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We joined Christian Healthcare Ministries in 2014. Our monthly health care premiums had been raised four times to the point that we could no longer afford them. It was a bit scary because in 2011 I experienced a small spot cancer spot on my vocal cords which was treated with chemotherapy and radiation. I had been cancer-free for two years and my doctors thought the issue had resolved.

I’d never experienced any other medical issues in my life. The only time I had been in a hospital was to visit and pray for friends and family.

Some friends recommended CHM to us. I hesitated to join a group I didn’t know much about but my wife, Charlotte, and I prayed about becoming members. We decided to take the leap because we live a biblical lifestyle and liked the principle of Christians taking care of other Christians.

Little did I know that later that year the cancer would return and I would lose my vocal cords and voice to a tumor.

We joined at the Gold level and were eligible for CHM’s Gold schedule for pre-existing conditions. The medical costs that exceeded the schedule limits were listed in the monthly newsletter’s Prayer Page so readers could make voluntary donations above their regular financial gifts.

I was overwhelmed with the wonderful support that we received from CHM. Between the Gold schedule and the Prayer Page, so far we’ve received $121,046 toward my medical expenses! The checks came at just the right time to pay the hospital expenses. It was a special blessing because my condition forced me to cut back my business hours and our income was drastically reduced.

Furthermore, CHM staff helped me negotiate my bills and coached us on how to interact with doctors’ offices and care facilities; with CHM’s help we’ve seen as much as 60 percent in discounts on some of the bills.

More importantly, I have received wonderful prayers and notes from at least 100 CHM members. Ordinarily, I would have dreaded coming home from work to open the mailbox because of bills. But along with the challenges in my mailbox I’d find notes and bits of wisdom from God’s people all over the country. These items were priceless and built my faith that God is in control and that His people are full of love.

God also taught me to focus on what I have rather than what I have lost and to be thankful for even the small things. Floods come to shake the house, but if you’ve built your house on Christ the solid foundation, the house will still stand. His peace is truly beyond understanding.

Today the CHM name is known and respected at my doctors’ offices. We haven’t come through this challenge yet but I gladly recommend Christian Healthcare Ministries to others. I’m still undergoing treatment, now speak with an artificial prosthetic and we’re trying to rebuild our lives. We trust that God will bring healing.

The U.S. health care system clearly needs some change and for this we continue to pray; CHM is definitely part of the answer. The help you’ve given our family is both financially significant and spiritually encouraging. If you’re looking for a Christian health care cost solution that really works, I recommend CHM. It’s the “real deal!”

My interest in health care sharing ministries began when my health insurance premiums climbed to $1,000 per month. I became a member of one such ministry, but switched to CHM in January 2014 because the other organization could no longer legally operate due to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

While a member of the first organization, I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, a slow-growing cancer. Feeling I had some time to decide, I wrestled with what to do about treatment. My wife, Patricia, and I have a small business operating school buses and we’d lost two of our drivers to cancer in the previous five years.

I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ almost 30 years ago and I trust Him for my destiny. When I got my diagnosis, I didn’t believe it was time yet for me to leave this earth. Only once did I wonder what my wife and grandsons would do without me, but I quickly put that negative thought behind me and looked toward the future.

I initially tried taking vitamins and herbs and seeing an immune therapy doctor, but it didn’t help much.

I joined CHM and started chemotherapy about five months later. Wilma, a CHM staff member, told me not to worry and helped me understand what I needed to do. She said my condition was pre-existing but that CHM has programs for pre-existing conditions. One of those programs, she explained, is the Prayer Page that appears in the monthly newsletter.

The medical bills quickly added up. The hospital had never treated a CHM member before, so I explained that I didn’t have insurance, but was part of a ministry that would help me with my bills.* (I’ve since learned that the hospital now has other patients who are CHM members.)

I applied for financial assistance but my income was just a few dollars over the income limit. Thankfully, the hospital’s policy is to treat patients first and discuss payment afterward. The staff was also gracious in extending a 50 percent discount since they knew my bills were going to be very large. Some of my other health care providers also gave discounts once they learned the hospital had done so.

It took a little while for my name to appear on the CHM Prayer Page because I was waiting to hear back about financial assistance from the hospital. However, I didn’t worry about when the money from CHM would come in because I trusted God to move in the hearts of His people.

Since I was first listed on the CHM newsletter’s Prayer Page, I have received $118,721 from other members! Bills are still coming in and I have about $79,000 left to go. In addition, I received many encouraging cards from CHM members. I read each one and the personal touch makes me feel like I know these dear brothers and sisters. I look forward to seeing them all in heaven someday.

Today I’m doing much better and I’m undergoing maintenance treatment to keep the cancer in remission.

I compare my experience to a roller coaster: there were “lows” and “highs.” Some of the “lows” were the occurrence of abdominal ascites and blood clots and the fact I needed stents to keep open the ureter tubes from my kidneys to my bladder. The “high” times included when the ascites subsided, my lungs returning to normal and removal of the stents after 12 months.

I’m also grateful that the chemo treatments had little effect on me, which I attribute to building up my immune system, a positive attitude and—most of all—my faith and trust in Almighty God.

God received glory throughout my ordeal. He taught me patience and to trust Him each day. Some people thought I was history, but I believe the Lord intended my experience to be a testimony of His power to heal. I also think my story points to the effectiveness of the biblical principle of sharing each other’s burdens, as CHM members do each day. This principle works today just as it did in the days of the first disciples.

