- Ted Pittenger, Samaritan Ministries’ International President, gives his annual State of the Ministry report. Ted reviews a year of strong growth and some of the challenges in 2016. He also shares his thoughts about what we should be praying for in the new political environment and how it might affect our health care system.
- Rob Slane reflects on what lies behind the recent controversies about “fake news.” Have we become as cynical about truth as Pilate was? We must rely on the One Who is the Truth.
- The Member Spotlight features Julé Colvin, who specializes in helping nonprofits find funding. See the back of the sheet for information about a giveaway of free passes to her grant writing course. She also explains why she and her family joined Samaritan Ministries.
- Learn about new Samaritan member Paul Perryman, who survived a horrific triathlon accident. He saw God provide for the huge bills, much of it through a Special Prayer Need.
- A “sugar alert” issued by the Weston A. Price Foundation warns of sugar’s role in the most common serious diseases. The average person now consumes 180 pounds of sugar per year, and convenience foods are filled with industrial sweeteners.
- Samaritan member Dr. Jane Orient explains why “universal coverage” is a misguided objective when it comes to reforming health care. In fact, too much insurance is the problem, not the solution, she says.
- In a reflection on Psalm 19, The Doorpost reminds us that we need to be truly seeking God and not presuming.
Send a Note, Pay your Share, Always Stay Alert in Prayer
By Ted Pittenger
Founder and International President
Every month, our Share Assignment Notice reminds all members of the three Samaritan basics: Send a Note, Pay Your Share, Always Stay Alert in Prayer.
From the beginning, Samaritan Ministries has exhorted our members to trust in God for our health care needs (and all of our other needs) and to support one another with prayer, encouragement, and sharing.
We have always emphasized that God is the only One Who can be depended on to meet all of our needs. No one else even comes close. He created everything. He owns everything. This past year has given us many opportunities to experience His provision for the ministry and for the thousands of individual households.
Another year of amazing growth
We started the year with 52,000 member households and have grown to more than 65,000 households that are sharing health care needs. In January alone, more than 5,000 households joined Samaritan. It was the third consecutive year where there was a spike in growth during the open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, as Christians continued joining together to provide for one another’s health care needs in a way that supports their Biblical convictions. Last year we were sharing about $15 million in needs each month. This year the needs members are sharing have reached nearly $20 million.
By Rob Slane
As we enter a new year, one thing we can say for certain about the old year is that, in terms of unexpected political and geopolitical changes, it was truly breathtaking. Here in England, there was the Brexit vote to leave the European Union. The British government and much of the media did just about everything they could to prevent it and then were genuinely shocked by the result. Then there was the defeat of Hillary Clinton at the hands of Donald Trump, and again the elites neither saw it coming, nor seemed to know how to react once reality set in.
But behind these seismic shifts in the political landscape, an even bigger story has been brewing. For the mainstream media, 2016 was an Emperor’s New Clothes year—a year when many of the biggest newspapers and TV outlets were exposed as being not only completely wrong, but in many cases simply mouthpieces for the global elite. However, rather than learning anything from the experience, it seems that their response has been to double down on the same strategy, as if doubling down on failed practices would produce anything but more failure.
So in the wake of Mr. Trump’s victory, those same organizations who had been so biased in their pre-election coverage hit back by creating the notion of “fake news” and “fake news sites” with the assertion that we are now in a “post-truth” society.
By Alyssa Klaus
Helping nonprofit organizations succeed has been a 30-plus-year mission for Julé Colvin. Her company, Pathways to Growth, sees nonprofits flourish under its leadership training, as well as its grant-readiness assessment, grant writing program, and other services geared toward making organizations both financially and structurally sound.
Julé’s love for nonprofits and the people they serve started early in life.
“I like to say it started when I was 10,” she says. “I can remember always having a heart for it, even though I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I had good parents, but we weren’t churchgoing folks then.”
Despite this, she felt the desire to help the less fortunate.
Her first job out of college was working for a nonprofit. From there, she never looked back. She has worked every position at these organizations, “from chief cook and bottle washer, to running a program for high school dropouts, helping to build affordable housing in the inner city, working with senior citizens, and the list goes on and on.” She has also served as a board member, executive director, and developmental director to various nonprofits. However, she really found her niche in grant writing.
Fifteen years ago, Julé Colvin and her family joined Samaritan Ministries. Shortly after that, they experienced the heartbreak of a stillborn baby.
“Here it was, a stillborn baby and $7,000 in medical bills,” she says. “The words of encouragement we received, it was amazing.”
They left SMI for a time because her husband had insurance, but at this point in their life, they have rejoined. “I have the pre-existing condition of rheumatoid arthritis, but I’ve found that I can handle the regular cost of the medicine and the upkeep on my own,” she says.
In the current health care climate, Julé says they appreciate SMI even more than they did back then. “The other options that are out there for insurance were just outrageously priced and I thought, ‘I know this has worked in the past; this is a Biblical model.’”
She finds it freeing to be able to avoid supporting things that go against Christian values while at the same time helping other people.
Even more so, she enjoys being a part of a Christian community.
“As we’re in the middle of all of this health care, what I call ‘crisis,’ it’s an amazing gift to be able to read SMI’s newsletter and know points of prayer, as well as read Member Spotlights and know what people are out there doing.”