When pastor Danny Anderson of Emmanuel Church in Greenwood, Indiana decided to visit a small orphanage in Haiti, he had no idea what to expect. His experience would have a profound impact on him—and his church. In the end, he’d discover that his church was more ready to give than he ever imagined.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Its infrastructure is so weak that it can’t even be considered a third-world country. Pastor Anderson saw this poverty first hand. In one orphanage made of sticks and earth, the 29 children were only being fed two meals a week. The children were literally eating mud pies in order to stop the hunger that constantly plagued them. Danny Anderson knew his church needed to do something.
Emmanuel Church Responds:
As soon as pastor Anderson returned to Emmanuel, his team began looking into what it would cost to feed these precious children. When they realized that for $50,000 they could build an orphanage and feed the kids two meals a day, they were galvanized. Sure, it was ambitious—but they knew that it truly was a life-or-death decision.
Since they were already using Pushpay to collect donations and offerings, they were able to easily add this need as a potential fund for people to contribute toward. They kicked off the drive that weekend.
The Shocking Outcome:
Even though Emmanuel was firmly resolved to make this dream a reality, they were not prepared for the response. The simplicity of using Pushpay to make donations, coupled with the ease of sharing the cause with friends, helped the drive spread like wildfire. Within 24 hours of kicking off their campaign, they had raised nearly half of the needed $50,000 through Pushpay. And by the time the campaign was over, they’d raised more than $100,000!
With all the money that came in—much of it from people who had never given to the church before—they were able to provide two meals a day, improve on the orphanage they were building, and provide the children with health care and a full-time teacher for two years. In fact, there was still money left over to provide food and clothing for many other families as well.
In the end, Emmanuel Church learned a valuable lesson about how involved a congregation can become when they’re energized to meet a legitimate need. This is the kind of lesson that they’ll not soon forget, and will empower them to impact their world.
It’s also interesting to note that after the campaign was over, the church saw an increase in regular giving, much of it propelled by new givers moved by the good work they were able to take part in. When people are able to make a connection between their giving and a specific need, they’re eager to give. Sacrificial giving is exhilarating. When people get a taste of it (and see the fruit), they can’t wait to do it again.
What about your church?