Shirlee Dobias, Stuart, NE

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I have been a Christian Healthcare Ministries member since March 2008. I’m so thankful for the financial help I’ve received for my health care needs. I’m also thankful for the prayer requests printed in the CHM newsletter and the prayer cards sent out with each month’s Member Gift Form billing statement.

In January 2012 I found out how necessary and effective these prayers are in uplifting fellow members during stressful and emotional health situations.

I underwent minor surgery in September 2011 only to find out two months later from my family doctor that an additional operation was necessary. I was upset because I had just healed from the first surgery. I called Beth Kabellar, my CHM Needs Processing representative, and asked her to pray that I would accept the need for surgery and wouldn’t be stressed out about it.

Beth shared my request with other CHM employees during a morning prayer session. In November 2011, my request was printed on the monthly prayer card—as well as in the December 2011 newsletter—so fellow members could share my burden by praying for me. I received many get-well cards with prayers and words of encouragement from CHM members.

I visited a specialist and was very relieved when the doctor said I would only need the second surgery if my condition grew worse.

I was thankful and appreciative that Christians who didn’t even know me would pray for my needs. At the same time, I felt a little guilty since I didn’t need the second operation. I prayed, “God, thank You for all of these members who showed Your love to me and bless each one of them for their kindness. I wonder, though, why You led them to pray for me when You knew I wouldn’t undergo another surgery. Lord, are You strengthening me for something I can’t foresee?”

God answered my question on January 13, 2012. My husband, Norlin, suffered aortic dissection—a tear in the artery caused blood to flow between the layers of the aortic wall and forced them apart. (Doctors normally don’t perform surgery for this condition because it’s too dangerous—they just allow the dissection to scar over.)

Norlin survived the dissection but six days later suffered complications that required emergency surgery. The surgeon said he would do his best, but explained that patients with this condition rarely survive and those who live often suffer paralysis or kidney failure.

Miraculously, Norlin came through the surgery with no paralysis! His kidneys shut down temporarily but soon regained functionality.

The surgeon told us that his technique didn’t save Norlin’s life. He said Norlin should have died and that God—and God alone—was responsible for this miracle.

I stayed by Norlin’s side in the hospital for 36 days. God knew that I didn’t need another surgery but that I would need the prayer and words of encouragement from the nearly 50 CHM members who let me know they were praying for me. I sensed their prayers during the long days of Norlin’s surgery and recovery; I found the strength to keep going when I thought I couldn’t possibly continue down this difficult road.

Although I was also grateful for the prayers of family members and friends, the cards from CHM members were a lifeline and were tangible reminders of God’s love. I read and reread each word to regain my strength.

I called the CHM offices after Norlin went into the hospital. The staff again listed us for prayer, so we found another 11 cards of encouragement in February 2012 when we finally returned home.

I looked at the postmark date on the envelopes and, sure enough, some of the members had been touched by the Holy Spirit and motivated to pray for us on the same day Norlin had his surgery!

We have such an awesome God who knows our needs and answers prayer in ways we could never expect.

Thank you, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and thanks to all of you who prayed for us.

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