Jeff Richards Has ‘Samaritan Members All Over the World’ Praying and Supporting Him Through His Battle
August 11, 2021
PEORIA, Ill. — In 2018, 64-year-old Jeff Richards had surgery to remove a glioblastoma multiforme grade 4 tumor. There is no cure. It can come back at any time.
Yet, he exudes gratitude toward God, his church family, and to Samaritan Ministries International (www.samaritanministries.org) members who have helped him and his wife, Jane, through the ordeal.
“I think the only reason I’m still here and doing so well and haven’t had any reoccurrence is because of the prayers of the saints, not just local, but Samaritan members all over the world praying for me,” Jeff said.
So far, Samaritan members have shared more than $284,000 for the bills for his surgery and follow-up treatment, which were discounted from an original total of $574,000.
“This is what our members do,” said Ted Pittenger, founder and CEO of Samaritan Ministries International. “We come alongside our members and help with the financial burdens of treatment while we also facilitate prayers and encouraging notes from our members. We are honored to be able to give a way for Christians to work together.”
Jeff also credits Scripture with keeping him and Jane on an even keel and full of hope.
“The only advice I have is stick your nose in your Bible and keep it there,” Jeff said. “You don’t know when you’re going to need it, but if you don’t make the deposit of the Word in your heart, it won’t be there for the Holy Spirit to pull it out when you need it. When I was getting prepped for surgery, I had no fear whatsoever. There was just one verse after another floating through my brain. So, I think it’s just important to read the Word and take solace in it, because it’s true and God loves to be reminded of His promises. Pray Scripture.”
When Jeff had his surgery, the doctors were able to remove 100 percent of the tumor. But they also discovered that it was glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain cancer, invading healthy brain tissue through tiny branches. Most patients with this type of cancer live less than a year after surgery, but Jeff has already survived for 2½ years. He has received chemotherapy and radiation and is now wearing an adhesive “cap” that emits electrical tumor-treating fields, aimed at “confusing” cancer cell growth.
“We want our members to be cared for, loved, and safe, knowing that they are prayed for by members who share their needs,” Pittenger said. “When you pour into people, they don’t forget and they are also able to bless others.”
Jeff’s wife, Jane, said she was also blessed constantly by the care from Samaritan staff.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “At the beginning, one of your advocates, man—I don’t know how many times I’ve called him on the phone, but he just held my hand through the whole thing. Samaritan has been great. I’ve gotten every question answered. Not only that, we get the prayers from everybody. People can’t believe we’ve got others praying for us in Omaha or wherever who don’t even know us. And I have a huge file of cards.
“We share what Samaritan has done and what it’s continuing to do with everyone we encounter at our medical facility, and they just can’t believe it. It’s such a testimony to how God’s people can work together and care for each other. They don’t understand health care sharing, so we get to explain it and go into more depth.”
In a time of uncertainty and flux in the health care industry, Samaritan Ministries offers a stable ministry of caring support.
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.
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.