Why SMI? Notes are 'an unusual extension of God's love'

By Michael Miller  ·  Feb 20, 2023

Michael and Vickie Eastham didn’t have any health issues during their first couple of years as Samaritan Ministries members after joining in 2019.

“Then we had a couple of situations back to back where we had some significant Needs,” says the new member of the Samaritan Ministries Board of Directors. “We got to experience the sharing process.”

The surprising part for them wasn’t the financial support from other members, but the notes.

“Previously, we hadn’t thought much about sending notes to other members with our Shares,” Michael says. “But then when we had a Need, we started receiving notes from people who were sharing our medical expenses. These were people we don’t know and will probably never meet this side of Heaven. It’s an unusual extension of God’s love to get an encouraging note saying that they’re praying for the issue. That was surprising to me.”

Michael says he has always been “kind of a problem child when it comes to looking at health care.”

“I’ve been a critic of the way the health care system works,” he says. “I feel like it’s broken in so many ways, that it treats the symptom and not the real cause of an illness.”

When the Easthams were looking at buying health insurance, they ran into a major problem. Due to lack of transparency, the plans couldn’t be properly compared, he says.

So the couple started looking at health care sharing and initially joined another ministry.

“But I was really intrigued by the concept of people who ‘own’ part of their care and having help for the things that happen medically,” Michael says. “Going down that path led us over to Samaritan. We had some friends who had used it and we liked the structure, so we transitioned over a few years ago.”

Read about Michael Eastham's experiences before becoming a Samaritan Ministries Board member.

Michael Miller is the editor of the Samaritan Ministries newsletter.