And a little (mite) shall lead them

By Rev. Dr. Howard S. Russell, CHM President & CEO

From the October 2018 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

The “widow’s mite” is crucial to people burdened with high healthcare costs.
That’s the encouraging message from a CHM member who believes in the power of giving what we’re able to give to help pay fellow believers’ medical bills.

Christy Nealon of Idaho Springs, Colo., sent the ministry a letter about how she finds great things among the small things to encourage CHM members using our monthly Prayer Page. The Prayer Page is one of CHM’s programs for pre-existing conditions, helping with costs ineligible for sharing in our regular programs (Gold, Silver and Bronze).

We’re sometimes asked why pre-existing conditions aren’t simply included in general sharing. The answer is that the effect would be stunning on your monthly financial gifts, which would have to be more-than-substantially raised. (Editor’s note: See our pre-existing conditions page for more answers to frequently asked questions about pre-existing conditions.)

Therefore, the ministry has two programs to help with pre-existing conditions. These enable CHM to remain affordable while aiding members with pre-existing conditions. One is the $50,000 three-year schedule for members who join at the Gold level. The other is the Prayer Page, which in 2017 saw members share over $4.7 million to care for their fellow Christians.

Christy’s letter about the Prayer Page brought to mind the scene from the ministry of Jesus as described in Luke 21:1-4: “As Jesus looked up, He saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ He said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”

Here’s some of what Christy wrote to us:

Dear CHM,

I just read a letter to the editor about a member who finally chose to make an additional contribution to the Prayer Page. I have been a fund raiser for many years with different organizations for product donations and financial donations. The mantra I always told the donors, who said they didn’t feel whatever they wanted to donate was enough, was “every penny adds up to $1, making every cent valuable.”

When a donated item for auction was small and the business or person felt bad giving such a “small” item, I would reply it will join other items to complete a full basket.

I once had a shop employee who had no cash on her and wanted to donate to a local person who was having medical cost problems beyond what the family could afford.

The community was seeking auction items and/or cash donations; the employee reached into her wallet, found 75 cents, and said, “It’s not much, but here.” I shared her story with others, and after walking up and down the main street of the town I had gathered another $150 in coins from locals.

After joining CHM and having a medical debt over our head—$16,000 for which I had set up monthly payments—I still wanted to give to the Prayer Page...I could send at least $10 a month extra. My husband and I both agreed that when our medical bills were paid we’d increase that amount. But I know that the $10 extra each month helped add “to the pot” for those in need.

Even $10 extra may be too much for some people to contribute, so I hope that they take my story into consideration and know that adding an extra $1 per month is better than nothing. Also, taking the change from your pocket and placing it in a jar, which many of us already do, and then depositing those coins in your checking account for an additional donation every few months is another way to contribute.

Thank you, CHM, for offering my husband and me an alternative way to pay medical bills. You are a godsend!

This isn’t to suggest that someone should give their last cent to the Prayer Page; instead, it’s a request to please review the Prayer Page list found in each issue of Heartfelt Magazine, and do what you can.

Thank you and God bless you.

©2019 Christian Healthcare Ministries. All rights reserved.