Even though Patricia and I trusted God from the beginning, we’re still amazed and humbled to receive cards of encouragement and checks averaging $10,000 per month. I’m forever grateful to my doctors, nurses and hospital. I’m equally thankful for each CHM member and the ministry staff. I recommend CHM every chance I get.

The Lord for many years has given me responsibility for cattle and land. When I was a young man, I married my high school sweetheart, Judy, and quickly settled into a rancher’s life. After the birth of our first child, we committed our lives to Christ. We eventually had four children, so it was difficult at times to make ends meet and we never had much money for health insurance.

In 1995 I was 43 and extremely busy with duties of irrigation, haying, feeding cattle, and a 70-cow dairy operation. Stress took its toll. One day my heart started beating out of control. I had severe pain in my chest and left arm.

After waiting to see if the issue would resolve on its own, Judy insisted I go to the doctor and get checked out. When testing ruled out heart problems, I was told I might have experienced a panic attack. However, the attacks recurred about once per month for many years.

In 2013 the “panic attack” frequency increased to twice a week, with each lasting three to four hours. I felt like I was running a marathon for which I hadn’t trained. Meanwhile, I somehow had contracted a bad infection in my elbow while working on an old roof.

As I went to an urgent care center to receive an antibiotic, I experienced yet another attack. The doctor sent me to the emergency room, where I was admitted to the hospital and received IV therapy.

The doctor discovered my heartbeat had doubled because a blood vessel had caused an abnormal circuit. A heart specialist diagnosed me with tachycardia and told me I needed surgery that would cost about $60,000. The other option was to try medication.

We’d just set up a payment plan for my emergency room bills and more medical debt was out of the question, so I tried the medication. Unfortunately, it made me either too tired to work or too wakeful to sleep—and it didn’t stop the attacks.

Starting to feel desperate, we looked into health insurance options and the best we could find was a $1,200 per month policy with a $10,000 deductible. In a word, unaffordable.

Thankfully, a friend told us about Christian Healthcare Ministries. We looked into it right away and signed up in May 2014. We were relieved when CHM staff members told us that there were programs for pre-existing conditions were available and to seek the treatment I needed.*

After pre-negotiating some discounts, I had surgery that July. The results were life-changing: I felt 20 years younger within just a few weeks. I now wake each morning feeling rested and ready to take on the day’s challenges!

However, there was still $49,215 in outstanding medical bills. We knew that my surgery bills would be listed in the CHM newsletter’s Prayer Page so that readers could voluntarily contribute to our need. We’d read other members’ testimonies about how their Prayer Page needs were met and we had no doubt that God would take care of us, too.

We set up monthly payments with the hospital and received a generous check from CHM reflecting its members’ donations just before our first hospital payment was due. Subsequent checks have been enough to pay our monthly bill from the hospital.

After receiving the first check, we were so excited that we committed to sending money each month toward Prayer Page needs as our mission for 2015! We also had postcards printed so that we could send a special “thank you” to every CHM member who donated toward our bills.

In a world where it can be difficult to find integrity, even sometimes among people who say they’re Christians, the Prayer Page is a beacon of Christians caring and helping meet each other’s needs. We’re so thankful to be part of such a wonderful ministry. God bless CHM!

*Editor’s note: Please see Guidelines Z and AA or chministries.org/preexistingconditions for CHM’s pre-existing conditions policy.

Several years ago I began evaluating my health care costs. My insurance deductible was so high that the insurance company rarely paid anything toward medical bills. I could no longer justify keeping my insurance and decided I would much rather fund a Christian health cost sharing ministry than send hard-earned dollars to an insurance company. We joined Christian Healthcare Ministries at the Gold level.

My first real encounter with CHM was when my left hip became stiff and painful. The effects were mild at first and I limped without realizing it. Other people kept asking what was wrong and eventually the pain became constant and affected all daily activities. Any motion produced severe, stabbing pain. I knew I had to consult a surgeon.

I’d had a right hip replacement in 2007, so I had an idea of what to expect. I knew what was likely in store: surgery, disability, financial stress and a lengthy recovery. I became very discouraged.

However, the CHM staff was incredibly helpful. They were kind, understanding, patient and informative. Each interaction I had with the staff was basically the same: helpful and caring. Every organization interested in quality customer service should call CHM to see what modern Christ-like customer service sounds like!

Nevertheless I worried how I was going to pay the bills and feed my family. As soon as CHM sent me the first check, however, I felt relieved. God had thrown me a “life-preserver” and I slept better every night after that.

The process of submitting bills was straightforward. In fact, submitting the bills all at once helped me organize and pay them promptly. The total bills related to my hip surgery were over $58,000, which I was able to negotiate down significantly.

Because this was a pre-existing condition, CHM shared $25,000 through the Gold level sharing schedule. I was then listed on the newsletter Prayer Page for the remaining $16,864. I’m well on my way to paying the entire bill in a short period of time.

Surgery caused me to be off work for six months and income for the family has certainly been a challenge. However, the generosity of CHM members has been exceptionally helpful and very uplifting. At first I was a skeptic, but CHM continues to prove faithful. How refreshing it is for an organization to fulfill its mission.

One unexpected blessing was explaining CHM to all of my health care providers and physicians. Most of them had never heard of CHM or health cost sharing ministries. It was rewarding to explain the ministry’s purpose and to provide a glimpse into Christian living and giving. I was able to confidently tell them they had nothing to worry about. I think they knew they could trust me and that I was serious about paying my bills.

