China Nursing Homes – A New Missions Ministry

Nursing homes have become a new mission field in China.

Traditionally, the Chinese people have considered that placing elderly people in nursing homes indicates that their children are failing to support their aging parents. However, with a changing demography and the growing Chinese economy, “senior care services are called ‘a sunrise industry serving the elderly people.”

China Christian Daily has been drawing attention to the ministry opportunities that Christians have found in the developing senior care services realm.

Cedar Eldercare in Shandong province was founded by two Chinese women who, while working in the industry, were also seeking the meaning of life. One of them said that she had “come to a stage in which life was not worth living like this.” They found the answer in Christ – and they knew that they could change senior care by building nursing homes that were Christ-centered and administered by Christians.

Today, Cedar Eldercare operates four separate centers. Cedar leadership has learned that “more than 90% of the elderly people are attracted by its Christian culture no matter if they or their families are Christians or not.”

Xiangle Home for Seniors in Henan province was started by a Christian woman who believed that her church was doing a lot of preaching, but not a lot of reaching. She saw a need for care for a growing number of seniors in the church. Having overcome years of resistance, the home currently has 50 Christians on staff and about 190 residents. It is operating at 90% capacity – much higher than typical local senior care homes.

Wafangdian Canaan Nursing Home in Lianong operates at 100% capacity. It provides services for more than 360 elderly residents, including many with special needs. Since its opening in November 2010, more than 150 residents have become Christians.

Elderly Chinese are often treated as second-class citizens since they are perceived as no longer able to make a significant contribution to society. Their longing for companionship and meaning has nurtured a new Christian mission field in eldercare in China.

And, if in China, why not everywhere?


Sources: