As a member of Samaritan Ministries, I have always enjoyed the opportunity to send cards of encouragement to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Praying for those facing illness, injury, and recuperation was an honor—knowing that I was bringing their cares to our heavenly Father, the awesome God of love and compassion. In our broken world that is filled with so much suffering, we can become discouraged and overwhelmed, and sometimes we feel that we want to do more to help those who seem out of our reach. The reminder that we can and should pray for each other is always a blessing. We know and must remember that He is God Who hears our prayers, and He wants us to draw near to Him during our trials and times of suffering.
After some time, I faced my own health crisis as I endured undiagnosed pain for many years. God gave me a wise doctor who was able to diagnose and treat my problem, for which I am thankful. I am also thankful for the experience of pain and confusion (though I confess that I could not always express thankfulness), since it brought me closer to our Father, and strengthened me in many ways. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8).
During this period, I was so richly blessed by brothers and sisters from all over through SMI, spiritually and financially. Having the financial support lessened the stress and helped me to not worry. Receiving the cards and notes of encouragement was, and is, an unbelievable experience that one cannot understand until they are on the receiving end of the deluge of cards—the outpouring of love. I have truly felt showered with love, with God’s healing hand, and have felt Jesus through this Christian ministry. I thank the staff and all the members for what was done to help me.
We joined Samaritan Ministries knowing that we had my surgery scheduled, and that it would not be publishable because my condition existed before we became members. When all of the bills finally came in, the cost was much more than the hospital had quoted us (like $7,000 more!). In God’s goodness we had 61 percent of our total bill knocked off after we applied with the financial assistance program thru the hospital.
Then came the beautiful answer to prayer that the SMI members were to us after submitting the remaining costs as a Special Prayer Need—seeing the Body of Christ from across the country give out of the kindness of their hearts to us, strangers to them. And the notes of Scripture, prayer, and encouragement—what a blessing! We are so happy to be a part of SMI.
Paul and Amber
In this month’s newsletter:
- It’s considered taboo for doctors to say what Dr. Jeffrey Singer says in this month’s cover article. He points out that the Certificate of Need laws in many states make it harder for new health care providers to get started, resulting in less competition in health care and higher health care costs for everyone. Dr. Singer says these laws should be repealed. Patients, not large health care providers and politicians, should determine the makeup of our health care system.
- In “Culture war—now more than ever,” pastor and member Doug Wilson says we need to understand the distinction between those who are tired from being on the right side and those tired of being on the right side. It takes time to build a culture, and Christians should not be dissuaded by those saying now is the time to give up or compromise.
- This month’s Member Spotlight is about the Scott and Carol Maxwell family. Scott is engaged in the culture war as the executive director of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, a law firm that defends religious freedom in the courts. The Maxwells also launched a suicide prevention hotline after their son Luke nearly died in a car crash during a depressive episode. They tell why they joined Samaritan, as well.
- Three Samaritan members who are doctors have adopted Direct Primary Care in their practices to alleviate interference in their service to their patients and to eliminate other common problems. They share why DPC works well for both them and their patients.
- We review The Politically Incorrect Jesus, a new book by Joe Battaglia, that challenges Christians to consider what it means to be salt and light in our culture as we follow Jesus Christ. Jesus took bold countercultural stands, and so should we.
- Canadian pharmacist Greg Cummings tells about his first-hand frustrations in the Canadian health care system, and warns that the Affordable Care Act will create similar problems in the U.S.
- In the Doorpost, Ray King challenges us to test whether we truly love God.
By Jaclyn Lewis
God has brought the family of Scott and Carol Maxwell to a key place of ministering as a family.
From the beginning of their marriage, Scott and Carol faithfully attended church and served in ministries. Scott also worked for several nonprofit ministerial organizations.
Yet for the Maxwells, their church involvement was routine because of familiarity and a superficial understanding of church and faith, rather than from an impassioned surrender to Jesus and His will for their lives and the world.
That changed when Carol became involved with church homeschool groups in order to learn about this way of instructing her children.
“These homeschool families helped Scott and me tremendously in our family and our faith” says Carol.
Through these families, the Maxwells gained powerful living examples of Biblical, complementary marriage, and a deeper understanding of church teaching. What most blessed Carol was a more profound understanding of Jesus in communion and of redemption.
With this clarity, Scott and Carol’s marriage thrived, their seven kids blossomed, and their joy increased.
Now Scott is the executive director of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), a nonprofit public-interest law firm which defends and protects religious freedom when conscience rights have been violated. He leads the organization with five attorneys providing pro-bono legal defense at the trial level to any individual or organization. His main areas of responsibility are marketing, fundraising, and public relations.
Meanwhile, Carol homeschools the four youngest children, ages 8 through 15, and supports Scott in his position with the FCDF. She also supports her son, Luke, in his ministry to suicidal teens.
The couple is also passionate about defending constitutional liberties, especially the First Amendment protection of religion.
By Jaclyn Lewis
As the Maxwell family has followed God into different ministries, the journey has not always been smooth. When their son, Luke, nearly died in a car crash during a depressive episode, the Lord brought the Maxwell family together to support him. They banded together through Luke’s recovery and in the development of his teen suicide prevention ministry, ucantberased.com.
When Luke Maxwell was 12, he began to feel “lonely, sad and tired all the time,” and he did not know why.
“I kept secrets about how I felt,” says Luke, “pretending to be happy and satisfied in life.” When it came to God, Luke says, “I lost my faith. I couldn’t believe God or anyone loved me.”
He kept up a happy front around his parents and siblings, hiding his depression for four years. Scott and Carol had no idea. It wasn’t until the day Luke crashed his parents’ van head-on with another vehicle, trying to end his life, that Scott and Carol discovered their son’s depression.
Yet what could have ended in tragedy became an occasion for God to show mercy and redeem.