Even more remarkable was receiving unexpected notes, cards, letters of encouragement and prayer along with financial donations. The dollar amount of the contributions wasn’t as important to me and my family as the lesson that it taught us, a lesson about Christian giving and helping someone with absolutely no expectation of receiving something in return. Giving for the sake of giving—I was blown away!

My hip is healing slowly but I’m optimistic that I’ll make a full recovery and will be able to return to work.

God has taught me many lessons through my experience. First, humility. The second is to rely on Him and to stop worrying so much. He’s my redeemer, protector and strength.

But the most important lesson is this: stop, listen and accept. Life is full of change, but growth is optional. I was able to slow down, reflect and read the Bible more regularly than I did while running in the “rat race” before my surgery.

I’m overcome by the kindness and generosity of CHM members and I love telling the CHM story! Whether you incur medical bills or not, it’s comforting that our money is going to help other Christians during life’s challenges. It makes me feel good every time I send my monthly financial gift to CHM.

Thank you for all you do.

While attending Johnson University (formerly Johnson Bible College) in Knoxville, Tenn., I awoke in my dorm room one morning and could barely open my eyes. They hurt and looked very red. I hoped that I had simply scratched my eye while putting in my contact lenses and that the pain would be relieved in a day or two. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The pain in my eyes became so intense I couldn’t leave my bed. I promptly made an appointment to see an eye doctor.

The doctor diagnosed me with “uveitis,” an inflammation of the uvea, the vascular middle part of the eye. He prescribed eye drops, and it cleared up within a few weeks.

When I went home for Christmas, my regular optometrist—who’d heard about my eye problems at school—wanted to examine my eyes. On New Year’s Eve 2003, my mom and I made what we thought would be a quick trip to the optometrist. However, when my doctor looked at my eyes, she quickly left the room. When she returned, she said “I could only find one ophthalmologist’s office open because of the holiday, but they are waiting for you in the next town. Go now!”

My uveitis was back, and it was the worst case my doctor had ever seen.

The ophthalmologist said that, on a scale of one to 10, my uveitis was an 11. I was prescribed oral steroids and the same eye drops I had been taking before. This time, the uveitis did not go away. In fact, nine years later, my body is still fighting my eyes.

I’ve visited more than 15 doctors in three states and have incurred more than $40,000 in medical debt. I’ve been tested for every possible cause for uveitis, but the tests always come back normal. I’ve been told that often a specific cause can’t be identified. Rather, it’s an autoimmunological reaction in which my body thinks my eyes are the enemy. In the last nine years, I’ve undergone numerous surgeries and procedures in hopes of eradicating the inflammation and preserving my vision.

During this time, God has taught me so much about who He is. I’ve learned that God’s will is always good and perfect, even if it means that I am not always happy or healthy. I have prayed for healing for nine years, but God has allowed my illness to continue. Still, I’ve learned to rejoice in His plan for me and to bring glory to Him in my response to the illness.

Additionally, God has shown me how to rely on Him as well as other people. This was hard because I have fiercely independent spirit. However, by being unable to read menus in restaurants or to see across a busy street, God has reminded me that He created us for community and collaboration. God continues to remind me that He created me perfectly and that, though my eyes aren’t great, He has gifted me in many ways for ministry to his Church.

Now I’m maintaining the vision I have with steroid injections in my eyes and immunosuppressants. My ability to see ebbs and flows depending on how recently I’ve had a shot, but God continues to preserve my eyes.

I’m so thankful for CHM’s willingness to help me carry my burden. Because of my illness, I had been rejected by traditional insurance providers, or couldn’t afford them in any case.

With CHM, I not only have access to financial help, but also to spiritual help through prayer and encouragement! I have been blown away by the family of God coming together to take care of one another’s needs. Being part of the Prayer Page has been such an encouragement to me and my family. We are so appreciative of your prayers and gifts.

Throughout my battle with breast cancer I have been thankful for the Prayer Page’s assistance.

My journey through this illness began 10 years ago. During a routine mammogram, my doctors found a spot. The doctor performed a biopsy, which led to a lumpectomy. Thankfully, that incident turned out to be benign.

However, in November 2010, I noticed a dimpling on my breast in the same location as the previous spot. I quickly scheduled a mammogram and an ultrasound. These tests revealed a new spot, for which I also had a biopsy. This time, my doctor sent the test to the Mayo Clinic.

In January 2011, my doctor told me I had lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), a type of breast cancer. A few months later, in May 2011, I had a double mastectomy.

Since then, I’ve had a total of four reconstructive surgeries and there are two more left. So far, my bills total $35,439. Between the Prayer Page giving and bill reductions I obtained, my financial burden has been—and continues to be—significantly lightened.

God has been so good to me and has taught me so much throughout my illness. I have found that I have nothing to fear as long as I have the facts and can make an informed decision. God has broad shoulders and will never leave me or forsake me.

He also has helped me to remain positive throughout this experience. When the doctor originally called me with the news of my cancer, I was home alone and cried out to God “So, what now?”

He told me to count it all joy, so I do.

Thank you to CHM and all of the kind folks who have helped me with my Prayer Page need! Your generosity and prayers mean so much to me.

