Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out … (Mark 3:13-14a NIV).
Last Saturday morning (2nd June 2018) I had the privilege of leading “Discussing Dementia 1: An Overview” at Roseville Uniting Church on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. About two dozen people courageous saints attended, learning together and sharing the delicious morning tea.
Some people may think that two dozen is quite a small number, but we should never forget the impact that a small group of people can make. Jesus Himself only chose 12 apostles. The world “apostle” comes from a New Testament Greek verb which means “to send”. We see the root “post” when we talk about “posting a letter” – in other words, “sending a letter”. The “apostles” are therefore “those who are sent” – those sent by God to do His will. Those 12 apostles shared the Gospel – the Good News – with others. The Christian Church is the result: arguably over 2 billion people in the world today who claim to be Christian – to be followers of Christ!
What can the two dozen people who attended my session at Roseville do? They can help educate others about dementia, reducing its stigma and ignorance. They can support those who are living with dementia and their carers. They can learn more e.g. through the two University of Tasmania MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) or in an EDIE session with Dementia Australia (pictured below) or by reading posts on this blog. They can tell others about my dementia sessions, and not just encourage people to attend, but come along with them for companionship and support.
Above all, they can remind people that while dementia is a form of brain damage, the person living with dementia is made in the image of God, that God has breathed His life into them and given them life, and that God will never leave them nor forsake them. They can tell the wonderful Good News that while a person’s brain and body may be perishing, the person’s spirit remains whole and well and strong. Dementia may be the second leading cause of death in Australia, but nothing can kill the spirit!
I began Saturday’s session by congratulating the two dozen for having the courage to come to a session about dementia. I end this post by congratulating you for accessing my blog and reading this post. As God has sent me out to speak about dementia, may you hear His call and allow yourself to be sent out also.