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Witnessing To The Sick & Elderly.

Hello Sister Goodwin,

I have really enjoyed reading your page here and wondered if maybe you could point me in the right direction and give me a little advice on my situation.

My Grandmother has kidney dialysis 3 times a week, my daughter and I go pick her up from the dialysis clinic every afternoon. I see such a need for soul winning there, so many people in very poor health in need of the Lord. If you know much about diabetes and kidney dialysis you would understand of course that there isn't much hope for these people, they are in reality, at the last years of their life. So many are just pitiful elderly people that get wheeled in and dropped off by a nursing home worker, they sit there and moan because they are in so much discomfort, it tears at my heart and I want to be able to be an effective witness there and I just don't know what to do. 

We aren't ministry people, just lay persons in the church and so I've not really had experience with going out and witnessing. I'm only there for a few minutes 3 times a week but the need is so great I feel like I should be doing something to reach out and be more of a witness for the Lord to these lost people who happen to be in such poor health. 

Where do I start? What would you recommend I do? I'm the kind of person that it will take a lot of effort and courage on my part to just speak up to strangers, I'm sort of backward about these things but I want to be a willing vessel and let Him use me if I can be used in this situation.

 I recently found out that one of the patients there who I had felt pressed to begin praying for happens to be the son of a holiness woman from another area church and it really touched me that God must surely have his hand on this man and be trying to reach him because here he is with his holiness mother and uncle who is a pastor praying for his soul and in an instant one day the Lord dropped it on my heart to in that clinic to start praying for that man, a very specific prayer and then weeks later I find out who he is and more about the situation. 

It has really opened my eyes that there is a lot of opportunity out there to be a good witness that I haven't been stepping up to and I sort of need a good push in the right direction I guess. It also touches my soul to see how when the Lord cares about a soul and wants to woo him to salvation, he will put his hand on that person and can have people praying for him and reaching out to him everywhere he goes. It's so wonderful to think how much the Lord loves us and wants us all to make it! I feel a real burden on my heart towards the elderly and sick but I just feel like where do you start?

Reply by Claire H. Goodwin

Hello Angie,


What a moving testimony! God is pleased with your desire to reach out to hurting people. It is His will for you to do so, therefore you can count on His help!

I have loved doing hospital ministry and have often led people to the Lord as I talked to them about Him. Hurting people want someone to care. When they sense you are genuinely interested in them it opens the door.

When you take your Grandmother, be on the look out for someone you can go to. Just walk over and say, "Hi! How are you doing? Have you been coming here very long? (Questions like this open the way. They show the person you are interested in them)

Sometimes, just a touch means so much. Put your hand on theirs and look in their eyes. Ask their name and tell them you are going to pray for them. (Then be sure to do it)

Tell them briefly about your Grandmother.. "One thing that has really helped us during these times is knowing the Lord and that He cares. Do you know that He cares about you and what you are going through?"

"Do you ever pray? We can pray for healing and strength, because Jesus is the healer. Even greater is to pray for Salvation.. because that's why Jesus came and died and rose again. Have you ever thought much about God and about being ready to meet Him?"

"One day I prayed to the Lord and did what the Bible said to do to get saved. I confessed my sins to the Lord, and asked His forgiveness. Then I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me. He did, and His peace fills my heart now. It is wonderful to have assurance that if I die tonight I know where I am going. It is really important to think about those things, because everyone of us is some day going to stand before God. Would that feel good to you, just to know for sure that you are ready to meet the Lord? Would you like that kind of assurance? " (Then explain how she can get it..)
 

I have also found that singing to a patient really is effective... Even if you don't usually sing.

I walked into a hospital room and found the patient seated in a chair with an oxygen mask on her mouth. As I began talk to her about spiritual things, she rejected me and said, "I'm not interested!" So I just smiled and said, "O. K. --but I do hope you get better ... and just before I go, I want to sing a little song to you." And I started to sing, Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound..." Her eyes lit up and she announced, "I know that song..." and soon she was singing it with me through her oxygen mask. 

When it was over I asked her if she knew who wrote that song. She said "No." So I told her, "A very evil man wrote it." She was shocked! I said, Yes, his name was John Newton. He was a drunk and immoral man. He bought and sold slaves. He was cruel.... but one day something amazing happened to him. He realized how sinful he was and he prayed for the Lord to forgive him and save him. John Newton became a brand new man, and that's how he could then write about the amazing grace of the Lord. When Jesus saves a person he makes them brand new..."

 


And I could go on all night with ideas and examples... but I'd better stop here. Hope it helps some.

Claire Goodwin

 Reply by Angie M

Thank you for the advice Sister Goodwin. You're such an inspiration and encouragement on here! I know this may seem like a silly and obvious topic to some, but for someone like me who is usually shy about talking to people I don't really know well, and not in them ministry, it takes a lot of deep breaths and prayers to start trying something like this! I will keep you posted on any results I see when I start making these new efforts!

Reply by Claire H. Goodwin


Angie, just start little. Get some good Gospel Tracts.  You can just leave them on tables, or hand them to someone while saying, "Hello, I hope you are doing well today. Here's something good to read." That's not too hard! You can do it! Have a good old fashioned prayer meeting and get that Holy Ghost anointing... then obey the Lord who commands us to GO!
I expect to hear a good report soon!!!

Michelle Bostwick


I had the privilege to be in Sis. Goodwin's Personal Evangelism class, and let me tell you it is the BEST! She had us passing out tracts and having our own personal mission field. However, our freshman class was quite large, and so me and 3 other girls decided we would go to the nursing home as our mission field, and we would often break up into groups of 2 one group would go down one hallway, and the other group would go down the other hallway, and one thing that I noticed to be particularly effective was singing. We always went in and talked to them, asked them how they were feeling, etc, just to show our interest in them and they we would ask them if we could sing to them. One day we were visiting an elderly gentleman, and on previous visits he just seemed to shut us out, but that day we sang Amazing Grace to Him and one of the girls asked Him if he knew the Lord, and if he was ready to go, and he said no, but that he was ready to accept Jesus. It was so great! We had other stories from that trip, and got quite close to some in the nursing home

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