What a joy it is to share with you that all of the medical bills related to my hip surgeries have been paid! God has provided through your generosity. Gene and I are so thankful to be part of His family. Thank you for caring and sharing to meet these medical bills.

No matter the size of the gift or the number of times you shared with us through Prayer Page giving, we see how God combined the resources and did through many people—a family—what we couldn’t do alone. We’re so excited to see His completion in His time.

Our joy is full and we want you to share in the rejoicing with us. May your heart and home be blessed by the great Giver.

We thank Him for you in Jesus’ name.

Daniel and I joined CHM in May 2011. We had never had medical insurance, but we believed in Christians helping and sharing with one another. We were thrilled when we learned about CHM and how it operates. Our first son, Travis, was born seven weeks premature and had a bent tibia. He spent 15 days in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and came home with a removable cast that straightened his foot though it didn’t correct the curve in his tibia bone.

Our second son, Laramy, made an even earlier appearance (born 12 weeks early) and spent nearly six weeks in the NICU. At birth, he had bleeding on his brain that caused delayed motor skill development.

When we joined CHM, I was pregnant for the third time and was obviously high risk. Emily, also premature, thankfully didn’t need to spend time in the NICU. We praised God for answered prayer. Because I was pregnant before joining, the expenses from her birth were listed on and met through the CHM Prayer Page.

It was so touching to receive money and cards of encouragement from people we didn’t even know. They reached out to us in our time of need and prayed for us.

We can’t say thank you enough! CHM members were God’s way of supplying our needs. Thank you for being that channel.

When Emily landed in the hospital with a bladder infection the following year, it was such a blessing to know that we were part of a ministry that would help meet the needs we incurred while there.

The CHM staff was very helpful and especially caring during that time. They committed to praying for Emily’s healing. We praised God because we knew she was on her way to better health. We believe we are here on this earth to bring honor and glory to God, our Creator and sustainer of life. To Him be all the glory and honor!

On July 13, 2013, I went to pick up a cake for our church’s Vacation Bible School. I asked my wife, Roxana, to go along because it was her birthday. We pulled out of our driveway and made the 30-mile round-trip.

I realized later that sometime during the trip my short-term memory had disappeared. I didn’t remember driving or any other details about the trip to the store. In fact, I couldn’t remember anything.

Roxana took me to the emergency room. After a series of tests, doctors discovered that I had a brain tumor. Four days later, surgeons removed the tumor and my short-term memory reappeared.

It wasn’t until that October that Roxana and I joined Christian Healthcare Ministries, so we knew my brain tumor would be considered pre-existing. My bills incurred prior to joining couldn’t be shared, but any future bills from my illness would be possible candidates for the Prayer Page.

Radiation later became a necessity in my battle against cancer. We are so grateful that CHM was there to help financially through the Prayer Page. Otherwise, I likely would have been denied treatment, giving me one year to live (according to my radiologist).

As soon as my name appeared on the Prayer Page, I began receiving checks from CHM comprised of donations made by fellow members. It was a manifestation of the biblical principle of praying for one another and carrying each other’s burdens.

The checks continued to arrive in my mailbox each month. CHM members shared $51,364 of my medical bills! The CHM family has exceeded all of our expectations.

Patience and trust were certainly lessons God taught me. Surgery and medication caused some depression, but the encouraging cards I received from my CHM brothers and sisters proved to be like the Bible story of Aaron and Hur. Just as they held up Moses’ arms and gave the Israelite army an advantage to victory, the prayers and cards I received gave me encouragement, words of peace, hope and love.

In the shadow of death, God gave peace and joy. My grandchildren, too, were a blessing because their questions gave me opportunities to share about the goodness of the Lord in times of trouble.

On October 24, 2014, I was told that my tumor was no longer a threat. I’ve been given a clean bill of health. To God be the glory!

My CHM family is a major part in my recovery and the life I am now enjoying.

I tell many people about the ministry. I tell them about the cards, the Prayer Page and everything I know about CHM. It’s just a small token of the gratitude I have for my CHM family.

Without your help, I would either be gone from this earth or I’d have overwhelming medical debt. Thank you to all at Christian Healthcare Ministries.

I used to be a Boston Marathon runner, but in 2009, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The disease progressed rapidly and I became handicapped within a matter of months. Treatment didn’t help and all my research came to dead ends.

To make matters worse, I knew that at some point I would need to find a different health care program than the one I had at the time.

My parents learned about Christian Healthcare Ministries when they attended a Christmas production at Hobe Sound Bible College in Hobe Sound, Fla.

They picked up an information pack for me to review. Thankful for their thoughtfulness, I called CHM for more information. A kind gentleman patiently answered my questions and explained how the program works. I hung up knowing right away that CHM membership was going to be a positive experience.

Several months after joining, I found a new treatment method through a doctor in Chicago. It involves using a patient’s own stem cells for healing. I contacted the doctor’s office and submitted an application to see if I was eligible for the treatment.

The waiting game began. I wrestled with worry and the fear that I wouldn’t be accepted.

A turning point came one September afternoon while I was praying on my patio. I asked God to show me whether I was able to receive treatment. Within a half hour, the doctor called. He was willing to treat me. I hung up the phone, overwhelmed with joy.

It’s been a long road and now I’m doing much better. I began taking steps again with a walker and, more recently, using crutches.

Incredibly, I’ve received nearly $218,000 in assistance with my medical bills, leaving only about $8,000 for CHM members to share via the Gold schedule for pre-existing conditions.

