What is a Cancer Care Ministry?
A cancer care ministry is a "hope" ministry. While it involves prayer, counsel, visits and assistance, it is centered on bringing God's hope to patients and their caregivers, family and friends. This requires an understanding of the impact of cancer, how people react to it and how God has called His people to respond. Above all, it requires us to have within ourselves an unfeigned hope that we can take to those in need.
The "TUFF Cancer Care Ministry" program was created because of the significant need in our nation and the need in our local community, as well as in the body of Christ, to care for those dealing with cancer. Our ministry has been commissioned, properly trained and certified through the Cancer Treatment Centers Of America's Pastoral Care Department: "Our Journey Of Hope." And the TUFF Cancer Care Ministry is officially chartered and it's existence is validated as an independent ministry, through the National Association Of Christian Ministers.
According to the American Cancer Society, over 12 million people in the United States are living with or have been personally diagnosed with cancer. Every year, 1.5 million more people receive a cancer diagnosis. That means that in a church of 200 people, approximately eight people are living with cancer and two more will be diagnosed with it every year. Each of these individuals has family members and caregivers that are affected as well. This Bible-based ministry program has been developed to equip God's people with the tools needed to bring hope to the millions who are living with cancer. Please place your cursor on the "Cancer Care" section above to open a full menu of resources.
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (Isaiah 41:10)
The TUFF Cancer Care Mission:
"To assist cancer patients, survivors and their families with the tools and resources that will provide strength, knowledge and guidance with spiritual and compassionate support"
Why is Cancer Different?
Cancer attacks the body. It is an assault of rogue cells trying to take over the body and break down everything in their path. But its attack is no less intensive on the mind and spirit. Yet, there remains something that cancer cannot conquer: hope. Cancer care ministry requires unique insights, both into the disease and into God's Word. The purpose of "Our Journey of Hope" working with T.U.F.F Services, is to equip our organization with an abundance of these significant insights, and to help us cultivate and carry the hope for which so many are longing. "What is the overall impact?"
Imagine you are feeling afraid, rejected, alone, powerless, ashamed and hopeless. Envision, then, if someone comes to you and says words that no one else has said, does things that no one else has done and leaves you with courage, strength, dignity and hope for the future - and God's plan. How would that affect you? What if it changed one day? What about 10 days? 100 days? What if it helped you through to see another whole season of life with hope? "The potential impact is indescribable"
Cancer Care Leadership Training, provided by "Our Journey Of Hope" is an opportunity for pastors and Christian leaders to come together to learn about the need, the vision and the process to provide hope and encouragement to people living with cancer. It is a two-day immersion experience that looks into the heart of cancer care ministry. That is why T.U.F.F Services is so honored to be a partner with "Our Journey Of Hope."
Every year, more people are diagnosed with cancer than go through bankruptcy or file for divorce. With every cancer diagnosis, not only one life is assaulted, but caregivers, friends, family, extended family and communities are also deeply impacted by the struggle. Many resources have been developed and widely implemented for critical issues that people face within the church - including marriage struggles, financial challenges, addictive behaviors, etc.
Our Journey Of Hope began its cancer care ministry by traveling to churches to train church congregations on the key components needed to build a compassionate, successful cancer care ministry. "Our Journey Of Hope" is the first cancer care ministry training initiative of its kind. The training gives leaders an overview of the medical, emotional and spiritual elements involved in effective cancer care ministry!
Interested in having us assist you in creating a "Cancer Care Ministry" within your own church or ministry? Please contact us at: (702) 569-9901 or e-mail us at: [email protected] and we will provide you with all of the necessary training tools and resources needed, that will continue to support and educate your church or ministry family and the surrounding community.
Why Reaching Out To Cancer Patients Is Important
Cancer patients and their families need support. A cancer diagnosis is scary, and the cancer journey can be long and arduous. There are generally questions, fears, anxieties, myths to debunk, doubts, grief, regrets, etc. Here are five reasons why reaching out to cancer patients is important:
Health care is still a crisis. People continue to struggle with every aspect of it, including access and cost, the government and how much is enough.
- In the past decade, Medicare costs have more than doubles - from $224 billion in 2000 to $555 billion in 2011. And that is before an estimated 80 million Baby Boomers began turning 65 from 2012-2015. The population is outstripping the system.
- Heath care not funded by private individuals, or those with insurance that will not pay, will no longer be available. The natural place for it to fall is onto the church, from where heath care first sprang.
- In 2000, about 1.3 million people annually received a cancer diagnosis. By mid-century, experts predict that the number will have increased to 2.6 million annually.
- CNN is reporting that cancer has surpassed heart disease to become the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the United States, according to a recently released American Cancer Society report.
- The first showed there is a strong desire for spiritual support on the part of cancer patients. But of the 88 percent who considered religion to be at least somewhat important, nearly half said their spiritual needs were not being met by their religious community and 72 percent felt those needs were similarly unaddressed by the medical system.
- The second study concluded that among terminally ill cancer patients, when the spiritual needs were supported by the medical team, there was greater hospice utilization and, among high religious copers, better patient quality of life near death.
- The Institute of Medicine has published that cancer patients have seven critical psychosocial needs. They are:
- Information on cancer and its treatments
- Help in coping with emotions related to cancer
- Material and logistical resources
- Help in managing disruptions in work, school and family
- Assistance in changing behaviors
- Help in managing the illness
- Financial advice and assistance
- An article in US News & World Report on July 23, 2012, stated that cancer patients ages 14-39 are more likely to report unmet social, psychological and informational needs.
American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North American Association of Central
Cancer Registries. (2000) Annual report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. 1973-1999. Cancer 94:2766-2792
American Cancer Society. (2013) Cancer Facts & Figures. Atlanta: American Cancer Society
Balboni, T. Vanderwerker, L. Block, S.D. Paulk, M. Lathan, C. Peteet, J and Pringerson, H. (2007)
"Religiousness and Spiritual Support Among Advanced Cancer Patients and Associations with End-Of-Life Treatment Preferences
and Quality Of Life." Journal of Clinical Oncology, 25:550-560.
Balboni, M.P., Loggers, E., Wright, A., Block, S., and Prigerson, H. (2010)
"Provision of Spiritual care to Patients With Advanced Cancer: Associations With Medical Care and Quality Of Life Near Death." Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28:445-452.
Institute of Medicine. (2008) Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press Health Day. (2012, July 23). "Young Cancer Patients Often Lack Support: Study." Retrieved Oct. 1, 2013, from US News & World Report: