My husband, Willie (“Cliff”), and I joined Christian Healthcare Ministries in 2014 because we really liked the concept of Christians sharing each other’s burdens and we couldn’t afford health insurance.
Cliff was previously diagnosed with heart disease, so we knew his condition would be considered pre-existing. It was only a matter of time before he’d incur more medical bills.
In July 2015, Cliff’s health was declining. His pacemaker would go off one or two times per month. His doctors offered no hope. “This is what heart disease is like,” they told us.
But a God-ordained meeting occurred, and a woman who had undergone a heart transplant herself was able to help get Cliff on a heart transplant list. What a relief it was to receive that single ray of hope and know that something could be done.
It was a bit difficult adjusting to a new system for our healthcare costs, but the CHM staff was extremely helpful and answered questions about negotiating with doctors and other healthcare providers. Doctors gave us “self-pay” discounts with no trouble, but the hospital required payment within a certain timeframe to receive discounts. CHM was quick to assist us and Cliff was able to undergo a heart ablation surgery in August 2016.
At this writing, Cliff has been in the hospital for over seven months awaiting a heart transplant.* God has taught us a lot during this time. Cliff likes to tell others: “Before entering the hospital, I didn’t discuss my faith openly, but I asked God for boldness. He has been faithful, and I’ve shared my faith with nurses, doctors and visitors about what God has done in my life.
“My focus is relating to others and communing with Christ, not about getting a new heart. God already gave me a new heart when he came into my life. He placed me on a path to receive a new physical heart, but my calling is and always has been to develop a deeper relationship with Him. That hasn’t changed with my circumstances.”
In the meantime, the financial support CHM members give each month has eased our initial fear of mounting hospital bills. What a blessing to receive a check every month reflecting members’ Prayer Page donations. We can’t put into words what you’ve meant in our lives and throughout this ordeal.
To date, CHM Prayer Page donations have shared $61,213 of nearly $104,000 in medical bills. Thank you for what you’ve done and for what we are confident you’ll do in the future.
Cliff also receives handwritten notes from members throughout the country—we’ve been given more than 300 cards! We were also surprised to learn that a church congregation (Crossroads Community Church in Summerville, S.C.) committed to pray consistently for us. We’ve saved every note and card and respond as often as we can. We’re blessed to have received so many that it’s hard to keep up!
Cliff keeps a map of the United States in his hospital room. Each colored-in state represents members residing there who took the time to write us a word of encouragement.
Being on the Prayer Page has expanded our awareness of the body of Christ and our place in the Father’s family. We are truly joining one another, not through “doctrine” but instead through our faith in Christ.
*Cliff underwent a heart transplant on November 19, 2016. Sadly, he didn’t recover and went home to be with the Lord three days later. Saranne still needs your help with his remaining medical bills, totaling $42,562 at newsletter publication date. Her address is 15664 Mountain Valley Place, Lakeside, CA 92040 (firstname.lastname@example.org).