CHM is a wonderful ministry of people who, to me, seem like angels on earth.

Life is the most precious gift we’ve been given, and I’m so thankful for this “second chance” at life.

In 2014, my husband, John, and I researched our health care options.

I was turned down by a medical cost-sharing program because I have epilepsy. However, that organization referred us to Christian Healthcare Ministries. I joined at the Gold level in March 2014.

A month later I suffered a migraine with symptoms so serious I went to the emergency room. In the following weeks I experienced unusual recurring headaches.

My condition worsened rapidly to the point that I had vision problems. I went to the eye doctor in May. He referred me to a neurologist, who scheduled an MRI. The results showed a tumor growing on my optic nerve. In June I underwent neurosurgery to remove the tumor.

All the while I prayed, “Lord, I need you to walk me through this. I’m not sure I understand it all.” I couldn’t see well, was in pain and wasn’t even sure what questions to ask. A friend of mine, Jane, was kind enough to drive me to my doctor appointments, take notes, and ask my doctor all the right questions.

I called CHM staff member Dick Lupton because he was the one who helped John and me sign up for CHM. He was kind and helped me understand how to submit bills to the ministry. I also spoke with Amanda Moore, my Needs Processing representative, who was patient, caring and competent. At first, I didn’t easily grasp what information I needed to send to CHM because of the medicine I was taking, but in time the process became much easier.

This ordeal was my first experience with CHM and being on the Prayer Page (as my condition was pre-existing). I was concerned about how long it would take for my bills to be shared. However, once the paperwork was in order I began receiving a check each month.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude because I had never before experienced God working through His people in this way.

I received a discount on all my medical bills except one. So far, CHM members have shared $22,732 of my bills and I have $53,862 remaining. Today I’m doing much better. I’ve had a few complications since my surgery, but the Lord always sees me through. I’ll soon undergo a follow-up MRI to see if my tumor has returned.

Through my medical condition, God has deepened my trust and faith in Him. I’ve had to learn patience because my recovery has been slow. I’ve had very hard days and others that were sweet because I was resting in Him. I know He has gone before me, beside me and behind me from the beginning. I’ve felt His arms around me when I couldn’t see, and I enjoyed my quiet times with Him in a way I’ll never forget.

When people ask how we’ve adjusted to this major change in our lives, we share information about CHM. We show them the Prayer Page and the ministry’s website so we can answer their questions. I tell them how fellow Christians have helped with my medical bills and explain that we pray for each other, send cards and provide financial support.

Thank you, fellow CHM members, for your expressions of care and concern; you have blessed me in many ways. On my not-so-good days, I reread your cards and letters. I also appreciate the encouragement and help I received from CHM staff and the lovely Scripture verse cards enclosed with each check from the ministry office.

It is my privilege to walk this road with you.

When I wanted to stay home full-time to care for our four children, my husband, David, and I decided to join Christian Healthcare Ministries. However, we were nervous about how the ministry would work for us because David has frequent health problems.

In fact, before joining, David had a stress fracture in his foot—something we thought would heal itself. Over time, however, the pain worsened and the ligaments and tendons in his foot essentially dissolved. The doctor recommended extensive surgery.

This meant two things for our family: First, David would have to end his career in construction and I would have to go back to work to make ends meet while he recovered. Also, this would be our first experience using the CHM program.

David underwent surgery in July 2014 and incurred $37,000 in medical bills. We were shocked by the cost and not sure if our need would be met since it was a pre-existing condition. After speaking with a CHM staff member, we learned David’s name would appear on the Prayer Page in the ministry’s monthly newsletter.

We then called his doctor to explain the process. We weren’t sure what reaction we would get when we told him we were members of a Christian health care sharing ministry and that payment might be delayed. We were terrified we would drag the name of Jesus through the mud.

You can imagine the relief and delight we felt when we received a check for $4,000 that first month. David’s surgeon was thankful for the money and we were excited to see what God would do through His people who are part of Christian Healthcare Ministries.

God acted again because we received financial assistance from the hospital. We requested that David’s name be removed from the Prayer Page to enable others to receive the blessing of members’ donations.

David is doing well now and his foot is healing steadily.

The Prayer Page was, quite literally, a godsend. We were surprised by the generosity of everyone involved—we received nearly $13,000 from Prayer Page giving—and are so grateful for the help we received. We didn’t imagine that things would go as smoothly as they did.

God taught us to trust Him to provide for our needs. He is faithful, even when we are not. And now, even our brand-new donut business is picking up.

We want to send a big thank you to CHM and to God’s people.

In 2011, my health insurance became unaffordable and I was deemed “uninsurable” by because of my pre-existing brain tumors.

My husband, John, and I joined CHM at the Gold level that October.

In April 2013, symptoms related to the growth of one of my two tumors became severe. My neurosurgeon ordered an MRI, which revealed that the tumor was causing brain swelling. Surgery was the next step.

I was very concerned about the costs. I knew from my research that CHM offers two programs for pre-existing conditions. Under the Gold level’s pre-existing schedule, I had $50,000 available to me at the time. The remaining bills would be put on the CHM newsletter’s Prayer Page so that readers could voluntarily donate toward my bills.

It was September 2013 and I scheduled my surgery for January 28, 2014, with the understanding that the hospital required a down payment.

Everything went smoothly until a month before the surgery, when the hospital notified me that I had to make full payment upfront because I was a self-pay patient.

