By Michael Miller
Filmmaker Darren Doane says the trajectory of his life is “trouble making.” That’s why he’s a member of Samaritan Ministries.
“Every time I go and do something, there’s just this sense of like, ‘Oh, Darren, what are you doing?’” he says. “That was the response when I first told people about Samaritan.”
Darren learned about the ministry when he encountered a Samaritan representative at a World Vision conference around 2009.
“When I came back, I was telling everybody about Samaritan Ministries,” he says. “Everyone was like, ‘Oh, gosh, another thing that has to be completely against the system? You actually want me to feel bad about an insurance company paying for abortions? Darren, why can’t you just get along with everybody?’”
Ditching health insurance and joining a health care sharing ministry follows that life trajectory, he says. He was culturally rebellious before he became a Christian, and that continued, but in the right way.
“When I became a Christian, it was pretty clear that wasn’t going to change,” Darren says, adding, “That’s a maturation issue, too, finding the right things to buck against.”
What sold him wasn’t just the financial aspect (the Doanes had been paying $1,600 a month for health insurance) of being in health care sharing, or even the moral aspect, as passionate as he was about that. It was how Christians could help one another through a ministry like Samaritan.
“It was like, when Christians come together with their resources, we have more than enough,” he says.
“We have so much. I just loved it.”
Darren also says that since he and his family have joined, they have submitted a few needs but not all that they could have. He takes seriously Samaritan’s idea that for health care needs we should first look to our own resources, then those of our local church, and finally the Body of Christ through Samaritan membership.
“It wasn’t until we got to a point in time when the economics were lower, and all of a sudden the bills came in, that I decided I was going to start a need,” he says. “It trained me to be consistent that this is not an ATM for anything that happens in your life. I’m still responsible. I only look to Samaritan when I don’t have the money.”
Darren is still amazed by health care sharing, he says.
“The idea alone is so counterintuitive, that people don’t even believe it’s real,” he says. “Those are the kind of things that God wants us to be thinking about. God wants us to figure out these riddles (Proverbs 1:6). That’s what brings wisdom and that’s what brings maturity.”
Health care sharing also offers an action point for Christians who understand that health insurance is not consistent with what they believe and how they do things, he adds.
“What I love about Samaritan Ministries is that it has actually offered the solution,” Darren says.