State of the Ministry: 2014 started with a bang!
Ted A. Pittenger, Founder and President · Jan 01, 2015
The past year came in with a bang. In fact, it was an explosion. January 2014 was the largest month of growth in our history. More than 2,770 new households joined the ministry. By comparison, that number was 2,000 greater than in January the previous year! Today there are more than 40,000 households sharing medical needs through Samaritan Ministries, an increase of 39 percent from a year ago. It is exciting to see more and more members of the Body of Christ join in trusting Jesus Christ to provide for their health care needs, bearing one another’s medical burdens.
In 2013, we grew by 20 percent for the entire year. In 2014, we grew by 25 percent in just the first four months! This explosion in growth is even more amazing if we focus on the period from July 2013 to July 2014. In that 12-month period, membership grew by an astounding 47 percent!
The large increase in membership has been a huge challenge, requiring a lot of hard work by our team at the office to provide the needed services to all of our members. We have been aggressively improving our facilities and expanding our technical capabilities. We have been adding and training many additional staff. I am grateful to God for His provision, and proud of our team for their determined, sacrificial effort.
I am grateful for all of you Samaritan members who have been faithfully upholding the ministry in prayer. We are keenly aware of our need for Him in this time of great change and challenge, both on the inside of the ministry and on the outside.
Share increase approved
In the early part of 2014, there was growth in needs submitted for publication, and the share amounts that had been in effect for nearly two years were no longer enough for all the needs. It was necessary to prorate at 80 percent in March and 85 percent in April and May. A proposal to increase the monthly share amounts was presented to the members in June, and it was approved by 74 percent of those who voted.
I am grateful for the generosity of those who gave to our member assistance fund, so that members whose needs were prorated in earlier months were able to have their needs met in full. It is exciting to see the Lord provide for us.
Share reduction given
A few months after the share increase was implemented, the dollar amount of needs leveled out, so not all of the increase in the monthly shares was needed. We were able to reduce the assigned shares by 5 percent in October, 10 percent in November, and 8 percent in December. I am glad that our method of sharing enables us to ask our members to share only what is actually needed.
One reason the amount of needs has not been as great in recent months is that fewer large needs were submitted. In October, there were not any needs that exceeded $65,000. We do not know why this happened, but we are grateful to God for His provision in this way.
We are currently sharing more than $10 million each month, compared to $7 million a year ago.
The Morning Center
While all of this was happening in our Samaritan health care sharing ministry, there was also excitement going on at the Morning Center in Memphis, Tennessee.
On January 25, 2014, at 12:30 p.m., Morning Center medical staff had the privilege of witnessing the arrival of the Courtney and Tiphanie Gladney family’s newest edition, a beautiful baby boy. He weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces when he came into this world and the loving arms of his parents. Despite having a high-risk pregnancy, Tiphanie did great and there were no complications. Praise God!
So far, Morning Center medical staff at our pilot location of Memphis, Tennessee, have provided free consultation and prenatal care for 205 expectant mothers—that translates into more than 800 appointments since August 2013. Of these mothers, 34 have completed the Morning Center’s full maternity program that includes prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care, free of charge. In addition to establishing life-affirming maternity care protocols, the Morning Center’s obstetricians, nurses, and administrative staff have made personal connections with each woman that they have served and shared the good news of the Gospel. And this is just the beginning!
We are grateful for all of the Samaritan members who have given to this much needed ministry. Please be praying, asking God to provide increased funding and also to allow this ministry that encourages dependence on Jesus Christ, not the government, to expand in Memphis and to regions all around the country.
As we enter the New Year, we are eagerly anticipating what the Lord has in store for Samaritan Ministries’ health care sharing. We are seeing increased interest from churches, Christian schools, and other Christian ministries that want to provide for health care needs in a way that does not force support for abortion, abortifacient drugs, and other practices that are contrary to Biblical faith.
In mid-December, when this newsletter was going to press, there was a significant increase in inquiries about the ministry, both by telephone and online, so we anticipate the possibility of another spike in growth. In recent days we have been receiving a record number of phone calls. On Monday, December 15, we had the largest amount of incoming mail of any day in our history. We may still bring in the new year with another explosion.
Please continue to pray for God’s provision, protection, and direction as together we carry out this ministry. Pray that the number of believers who depend on God, and not government or other human institutions, will continue to increase, and also that unbelievers will come to faith in Jesus Christ as they see the love His people have for one another.
We deeply appreciate your participation and partnership in this amazing work of God.