By Verna Dobraska, Corinth, Texas
Editor’s note: This information was published in the January 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.
This year marks our 30th anniversary as CHM members. The ministry has been part of our lives through many milestones, good times and tough times. Since we joined in 1989, we have raised five children, moved from Montana to Texas and experienced numerous accidents, surgeries and other medical incidents.
We’ve also seen CHM transform from a more grassroots-type of program to what it is today: A nationwide ministry serving hundreds of thousands of Christians. Despite its sophistication, our experience is that the staff and leaders remain compassionate and caring.
My husband, Glen, and I first heard about the ministry on our local radio station in Glendive, Mont. A Christian financial expert named Larry Burkett talked about it on his radio show.
We’d never had health insurance but were intrigued by the idea of Christians carrying each other’s burdens through health cost sharing. Though medical bills were shared differently back then, the program worked and we began learning how to depend on God’s people to meet our needs.
The most traumatic incident we experienced was in 2002. Our then 12-year-old daughter, Kristi, had an accident during which a horse stepped on her head! She suffered a depressed, compound skull fracture.
Of course, we were shocked and frightened, but it turned out to be an amazing time of drawing close to God and even bringing our church family closer together. We felt relieved to not have to worry about finances because CHM came through and shared all the bills. Beth Kabellar—a staff member who is now retired—tirelessly worked on our bills and did a wonderful job.
Thankfully, Kristi made a full recovery and, because of her incident, she decided to become a nurse! She is recently married and lives near Minneapolis, Minn.
All of our family members—except our youngest son, Michael—have had medical needs shared through CHM. Over the years we’ve tangled with leg and shoulder injuries, diabetes, female problems, infections, concussions and more.
The ministry staff was always willing to guide and coach us. We nearly always received sizeable discounts on our medical bills because of our status as self-pay patients—amounting to tens of thousands of dollars over time. In all, CHM has shared nearly $145,000 for our family’s healthcare needs!
We like every aspect of CHM, including the Brother’s Keeper and Prayer Page programs. We appreciate being able to tangibly bless others by sending cards, Scripture verses and words of encouragement.
In addition, we have used the Bring-a-Friend referral program to tell our friends and church family about CHM. Some have joined and I enjoy helping them submit their medical bills and sharing my own insights and stories about how the ministry has helped our family.
Today our children are grown and have families of their own in Montana, Iowa and Minnesota. One of our sons and both of our daughters have decided to transition to their own CHM memberships.
We’re so thankful that CHM is a tool God uses to bring peace in life’s trying times. Over these 30 years we’ve seen the ministry use the biblical principle of financial stewardship through a consistent, dependable process.
Thank you, CHM, for always being the best option for us!