Links to September 2014 Samaritan newsletter

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The September 2014 Samaritan Ministries Christian Health Care Newsletter takes you from Hawaii to Ukraine, around the world and into the heart of man.

  • This Is What Happened to Me: How God saved two pagan scientists in Hawaii” is a first-person account by member Marc Hodges of how he and his wife, Aly, both of them biologists, left behind their ungodly ways and entered the Kingdom of God. The Hodges also lead the tour ministry Hawaiian Creation Adventures.
  • Rob Slane explores the failure of the media and politicians to wait on the truth following Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash, and how that habit threatens true freedom.
  • This month’s Member Spotlight features Wayne and Susan Vanderwier, who lead Overseas Instruction in Counseling, a mission aimed at enabling the Body of Christ to set up Biblical counseling certification organizations around the world. Wayne also tells why the Vanderwiers joined Samaritan Ministries.
  • Some wags blame the health care crisis on the free market. That had nothing to do with it, Stewart Donovan shows in this adapted excerpt from his book Flatline: How Government Ruined American Health Care and the Free Market Can Fix It.
  • The War Within, a film featuring Samaritan member Brett Varvel, dramatizes the inner turmoil and reminds us that we should be more gracious with one another, Jed Stuber says in his report.
  • Ray King shares his thoughts on Matthew 5:16 in this month’s Doorpost.

hawaiian creation adventures

By Marc Hodges

It was my first real prayer as a believer in Jesus Christ. It was the fall of 2009. “What’s wrong with my daughter?”

Our daughter Caeley had just turned 6 and was ill. Not mortally so: no cancer, no strange genetic disease. She was just sick for weeks with persistent, flu-like symptoms.

Earlier that evening, I had met with a friend who had witnessed to me over the past years. I was struggling with my marriage to my wife, Aly, and with my fatherhood of Caeley and our 3-year-old son, Hunter. So my friend asked that night if I would surrender to Christ. I did.

Driving back home, I felt foolish but elated. When I arrived home, it was 11 at night and the house was dark. Caeley was in the upper bunk in her bedroom. Some starlight came through between the leaves of the trees outside the window. She was too tired to wake up, but coughing too much to really sleep.

I laid my hands on her and prayed silently in the name of Jesus: “What’s wrong with my daughter?” God’s answer was immediate. He said, “She’s afraid.”

I again prayed silently: “God, in the name of Jesus Christ, take away her fear.” In that instant, Caeley’s coughing was gone and she was fast asleep.

My mind reeled. I realized then that God is Who He says He is, and that Jesus is indeed His Son. Sitting now on the lower bunk, I saw a dusty, swirling blackness, darker than the night, lift up and away from the bunk beds and dissipate. Read the rest of this article…

No freedom without truth and integrity

No freedom without truth and integrity (1)

By Rob Slane

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32

A couple of issues ago I wrote about seven principles for evaluating the trustworthiness of media reports. This month I want to talk about the relationship between trustworthiness and freedom.

Often, we act like freedom is the most fundamental of human rights, but actually, freedom cannot be obtained unless there is integrity. Quite simply, without truth and integrity, we can say goodbye to freedom.

The reaction to the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on July 17 is a current illustration of this. I am writing this piece almost three weeks after the crash and at the time there is really only one thing we know for certain—we don’t yet know for certain what happened.

Except for God, those who shot the plane down, and maybe a few others with firsthand knowledge, none of the rest of us know exactly what happened, who did it, or whether it was an accident or intentional. There hasn’t yet been a full and fair investigation into the crash, although having said that we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that we will never know exactly what happened, who did it, or why they did it. Read the rest of this article…

wayne and susie vanderwier

By Michael Miller

Wayne Vanderwier had a question: Who’s helping pastors in other nations create training and certifying organizations for Biblical counseling?

God had an answer: Wayne and Susie Vanderwier.

Wayne was a pastor in Indiana and had become a certified Biblical counselor through the National Association of Nouthetics Counselors (now known as the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, or ACBC) when the question kept occurring to him.

He knew that Biblical counseling training was abundant in the U.S.

“In America, there are literally hundreds of good places to get true Biblical counseling training,” he says. Read the rest of this article…

Why SMI-

The independent church in Indiana that employed Wayne Vanderwier as pastor had to take care of his health care like a family has to take care of its health care: on the open market.

That was causing financial problems for the congregation as well as Wayne, and his wife, Susie, as they tried to support their family.

“It just kept going up,” Wayne says. “The price went up, the deductible went up, the coverage got no better. It was just a burden to the church after a while.”

In 2000, the Vanderwiers and their congregation looked into health care sharing ministries as an option. They investigated the different ministries and settled on Samaritan.

“What became important to us was backgrounds, track records, standards,” Wayne says. “We decided to go with Samaritan. We’re really happy we did.”

The cost is reasonable, he says, but “we’ve appreciated the relationships we’ve had with others as we’ve prayed for them and sent our share each month.”

“It’s very family-oriented in that sense. Samaritan is not a nameless, faceless company. It’s just families that believe like we believe, that practice pretty much like we practice. And we can have a really joyful heart about sharing each month.”

He says he and Susie have had good experiences when submitting needs.

“The staff is responsive,” Wayne says. “The shares get sent. Our costs for health care are reduced, because we can negotiate a lower price because of cash payment.”