'I Can’t Despise God’s Trust', Says Nursing Home President Receiving 39 Homeless Disabled Vagrants

The elderly people in a church nursing home
The elderly people in a church nursing home
By Thomas ZhangDecember 22nd, 2022

Investing all his retirement funds in his nursing home, a Shandong Christian, nearly 70 years old, took in and cared for disabled homeless people from all over the country who were deeply hurt and had suffered pain and torture.

Recently, Director Zhao Haichi of Jinan Xinyi Elderly Apartment told his story to the Gospel Times, an online Christian newspaper in China.

"Since 2008, our nursing home has received a total of 39 homeless and disabled wanderers," Zhao said that these homeless people were recommended or sent from many places by people. In addition, the nursing home has successively supported dozens of elderly people from difficult families all over the country, among whom the oldest is 95 years old and the youngest is close to 50.

"When sent here, they also had various diseases, and some of the people were even dying," Director Zhao said. "But now they are recovering very well. Except for a few people who are paralyzed and bedridden, most of the others have no major problems in caring for themselves."

In fact, before opening his own nursing home, Zhao was an operations manager of another nursing home founded by Christians, in which he accumulated some relevant experience. During prayer in October 2007, he was moved to start a nursing home ministry himself.

With only 10,000 yuan in savings which was not enough, he shared his idea of running a rest home with a spiritual mentor who had known him for many years. With the same idea of doing charity work, the mentor took out the offerings he had prepared without saying anything.

After Xinyi Apartment for the Elderly was registered in March 2008, Zhao and his wife embarked on an arduous journey of service from a poor old woman and a deaf-mute homeless man.

"Besides the lack of money when we first opened the nursing home, we also had other problems, such as the difficulty of site selection and a shortage of beds," Zhao recalled that to maintain normal operation, he invested all his monthly pension. At the most difficult time, he and his wife had to eat steamed buns and pickles for three meals a day.

With the funding problem solved, regardless of whether the nurses were busy or not, if it was necessary, Zhao was personally involved in the care of the elderly and homeless, including delivering medicine, feeding, cleaning up excretion, hospitalization, and cremation.

Director Zhao said that now, he has not only passed the Registered Dietitian Exam but also learned simple medicine dispensing skills. Usually, old people can get treatment for headaches and fevers without going to the hospital.

In 2011, the nursing home was facing the most difficult moment, since he couldn't pay the rent of 70,000 yuan. At that time, his family members advised him to stop the project as soon as possible, but he rejected this proposal. "The establishment of a nursing home is the trust God gave to me. Even if I sell my kidney, I still have to pay the rent!"

To the surprise of the whole family, Zhao went to the hospital to inquire about kidney removal. The president of the hospital who was familiar with him stopped him, asking his friends to help him. A Christian entrepreneur sent 70,000 yuan in cash on the same day after hearing the story.

On several occasions, his head was injured and bled when caring for the homeless men who were mentally unstable, but he always simply bandaged it and quietly devoted himself to the nursing work. Some staff members were worried about his injury, but he replied with a smile, "I am a child of God who will heal me of this small injury and heal the internal scars of the men who hurt me."

Regarding the future of the nursing home, he stated, "I hope God can prepare a young staff member who can serve more humbly to continue the ministry." The couple is praying for God’s preparation.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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