A church in Texas is surprising its community by paying off millions of dollars of medical debt.
Chances are good that everyone knows a friend or relative buried in medical debt since it’s estimated Americans owe a trillion dollars to hospitals, insurance companies or collection agencies.
David Dykes, who pastors Green Acres Baptist Church, tells OneNewsNow that hundreds of families in Tyler and Smith County are about to get the reprieve of a lifetime in the mail this week: a bring yellow envelope informing them their medical bills were paid by their friends at Green Acres.
“The first wave is going out this week,” he says, “and we actually have another one scheduled for the Christmas season.”
Dykes points out the church had help: a non-profit called RIP Medical Debt, operated by two former collection agency employees, is working with the church.
“These two guys, who are believers, have turned their experience into something that really helps families that are struggling with debt,” says the pastor.
RIP buys up the medical debt for pennies on the dollar, then takes donations like the $42,000 contributed by Green Acres members, and pays off the debt of the church's neighbors, which is about $1.2 million in this case.
“I think we're trying to step in and do what the Bible says when it says, ‘Bear one another's burdens and so you fulfil the law of Christ,’ and the only law of Christ was loving God and loving your neighbors,” Dykes tells OneNewsNow.