It's overcast and rainy here in Kandern; it has been for several days. The forecast predicts more weather like this and a thunderstorm soon.
I wrote a youth group talk this morning about choosing joy in the midst of crazy, weird, and hard circumstances. That didn't make the clouds disappear.
Brandi stopped by with some groceries for me earlier this afternoon, and we were talking about how there are joyful things to see and celebrate - which should be seen and celebrated - but they don't make the struggles go away.
My current struggle is that ongoing battle with my insurance. The latest news is that they don't want to pay for what they consider "disposable medical supplies" and only feel responsible for "durable medical supplies." For context, I need these catheters to pee daily; it's not optional, and I'd be permanently hospitalized without them. The benefits guy with TeachBeyond emailed me earlier this week with the bad news that my insurance wasn't going to cover it and gave a nice platitude of "let us know if TeachBeyond can help you at all spiritually" at the end. Fortunately, I didn't see the email before Givorgy had a chat with this guy and explained that this was something that the insurance actually had been covering for five years, and it wasn't something I could afford to let drop. I had two emails waiting for me when I checked, and the case is reopened.
Since I've had to buy more catheters since, I'm nearing $3,500 out of pocket, and I've had TeachBeyond give me supplemental income to cover the costs until I can work out if my insurance will actually reimburse me. They should. They really, really should.
But welcome to reality where they don't want to.
In this reality, I'm going to have to raise an additional $1,000 PER MONTH to stay on the mission field. I really love my job - I love being a teacher and getting to engage with young people in theological conversations while I encourage them to follow Jesus. I was hoping to have a career doing that. However, I'm facing the grim reality that American insurance systems might mess up my life plans. Fortunately, they can't mess up a God plan. I feel called to be here at BFA right now and to work as a missionary with TeachBeyond. Countless generous people have partnered with me to make that possible. I'm asking all you generous readers out there to consider the possibility that you are part of the God plan to keep me on the mission field in this worst case scenario when my insurance doesn't cover the medical necessity required for me to pee. Seriously, it's a crazy thing to think, but here we are.
Here I am, asking for your help because I can't do this on my own.
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Now, I'm also going to ask every single one of you to pray that the insurance actually covers what they should - my necessary medical prescriptions. I'm hoping for the best and planning for the worst here which means there could be an incredible scenario where my insurance comes through like it should and a bunch of people join my support team - that just means I never have to stress about support and can spend more time thanking you and doing my ministry. The worst case scenario means that I have to consider packing up and moving elsewhere in order to find a job with insurance that does cover my basic medical needs or a job that pays me enough to cover them myself.
I genuinely believe God called me to be where I am and do what I do. I might be a crazy person, but at least eleven people have told me that I'm not. That conviction leads me to write this post with this honest and bold ask that came without any proof that I'm good enough for your money. Now that that part is over, I do have some good news to share about what God is doing in and through me this week.
I mentioned I was writing a youth group talk - it's for my kids back in Christchurch. Early Friday morning when I couldn't sleep, I checked my email and saw a note from Matt asking if I'd livestream in a message for the RYC kids still doing remote youth group Friday nights in New Zealand. What an absolute joy for me! I miss my whānau down under, and I love that I get this chance to be a part of youth group next week.
I miss a lot of my people back in the PNW too, and I've been messaging several looking around for housing and work for one of my BFA alumni who reached out asking me for help this past week. He's actively seeking Jesus, and I couldn't be more proud of him for realizing that the summer options laid out before him were full of distractions from Jesus. He asked me to help him find a place so that he'd have some better influences around him.
Finally, in my physical health front, I hit a new record this past week: I walked a full kilometer at a 2km pace without stopping. I'm overjoyed to have hit this target. While I know it won't be everyday like that for a while, it's a huge celebration to have made that new personal best on my treadmill. I'm going to work to make that the norm, and Anja and I have a plan laid out to help me keep making progress through the summer.
There are so many joys in my life right now - which again doesn't make the struggles and sucky insurance issues disappear. I can't hide or ignore my financial condition, but I also can't let worry over it consume me. I've shared my honest need with you, and I hope you'll either pray with me or partner financially in addition to praying for my situation to have a positive resolution.