As one of Anglicare’s Community Aged Care Pastoral Care Workers, Basma spends her week visiting our home care clients, providing them with spiritual care, support and companionship.
Sometimes she’ll read the Bible with clients or offer to pray for them. Other times she’ll just sit with them and be the friend they need that day. But occasionally, God allows her to be a part of his miracle-working.
Norma is a 90-year-old widow who lives at home on her own. She hasn’t been able to attend church due to a recent medical condition, so she enjoys being able to pray with Basma during her visits. Recently, Basma asked Norma if she would like to hear a hymn. Norma’s face lit up and she sang along to What a friend we have in Jesus and other favourite hymns. At the end of the visit, she thanked Basma for bringing joy into her day.
On another occasion, just before Christmas, Basma visited a new client for the first time to deliver a Christmas hamper. Anissa*, also a widow living on her own, told Basma about the loss she has experienced in her life. The pair went on to discuss Christmas and the reason for Jesus’ birth. At the end of the discussion Anissa asked Basma to pray with her so that she might receive Jesus into her heart. She also invited Basma to visit her again so that they could continue their conversation about God’s love for her.
And while moments like these don’t happen every day, Basma feels blessed and encouraged in her work, knowing that she’s able to share the love of Jesus in small and grand ways.
*Name has been changed.
Ruby* had been coming into one of our Op Shops for a couple of years. She was often under the influence of drugs and abusive to the staff. However, one day she approached Shop Manager, Kamila, to ask for a cross. Kamila explained that she didn’t have one then and there but promised to get it for her the next day.
That afternoon on her way home from work, Kamila noticed Ruby walking along the street. She looked sad, her shoulders were slumped, and she was only wearing thongs and light clothing in the middle of winter. That night, Kamila packed an emergency bag of warm clothes from her cupboard as well as the cross ornament from her kitchen.
When Ruby returned to the Op Shop the next day, Kamila offered her the gloves, jumper, shawl, hat and boots, and the cross. Touched by Kamila’s generosity, Ruby opened up and told her that she had wanted to change her life, but up until now no one had given her a chance because they dismissed her as being a “junkie”. Kamila referred Ruby to our Community Services office where she was able to get a voucher for clothes, food and toiletries.
She visited the Op Shop a few more times.
Two years later, Ruby returned to the Op Shop to thank Kamila for going out of her way to treat her “as a normal human being”. She explained that Kamila’s act of kindness had given her the courage to move to a new suburb to start a new life. Ruby shared how she’d been able to stay away from the negative community she’d been a part of, and while she knew there was still a long road to full recovery, she had hope for the journey ahead.
*Name has been changed.
When Colin arrived at our retirement village at Rooty Hill, he didn’t know anyone. He and his wife had planned to move into the village together, however, a few months before the move, Colin’s wife had passed away unexpectedly. Colin’s daughters were concerned about their father who was leaving his home of 60 years, without his partner of 62 years, to go to a new home and community.
Within a few months, Colin began to settle in. He started visiting the staff and residents at Melva McDonald Lodge, our residential aged care home located at the village. He attended the weekly church services, visited the café and took part in the daily activities, especially bingo – his favourite.
Colin also reconnected with God again through his conversations with the Aged Care Chaplain. And much to his daughters’ delight, Colin started to make new friends in the village.
Colin says there’s plenty to do at the village. He and his mates meet up almost every day to play cards or carpet bowls, watch movies or whatever activity may be on that day.
For Colin, it’s about the mateship and the community. He gets involved whenever he can. He even dressed up as Santa one year for the residents at Melva McDonald.
Colin loves to entertain his family when they visit the village. The kids love the playground and the families of the residents are now getting to know each other and have even celebrated Christmas together.
Colin admitted to staff that when he first moved into the village, he thought he was going there to die. Now he realises he went there to live.