I immediately contacted Lori Perko in the CHM Member Advocate department to explain my dilemma. Lori reassured me that CHM would send a check before the surgery* in the amount still available to me on the Gold schedule.

I was very apprehensive about how the Prayer Page would work because I still had about $40,000 in remaining medical bills. However, the process proved easy because CHM staff members were so helpful. I’d especially like to thank Lauren, Sherry, Jack and Rosie for their encouragement to me and my family.

Each month, I received a check from the CHM office reflecting donations sent from members to help with my remaining bills. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity, prayers and encouraging cards and emails from members and CHM staff.

I had a total of $95,512 in bills. After $10,857 in discounts and $50,000 shared through the CHM Gold schedule, members stepped up to share the remaining $34,655 via the Prayer Page!

The way that CHM members lifted me up in prayer and freely gave of their time, money and love has spoken to me, helped me walk closer with God and increased my desire to “pay it forward” and help others.

I’m doing much better now and evaluating my health daily. I really don’t know how I could have gone through my medical ordeal without God, family and CHM staff and members. I am blessed!

CHM is so much better than health insurance and I have recommended it to family and friends.

*Editor’s note: When possible, CHM works with members to share bills by a health care provider’s deadline, especially to secure a large discount. However, upfront payment is not the typical method of sharing needs. For more information, please see CHM Guideline L.

Thanks to the Prayer Page, a long-time, pre-existing health problem has been amazingly resolved.

My shoulders have sustained sports injuries—one of them much worse than the other. It became so painful that it woke me up every night. I had no health insurance and, after years of increasing pain, was feeling desperate. Thankfully, the Lord directed me to Christian Healthcare Ministries.

I learned about the Prayer Page and contacted the CHM staff. They were very informative and helpful. I was concerned about the viability of the Prayer Page, but they helped put my fears to rest.

One staff member told me that contributions toward Prayer Page needs vary from month to month. As the Bible says in Exodus 14:13, she encouraged me to “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” I felt comforted and decided to trust the Lord with my shoulder replacement surgery.

The surgery was performed in April 2011. The cost was approximately $12,300, much lower than the original price tag of $49,600. Bill reductions totaling $38,000 made the difference.

My shoulder hasn’t felt this good in many years, and I am very thankful to the Lord and to CHM.

I’ve been able to make all my monthly payments on the medical bills. The Prayer Page has brought my wife, Suzanne, and I much closer to paying off our bills than we had first anticipated.

I have recommended CHM to many of my friends and have been blessed myself to contribute to Prayer Page needs, helping others in the Body of Christ as I have been helped.

Surely we’re seeing the grace of our Lord Jesus working through CHM!

God has been so good to us. His people—including CHM members—are ambassadors of His goodness. We hope you are encouraged by our story.

My wife, Cathy, and I have been married 43 years. I am pastor of a small rural church in a community of about 450 people. Cathy formerly served as a school librarian and we had health insurance through her job. (She became a paraplegic after an auto accident in 1996, so health insurance for her was a necessity).

When Cathy retired in 2009, it took almost her entire Social Security check to continue on her health insurance plan. We couldn’t afford to keep me on the policy.

I was always extremely healthy. I knew about Christian Healthcare Ministries and joined in 2010 because I was 62 and knew I needed protection against major health problems.

My need for health care cost assistance went from unlikely to a reality within a few days of joining CHM. I had a routine physical and my PSA level was very high (21 rather than the normal range of one to 4).

I underwent a biopsy and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The medical bills from the initial surgery totaled more than $50,000. After discounts and write-offs the charges were about $18,000. Although we were extremely grateful for the help we’d received, making small payments to each of our medical providers still added up to about $400 per month—an added burden on our already-strained finances.

Furthermore, my doctors strongly recommended a series of 40 radiation treatments that would cost $200,000 to $250,000. These bills were ineligible for sharing through the regular CHM program because the condition was pre-existing.

We believed that God would provide for us and had been praying faithfully since the beginning of our ordeal. He showed us His supernatural provision. Beth Kabellar, a CHM staff member, encouraged me to submit my bills for listing on the newsletter Prayer Page. At the time I didn’t understand what the Prayer Page was or how it worked.

I thank God for CHM members, Beth and all the CHM staff. Everyone I’ve spoken with has been caring, helpful and professional.

In addition to the financial gifts we’ve received, through the Prayer Page we’ve also made the acquaintance of some distant cousins we’ve never met! Also, we have some dear friends who are missionaries and their mission organization is now supporting us through the Prayer Page.

And the expensive radiation treatments? The Lord led us to a pre-existing condition insurance program, though at $8,000 we thought we couldn’t afford it. We didn’t make the need known to anyone but our heavenly Father. Amazingly, checks from family members, friends, church members and fellow pastors began arriving in the mail and the total was—you guessed it—about $8,000!

It is such a privilege and blessing to be a part of God’s big family. We are so thankful for the CHM “branch” of the family and the generosity the Holy Spirit has placed in their hearts to help people like Cathy and me—people they’ve never met—in our time of need.

Thank you. We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown so freely to us as James was listed on the newsletter Prayer Page. We definitely felt the love of Jesus from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have truly experienced God at work. Through CHM, God turned a frightening time into one of celebration. His promise of provision is true. We love telling people our story and encouraging others to jump on the CHM bandwagon of blessings. It’s so much more than financial support; each special, encouraging note along the way arrived just when we needed to get a boost from Jesus. Our hearts overflow with love for everyone who has impacted our lives through this ministry.

