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Volunteer Bible study leader emphasizes importance of spiritual wellness

Physical, mental and emotional health are all important, but taking care of the spirit is also an essential part of wellness.

Don Thompson, who volunteers to lead Bible study at Parsons Presbyterian Manor, points out that our physical bodies are temporary, but our spirits are eternal.

“I need my spiritual health in line, because one of these days I’m going to leave this world,” he said. “This is not my home — I’m only a pilgrim passing through. My home is heaven, and I’ve got citizenship up there. And so, it’s very, very important that you keep the spirit well fed.”

When Don took over the Bible study, he was already well known in the community, having once been a resident himself. Don joined our PATH® (Post-Acute to Home) program after a hospital stay. After his rehabilitation stint, he lived in the health care neighborhood for a while until he was able to return home.

Don Thompson

He lived in Presbyterian Manor for about two years and made a lot of friends in the community. When there was a need for a new Bible study leader, “I stepped in and took it from there,” he said.

Every Wednesday at 3 p.m., about a dozen residents gather in the chapel to study God’s word. Each week, they discuss a passage Don chooses — although he does have help.

“Usually, the Lord brings them to me,” he said. “A verse will stand out, and I’ll say, ‘Well OK, if that’s what you want, that’s the way we’ll go.’”

Many of the Bible study attendees are well versed in the scriptures already, he noted.

“They read what I’m talking about, and they get right into it,” he said.

Don believes familiarity with the Bible is important because it makes it much harder to be led astray by people who might twist the meaning of the Bible.

“I had one lady say that she has been to church all her life, and they read the scriptures, but that was it,” he said. “But she said I take the time to explain what it’s all about, so that made me feel good.”

Don doesn’t limit spiritual teaching to Bible study. He recalls a time when his son was in a rock band that would practice in a box car on his property. When they came in to warm up, he’d talk to them about God, even though he wasn’t sure it was doing any good.

“Sometimes it felt like water off a duck’s back,” he said.

Years later, the lead guitarist approached him at Walmart and said Don’s words put him back on the right track.

“It’s a gift from God,” Don said. “I love to talk, and this is one way of doing it.”

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