized that a weekly Bible study and room-to-room visitation would be meaningful.
Irish and Judy asked permission to have one and started the following week with hymn singing, prayer and a prepared study. Six people attended. Irish and Judy promised to come back to see them next week. It was love at first sight and the ministry began.
All of this was quite a career change for Irish who had recently retired from an insurance business in Newport Beach. He was an officer in the Marine Corps, a graduate of Notre Dame University and, at that time, he had a passion for sailing and weight lifting. He holds several world records in both of his pursuits and has enough trophies to fill a garage. But his focus turned to trophies of grace – the forgotten elderly population in nursing homes. His inspirational Scripture is Luke 12:48 “… to whom much is given, of him shall much be required…”
The ministry grew. Volunteers were added. Service in twenty nursing homes was provided. A part-time paid staff was employed and now Irish (as a volunteer) and ten part-time ministers show up every week with unwavering commitment to bring joy and encouragement to the nursing home population in Orange County, California and Prescott, Arizona.