Connecting to the Disconnected

beforeitsnews.com

 
In a world where even the sparest population has a connection to the internet, there are literally billions of people, who remain disconnected. Not technologically, but socially. Few see the disconnect of the disabled person and spirituality.

In the United States alone, 1 in 5 people fall into some category of being disabled. (disabilitystatistics.org)

Sensory disability (blindness or deafness)
Physical disability (movement impairment)
Mental disability (learning, remembering, concentrating)
Social disability (Autism/Aspergers)

Let that sink in. 1 in 5. 20% of the population of the United States are disabled. Can an on-line ministry bring people together? Let’s explore opportunities that may be next door, or down the street. Those who are shut-in due to one of the disabilities above. How do you minister to a person whose mind is sharp, but whose body does not function? Often we think of special needs. This caters primarily to children. But what about the adult who has suffered a traumatic brain injury or a devastating stroke, that has left them without the ability to communicate? The brain works. The body does not. We may look at someone, and say: “Oh! Special needs,” and lump them in with the children.

Parents with a severely autistic child. It might be just the 2 parents, and a child. Going out is impossible. Where are they going to find a baby sitter? Where are they going to go in public, where people don’t judge or make snide comments behind their back? Where can they go to be with God on their schedule? Their world is just home and work. No social contact with the outside. They need spiritual nourishment as well. Why can’t an on-line ministry serve the needs of this community?

Those of us on the Autism/Aspergers spectrum find social encounters to be awkward, un-inviting and painful. An on-line ministry allows us to be as connected to the world as we want, or to remain as anonymous as we need sometimes.

An on-line church experience is NOT the first thing the pops to mind. There is a disconnect between these people, and an on-line ministry. I am in a retirement village. Everyone here is over the age of 55. Some of the people I encounter are well into their 90‘s. Many can not get out of their home. Elderly and forgotten. How do you reach these people? Nothing will ever replace the care and compassion of the human element. We can minister to physical needs, but do we stop and consider the spiritual component? Why not connect them to an on-line community, where people can worship, meet and be spiritually infused 24/7/365?

On-line church allows people who are the most disconnected from society, to be part of a transforming life experience and enjoy the fellowship and simple joy of being connected to the rest of the world. Begin to point people in the direction of an on-line community of fellow believers.

There are many that are unable to be a part of a brick and mortar church. An on-line community awaits. All of us need to invest time in making a human and a spiritual connection to others, and begin to break the barriers of loneliness and spiritual isolation.

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not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:25 NIV)

The Forgotten Ones: Compassion for the Elderly

Compassion for the Elderly

Reprinted from a Facebook Article

The Forgotten Ones: Compassion for the Elderly

The entire purpose of our existence is to learn how to discipline our natural passions and tendencies, and in the process, develop the highest of all attributes – that of charity. Never forget, however, that charity and service are not the same. Charity is a characteristic trait, service is a kind act! And while charity is certainly developed through continual kind acts of service, charity also seeks no reward and is initiated because of unselfishness and love rather than the hope of recognition.True service and charity are usually not accomplished through great one-time opportunities or philanthropic acts; but they are most often demonstrated best through habits of small, quiet, humble, and unrecognized actions of every day. Albert Einstein perhaps said it best when he penned: “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” This truth explains why happiness is found from within, not without; and perhaps more importantly, it more fully explains why confidence and self-esteem improve and depression and sadness flee the moment we start to think of and help others. Ironically, our lives are found in the losing of them!

Participation in these simple acts will certainly not be acts sufficient to be recognized on the news, be worthy of some award, or be justifiable to carve a name on a plaque. However, the continual participation in these unselfish acts of service and love will in time produce the greatest reward – that of the development of character, a life of service to others, and the eventual possession of charity. And while the reward for such acts is usually only an appreciative and grateful benefactor of the charitable act, the real satisfaction comes from the happiness that will inevitably result from a life of unselfish service.

Elderly and Senior Citizens:

1) Visit your local nursing home and simply visit and talk with patients, sing songs, tell stories, read books, play games, take them on a walk, put on a performance, etc.

2) Help an elderly neighbor by raking leaves, mowing lawn, weeding flower bed, shoveling snow, wash car, clean house, etc.

3) Visit widows or homebound individuals – make them a meal, stop in to say hi, help around house, etc.

4) Spend an evening teaching a senior citizen how to use the computer or internet, painting or drawing, scrapbooking, etc.

5) Go to nursing home and have a Karaoke night – sing songs they want (the ‘oldies’). Have them teach you their dance moves!

6) ‘Adopt a Grand-friend’ – every once in a while, pick up the phone, send an email, write a letter, or go and visit your ‘grand-friend.’

7) Help an elderly person by picking up their medicine, retrieving their paper, helping them with grocery shopping, taking them ‘out.’

8) Put together a puppet show, performance, or take a game – and have a fun game night with the senior citizens. (Take them a treat too).

9) Make a meal and just go visit an elderly, sick, or widowed person in the neighborhood and just have a fun evening together playing games, telling stories, and talking.

10) Visit grandparents, widows, or local elderly people in the neighborhood or nursing home – and write down their history. Just talk to them, ask them questions, and record their answers. Then, present that history to their family (decedents)