There is something so God-filled about a Cancer Companions Bible Study group. Whether online or in person, bringing people with a common struggle together- to pray, smile, laugh, cry and look at scripture- creates a powerful bond we can only give credit for to God. But let’s face it. Not everyone can attend a group. This might be due to cancer patients/caregiver’s health, or their personal preference. It could also be due to a Cancer Companion team deciding not to have group meetings. (Church space issues, COVID restraints, lack of technology for online, no available trained Cancer Companions Facilitator.)
Fortunately, in these situations, Cancer Companion volunteers can choose one or more of these 3 simple ways to reach cancer patients/caregivers. We all know small things can be extremely powerful.
Make a Simple Call/Voicemail
Cancer Companion Volunteers reach out to cancer patients/caregivers not so they know about Cancer Companions and how we help. We reach out so they know they are not alone. Cancer isolation can occur in a room full of people. Why?
- We protect those we love.
- We hunger to be seen as strong.
- We withdraw due to fatigue.
- We isolate not knowing who’s willing to hear.
- We struggle to be seen as our true self not our cancer self.
As a Cancer Companion Volunteer, your call shows that you “get it”. You don’t wait for cancer patients/caregivers to ask for help, you simply stay connected so when they need help, they trust you enough to ask.
Do not underestimate the power of a call. Of course, a “call” these days can mean a leaving a voice mail, sending a text, a picture, a gif, an emoji and probably a zillion other things phones can do that I have no clue about. 😊
Cancer Companion Volunteers are typically assigned, NOT requested. When church staff or cancer team hear of a cancer patient/caregiver, a Cancer companion Volunteer is assigned. The call begins by saying “I have been assigned as your Cancer Prayer Partner. I will be praying for you. Here is why I am doing this…” (Your WHY is extremely powerful.) Then ask “What can I pray for you this week?”
Share a Simple Prayer
Let’s think about prayer for a minute:
- Does the power of prayer only work if the person you are paying for knows you are praying? Yes/No?
- Is there an extra blessing in having the person you are praying for hear the prayer, read the prayer or share the prayer? Yes/No?
- Can a person have enough people praying for them? Yes/No?
I’m guessing you know that the answer is Yes to the first question and No to the second and third. These three truths about prayer opens up a GIGANTIC door of ways to pray for a cancer patient/caregiver. A person’s cancer journey needs Cancer Companions Volunteers to strive to do each one of these types of prayers:
- The prayers you say alone.
- The prayers you say with the rest of your Cancer Companions volunteer team.
- The prayers you share for them to have when they need it. (note card, text, email, etc.)
- The prayers you say aloud when you are talking to them. (phone, video call, in person)
Whichever of the above 4 types of prayer you chose to lift up, please, please do so consistently and persistently. You’ll be amazed at how praying for the same topic repeatedly and with passion can change a life- including yours.
Give a Simple Gift
First, I want to say that the calls and the prayers that we mentioned above are magnificent gifts that can feed the needs in cancer patients/caregivers’ hearts.
Yet what if there was a simple gift you could share that held the power of scripture? God’s word has the ability to minister to those coping with cancer in ways only the Spirit understands. If you’re like me, spouting of scriptures is not my gift. So, to assist Cancer Companion Volunteers, we are creating a series of small booklets designed to easily share with cancer patients/caregivers. There will be two versions
- A beautifully printed 8.5 by 5.5 booklet affordable and easily mailed.
- A free pdf file which can be easily attached to an email.
The first booklet for this series is Seeing God in your cancer Journey: Six Devotions on Cancer and Faith. This booklet has the first 6 readings of the 41 readings in the Seeing God in Your Cancer Journey Participant Guide. The booklet is complete with discussion questions so volunteers can have the opportunity to easily discuss the devotions with their assigned cancer patient/caregiver.
The true gift of cancer ministry is meeting the cancer patient/caregiver right where they are. It may be that they are not ready for a Cancer Bible Study Group but that’s OK. God has given us the powerful tools of prayer, scripture and connection to lift up those coping with cancer. Thank you for all of your hard work. You are appreciated!