Doris joined Pursue Life Adult Ministry for their Grand Canyon Creation Tour in April. On the tour bus ride up to the canyon, she shared that this trip was her first outing since her husband passed away one year ago. Doris decided it was time to get out and be with other people because she was becoming lonely. At the end of the day, Doris said she was blessed and had a great time.
The loss of a spouse or loved one is the number one life stressor, followed closely by divorce. It takes time to re-engage in life that is now unfamiliar and new in many ways. Pursue Life has been blessed to be able to provide community for those grieving from loss and help them find new friends and purpose in the midst of suffering. Mona McDonald, vice president of Pursue Life, shares, “I am filled with compassion when I learn of these precious ones wanting to take bold new steps toward living fully in this challenging season of their life.”
Pursue Life focuses on the needs and issues of adults, seeking to fill the gaps between adults in need and those willing to be used by God to help. The needs are great. Most adults over 50 experience at least two major life events each year. The nest-egg may have dwindled, forcing families to make adjustments. They may have experienced a job loss and are learning something new. Caring for either parents or grandchildren, or both, can be extremely challenging. Many are restless after retiring. Others face acute or chronic medical issues. Some older adults live alone and have done so for many years.
Since the ministry began in 2015, Pursue Life has developed to help address these issues and fulfill its goal to provide hope and care to aging adults by guiding them to live in the fullness of God’s promises in every season of life through support, community, purpose and personal legacy. This happens through adventures like the annual Travel with a Purpose mission cruise to the Caribbean and Grand Canyon tour, and new activities such as Senior Days and Coffee & Conversations.
In 2018, Pursue Life served 237 older adults through 13 Senior Day events at ABCS community resource centers in the Phoenix-metro area. In 2019, 153 seniors were served and received critical seasonal supplies including Summer Survival Kits with items like electrolytes and sunscreen, socks and foot care supplies and small space heaters. Senior Days provide practical support by meeting physical and spiritual needs. Coffee & Conversations events focused on trends, issues and the needs of Arizona’s aging population were held throughout the year at North Phoenix Baptist Church. Participants came from churches, para-church organizations, social ministries and community service agencies. Guest speakers included leaders like Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy. Pursue Life also hosted Lunch & Learn workshops at Sun Lakes Community Church, covering important topics such as loneliness and isolation, preparing your home for disaster, trauma informed care and surviving the holidays, to help seniors navigate challenging times.
All Pursue Life activities and events are hosted in partnership with churches or other faith-based organizations. Together, our passion is to seek out those who are lost or alone and help them find community and care among those who love Jesus, so they can know and love Him too. By providing these opportunities, we point aging parents, church members, neighbors and even ourselves to live fully in the promises that God has for our lives. No matter the limitations we face, each of us has a purpose in every season of life, until we draw our last breath or He returns.