I accepted Jesus into my heart in 1972. At the age of 15, I had no idea what I was doing. Later in life, Christians told me I had been born again, but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t talk to Jesus. He was like my non-imaginary, imaginary friend. (Now I turn my imagination and creativity into novels for kids, writing strong characters who solve problems through ingenuity and integrity.)

My husband, Ron, and I work from home, recently becoming empty-nesters. We still have two “boys” though: Ticket and Scout, our devoted Shelties. (Ticket also is a character in one of my novels.)

At 16 years old, I developed irritable bowel syndrome. I missed many events and spent much of my time in the bathroom. At a church service three years later, I answered a summons for prayer for “someone with intestinal problems.” I had two choices: race to the bathroom or run to the altar. God healed me that night. I rarely had that problem again.

A year later, however, I began experiencing heartburn, nausea and stomach aches. A visit to the doctor revealed I had a hiatal hernia. The condition runs in my family. My brother died from esophageal cancer at age 43 because of his undiagnosed hiatal hernia. I spent the next 36 years on acid blockers like Tagamet and Prilosec.

In 2005, I started experiencing full body muscle aches, pains and weakness. It continued to worsen and eventually became debilitating. I had to give up playing sports. I could walk on flat surfaces, but slight inclines hurt and left me sore for days.

I knew I had to get off acid blockers but I have a lot of food allergies and chemical sensitivities. The five tests I needed to qualify me for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) surgery were going to be a big problem. No surgeon would perform the surgery without them.

In 2008 the acid blockers stopped working. I had some relief but a lot of heartburn and nausea as well.

Finally, in 2011, a compassionate surgeon said he’d do the surgery.

I planned it as soon as possible because I was afraid I’d change my mind. My drug sensitivities made recuperation uncomfortable.

Two days before my GERD surgery, I experienced sharp pains in my abdomen. I had emergency surgery for a burst appendix. I awoke in recovery with the doctor who was supposed to perform my GERD surgery walking toward me. He asked what I was doing there. He was supposed to operate on me the next day.

I had the GERD surgery six months later in June 2012. The recovery was awful. At home I strongly reacted to the medication and had to stop taking it. The pain made me sick.

I cried out to the Lord constantly. It was the prayers of my family and friends that carried me through.

Hallelujah! I have been acid blocker-free for five months. Though my muscles are still weak, they don’t ache as much. I often have to take a homeopathic acid reducer. But that is so much better than being on acid blockers.

Every time I receive a heartfelt card, prayer, or donation from my CHM family, I’m touched and moved to tears. I keep every card and donation notice. I think and pray about all of you often. I feel that God is pleased with the way CHM works and will continue to bless us as we give to each other in tough times.

Thank you so much CHM staff and members for your sacrificial generosity. My family and I will never forget it!

In autumn 2013 I was semi-retired, between jobs and looking for affordable health insurance. None of the Obamacare options were financially feasible. Plus, I was unable to get answers to my coverage questions.

A friend from church suggested I check out Christian Healthcare Ministries. What I found sounded wonderful—and affordable. I joined at the end of 2013, added the Brother’s Keeper option and still was able to make it work with my tight budget.

One of my concerns was my deteriorating left shoulder. X-rays showed that the pain and discomfort was due to a “bone-on-bone” situation inside the joint. I was scared about finances and was contemplating various alternatives. Because it was a pre-existing condition, there was a limit on the amount of help I would receive from CHM under the Gold sharing schedule for pre-existing conditions.

When a CHM staff member suggested I consent to listing my need on the newsletter’s Prayer Page, I felt odd. I thought listing my name and asking for help sounded too much like begging. Then, after prayer and urging of some Christian friends, I submitted the information for sharing my bills through the Prayer Page.

Thank goodness I did.

There were some dark days when I was feeling down and still recovering. It seemed that medical bills putting my need over the Gold schedule limit were all I received. Even with discounts and early pay reductions, the bills piled up.

Soon, however, I started receiving cards and letters of encouragement from fellow CHM members. Those notes and Bible verses reminded me of God’s faithfulness to His children, and that He would never leave or forsake me.

I then received my first Prayer Page check from CHM. I immediately teared up as I realized there are true Christ-followers who put others first. My prayers continued to be answered as monthly checks, cards and notes made their way into my mailbox. They helped reduce my angst and financial woes. To date, I have received $19,179 from Prayer Page donations.

All of this support gives me great encouragement as I undergo additional surgeries. I had an infection that required the removal of my artificial joint and replacement with a temporary one. And there will be a third operation to replace that.

I jokingly tell my doctor that my condition is the gift that keeps on giving. In truth, it is CHM members who are the gift! I’m undoubtedly blessed to be among such generous and gracious Christians who share thoughts, prayers and financial gifts with those of us who are in need.

With their help and the surgeon’s care I may yet resume normal activities. My “thank you” hardly seems enough in exchange for the kindness I have received, but it accurately describes my sentiments. That is why I have recommended CHM to many people.

May God continue to bless CHM and its wonderful members.

As a single mom with six children—two of whom have special needs—things are always tight financially. However, God shows me His faithfulness by providing for me and my family. One of those provisions is CHM; I’ve been a member since July 2005.

