Your Debt is Paid: Lifehouse Church Cancels $3.1 Million of Unpaid Medical Debt as Easter Gift to Neighbors

Your Debt is Paid

This Easter, congregations of churches all over the city will be celebrating the holiday much differently than usual. Instead of gathering together to hunt eggs, worship and share a special meal, people are looking for meaningful ways to commemorate the season as they comply with the Stay at Home order. 

Long before the word Covid-19 was in anybody’s vocabulary, Lifehouse Church in Stone Oak had quietly put a plan in motion to share the love of Christ this Easter with members of their community. They connected with RIP Medical Debt to cancel $3.1 million of debt for individuals living in 78258. Lifehouse church is located near Wilderness Oak and Blanco Roads within this zip code.

The church spent $31,000 out of its own congregational giving fund to erase $3.1 million in debt owed by their neighbors. The church paid a penny for every dollar of debt to wipe out the entirety of medical debt owed by qualified recipients, said Ryan Coffey, who has served as Lead Pastor of Lifehouse Church for more than 13 years.

Persons were identified as those whose medical debt had gone to collections, who make less than twice the federal poverty level, have medical debt that is more than 5% of their annual income or have debts greater than their assets. RIP Medical Debt also will work with credit agencies to restore the credit impact from this previously unpaid debt for those whose debt was paid. 

“We wanted to do something practical for those who are struggling to facilitate the idea that ultimately our eternal debt is paid,” Coffey said. “A majority of those who qualify might be veterans or elderly.”

The debt forgiveness program and its parallel to the forgiveness of the debt of sin offered by Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection will be the highlight of Coffey’s Easter message titled, “My Debt is Paid.” Lifehouse Church livestreams services at 9:15 and 11:00 a.m., Sundays.

“Medical debt is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy and contributes significantly to the likelihood of a person experiencing homelessness. By improving the person’s credit, it will help them get back on their feet after their illness, while making it easier to get a job, get an apartment, and pay fewer fees and lower loan rates.”

The impacted households will receive a letter letting them know that Lifehouse Church has paid their medical debt as a way to love their neighbors well – no strings attached.

“All of this is being done in Jesus’ name because of the generosity of our God and the compassion and mercy He has shown us,” Coffey added.

Go to Lifehousesa.com or follow them on social media @Lifehousesa for upcoming “social distance events” being planned to commemorate Holy Week and to offer prayer and encouragement in this trying time.

 

Submitted by:  Amy Morgan