Members of the Arlington Church kicked off a new outreach ministry at Bayside Manor in Gaylord, Minnesota, last February.
In the weeks leading up to our visit we had worked closely with the activity director to organize a monthly sing-along program in the assisted living center chapel.
We arrived 10 minutes prior to the agreed upon time but were immediately informed there had been a scheduling error. They had booked us an hour earlier. As a result, the residents who had come to the chapel were now back in their rooms or settled into other activities throughout the building, and staff were no longer available to recruit and bring residents to the program. Trusting God would work this out, we asked if there was a way we could still perform.
A short time later we were led to a gathering area in the nursing home wing. As we entered the room there was a small family gathering, some who were resting and others passing through. Following our introduction a few residents who were resting turned their wheelchairs toward us, and some of those passing through decided to stay. As we sang our first song those in the small family gathering began to look at us and then a few minutes later they joined us in singing.
God turned what appeared to us as a situation gone sideways into a blessing, as His Spirit drew an audience. It was amazing to witness as more and more people came down the hallways in wheelchairs, others came with walkers, and some came using the wall railings to make their way to us.
At the conclusion of the program most of the residents in that room were singing with us, some were requesting songs, and nearly all were praising God by applauding His gift of music to them. Before we left, every person was greeted with multiple handshakes, smiles, words of encouragement, love and a promise to be back each month to share Jesus with them again.
Gene Yocum pastors the Arlingtonton Adventist Church in Arlington, Minnesota.