SPECIAL NOTE: There is a new email address that we will be using at NEOCMDA. It is
Summer Fellowship Gathering
from Co-Chairman Mike Chen
Dear NEOCMDA Friends,
I wrote a Facebook post last week (June 6th) which explains an important situation that my family is facing. Prayers are much appreciated for my sister and her family. May God glorify His name through this trial and if He wills, perhaps He would glorify his name by healing her.
So my beloved big sister Irene Froehlich has cancer.
It is CMML-2, which is a somewhat unusual kind of leukemia. Prognosis, in medical terms, is not great, although I believe Irene's chances are better than most because she is younger and healthier than most CMML patients. It is surreal to think that the person who taught you to read when you were little, chased bullies away when you were in grade school and for whom you cried many tears in high school after your parents dropped her off at college for the first time, is fighting for her life and statistically is unlikely to be alive in 5 years.
My sister's faith isn't in doctors or the medical system, although we are working to get her seen by the best minds we have in medicine. I'm proud of her because life or death, sickness or health, she is placing her hope in the reality that Jesus Christ died for her sins, rose in victory from the grave, loves her with an enduring and never changing love and will ultimately win this battle over cancer, life or death. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even cancer or trials.
Prayers are appreciated - the prayers of the saints are powerful and effective. Pray for healing for Irene, through medicine or through God's mighty hand. Pray for Irene as she walks this road with her husband Robert Froehlich and daughter J. Pray that Christ would be glorified and that people who see her faith and strength would want that kind of hope on their lives. I'm so proud of the way she is handling this and proud that she is my sister.
"No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand
Till he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I'll stand"
On an unrelated cancer note, there was a patient of mine who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 gallbladder cancer. Following up with me after being discharged from the hospital, I asked the man if he died today, would he be in heaven and why. The man stammered back and forth for about a minute or so, saying that he thought he might- that he had been a good person, honestly the typical response I get when I ask that question to someone. His wife, sitting next to him watched him stammer and just shook her head. She is a church attending follower of Jesus and knew her husband, who had only intermittently gone to church during their marriage was not giving the answer that leads to eternal life in Christ.
I confronted this patient with my concerns for him, that he was relying on his own dead works to try to appease a Holy God and that if he gave that answer to Almighty God when that day came, if that Bible is true, then he would be spending his eternity in hell. A scary thought for anyone, including myself as the physician who was caring for him. Tears rolled down his face as I shared with him about his need for a savior, and that Jesus Christ had died the death that he deserves and by faith he could have God's forgiveness and Jesus' victory over death could be applied to him. I don't typically plead with people to repent and turn to Jesus, but I did in this case, knowing that practically speaking, this man is not long for this world. I gave him a tract from John Piper as he left, and his wife hugged me when they left together, tears in her eyes.
I saw him again yesterday- he had been in the ED w/ some complication from his cancer and I asked him straight up this time, "are you saved?" He replied with a big smile, "Yes, I am! I feel so clean!". God used the Holy Spirit working through simple words, to convict this patient of his sin and turn his heart to Jesus. And now he faces his future with hope and joy, not dread and uncertainty. What a glorious reality that the gospel is for us.
As healthcare workers, ultimately we don't have that much control over whether or not our patients live or die. I have been reflecting recently upon how using our NNT, the marginal benefit of so many of our best treatments is relatively small. But what we have as followers of Christ is the best news that the world could ever offer- Christ died for our sins. Let's be bold about proclaiming that message today.
We have some upcoming fellowship events that we will be announcing soon, so stay tuned, but in the meantime, please be praying for my sister Irene and for her family.
Please also pray about being a monthly supporter of our ministry- our reach in helping students each of the 4 local medical schools know Jesus in a deeper way is significant, but recently our donations have dropped off some. We need your support in order to continue to do what we are doing in the lives of our students and training them to be the next generation of gospel witnesses and leaders.
Thank you for your support and for your prayers for my sister, Irene and her family, especially her 11 year old daughter Jordan.
God is good, always,
Mike Chen, MD
* Winter Retreat @ CVNP
December 1-2, 2018
The NEOCMDA group recently had our Winter Retreat at the lovely Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We had over 55 in attendance & an amazing group of speakers:
Leigh-Ann Brisbin (www.freetobeministries.org)
Debbi Sands (www.freetobeministries.org)
Pastor Mark Reitinger
Dr. Rick Rasper
Dr. Bud (Charles) Hurst
Dr. Phyllis Nsiah-Kumi
Dr. Jason Tuckerman (future NEOCMDA Chairman)
Dr. Mike Chen (current NEOCMDA Chairman)
To see additional photos from the weekend, please click on the link below:
Side by Side Wives Ministry