One of the many wonderful things about the people in Kokomo is their generosity, particularly from church-goers throughout the community.

Two of those churches have done something so wonderful and extraordinary that show they don’t just preach, they actually live Christian lives by helping those less fortunate.

Fuel Church of Kokomo has partnered with RIP Medical Debt to eliminate more than $5.2 million in medical debt for more than 3,400 people in Howard and Miami counties.

"Of all types of debt, medical debt can be the most crippling to household finances," according to a press release from the church. "In fact, medical debt far outpaces all other types of consumer debt, making up more than 50 percent of collections on credit reports. The financial and emotional pressures of medical debt often impact the most vulnerable, the elderly and the poor."

Citing one of Fuel Church’s most-used phrases, being a “hope dealer”, Senior Pastor Jacob Burgei identified a better way to exemplify “dealing hope," according to the release.

RIP Medical Debt purchases medical debt in large bundles for pennies on the dollar, so that $1 donated erases $100 of medical debt.

A letter will be sent to those whose debts have been canceled with this message from Burgei and the congregation at Fuel Church: “God loves you and so do we. As an act of love, just as Jesus forgave our debt, your debt has been forgiven.”

In June, Northview Church, a nondenominational church with 11 Indiana locations, announced it is paying off $2 million of medical debt for 2,500 families in Kokomo, Indianapolis, Anderson, Carmel, Fishers, Lafayette and Westfield.

The church was able to turn a $20,000 offering into $2 million of debt relief through RIP Medical Debt,

The money was collected from Northview’s Dollar Club, a donation campaign the church puts on three to four times a year to give to people in need.

Joe Smith, Northview Kokomo campus pastor, said each congregant is asked to donate $1 to an anonymous cause. Then, a month later, the church reveals how the people have contributed to the community.

“The point is to show how a small act of generosity can impact the community,” Smith said. “It’s really just our way of letting them know God loves them. This is what the church is all about­­­ — showing God’s love in real and tangible ways.”

We couldn’t agree more. Thank you to all who donated to these worthy causes.

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