1129 Heatherstone DrFredericksburg, VA 22407
Mon - Fri 8:30AM - 4:30PMClosed for lunch 12pm-1pm; on Thurs. 12pm-1:30pm; Sat. & Sun. - Closed
By fchcclinic • May 12, 2020 • Comments Off on Spiritual Encounters
The Fredericksburg Christian Health Center identifies as a Christian ministry in two ways; caring for the poor, and addressing spiritual needs of our patients.
We desire FCHC to be a welcoming place to ALL people from ALL lifestyles, so we can demonstrate grace and love to them, trusting God will heal their bodies, minds, and souls to the extent that He sees fit.
We hold that the body, mind, and spirit are connected and the health of one area will affect the others. We agree with the evidence that shows that our actions have health consequences (smoking, what we eat, exercise or lack there-of, etc.), and that anxiety and depression often manifest with physical symptoms. Furthermore, we often see how health situations move our patients towards or away from God. The man who just survived a heart attack thinks differently about eternity. The woman who learns she has metastatic cancer may question God’s goodness, or may be more resolved to live her last days for Him. The young couple wrestling with infertility wonders of His existence in the midst of unanswered prayer.
When FCHC staff seek to address the spiritual needs of our patients it is usually in this context of the impact of health on faith, and vice versa. We limit the number of patients we see each day in order to allow for time for these conversations.
Some examples of how we have seen God heal in the past year include:
-A woman who injured her knee and may have needed surgery. A PA prayed for her, and she came back the next day completely healed with no further problems.
-An older man had a CT of his head for possible mini-strokes. A 2cm mass was seen instead, requiring further imaging with an MRI. I prayed with him the day before his MRI, and the MRI showed no mass at all. The radiologist couldn’t explain it, the mass was simply gone. Furthermore he has stopped having dizzy spells and headaches.
-Through prayer a woman was able to successfully wean off narcotic medications she had been taking for years for back pain. Not only so, but her pain diminished to the point that she was able to start exercising. Through more prayer she was able to discipline herself to diet and exercise, lose weight (with further improvement in back pain), and she was able to wean off insulin and was off oral diabetes meds for about six months. She is back on low dose metformin after a period when she stopped exercising, but hopeful she can back off it again. Through this journey she testifies that she has felt divinely inspired and strengthened to make these changes.
Not all of our prayers are answered. We have prayed for healing from cancer, thought the patient was successfully treated, and yet the cancer returns a couple years later. We have prayed with patients whose cancer does not go away at all. FCHC staff have gone to the hospital to join family members and provide comfort and prayer during a patient’s final hours.
Staff training is mostly in the form of Bible study to draw us closer to God as individuals and as a team. We are currently going through a study on Spiritual Gifts, relating how we can use these in the workplace. Other studies have been on prayer, conflict resolution, the sermon on the mount, seeking God during hard times, etc. We also have times when we create prayer “stations” where we pray for patients with different conditions; or we pray for country, community, family, patients, each other, etc.
We generally encourage staff to be sensitive to the Spirit to offer to pray with patients or speak a word of encouragement. We have not done specific training on “witnessing” to patients or confronting patients on specific topics/behaviors. Although evangelism is encouraged, passing judgement is not.
Most “spiritual encounters” are praying with patients. These are either prayers for healing for whatever brought them to the clinic that day, the strength to make healthy choices such as quitting smoking or eating healthier, or praying for God to help with life situations which may or may not be health related (broken relationships; grieving a loved one; trouble with finances; losing a job/getting a new job; family stress; etc.). If there is an obvious situation to bring before the Lord, I’ll ask “would it be ok if we prayed about…” Otherwise, I may end the appointment with “is there anything you would like me to pray with you about?” It is always with the patient’s consent that we pray with them.
Article written by: Dr. Theron Stinar
Mon-Fri: 8 AM – 4:30PM
Closed for lunch: 12 PM – 1 PM; on Thursdays 12 PM – 1:30 PM
Phone Hours: 8:30 AM- 12:30 PM and from
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM except on Thursdays when
they are off from 12 PM – 2 PM
1129 Heatherstone Dr
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Phone: (540) 785-8500
"When did we see you ill or in prison, and come to visit you?" And the king will answer, "I tell you this: anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for me."
(Matthew 25:40-41 NEB)