Membership in Samaritan Ministries helps Anchorage couple ‘stay in the field’ to bring Christian community, family-like support and hospitality to servicemen and servicewomen
May 23, 2022
PEORIA, Ill. — Samaritan Ministries International (Samaritan) members Bob and Stephanie Caudle of Anchorage, Alaska, run a remarkable outreach to U.S. service members serving in that area.
As part of Military Appreciation Month, which Congress in 1999 designated for May, Samaritan Ministries is highlighting the Caudles’ ministry, which was featured in Samaritan’s April 2020 Christian Health Care Newsletter.
The couple operate the Homestead, a Cadence International hospitality house located in Anchorage, near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which contains both Air Force and Army operations. They provide a caring Christian community, connection, family-like support, and warm hospitality to members of the military who are serving their country far from their own homes and families.
The Caudles have more resources, focus, and energy for this important work because of the financial support, savings and peace of mind that comes to them through Samaritan Ministries’ Christian health care sharing community.
Before they joined Samaritan Ministries in early 2015, the Caudles were paying $1,700 per month for a health insurance plan for their family of five that had a $5,000 deductible and 80/20 coverage, with an additional cap on fees paid for certain procedures as well. Joining Samaritan Ministries greatly reduced their costs to only about $500 a month, and they became part of a caring community of similarly committed members.
“To go from what we were paying previously to around $500 a month was significant,” Stephanie said. “That was a huge help for us.”
“I like the idea of sending a check to (someone) else in the Christian community, not to an insurance company,” Bob added.
The supportive cards and letters sent along by fellow members are a bonus the couple has enjoyed. “It’s a blessing to read through the notes,” Bob said. “It’s been just beautiful — the encouragement and the prayers of people for our health over and over again.”
The couple knows all about Samaritan’s many advantages, as Bob himself experienced cardiac arrest in August 2015. “Had we been with our health insurance plan, it would have sunk us because it was so bad,” Stephanie said. “Samaritan’s ministry and involvement has been able to keep us on the field.”
And staying out “on the field” reaching out to America’s military is exactly what they want to do. The couple’s hospitality house offers Bible studies as well as one-on-one mentorship, and the house often provides meals or hosts get-togethers for groups of 50 to 60 people.
“We try to bring people who are hurting into a Christ-centered community,” Bob said.
Military service in Alaska poses some unique challenges, the Caudles said, including winter days with only a few hours of daylight, which causes depression in some people. The Caudles provide emotional support and practical tips such as taking more vitamin D.
It’s about “teaching people that God cares about the whole person,” Stephanie says.
“It’s no wonder that this generous and giving couple are members of Samaritan Ministries — a community that makes an ongoing difference every single day in the lives of all our many members,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan Ministries’ chief purpose officer. “It’s a blessing to know that we can assist them in a way that helps them help others.”
For more about Military Appreciation Month, which honors the service and sacrifice of members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Space Force and National Guard, see an article at military.com.
Samaritan Ministries currently has a membership of 286,026 individuals from 84,940 households.
Samaritan has no limited enrollment period. Government exchange-based health insurance requires signups to occur only during open enrollment periods unless one qualifies for a special enrollment period due to a “life event” such as losing coverage, getting married, moving, or having a baby.
Samaritan Ministries health care sharingoffers additional advantages:
· No network restrictions. When medical care is needed, Samaritan members choose the health care provider, hospital, and pharmacy that work best for them.
· The direct-sharing approach allows members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs but to pray for and connect with them on a regular basis.
Samaritan gives people of Biblical faith an effective, Bible-driven health care community in which approximately $30 million in medical needs is shared person to person every month. Over the past 27 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $3 billion in needs while also praying for and encouraging fellow members through personal notes, cards and letters.