There’s a new team on the job at ElderLink. Meet Tina and Andrea, the Mission’s newest recruits.
When I was 9 years old, I was waiting with my mum in a church for my brother to finish choir practice. I glanced over to a large picture at the side of the church. It was of Jesus on the cross and, as I looked at it, I felt the overwhelming presence of God’s love. I started to weep as I knew right there and then that Jesus had died for me and loved me. That started my Christian journey.
After many years as a Youth & Families worker at a church in Solihull, I left for full-time study to become a Minister. Unfortunately my mum became poorly and I had to change from full-time studies to part-time, to look after my mum.
I now needed a part-time job, so I prayed and asked God to guide me. The very next day I looked at my church’s web site and the advert for a Lunch Clubs Co-ordinator had just been put up. So I applied and got the job. I am thrilled and see it as a total privilege to be able to serve there.
For me, the highlight at ElderLink so far is being part of a team of staff and volunteers who are completely committed to serving. There is a real passion and love for the elderly. A big combined effort from the team on the days we pick them up on the minibus; serving them with a cuppa, lots of conversations, then a delicious hot meal; followed by entertainment one week and a service of hymns and a message from God’s Word the next; then taken home – and finally the big clean up. The best bit is seeing the clients go home happy.
The biggest challenge is not having enough hands to fulfil our needs. We are praying for more volunteers to join what is an incredible team run by an amazing Manager.
The best part of my day is when I get to sit down and listen to our clients’ stories. I have heard some really heartbreaking ones. Before I came to BCM, for a while I was a chaplain at my local hospice so I spent lots of time just listening. It is a privilege to be in a place where I can still have that opportunity to listen and pray.
One story that has stuck in my mind was of a gentleman of 95 who served in the Second World War in the navy. He told me of the many times he was shot at and bombed but each time avoided injury; of when he was sent to the desert with only a cup of water to last a couple of days and hardly any food. I asked him how he coped and, as all war-time soldiers say, ‘You just get on with it!’ Amazing!
I so enjoy the ElderLink experience each week. God is good and faithful.
I became a Christian at 28. I was visiting a church through a friend and started to ask questions. I attended an Alpha course and wanted to know more. After a short film about Jesus dying on the cross, I was compelled to ask for forgiveness and I wanted Jesus in my life. I couldn’t understand why it had taken me 28 years to find out this information, and was determined to make sure others know about Jesus, what he has done for them, and how that can make a difference in their life. My journey with God has been eventful, exciting and challenging.
God called us from Farnham to Wythall in 2019. My husband became the Assistant Pastor at Hollywood Christian Life Centre and I came home! The job at BCM sparked my interest as I had volunteered there 12 years ago. So I pursued the opening to see if God was leading me in this direction, and as I’m now enjoying myself with Elderlink I guess he was!
The highlight so far has been meeting all the people. Staff, volunteers and clients. A rich varied mix of God’s people. Delightful.
I was fortunate enough to have my first day coincide with BCM’s annual day of prayer. What a start… all the passionate, caring, busy departments together, sharing what has happened last year and looking to the future. It was fuel to my already little fire inside to share Jesus with others. And on a daily basis, being able to start with devotions and prayer is the best way to start the working day.
Challenges – there are as many as there are highlights! There is always a lot to do and no day is the same. We are always in need of more hands to help, and if we had more money it would be really nice to freshen the place up a bit, make it more inviting.
It is really nice to be in the lunch club with all the hustle and bustle of everybody together. But I do have a special place in my heart for the home visits. To see someone in their home gives a whole new depth and angle to that person. You see ‘who’ they are and what they’re about. But also how lonely and isolated people can be. I feel privileged to be able to help by showing a friendly face and bringing words of truth and light to them – where they are at.
A great need for volunteers has meant a change in ElderLink’s programme. The Tuesday lunch club in Hodge Hill is now coming together on the third week each month for soup and pudding. The folks are so glad to meet and really miss the intervening weeks.
ELDERLINK NEEDS YOUR HELP
ElderLink’s special lunch clubs in Acocks Green provide good food, companionship, activities and care for around 35 people on Wednesday sand Thursdays. We very much need some extra help.
• minibus driver and assistant
• chatting and clearing up
• food preparation and serving
• visiting the elderly in their home
If you can help in any of these areas as little or as much as you are able, we would love to hear from you. In return we can offer you a home-cooked lunch and the chance to be part of a really friendly team serving the local community.
Contact ElderLink on 0121 707 9422 or firstname.lastname@example.org