NO USE- BY DATE
“Just because you are retired or older,” says Care Centre volunteer Ros Elms, “doesn’t mean you have a use-by date in God’s kingdom.”
When Ros and her husband Len retired nearly three years ago, they continued their lifelong practice of volunteering time and skills to their church community. Every Tuesday this couple can be found at Gateway Mackenzie’s Care Centre being the hands and feet of Jesus to our local community. Ros is a smiling face helping customers in the Opp Shop, and Len contributes his practical skills, whether it’s sorting donations, carrying items to customers’ cars, or organising Opp Shop stock for display.
“Everyone needs to be part of something,” Ros shares. “Being part of the Care Centre team is like being part of a family. If you are at sitting at home and not getting out you miss out on the camaraderie of being part of a team.”
There’s a place for everyone to contribute to the ministry of the Care Centre and feel needed – from organising donations or working in the shop, to washing up the cups in the volunteer kitchen. “This is a safe place for volunteers to come and receive love and healing,” Len says. “We’ll be sorting donations in the shed and someone will share something significant. We all stop working, gather around them and pray, then we get back to doing the work. There’s a spontaneity of the Holy Spirit in this place.”
Ros and Len also bring their grandchildren to volunteer at the Care Centre during school holidays. As Len explains, “It’s important for them to learn to give their time to others.”
“We’re helping in a practical way, but it’s also a ministry,” Ros says. “We get to know our regular customers and we’ve formed relationships with the people we volunteer with.” Len adds, “We laugh together, and we cry together. The people we volunteer alongside each week are a real family to us and that’s very important.”