Editor’s note: How can we share the gospel with an elderly person, especially one who suffers from dementia or another condition that limits the clarity of the mind? Doug Nichols, Founder and International Director Emeritus of Action International Ministries, has found a good way to share the gospel with such senior citizens. He and his wife Margaret read aloud “The Lamb” and managed to share a clear gospel with a group of elderly folks. Now that’s inspiring! Read on as Doug shares the story:
My 100 year-old father-in-law resides in a home-care facility with five other residents (Dad calls them “inmates!”). Even though the facility owners are Christians, we have been praying about how to share the gospel and minister to these elderly residents. Many have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or are otherwise slow in their thinking. Recently, my wife Margaret began reading the children’s picture book, The Lamb to six residents after lunch. They could hardly wait for each session. It was excellent!
During the first session, Margaret read about how God created the world out of nothing and that all He did was speak. One of the residents, Mr. Lewis,* shouted out, “Well, I’ll be…!”
A few sessions later, Margaret was reading about God coming in the flesh through His Son, the Lord Jesus. Mr. Lewis continued to exclaim, “Well, I’ll be…!” One lady yelled out, “Isn’t that wonderful!”
Today, after lunch, Margaret read the last two chapters of “The Lamb.” Some of the facility staff joined in, as did a visitor. You should have seen and heard the responses! When Margaret read and showed the picture of Jesus being nailed on the cross, several exclaimed, “My, oh my!”
When Jesus rose, Mr. Lewis once again said, “Well I’ll be…!” Everyone was so excited that Jesus, the Lamb, was alive. As Margaret was wrapping up, Mr. Lewis’s son came to collect him. However, the dear old man refused to leave until the end of the story!
Can old people come to a good understanding of the gospel and believe? Yes, they can! I am not sure if you knew your children’s book would be ministering to people in their 80s, 90s, and 100s, but that is exactly what is happening. Praise God! Let’s pray that more of these forgotten elderly ones, with their clouded, dementia-ridden minds, will learn to simply put their trust in Jesus!
Learn more about the book, The Lamb.
(*Names have been changed as per GoodSeed policy.)