On the 1st of March 2009, the Couples for Christ (CFC) Bermuda Social Ministry organized two groups of about 20 individuals each composed of CFC and Family Ministry members, volunteers, and friends to visit the elderly at Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence and Westmeath Residential & Nursing Home. CFC Bermuda Head Jay and Lorelie Autor, and HOLD Unit Leader Evelou Mosley led the groups separately.
The CFC Social Ministry Head, Mot Saliba, was moved by the response of over 40 people who volunteered to spend their Sunday afternoon with the elderly. Their enthusiasm and compassion to reach out to the residents of the two nursing homes were amazing. A characteristic that is truly Filipino by nature. Back home in the Philippines, it is very common for the family members to take care of their ailing grandparents or elderly parents at the comfort of their own homes where their children and grandchildren take turns in looking after their welfare. Being far away from home, most of the Filipino volunteers missed that particular experience and welcomed this opportunity to reach out to the elderly in Bermuda with open arms.
The group visiting the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence in Devonshire came just in time for the elderly’s tea break on Sunday afternoon. Some home-baked cookies were brought to be shared. The visit started with a short prayer followed by songs of praise and worship. One of the residents requested the guitarist to accompany her as she sang her favorite love song over and over again, until everyone could almost memorize the song entitled “Danny Boy!” All the visitors talked to each elderly resident and exchanged stories with them. Most of them had smiles on their faces and others shed tears of joy. One of them was so happy that she thought and felt as if it was Christmas time. One visitor said, “Yes, it’s Christmas in March!” and there was laughter.
Everyone had a great time with them. CFC may come and visit them again, although it isn’t certain if the residents will still remember them. It doesn’t matter. The visitors knew at that time that they have touched their hearts, and likewise, the elders have done the same to the visitors in a very special way. At that time they were the grandparents, the mothers, the fathers, the aunts, and uncles that were missed back home.
Finally, as it is written in Matthew 25:43, “I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me,” now CFC and the volunteers can say that they have visited the Lord while He was at Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence and Westmeath Residential & Nursing Home.