Couple founded and directs Newlife International School of Midwifery
March 9, 2022
PEORIA, Ill. — In 1992, Matt and Krystina McNeil ventured out on a calling to be short-term missionaries in the Philippines.
“At the end of that first year, we really saw some amazing things God was doing, and we both felt that this was a calling on both of our lives and we should pursue it,” Matt says. “That was 30 years ago.”
During their first three years, Krystina volunteered to assist a missionary midwife who ran a birthing center based in her home, serving impoverished women. In 1995, the McNeils returned to the United States so Krystina could complete her studies to become a certified professional midwife (CPM), then returned to the Philippines.
In 2005, the McNeils founded Newlife International School of Midwifery (MidwifeSchool.org), where Americans, Canadians, and some Europeans—primarily young women—could come and serve as missionaries while learning how to become CPMs. The center provides comprehensive academic and clinical training and is an accredited midwifery education program.
Something the McNeils struggled with at the beginning of their ministry was health insurance. However, God brought them to the perfect solution for their family instead of insurance. Twelve years ago, the McNeils discovered Samaritan Ministries health care sharing and have been members ever since.
“As missionaries, it is very hard to get health insurance overseas,” Matt recently told Samaritan. “There are organizations that provide it, but it is very expensive.
“When I looked into Samaritan, I really felt that it was family-focused, and I could tell by the way it was put together that a lot of prayer had gone into it and that there really was a genuine and sincere regard for the members,” Matt continued.
Samaritan Ministries has a long history of including members who travel overseas for both short-term and long-term mission trips and helping them coordinate health care sharing for foreign medical needs.
“We are delighted Samaritan members can help enable their work and ministry,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan Ministries International’s vice president and chief purpose officer. “In fact, Samaritan has always made the needs of families a priority, helping our members make the best health care decisions and negotiate the best prices—even 7,000 miles away from the United States.”
“The mechanics of how a Need would work was an initial concern I had when we first considered Samaritan while living overseas,” Matt said. “Thankfully, the logistics were not complicated at all. When we had a Need, we merely paid for the medical charges on our credit card, then the Shares from Samaritan members were mailed to our U.S. mailing address. Our representative in the U.S. then deposited those checks into our U.S. bank account, which we used to pay off the credit card charges—all done online.”
The McNeils now recommend Samaritan to every woman who trains at Newlife International School of Midwifery to be an overseas missionary midwife.
“Through the years my family has had a few needs for minor surgeries, and the staff at Samaritan has been incredibly gracious in ministering to us and not just regarding us as a number or process,” Matt said. “We have been thrilled with it.”
Samaritan Ministries currently has a membership of 283,767 individuals from 85,450 households.
Unlike health insurance, Samaritan Ministries 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 several 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.
- Monthly shares are hundreds of dollars less per month than traditional insurance.
Samaritan Ministries 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.