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The "None" Box
When asked to indicate their religious affiliation, more and more people are choosing to check the "none" box. In other words, the number of people that do not identify with any organized religion is on the rise. Pastors and other church officials often fret over this growing statistic, but in healthcare ministry, it’s just another day at the office.
I have spoken with people who are Pagan, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and an untold number of people who choose not to identify with any particular religion. I also speak with many who identify themselves as Christian, but no longer regularly attend church. No matter what religion or non-religion of these people, they all have something in common. They are all going through a challenging time of life. They are often alone, definitely not in control of what is happening to them, and facing everything from life-changing illnesses and injuries, mental health challenges, and end of life fears and concerns.
Into each of these situations, we enter in with the love and compassion of Jesus to spend time, listen to stories, hold hands, and bring comfort, forgiveness and hope. We enjoy the unforced rhythms of God’s grace together. What a privilege it is shining the light of Jesus’ love behind the walls!
Chaplain Mark Wenzel
Hospital Health Care
Caring for hospitalized individuals is where it all began, and this continues to be an important ministry. Often patients are far from home, making it hard for their pastors and congregations to easily serve them. Institutional Ministries offers a bridge between of care, with in-person chaplains who bring comfort to hearts darkened by illness, pain or grief. Institutional Ministries shines the light of Jesus wherever people are behind a wall.
Mental Health Care
People who suffer with Mental Health Issues are both young and old, and they struggle with everything from depression and anxiety, to learning disabilities and substance abuse. Nevertheless, they are all dearly loved by our gracious God, who invites us to join him in this amazing ministry — shining the light of Jesus’ love on the walled-in souls of our communities!
Latest Health Care Articles
Check out our IM.Life stories, articles and experiences.
More Precious than Sparrows
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 (NIV)Read More
The Man Who Talks To God
Cora was a four-year old little girl I visited in the hospital who had questions about God. Her mom confessed that she knew hardly anything about God. When I talked to Cora about her questions: “Who is God, where does He...Read More
Call him, "Mr. Tattoo." His whole body was covered with tattoos like Queequeg in the novel, Moby Dick. Some of the tattoos were pornographic. I would see most of them as he rested on his hospital bed in his gym shorts. His...Read More
Precious In God’s Sight
As a hospital chaplain, I have visited people from numerous Christian denominations and non-Christian belief systems. I have ministered to people of different races, of different cultures, of various sexual preferences, and...Read More
Softball with God
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Gal. 5:7) Inawas a native American with great athletic skills who loved to play softball. However, when her doctor told her that she...Read More
Four Years of Fighting Cancer
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1). Before Jesus spoke these words from the cross, they were spoken by a shepherd boy turned King. When I...Read More
Its a Win-Win
Yes, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 (EHV) Before I joined Institutional Ministries and started hanging out at a hospital most days of the week, I had very little understanding of medical care...Read More
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:19 When Jesus...Read More
A retired medical doctor was in an accident in which he rolled his truck over in a ditch.Read More
While making chaplain visits at a hospital, the radiator in my car sprung a leak. I had my car towed to a nearby repair shop where the repairman and I had a long and interesting discussion.Read More
A Personal, Living God
I walked into the room of a patient whom I had never met before and about whose case I knew nothing about. “Hello! I am the pediatric chaplain making unit rounds today. My name is Chaplain Ken.”Read More
Redhawk Stands Guard
Redhawk was a native American whose son was hospitalized. While his son was in the hospital, Redhawk refused to leave his room, and he even ate and slept in his son’s room. When the staff urged him to take a break outside...Read More
Two Christmas Dinners
Alice was an elderly lady in the hospital whom I also knew from outside of the hospital. She was very active in her church and spent many years serving. Her husband was very sick and could not visit, and her other family...Read More
A Soldier's Strength
Mike is a veteran who served in Iraq and came home with multiple problems. In addition to needing surgery, he suffered with PTSD and wrestled with questions of faith. Mike’s PTSD was so severe, that when he was in the...Read More