Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thankful for the Lord's Provision

I have written many of these posts in the last almost two years:

but I wanted to share that this week we received this in the mail:

Yep - our debt for Hudson's delivery has been reduced by almost $16,000.  Pretty sweet.

For those of you who have half the day to read how this came about keep scrolling.  For the rest of you we simply ask that you praise the Lord with us.


After being denied for state Medicaid to help cover our pregnancy and delivery expenses, we sought counsel from the hospital's financial aid department.  They assured us that the easiest and most beneficial thing to do would be to apply for Medicaid Spend Down.  Seemed simple enough.  Fast forward: Hudson is born and on July 3, 2012 (the date is burned into my brain) I drove over to Norton Hospital and turned in about 5 pounds of paperwork to the financial aid people.  They said it would take about 4-6 weeks to hear anything.

After 6 weeks, I contact the financial aid office and am told it's in the hands of the DCBS (Department of Community Based Services) and to give it some time.  I call every week for about another month and am finally given the name of the case-worked at the DCBS so I can call (read: annoy) her.  I call her every other day for about two weeks and hear absolutely nothing.  So I head to her office where I am given the run around that I will hear something soon, they are backed up, don't worry, blah blah blah.  I contact her either by phone or in person every week for several, several months and am always told the same thing.

In February 2013 (yes, 7 months later) I receive a collections letter from the hospital.  I called, rather upset, because I was told the account would be on hold until the Medicaid Spend Down decision was finalized.  Long story short, after many call transfers I speak with a lady who tells me that my Medicaid Spend Down was denied because I failed to cooperate in providing information.  Huh?  Apparently I refused to provide them documentation as to how much child support I receive monthly.  Yes, it was news to me too.  I quickly explain that James and I are married, he is Hudson's father, we've never been divorced or even separated, blah blah blah.  She gives me another number to call, this the supervisor of the financial aid department.

After speaking with the supervisor, it is confirmed that I was denied because of the child support issue.  I ask if it was simply a coding error but she reveals that there are notes on my file from the case-worked stating she made several requests of me and my "ex" to provide this documentation but was refused.  She said she will send the case to the office in Frankfort for it to be reviewed.  I talk to the supervisor at least twice a week until April.

Fast forward to April.  We have moved to Missouri and I call to speak to the supervisor and am told to my joy that I was approved!  I should receive the information in the mail within 7-10 business days.  I am ecstatic so I wait and wait and wait and nothing comes.  After calling the supervisor several times and told to "wait" I call the office in Frankfort.  She had made the error of telling me who she had contacted so I contacted him.  To my shock he tells me that he has no record of my application, of her request for a review, nothing.  I call her back and speak with her supervisor who only tells me he'll look into it (never heard anything from him by the way). 

Thankfully the man in Frankfort actually did his job and on July 3, 2013 (a year after my original application) I received word that I am actually approved for Medicaid Spend Down for May - August 2012.

So far it has only covered the Norton Hospital Bill, which was a HUGE chunk of our debt so I'm not complaining.  Our OB/GYN doesn't accept Medicaid Spend Down so we're still on the monthly payment plan with her.  We'd miraculously paid off my urologist before moving to Missouri so it's a moot point there.  I'm waiting to hear from the C-Section anesthesiologist (apparently putting people to sleep and waking them back up is quite the money-maker) and Baptist Hospital (for the thousands of dollars in labs I had done at various times) to see how their bills work out.

If you've hung in this long - thanks!  I know that was a lot to read. 

I have no idea why God allowed this to be such a drawn-out and frustrating process.  I still wonder why he didn't allow me to conceive while I was covered under the seminary insurance.  I question why he didn't give me favor to get approved for the Medicaid while pregnant.  But the Lord's thoughts are not my thoughts and while I don't understand (and perhaps never will) I have two options: A) acknowledge his goodness and trust him or B) look for flaws in his plan and doubt his goodness.  I'll take the first option and continue to thank the Lord for his provision in providing the money for every monthly payment we make on our little guy.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ministry Update

We have now been in northeast Missouri for almost 5 months!   When we arrived the week of Easter, we hit the ground running and haven't slowed down much since.  So a ministry update is seriously long overdue.  Here's what we've been up to lately:

The last week of June we hosted a Vacation Bible School.  The Lord was so gracious that we had a total of 19 students - that's up from only 9 last summer!  So much fun was had by all and we had one student come to faith in Jesus and two realize their need to be obedient in baptism.

PBC hasn't had a revival in several years and one deacon in particular really desired to have one.  So one we had, indeed.  James' friend Lenny came down from Chicago and preached wonderful messages on the transformative power of the gospel.  Local believers provided special music each service.  Again, like VBS, the Lord was so gracious to bless our efforts and we had great attendance.

Salvations and Baptism
We've had three people profess faith in Jesus in our last five months - two adults and one child.  The two adults have had to move from our community but quickly connected with a local church and have already followed in obedience in baptism.  The child who professed faith was baptized along with the two other children from VBS.  It was James' first opportunity to baptize anyone.  We are so thankful that the Lord has allowed us to see fruit quickly and we pray for even more.

State Fair and other Associational Work
One thing I immediately noticed about our work here is how tightly the local association works together.  So many of the local pastors (including our Director of Missions) came to our revival which was such an encouragement.  I recently got to go to the Missouri State Fair for the day with other ministers from the association to share the gospel with other attendees at the fair.  In our four hours of work, we shared the gospel with 95 people and 7 professed faith. 

These are just the highlights of the past five months.  In addition, we've had the youth and children over several times, visited the local nursing homes every month, gone visiting with other church members, worshiped at local hymn sings, attended WMU meetings, etc... 
How you can pray for us:
  • Time Management!  Particularly for James, our time is stretched and we need to be more intentional about using it well.
  • Relationships - we have befriended several people/families in our community who are not believers.  Pray for these relationships to grow and that we might be bold in sharing the gospel.  Pray specifically for LH, JM, RL, and the S family.
  • Beginning New Ministries:  We have plans for two or three new ministries at PBC. 
  • Praise!  I had recently been struggling with a bit of loneliness as there aren't too many stay-at-home Mamas my age in our community.  The Lord very quickly answered my prayer as at our revival I met another pastor's wife from a church about 45 minutes away that hosts a weekly "Mornings with Moms" Bible Study every Thursday.  It starts next week and I can't tell you how excited I am about getting out and meeting other Mamas.