North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) is currently converting the annex of the Kennedy Home Baptist Church in Kinston to serve as the hub for its new Care Village outreach. Meanwhile, the ministry within the Kinston community is flourishing as NCBAM Care Coordinator Charity Johnson makes connections in the community to further help meet the needs of seniors.
Village Members 65+ receive geriatric care management services such as: an NCBAM Care Plan, home visits, meal deliveries, spiritual support, coordinated medical services, and grocery pick-up. Volunteers from local churches assist village members with hot meals, grocery delivery, and prayer support.
Johnson enjoys connecting well-aging Village members with those who are frail and need services to remain in their homes. “So many senior saints feel isolated and lonely, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted us all.”
NCBAM Care Village frail- and well-aging members are resilient and have come together despite the pandemic. Many well-aging members are volunteering themselves.
Johnson was able to connect a few of these well-aging members with Mr. H, an 86-year-old retired pastor who now uses a wheelchair. The five pecan trees in his yard have supplemented his income, but this year he needed help harvesting pecans. Johnson coordinated two well-aging Care Village members and local youth to help with the harvest. They gathered five buckets full. Mr. H was thrilled, “I didn’t know who to call and I am so thankful for the help from the Village members.”
Retired Pastor L and his wife are new to the Kinston area. He was recently diagnosed with dementia and is undergoing treatment for cancer. They needed support and called Johnson. She visited with them and shared the services of the Care Village. An NCBAM Care plan was written and goals were set for Pastor L and his wife and their needs are being met. They feel blessed to have what Pastor L calls the “Village of God” in their lives.
Ms. M is 84, and needed someone to pick up weekly groceries and had no one to help. She contacted Johnson who picked up the first delivery. Johnson says, “From the first delivery of groceries, we established a relationship and now we spend time together studying God’s Word. Later, Ms. M had extra groceries and wanted to bless another Village member and she asked me if I could pass them along. Even though she was homebound and with limited means, she still wanted to bless someone else. Those are the kinds of relationships being built through the Care Village.”
Ms. E is 92. She contacted the Care Village for help finding a reliable company to clean her home. After working with Johnson, Ms. E asked her, “Why do you care so much about me?” Johnson was able to tell her that God calls us all to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Now, Ms. E has a reliable cleaning service, and is a frail-aging member of the Village, forming new relationships with other Village members.
To volunteer or learn more about the NCBAM Care Village, contact Charity Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Names concealed to protect privacy.
Article written by Carol Layton, NCBAM Director of Communications and Administration