The Respected and Lovable Elderly
By Rev Ellice Lau
May 28, 2023
Many years ago, I knew an elderly brother with hearing impairment. He also needed to use a walking stick as he went outside. Nevertheless, he in his wife’s company attended worship services and fellowship meetings every week despite the weather conditions. His attendance always brought his fellowship members encouragement. They felt that if this brother with his many limitations still insisted coming to church for meetings, they really had no excuse for not attending.
Before the pandemic, the communion cups used to be prepared by hand. Several elderly sisters faithfully took care of this every month for many years. They filled each cup with grape juice. Make no mistake, the task is by no means simple. It requires much patience and steady hands to prevent the juice from spilling.
A sister shared before that she knew an elderly couple in their eighties surprisingly gave up the idols they had been worshiping for a long time, believed in Jesus and received baptism. That was truly amazing and touching. So the sister tried to go to church and know Jesus. Finally, she even believed in Jesus and was baptized.
Also, the Zion Choir that consists of the elderly always makes a great effort to practice. Not only do they offer praises to God but they also serve and testify God at memorial services and evangelistic meetings. Other elderly learn how to share the gospel and regularly take part in evangelistic outreach to bring the gospel to unbelievers.
The elderly may seem to have many limitations and weaknesses and yet their faithfulness to God and steadfastness in faith enable them to still be able to testify God. Their conversion testimonies indeed encourage other brothers and sisters and assure them that the unbelieving elderly in their homes still have opportunities to believe in God. The elderly also faithfully remember their family, the church and brothers and sisters in prayers. They are a real blessing to their relatives and friends as well as the church.
Due to the pandemic and the rapid changes in society recently, there is a huge and increasing demand for audio and visual support for fellowship meetings. At the same time, there is a great need for care services for the elderly. We are grateful that in the past, a group of counselors have committed themselves to ongoing service (with some having served for over 10 years). They have helped to make the elderly feel cared for and participate in fellowship life. In the future, the number of elderly in the church will continue to grow. We earnestly pray that God will move more brothers and sisters to serve and help the elderly.
Some late elderly who are unbelievers may see their social circle dwindling as their health deteriorates and their mobility reduced. In that case, their children or relatives who are believers may well be their only channel for hearing the gospel. I remember a brother who worked overseas would encourage his parents in Hong Kong to believe in God every time he called them on the phone. His mother had cancer later but both parents finally expressed willingness to receive the Lord. The brother therefore contacted the church to visit them and hoped they would be baptized. The church cared for them continually. When the mother passed away, her husband no longer had to take care of her and so he regularly attended worship services and fellowship meetings, and even actively served in the elderly fellowship later.
May God bless the elderly of the NPAC family so they can continue to serve the Lord and testify His grace. Brothers and sisters, never give up on sharing the gospel with the elderly in your home so they, too, will share in the hope of eternal life.