Samaritan Ministries: Our First Opportunity to Share

SamaritanLogoLet us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)

We are relatively new members of Samaritan Ministries.  I’ve written about our experiences previously, and you can find those posts here.  They are an alternative to health insurance. Instead of sending premiums to an insurance company, we instead learn of medical needs experienced by other members and have an opportunity to help them with those needs. In exchange, we know that if we have a need, we have the assurance that other members will help us.

It’s similar to insurance, but it’s really more like how the early Church worked:

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:44-47 (NIV)

We recently had our first opportunity to experience this through Samaritan. As new members of Samaritan, our first two monthly payments were made to the ministry’s office to cover administrative expenses. Each year, we will make one of our monthly payments to the home office. Making those payments seemed a little bit like insurance.

But this month, we got a taste of what the early Church experienced: Giving to someone who had need. This month, we were asked to make our payment to a woman in the Western U.S. who had broken her hip. We were given her name and a short description of her need. We were asked to send our payment directly to her, which she will use to pay her medical bills.  Presumably, many other members were also asked to send a payment to her this month.  And we were also asked to pray for her.

We didn’t gather with her in the temple courts, nor did we break bread in her home. We couldn’t, because we are far away. Other members of the Body of Christ filled those roles. What we were able to do was bear part of her financial burden, which would have been overwhelming for one person, or one family, or even one congregation.

We were also able to pray for her. I shared her first name with my own congregation, and we all prayed for her. We’re in another part of the country, and we’re probably a different denomination. But we were still able to do what Paul told the Galatians to do: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2 (NIV).  And that is much easier to do with Samaritan than it was with insurance.

If you do decide to join Samaritan Ministries, I would appreciate if you would consider indicating on your application form that I referred you. (Or, of course, if someone else recommended Samaritan, mention their name instead.) There’s a box where you can check how you learned about Samaritan. If my information proved helpful, I would appreciate if you would include my name, Richard Clem. On the first page, you can check the box “Friend/referral (somebody told me)” and/or “Internet,” and write in my name. In the interest of full disclosure, if you do include my name as a referral, then I will receive a credit of $180.

Please also pray for the woman whose need we shared.  It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to give her name, but the giving of your prayers would be appreciated.

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