Real Stories, Real People

Three Couples Share How Samaritan Ministries Members Gave Prayer and Support in Their Hour of Need and Beyond

August 20, 2021

PEORIA, Ill. —  The hundreds of thousands of Samaritan Ministries International members around the world have been able to come alongside families who are deeply grateful for the extra care that fellow members provide. Here are three heart-warming stories of Christian sharing.

Gregg and Courtney

When Gregg and Courtney found out at 17 weeks of pregnancy that their son would have a very serious heart condition, they felt broken and uncertain. Gregg called Samaritan Ministries, where they have been members since 2014. The needs advocate they talked to reassured them that Samaritan members would help them through the situation and that they should focus on their baby. Samaritan members began to pray and share the financial needs throughout the pregnancy.

Their son, Shepherd, was born with three heart chambers instead of four. He had his first surgery to put in a pacemaker at 7 days old, and a second surgery 4 ½ months later. Courtney marveled as the Lord worked in Shepherd’s body, leading to his discharge from the hospital just four days after the second heart surgery.

Each time Gregg spoke with a Samaritan advocate, he found comfort in a community of Christians that shared his family’s burdens.

“I don’t know how Samaritan could have answered any differently and done any better,” he said.

Today, Shepherd is surpassing his doctors’ expectations. Another surgery is in the future, but Courtney says she is finding peace, with Samaritan’s help, in letting Shepherd just be a kid.

Tracy and Jeffrey Kamprath

In November 2007, Tracy Kamprath began having trouble with her hearing. Her doctor discovered tumors in her ear and brain that eventually would leave part of her face paralyzed.

She was told the cost of an operation could easily reach $250,000.

Tracy panicked. “What have we done? We don’t have insurance,” she cried to her husband, Jeffrey. “We can’t face this—physically or financially.”

The couple, who both taught at a Christian school, joined Samaritan in 2004. Before the brain tumor, they had submitted several other family medical needs to Samaritan and had positive experiences. However, the huge financial threat of her upcoming surgery unsettled them.

They turned again to Samaritan, whose members not only helped share the costs but sent up countless prayers for both of them and offered encouraging notes. 

The answers to those prayers soon became obvious.  Tracy walked out of the hospital six days after her operation that spring instead of the predicted six weeks. “I went home on April Fool’s Day, which I thought was God’s joke on the doctor,” she said.

The final cost, thanks to discount negotiations, was closer to $55,000—far below the initial $250,000 estimate.

Tracy’s story of what she now calls her blessed journey can be found in the book “Sharing the Burden: The Samaritan Ministries Story.”

“I thank God that we found Samaritan Ministries and that He led us there,” Tracy said. “I’m in awe of how He works through … the Body of Christ and that in this day and age something so simple can have such a profound impact on people’s lives.”

Bob and Stephanie Caudle

Before they joined Samaritan Ministries in early 2015, the Caudles were paying $1,700 a 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.

In August 2015, Bob experienced cardiac arrest. “Had we been with [the] 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” in order to do outreach to America’s military is exactly what they do. The Caudles run the Homestead, a Cadence International hospitality house located in Anchorage, near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which contains both Air Force and Army operations. The Homestead provides a caring Christian community, connection, family-like support, and warm hospitality to members of the military who serve their country far from their own homes and families.

“We try to bring people who are hurting into a Christ-centered community,” Bob said.

The couple’s hospitality house offers Bible studies as well as one-on-one mentorship, and often provides meals or hosts get-togethers for groups of 50 to 60 people. 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 its many members.

“Since 1994, Samaritan Ministries has offered a Bible-based approach to health care, with members sharing each other’s medical needs through prayer, encouragement and financial support,” said Samaritan Ministries International founder and President Ted Pittenger.

Unlike health insurance, Samaritan Ministries has no limited enrollment period. 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 other 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 connect them on a regular basis.
  • The monthly share has not exceeded $530 for a family under seven and $555 for a family of eight or more. This contrasts with the average cost of health insurance for an individual in 2020, which was $623 per month and $1,779 for a family.

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 26 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.

Learn more about Samaritan Ministries International here; visit the Samaritan website at, or follow the ministry on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.