I’ve suffered from varicose veins since my first pregnancy 30 years ago, and the pain grew worse with each of the pregnancies that followed. I am the primary caregiver for my 12-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy and requires a lot of physical assistance. When God eventually provided me with help from other caregivers who could come to my home, I knew it was time to stop putting off my surgery.

I had two laser procedures done on my right leg in March 2012. I made it clear that I was a self-pay patient and belonged to a Christian health cost-sharing ministry that would help me pay the bills. My health care provider was kind enough to give me a discount on the related bills, and I was able to set up a monthly payment plan.

My condition was pre-existing, so these bills did not qualify for CHM’s regular cost-sharing program. However, the staff at CHM told me that I could have my need listed on the Prayer Page, which has been very encouraging.

I’m now waiting for a follow-up procedure to help with my condition, and I know that God will be faithful in providing for that as well.

I’ve really appreciated receiving gifts from other CHM members each month toward my bill. Many of them come with a personal note. The fact that my monthly gift goes to help fellow believers like the ones who have helped me with my bills is one of my favorite things about CHM.

Thank you, CHM members, for faithfully sharing one another’s burdens!

I’ve been a CHM member since May 2010, and I’d like to offer my thanks to the ministry and the Prayer Page contributors who shared the cost of my cervical surgery. Your help, as my Christian family and friends, has meant much to me.

I was involved in a car accident in Feb. 2009, which caused very severe neck and arm pain. My doctors the following year recommended cervical disc replacement surgery on my C4 and C5 vertebrae.

In Dec. 2010, the neck and arm pain returned. I underwent several medical tests, which revealed that my body rejected the disc replacement and never completely healed. My doctors recommended cervical fusion surgery.

Because my back problems began before I joined CHM, they were considered a pre-existing condition. Though my need was not eligible for CHM’s regular cost-sharing program, the generosity of those who give to Prayer Page needs has been a great blessing to me. I’m feeling much better and my back continues to heal. I want to thank God for His healing and the CHM team for all of the work that they have put into making this ministry work.

After learning about the U.S. health care law, it became clear to my husband and I that keeping our insurance policy wasn’t something we could afford to do. We faced increasing premiums and deductibles, not to mention an extremely limited health care provider network.

We felt we needed an alternative and prayed for an option that would make sense for us. We started doing research and were very worried until we found CHM through a blog article.

We were intrigued and a little apprehensive. We had no idea that health cost sharing ministries existed and the concept sounded too good to be true. The more we researched and read, the more we felt sure that CHM—a viable, eligible option under the law—was the answer to our prayers.

We took the leap of faith and joined in January 2014, cancelling our insurance policy.

I joined the CHM family with a pre-existing condition: an ovarian cyst that we discovered one year prior to joining. My doctor had taken a watch-and-wait approach, but because we weren’t limited to a specific health care provider network with CHM, I started seeing a new doctor.

From the first ultrasound, the new doctor’s diagnosis was completely different. I was told that the cyst wouldn’t go away on its own. Instead, it would cause more problems the longer it remained. She suggested removal via laparoscopic surgery and I agreed.

As a CHM Gold member, I knew I was eligible for up to $15,000 on the pre-existing conditions sharing schedule during my first year of membership. However, we were still worried because we were new members and unsure of how well the ministry worked. We hadn’t expected to need CHM’s help so soon.

I exchanged a couple of emails with Beth Kabellar, our Needs Processing representative, and was reassured that the surgery—and all related bills—would be shared by CHM. I also spoke with Ken Lefever in the Member Assistance department and again with Beth for more specific medical bill questions. They were both very helpful and deserve an “A+” for member service.

Submitting bills for sharing was easier than I thought, and I really appreciated receiving a postcard from CHM confirming that my bills would be processed for sharing. My husband and I had peace of mind.

It turns out that we needn’t have worried at all. The whole process was smooth, and the biggest speed bump was explaining CHM to our medical providers so we would be billed correctly. But that only took one short conversation.

We were impressed with CHM’s promptness, efficiency and level of commitment to its members’ well being. When I submitted my first batch of bills, I included a note informing CHM that the full amount was due on the day of my surgery. CHM received the bills about two weeks prior to the surgery and I didn’t dream of getting the funds early. However, two days before the procedure I received a call from CHM’s Finance department; the staff member wanted to make sure I had the funds to pay. My check was ready and would be mailed out that day, but it would probably arrive after surgery unless CHM rush-mailed it.

We didn’t want to put an unnecessary burden on the ministry since we had the funds to pay in full, but I was certainly relieved to know that we would be reimbursed so quickly and that our bank account wouldn’t be depleted by this big expense for long. Though I told the staff member that regular mail was fine, we received the check the day after surgery—incredibly fast considering that it was mailed from Ohio to California!* I couldn’t be more grateful to CHM, its members, its staff, and above all, to God for leading us to this amazing ministry.

Today I’m doing well and headed toward a full recovery. I really believe God directed us to CHM. Had we not been members, I wouldn’t have been able to see the new doctor who diagnosed my problem correctly. This medical difficulty—and the support from CHM—has shown us that good things happen when we trust God to show us the way and put our life in His hands.

*Editor’s note: In general, sharing time for medical bills is 60 to 90 days from the date CHM receives your bills. When possible, CHM works with members to expedite sharing, especially if health care providers offer a discount of 40 percent or more. Notify the CHM staff immediately if your provider sets a time limit for reduced charges.