Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 5:3
— Proverbs 5:3
Outreach to Caregivers is a much needed ministry as the number and intensity of caregiving grows. What churches have to offer is a spiritual framework to give caregiving a Christian and Biblical perspective. This perspective brings hope, resilience, strength, and understanding to the challenges caregiving presents. I use the term ‘outreach’ because as caregiving intensifies the tendency of the caregiver is to withdraw and become isolated and that can be disastrous for both the caregiver and the loved one. I have witnessed the caregiver dying before the loved one because they were worn out.
Our caregiver support groups focus on both the spiritual journey God of caregiving and the practical helps that address particular situations. Sometimes preconceived views are changed because of the experience of another caregiver. In all cases we have found that scripture is loaded verses that address the feelings caregivers experience, whether fears, guilt, hurts, loneliness, concern about relationships, etc.
We have developed a ritual order for our meetings called the Caregiver Session for our opening and closing. We also use the song ‘Rest’ at our beginning because the words are wonderful to help us settle down into a sabbath moment together. We can then share with each other. Sometimes the sharing is all we do, especially if someone new comes to our group. We make sure new people can let the ‘air out’ about their stress and help us to know about their caregiving. Other times we focus on a spiritual truths like the spiritual topics listed on the home page of christiancaregiversupport.com. These are free for anyone to use. Other times we focus on practical concerns raised by members of our group. The page ‘topics and tips’ list many articles addressing practical needs or the experience of others. All are free, but we do have a creative commons copyright which will keep them free to use while allowing other to contribute to the site.
There is much more on our web site that I hope you will explore.
I pray these supports will encourage our churches to begin a Christian Caregiver Support Ministry. Let me know how you use these resources. Thanks!
Blessings on you and your ministry.
Dr. Tom Frommer
Sue Brettmann RN has been devoted to Caregiving both in her career as an RN, Parish Nurse and caring for her aging parents through the last 40 plus years. She has experience in trauma, home care and hospice. Her strong faith walk and relationship with Christ has always been a part of her care and she is committed to helping others see the gift of Christ in their personal journey's.