A faith-forward organization, the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society has been on a mission for nearly 100 years to serve others in need in the name of the Lord.
“My mind immediately goes to the word ‘calling’ when I think about the founding of the Good Samaritan Society,” says Christy Hallenbeck Ask, director of mission integration and senior pastor.
The Society was founded on Sept. 29, 1922, by Rev. August “Dad” Hoeger in Arthur, North Dakota.
“He was called by God to start this ministry,” Pastor Christy says.
Pastor Christy is one of the latest to pick up the torch and carry it ever forward. Her installation in January 2021 was a day of celebration at the Society’s national campus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“I am honored to step into it. To learn how it is that God is at work through unique people who make up the Good Samaritan Society,” Pastor Christy says.
She can’t help but think of the parable of the Good Samaritan when she thinks about the 30,000 residents and employees she’s helping to guide. She says Jesus is illustrating what it is to be a neighbor.
“The person who is the neighbor is the one who moves toward the one in need,” Pastor Christy says.
'People who lean toward the ones in need'
These neighbors are easy to find at each of the Society’s more than 300 locations in 23 states.
“People who lean toward the ones in need through laundry services. Answering call lights at 2 a.m. and by serving people meals in dining rooms and cafeterias. We also have residents who move towards each other in times of care and need,” Pastor Christy says.
Despite the pandemic, she believes there’s great hope for the future. She’ll continue to reinforce faith-based values at the Society and knows it won’t be her mission alone.
“I call all of my co-workers here my colleagues in ministry,” Pastor Christy says.