Special Prayer Needs (SPN)
As former insurance policy holders we are familiar with rules about what is and isn’t covered by the policy. Samaritan has similar guidelines. So if we have a medical need that isn’t publishable (shareable) like a set of braces for my children or certain pre-existing condition (more about those here)… we can submit those needs to Samaritan under the catagory of Special Prayer Need. This is something else insurance companies never do (help you pay for needs that are completely outside their rules). In contrast, Samaritan will notify members on your behalf that you have a special prayer need and members can choose to send you money to help with this need. Insurance gives no solutions here, Samaritan offers help.
As members we receive our custom monthly newsletter telling us where to send our regular share. At the bottom of the page is a suggested Special Prayer Need. It will tell us what the need is, who it’s for, why it’s not considered “publishable” as a regular need, and tell us how much they suggest we send. Generally it says that if everyone who was told about the SPN would send $20 the need would be met in full. On the back of the page are 4-10 more SPNs we can also choose to give to. Giving to an SPN is not required. But sometimes members have a little extra and want to help out. Members can choose which needs we want to help with, or none at all. The information on who to send that to is listed by each need, or we can send the money to the main office for them to distribute. If we send the money through the main office that gift becomes tax deductible.
SPNs are opportunities for extra giving. They are not required. If you are the recipient of money toward a Special Prayer Need you are seeing the Body of Christ in action. True generosity, gifts from the heart along with supportive notes from members who want to help just “because”.
We give to our suggested SPN every month and to the others listed on the sheet. Not every member is able to contribute, so any extra we can send is a good thing.
Update: We received a referral credit in Feb 2014 and gave back all of it to members with special prayer needs. We were able to give twice as much money to twice as many families. Hopefully more new members will list us as their referral so we can do it again!
Update 4/28/14: We have heard about 2 more referral credits, we should be getting those share credits in June and July. Thank you to those who have listed my name as your referral, we are thrilled to send that credit back to members with special prayer needs and those with prorated needs! Praise God for His gifts!
Update 8/28/14: Since the last update we have been blessed to have at least one referral signup credited to our account each month (I think one of the months had 2 signups). We have faithfully given that equivalent to members with SPNs, and have rejoiced that we are able to do so. I learned today that our September share is actually $0 (we will still pray and send a card to our assigned need), as we had at least 3 families signup during July (so our credit comes in Sept). That means we can give the full $400+ share to SPNs and help LOTS of members with these extra needs, and some of that 3rd signup will also roll into October (credits continue on to future monthly shares until you work through them). If you were one of the families who signed up during that time, THANK YOU. And thanks on behalf of those receiving our donations. We feel honored to do so and appreciate the opportunity you give us when you list my name as your referring member. Don’t worry, our assigned need for Sept will still receive what they need, the money will just come from other members, and they’ll have a bonus card and bonus prayers from us! 🙂
Update 2016: When we first joined we matched our donation to the referral credits we got, making sure to send at least $20 if there wasn’t one that month (mention Heather Peters sent you!) that is just something our family had chosen to do, it’s not required for all members to do it. But now we’ve been members for a few years and have seen what this ministry can do for those who have needs beyond regular sharing. We want to always help people with those needs, so now we budget to send to all our listed Special Prayer Needs. It is made possible because of those who have listed us as a referral. Thank you for helping us to help others!
I recently read an absolutely awesome testimony by another Samaritan member who said several weeks after she sent money to her recommended Special Prayer Need she received her check back. The gentleman said he had received more money than was needed to pay for his surgery and he was returning the extra along with thank you cards. Obviously that situation doesn’t happen every time, but what a great story! How wonderful to hear of God’s provision and blessings in his life. Of course, not every special prayer need is met in full. I’m sure lots of them are met only in partial form. But considering that these are voluntary donations by members for needs that do not meet the guidelines for regular sharing (happened before membership, pregnancies that started before membership, treatment for conditions still in pre-existing status, dental work, etc) and that insurance would NEVER give us avenues to get those bills even partially relieved, well, I consider it just a HUGE blessing of Samaritan membership and I’m so thrilled to be able to give generously to it. If you become a member I hope you will also consider giving to your suggested Special Prayer Needs as I’m sure that money would help ease burden that a fellow Christian bears. To be able to help lift that weight with even a small gift, as all the small gifts become big when joined together, it just feels good to be able to do something to help others in this world.