Guest Post by Anne Wenger
In May of 2009, we began to write a journal using the Caring Bridge services offered to those facing health crises. Our crisis was learning that prostate cancer, first diagnosed in 2007, had spread to my husband’s bones and then to the liver, lungs, and lymph system. From January to May he faced a variety of issues requiring medical attention, but then seemed to move rapidly from one crisis to another.
A Blessing, Not a Burden
We knew about Caring Bridge’s services because of following the journeys of several acquaintances and friends over past years, so our family decided to set up a site for communicating with many friends and family that are scattered literally around the world. We were extremely busy caring for Jim’s needs, and receiving phone calls could be a burden rather than a blessing.
For a year now, we have found the blog to be not only an efficient means of communicating, but also a source of great encouragement to us. While neither of us has been in the habit of journaling over the years, this blog has provided a means of expressing verbally how God has spoken to us through His Word, through music, and through people. Writing prayer letters over the years, we were in the habit of sharing how God has worked in and through us and of asking people to pray for us. We now have a record of this journey that we probably would not have, if it had depended on writing with pen and paper. Somehow the computer is faster and the ease of posting both journal and photos has been motivating.
Touching Other’s Lives
We are told repeatedly by those who sign the guestbook that it has been a means of ministry to the readers as well. The Caring Bridge site has reconnected us with many friends from the past, even some of our high school classmates who had not stayed in communication with us until now. More than one has said that something shared was a good word for them in their particular circumstances when they read it. A few write by email instead of posting to the public guestbook, and some have even sent snail mail with notes of thanks for our sharing. We heard from people we have ministered to within the faculty ministry of Crusade, and those who were students of my husband in his former roles in education both in the USA and abroad. One Bible teacher mentioned using something we wrote in a class for women, and another friend copied and forwarded some of our entries to a widower who lost his wife to cancer. He is not a believer but responded to her that he appreciated what we shared.
I have found following blogs like Caring Bridge, and those within CCC, a real help to know how to pray for people and a source of encouragement that God is at work in a variety of ways. I am enthusiastic about this form of communication.