Foot ministry helps soles

Published 10:24 pm Monday, January 12, 2009

On Saturday morning, members at Nansemond River Baptist Church woke up early to do a special outreach.

They cut toenails.

The church’s foot ministry met at the church at 7:30 a.m. to help provide foot care to the senior citizens in the community who need help.

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“It’s a great ministry,” said worker Katherine C. Pond. “It not only meets the physical need of grooming senior adults’ feet, but most of the people that come to the foot ministry live by themselves, and while we are there we encourage them to talk, we fuss over them. We provide them refreshments and we give lots of hugs.”

It’s a ministry that began in the church more than two decades ago, when a church member heard of a similar ministry at Portsmouth’s Grove Park Baptist Church. She went over to the church, watched and learned how to groom the feet and brought the ministry back to Nansemond River.

“We do this to bring glory to the Lord,” Pond said. “And we do it because we want to be there; so we’re good at our job.”

When people stop by the ministry, they are first brought to a soaking footbath. Volunteers then bring them breakfast and talk to the seniors one-on-one. After the soak, the seniors are taken to their seats to have their toenails clipped and feet cleaned.

“They tell us that when they leave there, they feel like dancing,” Pond said. “You know, it’s an awesome feeling for the workers, because I feel like when I doing that I’m doing exactly what God would want me to do — I’m helping people who are unable to help themselves.”

The foot ministry is held once a month at Nansemond River Baptist Church, and it brings in about 40 people each month. Then, every other month, a group of volunteers heads downtown to the Bettie Davis Apartment Village to serve senior citizens in that part of the city.

“It’s strange,” Pond said. “The Lord always provides the exact number of volunteers we need and the exact number of people we need to show up. This is just a time of nurturing, and I’m so blessed to be a part of it.”