Retired Believer Grows as Caring for Lonely 90-Y-O Christian

Taking care of the elderly
Taking care of the elderly (photo: pexels)
By Esther TianFebruary 1st, 2023

Christians may discover that their own lives grow as a result of their service and that not only others require their assistance.

A female believer with the surname Jin often traveled with Sister Qing (pseudonym) to visit an elderly sister in her 90s who lives alone.

Unlike other people who talked, prayed, praised, and read the Bible with the senior one, Jin first went to check the refrigerator and the kitchen and cook food for her if she had not eaten. Then Jin was engaged in knowing if leftovers in the fridge were bad, taking out the trash, and cleaning up. In addition to making meals for the elderly, she sometimes came over with her husband to do some maintenance work, such as installing light bulbs in the dark bathroom or making large custom-made curtains for her.

One Saturday afternoon, Jin took tools out of her bag to cut the old sister's nails after cooking for her and cleaning up the kitchen.

Jin recalled the first time she met the old sister. “At one point last year, we went to the church to attend the youth gathering. When it was almost 9 p.m. after the meeting, I saw this old believer who walked very slowly, maybe because it was dark. So with Qing, I sent her home, worrying about her. I had never seen her at the gathering in the past year and later learned that the old one usually went to another church. I believe this was God's plan.”

Never thinking about visiting her again after leaving her home, Jin suddenly remembered this elderly Christian, deciding to pay her another visit at Christmas. During that time, the senior one could take care of herself, so they didn't have to do much, occasionally bringing some food or simply helping with cleaning.

Some female church members ordered and delivered food for the elderly believer when Shanghai was locked down due to COVID-19 from March to May last year. After the restriction was lifted, Jin invited others to visit her again. During this period, as the senior one fell at home and was admitted to the hospital, they also went to accompany her to the hospital.

After that, the elderly believer's physical health worsened, and she couldn't take care of herself. Jin cooked some dishes for her and did some cleanup when she found she had nothing to eat. As Jin was worried about her, she often went to see her when she was free.

Jin said frankly, "I don't do household chores at home most of the time, and my husband cooks food. After retirement, I spend a lot of time outside singing hymns and dancing with other Christians."

With the help of these family members, the older one slowly got better and was able to sing and dance again when she was visited.

In addition to being willing to do things that Jin wasn’t used to doing, Jin experienced a change in her relationship with her daughter.

The elderly one had a great weakness, as she always quarreled with her little daughter. Getting to see her own issue, Jin thought that she was also very strict with her daughter, resulting in a tense relationship. She admitted that before she believed in the Lord, she had very high demands on her daughter, always criticizing and blaming her, which made her feel unloved.

Jin would not like to follow the old sister’s path: “I’m a stubborn person and used to think my daughter was wrong and that I had no problem. I was aware of my own issue, so I started to apologize to my daughter, asking God to give me wisdom and teach me how to get along better with my daughter." 

"I also thought Heavenly Father loved me so much with many problems, but why can't I love and tolerate my daughter?I realized that I needed to learn patience, waiting, tolerance, and trust. Jin reflected on herself, full of hope, believing that her daughter would also change." 

She emphasized that she was very grateful to God for providing her with this opportunity to serve this elderly Christian because she sees her life growing in service through her own efforts.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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