Christmas Greetings and News December 2018
How can this be…what happened to 2018! We look at each other in wonder and amazement about the passage of time! But our next thoughts are about God’s Great Faithfulness this year and in the past 15 years of serving Him through ICH. What a privilege to take Christian Hospice around the world and witness time after time as people have found God’s comfort and peace in difficult times of illness and grief! It has been our honor to be the extension of all of our supporters, friends and family reaching into the world with His message of hope through Jesus. Now we celebrate this same message of hope with each of you during this Christmas season!
We have important news to share about ICH. Our Board of Directors has made the decision that December 31, 2018 will be our last day of operation as a ministry. After much prayer and consideration we feel that God is leading us in closing this chapter of ministry in our lives. It has been an exciting adventure from the early days of serving Him as just the two of us drove to remote new areas to teach hospice care, to expanding our ICH staff and mission teams for work in 14 countries around the world. How clearly we have seen God provide and lead in His perfect timing!
We won’t deny it has been a difficult decision. Over the past several months we have experienced the continued decline of financial support. This is a frequent and increasing problem with so many mission organizations today. Also we are honestly looking at our age, (feeling it too) and health as well as family needs. Another factor is that there are no new prospects of younger people who are stepping up and have an interest in this area of ministry. But God has opened a door through another large mission agency, SIM.
The SIM home office is in Charlotte, N.C. and we have had conversations and meetings with their leadership. They have requested that we make the ICH curriculum and resource materials available to them and their missionaries who are serving around the world in 40 countries. This is already happening with one of their medical ministries. We have been in contact via email and placed much of our information into the hands of a nurse and educator in Bolivia. Her feedback has already been very positive as she is sharing ICH with the national medical staff and using the resources with families in need of Christ Centered hospice care.
Our hearts are full of gratitude to God! He is responsible for each step of ICH inception and development. It has always been our goal to place ICH concepts in the hands of others and making it a tool for the national believers for their own people. We have made ourselves available to SIM on a volunteer basis to assist them in preparing new missionaries who pass through the Charlotte headquarter. How wonderful to know that God will not allow “dust to collect” on ICH training materials and resources!
Now on a personal note we would like to share a personal testimony that is currently happening in our lives. Ron had what we thought was a common wart appear about 2 months ago on the back of his right hand between his middle two knuckles. As he has in the past, he treated with over-the-counter drops for a couple of weeks. With no improvement he went to the VAMC and was seen there and was given further topical treatment for a wart. After continuing 3 weeks as it grew we were increasingly concerned and he returned to the VA. His primary MD referred him to the dermatology department and he was seen there 3 days later. A biopsy was done and he received the results a week later. His now walnut sized wound was really squamous cell carcinoma. Typically this is very treatable in the early stages. However the VA was unable to help in his situation so a referral was sent Friday November 30 to a local Dermatology group here in Columbia. After a very anxious and prayerful weekend, Ron began placing phone calls about an appointment. The referral was delayed in red tape for 3 business days so finally on this past Wednesday, December 5, we decided to just show up at the dermatologist office. The receptionist told us his information was not in the system and there was a 2 month waiting list for appointments. But when Ron mentioned that yesterday he had talked to the nurse she asked us to wait. Within minutes the nurse stepped out into the waiting room and called his name and ushered us back. The doctor also arrived quickly and after an exam he recommended immediately removal. The nurse then personally contacted the VA doctor and obtained emailed copies of all the referral paperwork needed. We listened as the doctor expressed great concern over the size and warned us of the possible loss of two fingers on Ron’s right hand. He could not predict until the removal and microscopic exam to determine the depth and involvement. After the procedure we waited. Within 2 hours the doctor returned with an “all clear” report. He had gotten all the cancer and the margins are clear! It was a miracle of perfect timing and provision! We were praising God out loud in the office and have been continuously even through these days of painful recuperation! Thank you to all who were praying with us! God once again has shown Himself faithful and merciful in this latest life-journey experience with Him.
We would like to express our deep, heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has had a part in ICH ministry through the years whether mission partners, financial support, prayer support, or friendship and encouragement. We thank our precious family members for their understanding and frequent “good byes” as we left them on mission through the years. It has been a privilege beyond words for us to have traveled the world, made new friends in so many places, shared the Good News of Christ’s love and comfort with so many in their final days, and learned amazing things of God as we trusted Him each step of the way. We want to direct all the praise back to God as we remember again our verse of promise, Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you from our hearts to all of you for your support and interest in ICH!
May God richly bless us all as we continue to serve Him together!
Ron and Susan Naish
Contact information is unchanged:
170 Bethview Dr. Irmo, S.C. 29063
803-781-0656 or 803-497-1867
www.ichospice.blogspot.com (The blog tells our story since 2005)