Written by: Eli Wilson, Director of Sports Programming at myLIFEspeaks
Listen to the audio/podcast version, here.
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” - Isaiah 46:4
LIFE 46:4, to some people, is just a program we have here at myLIFEspeaks, But to me, it's so much more. It’s not just a program full of old people who come to sit and color and play games. It’s a program that makes the elderly feel loved, and wanted, and that they have a voice to be heard. It’s where they come together and get to smile, laugh, and play games. But most importantly, they learn more about the Gospel.
In Haiti, once you reach a certain age your voice appears useless. Some people think you are too old to have an opinion worth listening to. What LIFE 46:4 is doing is making sure that the elderly voices are heard, because they are so much wiser than any of us could imagine. We want them to feel loved not only when they come to program every Wednesday but every day of their LIFE.
We want them to know that just because they are older doesn't mean they are any less valuable than younger generations. Every Wednesday we have an average of around 48 elderly people who participate in LIFE 46:4. In the program, we only have enough room for 55 people and some people cannot physically come due to illness or other reasons. Each week we have to turn some people away because we simply don’t have the capacity in our building to host all the people who desire to be involved. We have a waiting list for this program.
God is moving through this program and people want to be a part of it. We wish we could accompany all who want to join and someday we hope to have that capacity. People even come to LIFE 46:4 saying, “Just let me be a part of the program and you don't have to give me food.” In Haiti that is unheard of, people don't ask to be a part of a program and not receive food. So for me, that just means what we are doing here in the LIFE 46:4 program is not about us and not even about them per se. It’s truly about coming together as disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s showing how we can Glorify His Kingdom, and how we can serve our commUNITY in the same way Jesus Christ did when He walked this Earth.
This program has shown me what it truly means to be a disciple of the Lord. Because for me and my past, I would have never thought I would be able to share God’s Words with other people. But that's the way God uses us, he takes our past and molds it into something so much greater so that we may be able to glorify Him. Yes, I may be the leader in the LIFE 46:4 program but everyone in the program is leading me too.
In many parts of Haiti, the elderly are not well cared for. It might be hard to imagine, but people sometimes have a difficult time caring for someone else when they don’t have enough themselves. Today, we hope you will shine the light of Christ on someone in need. Do you know an elderly person that doesn’t have family near or who needs someone to check in on them? Sometimes, being willing to physically be there is a gift they haven’t received in a while.