‘No One Expects to be Bitten by a Snake’
Self-Employed Samaritan Ministries Member Jeff Says His Experience with Health Care Sharing Was ‘Overwhelming and Humbling’
PEORIA, Ill.—More than 270,000 individuals (82,000-plus households) are members of Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America. Each month, they share $29 million in medical needs—person-to-person and family-to-family. These needs range from broken bones and sprains to cancer treatments—and everything in between, even a snake bite.
Jeff, a Samaritan Ministries member from North Carolina, remembers one of the most intense medical needs of his life—and how his fellow Samaritan members stepped in to help him pay his medical bills and experience a full recovery.
“No one expects to be bitten by a snake,” Jeff wrote as he shared his story.
On a Saturday in May, Jeff was preparing his garden when he reached under a lean-to and felt a sudden, intense pain on his hand.
“At first,” Jeff said, “I didn’t know what just took place; then I saw blood coming from two small holes just below my thumb. It was obvious that I had been bitten by a snake. Thankfully, my wife, Mary, was home, and she rushed me to our local hospital. I was blessed to have my son, Nathan, working in the emergency room that day, who was able to expedite my care. While there, I was well taken care of, but it was clear that poisonous snakebites were not in their comfort zone. As the swelling intensified, moved up my arm—turning it blue—and then into my chest, the ER physician made the call to send me via ambulance to a hospital with a well-known trauma unit. In fact, a leading venom specialist practiced at this hospital. The care was excellent, and I remained in the hospital several days, receiving antivenom serum and recovering. However, the full recovery took nearly eight weeks.”
At that time, Jeff hadn’t had much experience with health care sharing. After having health insurance most of his life, he had joined Samaritan just the previous year, deciding to switch to health care sharing through Samaritan because of his self-employed status.
“We were concerned, having always used insurance,” Jeff said. “Thankfully, my wife is extremely organized and a very good negotiator. She handled the many bills associated with both hospitals and all the care, totaling nearly $70,000. Having never submitted a need like this before, we weren’t sure what to expect. When we received the listing of all those we should receive shares from within the coming month, we were in awe. It was a joy to see those flow in daily until the need was met, with about 80% also including notes of encouragement and handwritten prayers for my healing. This was overwhelming and humbling, and we glorify Him for complete healing.
“We are so grateful for Samaritan Ministries,” Jeff added, “who brings the larger body of Christ together to help one another in time of need. One never expects to be taken ill suddenly, but what a joy to know that we can share together, bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ through Him—to love one another.”
Samaritan members like Jeff send their monthly financial shares directly to other members with medical needs, along with notes and cards of encouragement, and they pray. Through this effective, God-honoring ministry, Samaritan members have shared $1.8 billion in medical needs over the past 25 years.