Samaritan Ministries: Chronic Sufferers Don’t Have to Go It Alone

“It’s Important to Go Beyond Medication, and Address the Physical, Emotional, Social and Spiritual Needs of Those Enduring Migraines” 

July 19, 2021

PEORIA, Ill. — An often overlooked medical fact is that migraines are among the most common debilitating illnesses in the world, affecting more than 1 billion people, according to The Lancet.

“Self-reported migraine and severe headache in the U.S. adult population is high, affecting roughly 1 out of every 6 Americans and 1 in 5 women over a 3-month period,” according to a meta-analysis cited by the National Institutes of Health.

“Headaches are invisible to others, so migraine sufferers often don’t get enough support for this incapacitating illness. That’s not the case here,” said Samaritan Ministries International (www.samaritanministries.org) founder and President Ted Pittenger.

“Our members and their families know that they are not going to go through something like this alone. It’s important to go beyond medication and address the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of those enduring migraines.”

“A migraine is a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head,” the Mayo Clinic reports. “It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.”

In the United States, migraines affect three times more women than men, and more than 30 percent of women during their lifetimes, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

In a May 25 blog post on Samaritan’s website, and also in the June edition of Samaritan’s Christian Health Care Newsletter, migraine expert Josette Herdell examined root causes for migraines, offered tips on how to cope and heal, and stressed the importance of overall care and nurturing of faith in the face of chronic pain.

“As someone who struggled with chronic daily migraines for nearly two decades—alongside my two brothers, father, and grandmother, who have also struggled with migraines—I can understand the devastating impact this condition has not only on someone’s physical health, but also the toll it takes on someone’s mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health,” she wrote.

“My journey provided powerful healing not only of the body but also of the heart and mind. It is a result of this healing that God has called me to dedicate my life to sharing this message of hope and partnering with families and individuals in order to support their own healing process.”

“We get testimonies every day from people from all walks of life who have been blessed by other Samaritan’s members, who share not only health care costs but their faith and empathy,” Pittenger said.  

Another story of faith on the blog is related by Samaritan Ministries member Tim Shorey, who is now in his 32nd year of a literally non-stop, 24/7 headache. Afflicted with viral meningitis at age 30, he was left in perpetual pain. In his book “30/30 Hindsight: 30 Reflections on a 30-Year Headache,” he wrote about a treatment that cured his pain – but only for a very brief time.

“I don’t share this for your pity. God has given me so much grace that I need no pity,” he wrote. “Still, this might help you sense what chronic sufferers feel. High highs and low lows. Hopes raised and hopes dashed. Crazy remedies and crushing disappointments.

“But what I most want you to see is what I saw: a glimpse of heaven. Revelation 21:4 reads differently now: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“At Samaritan, we deal every day with real pain, the hope of recovery, successful treatments and heartbreak and hear heartfelt testimonies. But we cultivate an eternal perspective,” Pittenger said. “Jesus is the Great Healer, now and forever.” 

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 www.samaritanministries.org, or follow the ministry on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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