Christmas at The Baptist Home is a special time for residents and caregivers alike. Festive decorations enlighten each hall and resident room, while nativity scenes serve as a reminder of the true reason for the season. In years past, church members would fill their cars and trucks with food and supplies and bring them to The Home each Christmas. Appreciative staff and residents accepted those gifts as from the Lord, as they often sustained the ministry in those early days.
Although state and federal regulations now prevent us from taking gifts of home canned goods, fresh eggs, milk and venison, we still give thanks for the partnership we enjoy with the churches and families who support The Home with their gifts and prayer. This month, I have asked our campus administrators to share how The Baptist Home is impacting lives during the pandemic.
For many, this year has been filled with anxiety, sadness, and fear at a level most of us have never experienced. Yet at the birth of our Lord, the angel said to the shepherds, “Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The staff and residents have much to rejoice over this Christmas. Despite COVID-19, God’s faithfulness has sustained us in a manner that has strengthened our trust and reminded us of our reliance on Him. As we continue to minister and serve in His name, we say, “Glory to God in the highest!”
More than ever, the residents and staff at Arcadia Valley have felt a great sense of “family.” Although there has always been an atmosphere of love and family between the residents and staff, due to required social isolation, this year it is even more so. The responsibility and privilege of caring for residents is a sacred entrustment. Just as the birth of Christ occurred in a humble manner, at Christmas, as in every season, the love of Christ is being shared and expressed in simple, everyday ways that demonstrate the call to care for His children.
Jackie Robinson once stated, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other people.” Here are some ways we are impacting lives at the Ozark campus:
I: Imaginative outside-the-box thinking to enhance those we serve
M: More smiles through activities that enhance those we serve
P: Praying for others
A: Accountability to each other and to those we serve
C: Character of staff who listen carefully to the needs of each resident
T: Time spent with those we serve
We strive to do our jobs better than we have ever done before, pressing on to excellence! (Philippians 3:13).
Loneliness and isolation have become hallmarks of life for many in 2020, and we have all been reminded of how precious our communities really are. Watching our residents and staff embrace safety precautions while still building a vibrant community has been a joy to behold. It is wonderful to see residents enjoy our beautiful 73-acre campus, as they walk together each day and enjoy healthy fresh air and companionship that raises weary hearts. Despite difficulties, people at The Baptist Home have lived and thrived together, and they continue to find joy and purpose as part of God’s remarkable kingdom.
One highlight of 2020 was a COVID-19 conversation between a resident and physical therapist who was making her rounds at The Home. This conversation led to the therapist trusting in Jesus Christ as her Savior, and serves as a reminder that God uses all things towards His good—even a pandemic—for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.