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The U.S. Senate and House are back in session this week, and one item at the top of the docket will surely be the re-consideration of the health care reform bill.

As murky as the health care waters are right now, health care sharing ministries like Samaritan Ministries International ( give hundreds of thousands of members clear and simple ways to share their health care needs among a biblical community of believers.

According to the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, nearly 1 million individuals are members of organizations where medical needs are shared by fellow members. Samaritan, a part of the Alliance and one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, connects nearly 228,000 individual members to bear one another’s burdens and encourage each other through notes and prayers.

“A profound freedom exists when we rely on Jesus, and on our brothers and sisters in Christ, for our health care needs, as the Bible instructs us in Galatians 6:2, to bear one another’s burdens,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan Ministries’ vice president of external relations. “So much in today’s health care world is frustrating, limiting and laden with questions and uncertainties. But the Bible is simple in Jesus’ teachings about how we should care for one another. When we are confident that our fellow Christians will lift us up both financially and spiritually—and that we will be there for them in their time of need—we experience a freedom that is unmatched by anything insurance or government health care can provide.”

Currently, Samaritan members share $25 million each month in medical needs and give a monthly share of only $495 for a family of any size; individuals give $220 and couples give $440. Just as significantly, Samaritan members also pray for one another and include notes and cards of encouragement with their monthly shares, which they send directly to other families.

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