(TMU) — While we’re always hearing about so-called evangelical “mega-churches” and the opulent lives of their multi-millionaire pastors, we don’t hear too often about the frequently good deeds of churches.
But now, an Indiana church has raised the bar of community service for congregations across the U.S. after it helped to wipe out $7.8 million in medical debt for almost 6,000 families across the state.
Northview Church of Carmel, Indiana, teamed up with RIP Medical Debt to use its over $40,000 in donations to eliminate the unpaid medical bills of families across ten communities in Indiana, IndyStar reports.
RIP, which is based in New York, helps families suffering poverty or whose debt amounts to five percent or more than their income. Beneficiaries are informed through the program that their debt is simply wiped out with no strings attached.
Typically, when people are unable to pay off their medical bills, the bills are then transferred to collections agencies and the debt continues to grow. But when RIP Medical Debt steps in, they negotiate with hospitals, doctors, and investors to purchase debt at mere pennies on the dollar.
In a statement, Northview Church said:
“The debt is then paid off forever, with no adverse consequences to those who benefit.”
The church, which has seven campuses across the state, had originally announced that they would abolish $2 million in debt for 2,500 families in those communities. However, once they announced their plan to wipe out the debt in June, various other churches chipped in to help the cause.
Before long, the donations more than doubled as Northview congregants clamored to continue the movement. Those donations doubled the effect of the debt relief plan.
In some cases, entire cities’ medical debts were completely wiped out, the church claims.
And this isn’t a case of a charity only promising to help those who convert or “join the flock” – according to church leaders, many of the recipients are not connected in any way, shape, or form with Northview and will get a pleasant surprise once they are informed that the debt has been cancelled.
Northview’s Senior Pastor Steve Poe said:
“This is a great example of churches meeting people’s needs in practical ways as a demonstration of God’s love.”
We don’t serve others to convert them. We serve others because we have been converted.
— Steve Poe (@pastorstevepoe) September 16, 2019