For a look at why some of our generous contributors gave to this effort, see Laura Watson’s post on the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America website here!
The Debt Jubilee Project: For the Healing of the World, which concluded on August 13th, has raised more than $100,000 toward the forgiveness of medical debt here in the United States and in Ahuas, Honduras. Jubilee! These generous contributions will help eliminate more than $10 million in long-term medical debt owed by individuals living in U.S. counties with a Moravian presence (through a congregation or ministry), along with relieving debt owed by patients of the Moravian medical clinic in Ahuas, Honduras.
Thanks to the generosity of so many, we will be sending about $26,000 (25% of the total raised) to Ahuas, Honduras. The Board of World Mission is working with the staff at the Clínica Evangélica Morava to ensure a smooth transfer of funds and support the clinic staff as they manage these funds and communicate debt forgiveness to community members. The funds will be sent over several months in partial amounts on top of the regular monthly support sent to the clinic to cover operating costs, medical equipment, medicines, etc.
All remaining funds (75% of our total) will support debt relief in the United States. A portion of this amount will support our partners at RIP Medical Debt as they work to find and eliminate debt, while the vast majority will directly eliminate debt in U.S. counties where there is a Moravian presence. We are currently working with RIP Medical Debt to allocate these funds so that our project can have the greatest impact possible, while also reaching as wide a geographic area as possible, based on where debt is available to them at this time.
The amount of debt that RIP Medical Debt has access to at a given time depends on a few things:
- What their vendors (local hospitals or sellers on the secondary debt market) make available to them at a given time from their inventory
- What campaigns/local donations are going on/have recently abolished debt – meaning that debt not available in an area may mean other folks have recently helped clear debt in that geographical area
- Where a large donor base has indicated interest (i.e. RIP Medical Debt needs to source medical debt from areas where they can confidently say they have donors that would be looking to fund these debt purchases.) – This could also be a great incentive for congregations inspired to work directly in their communities to reach out and explore starting their own campaign!
While we do not anticipate debt being available in every state/county where there is a Moravian presence or from which we have received donations in support of this effort, we rejoice that the generous gifts given in support of this project will reach community members in each Moravian province/district in the United States.
Thank you to all who graciously contributed to this collaborative effort without knowing exactly which counties would need the help when the campaign was completed.
We look forward to sharing the total impact of this project as soon as we are able.
Your Ministry Partners at the Interprovincial Board of Communication, Commission on Congregational Development, Board of World Mission, and Moravian Ministries Foundation in America