Josh Hollinger, Denver, PA

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Our youngest son, Craig, was born in March 2012 with a hole in his heart. My wife, Carla, had a normal pregnancy and we had no idea anything was wrong until a newborn check-up just before leaving the birth center.

At birth Craig’s heart was slightly enlarged from being overworked. Of course, we were surprised and even shocked. It was incredibly difficult to hand over our tiny baby to the surgical team and wait eight hours during the procedure.

The surgery was successful and Craig healed quickly. A second shock was the price tag: $190,000! By God’s grace, we received a 66 percent discount for being self-pay patients and family and friends donated the remaining $65,000 we needed to pay the bill.

In the meantime we learned about Christian Healthcare Ministries and joined at the Silver level in June 2013.

When Craig was three years old we learned he needed a second surgery to reconstruct his pulmonary heart valve and the surrounding tissue. This time he was more aware of what would happen so he experienced some anxiety. He was encouraged by the presence of his beloved puppy, Cocoa, who remains an inseparable companion to this day.

It was a frightening night because the surgeons said they were having trouble stopping the bleeding in Craig’s heart. Thankfully, God gave my mother the right words, which I’ll never forget: “If God knows the number of hairs on our head and sees every sparrow that falls,” she said, “isn’t Craig even more valuable in His sight?”

We were once again blessed by skilled surgeons and a good outcome. There was still concern, however, about how the bills would be paid.

Craig’s heart condition was considered pre-existing because it predated our CHM join date. However, we had for years said we trusted God to meet all our needs, so this was a perfect opportunity to once again put our faith into practice.

This time the surgery cost was about $150,000. We were offered a 35 percent discount if we paid the bills within 90 days, so we decided to take out a loan for the remaining balance of $97,995.

Craig was listed in the CHM monthly magazine's Prayer Page and we soon received an enormous number of letters, cards and emails. It was very encouraging to hear from CHM members who were praying for us.

We were worried about how we would repay the loan, but God was faithful. The CHM community chipped in and we paid off the remaining balance—all through their voluntary Prayer Page donations. The experience brought a deepening of our faith that God is in complete control.

Today Craig is a very active five-year-old who doesn’t look like he’s been sick a day in his life. In fact, he tries to do everything his nine-year-old sister does! We anticipate he’ll have a normal and healthy childhood.

We often recommend CHM to others and our only “debt” now is to our Christian brothers and sisters who stepped in to help during our time of need. It’s one that we actually look forward to repaying.

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