Why SMI? Sherokee Ilse wanted to find pro-life health care

Amanda Wilton  ·  Sep 24, 2018

Sherokee Ilse found herself without health insurance when her husband, David, retired early in 2013.

She began the search for health care, but, with the Affordable Care Act in full implementation at that point, it was important to her to find something that did not fund abortions.

That’s when she remembered hearing James Lansberry, executive vice president of Samaritan Ministries, speak at an Association of American Physicians and Surgeons conference a few years before. The AAPS strives to uphold the patient-physician direct care relationship without involvement from government. This principle rang true for Ilse, as she was feeling the health care landscape had gotten “Crazy and nutso! Patients ought to just have a direct connection with their doctors.”

Because Samaritan not only supports direct care, but also makes sure that shares don’t fund unbiblical practices such as abortion, Sherokee was attracted to the ministry.

As she researched more about Samaritan’s structure, she found the direct sharing model also fit her values. The simplicity of sending a note and a check directly to another member “warmed my heart,“ she says.

“To know and trust that not a lot of money was going to administration, but that my shares were supporting anoth-er Christian, felt so faith-based, Bible-based and beautiful,” Sherokee says. “I get excited about what you do.”

Over the past five years, Sherokee has faithfully prayed for Samaritan members monthly, along with sending her Shares. Because she prefers to treat health concerns herself as much as possible, not often seeking out medical assistance, it wasn’t until recently that she submitted a Need.

Through that experience, she found that “the outreach from strangers, really sisters and brothers in Christ, meant a lot.”

“It helps to know we are not alone,” Sherokee says, “We are all connected and on this journey together, even if we don’t know somebody personally.” 

Because the notes and cards she received meant so much, she says, “Even though I always sent a note with my Shares, I’m even more committed to writing better notes now!”