Nursing home residents have known for the past 20 years that a visit from Betty Rhyne means Bible readings, inspirational stories and fellowship.
The former director of the Lincoln County Department of Social Services retired in 1985 and has since then devoted herself to Christian Ministriesâ€™ Nursing Home Ministry.
â€œMy personal feeling is that many people who are in nursing homes are unable to read for themselves and they are hungry to be read to,â€ she said.
She and her husband, Cliff, make five visits a month to nursing homes. These visits can include singing, psalm reading and funny asides from Betty.
In recent years, the couple has experienced health problems of their own, but it doesnâ€™t slow them down.
â€œThey are sharing their knowledge of the Bible and their socialization with the people in the nursing home,â€ said Susan Brymer, executive director of Christian Ministry. â€œTo me, they are so inspiring.â€
Besides reading to residents, Betty and her fellow volunteer, Karen Myers, organize church visits. Church volunteers make sure that nursing home residents receive devotions and birthday parties.
Betty first began her volunteer work by reading to individual residents. She soon learned, however, that the demand was high. Now, she reads to groups, the content of the reading changing from week to week.
â€We just follow the mood of the folks,â€ she said.
Although she makes no complaints about her organizational work, her heart lies in the direct person-to-person contact.
â€œWhat we like about it is the fellowship with the people,â€ she said.
Interested in volunteering? Call Christian Ministry at (704) 732-0383.
by Sarah Grano