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Praise the Lord, our first baby is healthy and was born this past October. Samaritan Ministries published virtually all of our expenses with the exception of a portion that was prorated at that time. Even with that, we later received a check from Samaritan’s pro rata fund which took care of the rest.

The notes we have received have been very encouraging and supportive. The staff is kind, helpful, and easy to reach. All of these things are praiseworthy, and, for our family, we are happy to participate in this Christian medical cost sharing program over any insurance company. We feel more able to focus on this new and important adventure as parents rather than in tedious insurance costs, paperwork, automated phone services, etc.

Christopher and Kristina

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Links to the April 2015 Samaritan newsletter

April 2015 Samaritan newsletter links

The April 2015 Samaritan Ministries Christian Health Care Newsletter features the advantages of free-market health care as well as encouragement to men to live up to their Christian calling.

  • Rob Slane’s monthly worldview article explores ways to bring men back to churches.
  • Former Soviet People’s Deputy Yuri Maltsev, now a free-market advocate in the U.S., draws lessons from his U.S.S.R. experience of health care and applies them to the U.S. path.
  • Our Member Spotlight features Jeff Van Beaver of Acts 1:8 Ministry, which offers the PACK (Planned Acts of Christian Kindness) form of evangelism. Jeff also shares why Acts 1:8 has started funding water towers in Uganda and why he and his wife, Tammy, joined Samaritan.
  • Dr. William Grant and Dr. Matt Davis are two Samaritan members who are also surgeons espousing transparent pricing in their practices. This month they explain why.
  • Jed Stuber reviews Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins, whose author promotes the use of the vitamin for the cure of a variety of ills.
  • In this month’s Doorpost, Ray King asks if we really fear the Lord.

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What the Soviet health care system taught us

By Yuri Maltsev

In 1918, the Soviet Union became the first country to promise universal “cradle-to-grave” health care coverage. The “right to health” became a “constitutional right” of Soviet citizens. The proclaimed advantages of this system were that it would “reduce costs” and eliminate the “waste” that stemmed from “unnecessary duplication and parallelism”—i.e., competition.

These goals were similar to the ones declared by proponents of the Affordable Care Act—attractive and humane goals of universal coverage and low costs. What’s not to like?

A paralyzed system

In the Soviet Union the system had many decades to work, but widespread apathy and low quality of work paralyzed the health care system. In the depths of the socialist experiment, health care institutions in Russia were at least a hundred years behind the average U.S. level. Moreover, the filth, odors, cats roaming the halls, drunken medical personnel, and absence of soap and cleaning supplies added to an overall impression of hopelessness and frustration that paralyzed the system. According to official Russian estimates, 78 percent of all AIDS victims in Russia contracted the virus through dirty needles or HIV-tainted blood in the state-run hospitals.

Irresponsibility, expressed by the popular Russian saying, “They pretend they are paying us, and we pretend we are working,” resulted in appalling quality of service, widespread corruption, and extensive loss of life. My friend, a famous neurosurgeon in today’s Russia, received a monthly salary of 150 rubles—one third of the average bus driver’s salary.

In order to receive minimal attention by doctors and nursing personnel, patients had to pay bribes. I even witnessed a case of a “nonpaying” patient who died trying to reach a lavatory at the end of the long corridor after brain surgery. Anesthesia was usually “not available” for abortions or minor ear, nose, throat, and skin surgeries. This was used as a means of extortion by unscrupulous medical bureaucrats.

Read the rest of this article…

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Acts 1:8 Ministry

 

By Michael Miller

SAMSUNG CSCPlanned Acts of Christian Kindness opens a door for sharing the Gospel in ways that other methods struggle to provide, says founder Jeff Van Beaver.

Created by Jeff in 2002 and based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, PACK is the evangelistic method offered by Acts 1:8 Ministry. The idea is as simple as it is profound:

Unexpectedly do something kind for someone in a public venue. Pray with them. Give them something, no strings attached. When they ask why you’re doing it, tell them it’s because of Jesus.

Jeff was chairman of his church’s evangelism board in May 2002 when his pastor asked him to read Steve Sjogren’s Conspiracy of Kindness, a popular book that promotes servant evangelism. He wanted Jeff to see if the church could implement the philosophy behind it in some way. When Jeff read the book, he says, “it hit me that, yeah, the masses can do this.”

The first outreach his church tried along these lines was to offer to pray for people in a shopping mall parking lot.

“Individuals were just so blown away that they were receiving acts of Christian kindness that they were just opening up to prayer,” he says. “People were pouring out their problems.”

Until then, the congregation’s outreach was the traditional door-to-door type.

“What we found is that (door-to-door) is not as effective,” Jeff says. “People get beat up emotionally in the sense of having doors slammed in their face. It’s a very difficult evangelistic method and it’s very difficult to get people to say, ‘I’m all in on this,’ but it’s still the traditional method that a lot of church bodies are using. We’re saying that a much more effective way of opening the door to share the Gospel and connect people to Christ is to do a simple act of Christian kindness.”

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Acts 1:8 rains water towers on Uganda

The Planned Acts of Christian Kindness evangelism method goes beyond free gas or Valentine’s Day flowers.

In Uganda, it includes water towers.

In 2008, Acts 1:8 Ministry founder Jeff Van Beaver met a Ugandan pastor who asked the ministry to build a water tower for his community at a cost of $500.

The ministry, which distributes the PACK evangelism program, built one water tower but couldn’t afford to build more on its own.

Then God stepped in.

“Lo and behold, the following year the Lord brings us a gentleman named Ryan Pickett from the Green Bay Packers who wants to help us with that,” Jeff says. “Obviously, when you put the name of a pro football player on a program, it takes off.”

As of January, Acts 1:8 has funded 118 water towers in Uganda. The program kept its momentum even after nose tackle Pickett moved to the Houston Texans this past season.

Water towers today cost $700.

“They provide local work for people in Uganda, but more importantly, a water tower provides a physical  need—water—and the spiritual need of sharing God’s message through this simple act of kindness,” Jeff says.

Information on helping with that kindness can be found at acts18.org/water-towers.

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