Health Care

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The "None" Box

When asked to indicate their religious affiliation, more and more people are choosing to check the "none" box. In other words, the number of people that do not identify with any organized religion is on the rise. Pastors and other church officials often fret over this growing statistic, but in healthcare ministry, it’s just another day at the office.

I have spoken with people who are Pagan, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and an untold number of people who choose not to identify with any particular religion. I also speak with many who identify themselves as Christian, but no longer regularly attend church. No matter what religion or non-religion of these people, they all have something in common. They are all going through a challenging time of life. They are often alone, definitely not in control of what is happening to them, and facing everything from life-changing illnesses and injuries, mental health challenges, and end of life fears and concerns.

Into each of these situations, we enter in with the love and compassion of Jesus to spend time, listen to stories, hold hands, and bring comfort, forgiveness and hope. We enjoy the unforced rhythms of God’s grace together. What a privilege it is shining the light of Jesus’ love behind the walls!

Chaplain Mark Wenzel

Hospital Health Care

Caring for hospitalized individuals is where it all began, and this continues to be an important ministry. Often patients are far from home, making it hard for their pastors and congregations to easily serve them. Institutional Ministries offers a bridge between of care, with in-person chaplains who bring comfort to hearts darkened by illness, pain or grief. Institutional Ministries shines the light of Jesus wherever people are behind a wall.

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Mental Health Care

People who suffer with Mental Health Issues are both young and old, and they struggle with everything from depression and anxiety, to learning disabilities and substance abuse. Nevertheless, they are all dearly loved by our gracious God, who invites us to join him in this amazing ministry — shining the light of Jesus’ love on the walled-in souls of our communities!

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Latest Health Care Articles

Check out our IM.Life stories, articles and experiences.

Its a Win-Win

Yes, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 (EHV) Before I joined Institutional Ministries and started hanging out at a hospital most days of the week, I had very little understanding of medical care...

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Informed Care

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:19 When Jesus...

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I watched The Wizard of Oz, once again, for the umpteenth time (and I didn’t hide in my room when the twister came!). I was struck during this viewing at just how quickly Dorothy wanted to go back home to Kansas. For someone...

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Three Doctors

A retired medical doctor was in an accident in which he rolled his truck over in a ditch.

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Rust Evangelism

While making chaplain visits at a hospital, the radiator in my car sprung a leak. I had my car towed to a nearby repair shop where the repairman and I had a long and interesting discussion.

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A Personal, Living God

I walked into the room of a patient whom I had never met before and about whose case I knew nothing about. “Hello! I am the pediatric chaplain making unit rounds today. My name is Chaplain Ken.”

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Redhawk Stands Guard

Redhawk was a native American whose son was hospitalized. While his son was in the hospital, Redhawk refused to leave his room, and he even ate and slept in his son’s room. When the staff urged him to take a break outside...

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Two Christmas Dinners

Alice was an elderly lady in the hospital whom I also knew from outside of the hospital. She was very active in her church and spent many years serving. Her husband was very sick and could not visit, and her other family...

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A Soldier's Strength

Mike is a veteran who served in Iraq and came home with multiple problems. In addition to needing surgery, he suffered with PTSD and wrestled with questions of faith. Mike’s PTSD was so severe, that when he was in the...

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While jail and hospital ministry have many similarities, the two have seldom crossed over. Once in a while, I have seen an inmate in the hospital, but until last month, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of my former jail...

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"Is It My Fault?"

“Is it my fault?” cried Maggie, whose child was suffering from pneumonia. As she began to tell me her story, I soon discovered that Maggie was undergoing a crisis of faith. Her parents were very “religious.”

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Are You Sleeping

“Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping, brother John?” So sings a nursery song. Now the question is: are we sleeping physically and spiritually? I once thought I could stay awake while driving home. Halfway into a ditch I woke up...

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Inexperienced Parents

Andy and Mindy were young inexperienced parents. Tragically, without understanding the possible trauma it could cause, Andy shook his crying baby. The baby later started to show serious problems,so they took their baby to...

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Going Home

Going home took on new meaning for me one day in the NIC unit (Newborn Intensive Care) at the hospital.

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The Mirror of Sin vs Christian Beauty

“In fact, if anyone hears the word and does not do what it says, he is like a man who carefully looks at his own natural face in a mirror. Indeed, he carefully looks at himself; then, he goes away and immediately forgets...

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Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.