By Mark Bentley, Omaha, Neb.
Editor’s note: This information was published in the June 2018 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.
A pastor friend recommended our family of six look into CHM when we could no longer continue on our prior healthcare plan. My wife, Christi, and I agreed that our children would be Bronze members and that she and I would join at the Gold level; however, one of our church’s deacons felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting that our entire family participate in the Gold and Brother’s Keeper programs.
As I reflect on the events that led us to join CHM, I praise God that He was providing for us even before our desperate time of need: One of our children would incur over $24,000 in medical bills during our first year of membership.
I’ll never forget Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Christi and I were out of town so I could preach at a church in western Kansas. Our oldest daughter, Jessica, was finishing her senior year at Master’s Baptist College (MBC) in Fargo, N.D. At around 7 a.m. we received a voicemail from the MBC president’s wife, asking us to call her back immediately.
Surprised, I called her right away. “Jessica experienced a bad seizure and is being rushed to the hospital,” she told me. I dropped to my knees instantly and prayed for God’s help.
During our 12-hour car ride to Fargo we prayed, cried and received news of our daughter’s brain abnormality.
The next morning I called CHM and shared our situation with the young lady who answered. She prayed with me—a welcome reminder of God’s love—and gave me advice on explaining CHM to the hospital’s billing office.
After three days of testing, doctors confirmed that Jessica had a rare type of tumor. They were unsure if it was a low-grade glioma or a slow-growing benign tumor. They advised her to take medication to prevent seizures while finishing the school semester. We also scheduled a 30-day follow-up MRI to monitor the tumor’s growth.
When we arrived home, cards and emails from CHM members flooded our mailbox and email inbox. What a blessing it was to know that so many people were praying for our family—another reminder of God’s goodness.
Scripture tells us that God orders our steps (Psalm 37:23) and He has done that for our family in so many ways. He crossed our paths with a neurosurgeon in Denver and a neurologist in Fargo who have been very helpful. They recommended that Jessica finish college and during the summer pursue surgery and treatment. We’re preparing for that, but we continue to beg God for wisdom.
On dark days we cry out to the Lord for help. He’s faithfully teaching me that He knows our needs and is in control. In times like these, God’s word comes alive and our fellowship with Him is sweet. He’s been so faithful, and we’ve been blessed to lean on the CHM family to meet our financial needs.
The day we received our sharing check totaling more than $8,000 (after a 65 percent hospital discount), I spent time tearfully praising God for His goodness and provision. I’m confident that joining the ministry was part of His plan for us and I’ll never go back to anything else.
Thank you to the CHM staff for what you do, and thank you to every member who has lifted Jessica up in prayer; we also covet your prayers for her surgery this summer. God is good, all the time.