Medical bills don't take a vacation: Prayer Page giving in the summer months

From the July 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

The long, lazy summer days can be the perfect opportunity to pump the breaks on life’s hectic pace—unless you’re facing a tough medical diagnosis or an expensive health crisis. The excitement of summer activities makes it easy to overlook the fact that many Christian brothers and sisters are facing mounting health expenses this season—and medical bills don’t take a vacation.

A simple and meaningful way to support these fellow believers in Christ throughout the year is CHM’s Prayer Page, which is featured in each monthly issue of Heartfelt Magazine and is one of the ministry’s programs for maintained pre-existing conditions.

Prayer Page giving is voluntary and is easy to fit in almost any budget, with recent recommended giving amounts ranging between $10 to $15 per family; this month’s recommended amount is $11.17. (For info on how to give, see the sidebars on pages 7 to 9 of this magazine.)

Here’s what some members have recently said about the help they received through the Prayer Page:

Having the Prayer Page family help meet our financial need was an absolutely wonderful experience. I very much enjoyed writing thank you notes to all the members who supported us financially and through cards of encouragement. My wife and I will always be contributors to others’ needs on the Prayer Page. What a great outreach! -Tom Westcott, Glenwood Springs, Colo. ($52,563 shared through the Prayer Page)

There aren’t enough words to describe our [Prayer Page] experience. [CHM is] an absolutely incredible ministry. Joel felt the extent of fellow members’ care and concern each month when he received cards with encouraging words, Scripture verses and prayers. It was also (pleasantly) overwhelming to witness how generous God’s people can be. –Linda Goodwin, Stillwater, Minn. ($29,264 shared)

In addition to receiving checks to share all of my bills, I was the recipient of numerous cards from other CHM members asking how I was doing and saying they were praying for me. CHM is an organization of integrity that keeps its word. –Paul Baker, Troy, Ohio ($3,798 shared)

What you give matters. One hundred percent of Prayer Page contributions is used to pay members’ medical bills. You might wish to make a Prayer Page contribution (and we hope you will). But you may have urgent needs of your own. In either case, here are some ways warmer weather can help you trim costs.

Items that cost less in the summer:

  • Many produce items (berries, melons, cucumbers, corn and many more)
  • School supplies (August and September; some states offer tax-free shopping days)
  • Gym memberships
  • Winter clothes
  • Furniture, household items and tools found at garage or yard sales
  • Free or inexpensive outdoor music performances and festivals

 

Other ways to save during summer:

  • Go to the park instead of museums, movie theaters, etc.
  • Fire up the grill or plan a picnic rather than going out to eat.
  • Walk or bike to work to save on gasoline costs.
  • Use a smartphone app to find the lowest-priced gasoline.
  • Host birthday or graduation parties in your back yard rather than at a costly venue.
  • Line-dry your clothes.
  • Turn down your water heater.
  • Program your thermostat. (Though energy costs can be higher in the summer, you’re also likely to use less electricity due to longer daylight hours.)
  • Plant your own garden. (See the "Produce pros and cons" blog from the June 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine)
  • Take advantage of 4th of July and Labor Day sales weekends.
  • Visit your local library (usually air-conditioned!) if you find yourself with extra downtime.
  • Take a staycation.
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