The joys of giving
January 31 2003 by Luther Osment , N.C. Baptist Retirement Homes

The joys of giving | Friday, Jan. 31, 2003

Friday, Jan. 31, 2003

The joys of giving

By Luther Osment N.C. Baptist Retirement Homes

The 2003 N.C. Offering for Older Adults is to be gathered the week of Feb. 2 9. The offering goal is $450,000. The theme is "The Joys of Giving."

The purpose of Baptist Retirement Homes in collecting the N.C. Offering for Older Adults is not to take money from Baptist people. Rather, it is to serve Baptist churches and Baptist people by faithfully caring for needy aging saints as the Lord leads the churches to make such ministry possible.

Out of Christ-like compassion pastors and leaders communicate the needs of dependent older adults. Out of the same compassion the people of the churches open their hearts and their pocketbooks to meet the needs of these aging saints. Many have come to know "The Joys of Giving."

Every penny that comes to Baptist Retirement Homes through the N.C. Offering for Older Adults is used to provide care for older adults who are not in position to pay the full cost of their care.

The vast majority of these dear ones have invested their lives as serving members in the life of their churches and often in vocational Christian service.

Eighty-six year old E.S. Morgan, a resident of Western North Carolina Baptist Home in Asheville, is a worthy example. Born and raised in the Forks of Ivy community of Madison County, Morgan preached his first sermon while still in high school.

Earning 15 cents an hour, he worked his way through Mars Hill College, then a two-year school, and was called to pastor Forks of Ivy Baptist Church. Recognizing the need to further his education, with a gift of $150 from the church, he completed his four-year degree at Furman University and then continued with seminary training.

For 60 years, Morgan was known for his strong preaching that marvelously blended mountain fervor, beauty of language and absolute dignity. His voice is gone now but not his love for people. Former church members know that if the phone rings on their birthdays and it seems that no one is on the other end, they shouldn't hang up. It is E.S. Morgan calling to wish them a happy birthday and to say that he is praying for them.

It is evident that E.S. Morgan feels his call to gospel ministry as keenly today as he did when that call first came to him as a teenage mountain boy.

Baptist Retirement Homes is selective in the use of the monies that come from churches.

Three major levels of care are provided by the homes. At Brookridge Retirement Community in Winston-Salem and The Gardens of Taylor Glen in Concord, independent living is the major program.

While these services meet very real needs, independent living is a life-style choice rather than an essential ministry. Even so, independent living services are financially structured to be self-supporting. No benevolent funding from the churches is used in either the development or operation of independent living services.

While independent living residents have a variety of options in relation to where and how they will live, those whose needs call for assisted living care have fewer options. Even so, Hamilton Baptist Home in Martin County and The Taylor House in Albemarle, both assisted living programs, have no financial requirements for admission or continuing care. If a person has financial resources they are to use these resources to pay for their care. If there are inadequate financial resources or no financial resources at all, care is provided nonetheless.

Older adults who need nursing care often run out of options. Almost always, the need for nursing care is immediate and essential. A major portion of the money that comes to Baptist Retirement Homes from N.C. Baptists is used where the needs are the greatest and resources the fewest - for nursing care. Baptist Retirement Homes' largest program of nursing care is at the Western North Carolina Baptist Home in Asheville.

The promise of lifetime care is an exceptional feature of the ministry of Baptist Retirement Homes. When a resident's personal resources become depleted, whatever the level of care is or comes to be, that care is given. North Carolina Baptists are the ones who enable Baptist Retirement Homes to keep that promise. The N.C. Offering for Older Adults is a primary channel for bringing dollars from caring hearts to helping hands - uniting the joy of giving with the joy of serving.

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1/31/2003 12:00:00 AM by Luther Osment , N.C. Baptist Retirement Homes | with 0 comments
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