1 Peter 3:8 reminds us that we are to be sympathetic, to love one another, to be compassionate and humble. As a church, when we take care of others, we are compassionate. This isn’t new to Calvary, or any other church. Each week there are many ways that we each find opportunities to show compassion. Jesus was compassionate, and our mission is to live and love as He did. We want to be even more strategic in our vision for showing compassion in our local area though – so, to that end, we will work in these areas:
From time to time, we all have needs that could be helped with or met by others. For those who call Calvary their church home, we have always had a fund, set aside to help each other along the way. These funds are often used to help bring health and change to those who receive it. We call this the Macedonian Fund.
Through this initiative, we will fully fund our Macedonian Programs at each campus. This allows for our campus leaders to help those who attend Calvary in a small, financial way in their time of need.
A recent study shows that 6% of Americans are clinically depressed. This may sound small but think about those around you – think about those who call Calvary their church home. Of those who gather with us each weekend, 120 are struggling with depression in serious situations. Now think about the population of Sarpy County… There are more than 10,000 people who need a place to receive the care they need. The truth is, many of those who need help will never seek or receive it. We want to be a place where this help is easy and available to all.
As a church, we show compassion through care and as we evaluated what is available in our area, it became apparent that there was not a Christian Counseling center in eastern Omaha. Earlier this year, we partnered with CityCare Counseling to start a single office at our Bellevue Campus. This office is busy all week long and is home to two licensed, professional counselors. This has become an incredible resource for those who live in our area, whether they attend Calvary or not. Looking at the potential of this, we are led to increase our efforts in this area!
Through this initiative, we will multiply our efforts to better mental health in Sarpy County. Through an expanded partnership with CityCare Counseling, we will double our footprint for counseling services at our Bellevue location (2 offices) and seek to provide grants that will allow for low/no-cost counseling for the Military and their families.
RIP MEDICAL DEBT
Each week at Calvary, we each give one extra dollar to help someone in need. We call this the “$1 for One. More and more, we have noticed that those in our community are struggling with medical bills and expenses. These things left unpaid can quickly lead toward a mountain of debt – or even bankruptcy. That’s where a group called RIP Medical Debt comes in.
This group finds individuals and families whose debts are greater than their assets, are earning less than 2-times the poverty level average and are facing financial insolvency and helps in a very unique way. They pay them off.
That’s right. They pay them off – no strings attached. They work to purchase these debts in a way that they literally pay one-cent on the dollar and because of this, they can make a huge impact! That means that ten dollars pays off one-thousand dollars – or one-thousand dollars pays off one-hundred thousand dollars! Crazy right? But it’s true!
We set out to make an impact in 2020 – and through your overwhelming generosity, we decided to do something big here in the community where we live. We thought, what if we could do this in our area? What would it take to pay off these debts for all of those who qualify in Bellevue or Papillion or Glenwood or Plattsmouth or Lincoln or council bluffs or all of Omaha? And would you guess what? We did all of it!
That’s right – because of your generosity, we were able to pay off $1.67 million dollars of medical debt for 1,761 households! That’s every single one that qualified in Sarpy, Douglas, Cass, Lancaster, mills and Pottawattamie counties! Each of these people will receive a letter that simply reads, your debt has been paid because of the generosity of those who desire to live and love like Jesus. What a great way to celebrate the life of Jesus and the work he’s done in and through each of us!