Talk about your good news story. This one must be up there with some of the best we’ve seen. An Ohio megachurch, Crossroads Church, has partnered with a nonprofit organization called RIP Medical Debt to relieve thousands of individuals in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee of over $46.5 million in medical debt.
How did they accomplish this? Did the church pass the offering plates around until it came up with the full amount?
No. In a remarkably ingenious ministry strategy, RIP Medical Debt, an organization out of New York, takes donations from churches and buys up medical debt that has been deemed “uncollectable” and sold to collection agencies for whatever they can collect. As we are all aware, medical debt can overwhelm a family, even ones with insurance, who end up being unable to pay. Since the debt is deemed hard to collect, the collection agencies are willing to sell their rights to the debt to RIP Medical for literally a penny on the dollar.
In Crossroads’ case, the church was able to raise $465,000 from across its various sites, which translates into $46.5 million worth of medical debt. RIP Medical then sends each individual whose debt is forgiven a letter telling them that they are free of medical debt.
Can you imagine the reaction when families receive those letters? “We almost cried when we realized the letter was real. It really caught us off guard,” said one family whose response is posted on the RIP Medical Debt website. “It allows us to stay more positive, and for my wife and I to continue paying down our debts.”
Wait, the story gets better. RIP Medical Debt has been at this a few years.
A Missouri church, The Crossing, partnered with RIP Medical Debt to eliminate $43 million in medical debt. An Indiana church, City Church in Evansville helped eliminate $1.5 million in medical debt for people in their community. In Florida, Stetson Baptist church in DeLand donated enough to clear $7.2 million in medical debt that impacted over 6,500 individuals and families living at or below the poverty line in nearby counties. And many other donors have provided the way for thousands of families across the country to breathe freely again.
This is clearly a ministry opportunity with a 100 to 1 impact. What a great way to minister to people in a concrete way about the goodness of God and the generosity of His people. Kudos to these wonderful churches and RIP Medical Debt who saw an opportunity for the church to help, and pulled off miracle after miracle.
Hey, we’re not crying, you’re crying.
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