Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

8609030890_3a0d01231c_zEaster is the time when Christians remember how Christ gave them eternal life through His suffering, death and resurrection. This year, however, it was also the time when a Texas church gave its congregation a very special, more earthly gift. Covenant Church in Carrollton, Texas paid off the medical debt of 4,000 local families. The debt totaled $10,551,618. The debts of local veterans were paid off first with special attention given to those who were suffering from injuries from war. The debt of every veteran within 20 miles of the church was paid off. Then, the rest of the money was distributed among others in the community.

The church usually spends more than $100,000 leading up to Easter Sunday in order to promote their services through radio and TV ads and even billboards which can cost up $30,000 per month. This year, however, they decided to listen to the Gospel’s teachings on generosity, and they put their money where their mouths are.

The pastor of the church, Stephen Hayes, understands the burden of medical debt all too well. He was hit by a car at the age of 17 and spent 12 days in the ICU. His family struggled to pay off the debt incurred from the accident until his church stepped in to help. Hayes wanted to give that same incredible gift to others in need. The church sent out letters to those they helped fund. The letters said, “We are Covenant Church and we are local in this area and can serve you in any way, and we would love to be your church. But even if we don’t get to meet you, just know that God loves you.”

Hayes compared the gift the church gave to local families to the gift Jesus gave the world. The “letter” to believers is contained in the Gospel, especially the passage from the Gospel of John when Jesus states, “It is finished.” On Easter Sunday, Hayes reminded his congregation of that fact.

“That’s your letter in the mail,” Hayes said. “If you can imagine what those people this week will be feeling when they receive the letter that you sent them saying their debt is paid. I prayed 100-fold that [is how] you would feel in reading the letter He wrote to you in the book of John 19:30. Hey, your debt of sin is paid. You are covered.”

This gift is not one that the local families will ever forget. Easter is always a day to be thankful and praise God, but this year, those Texas families have extra to be thankful for and are thanking their neighbors as well as Christ.

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