A men's ministry in Georgia has helped a local National Guard solider and his family facing difficulties by rallying the group's church to raise $12,000 for the purchase of a new vehicle for the family.
"Every year the men's ministry takes on the tradition to help the community and this year, we wanted to help a veteran. Our heart is to help these guys, because they have physical and emotional and circumstantial needs," said Jim Crumbley, associate volunteer pastor at C3 Church in Lawrenceville, to the Christian Post. "We didn't want to find a 'Christian' to help, we wanted anyone that needed help. We're taking the gospel to the community just as Jesus said."
Crumbley, who is a Marine veteran, said they found out about Sgt. Michael McKinney, who has served four tours in Iran and Afghanistan, when church leaders approached the National Guard unit in their town and asked if there was a veteran that could use a hand. He said that McKinney's unit described him as a "selfless servant," while explaining the difficulties his family was enduring.
Last month, McKinney was told that his expected deployment to Afghanistan had been canceled which meant that he would not be able to receive the additional income he usually earns by being deployed.
During an interview with CBS Atlanta, McKinney who reportedly makes about $10 as an EMT in Stockbridge, Ga. said his family's two cars were on the verge of breaking down and would not be able to afford repairs since his deployment was cancelled.
On Sunday, the congregation presented a 2007 Chrysler Town and Country van to McKinney and his family, that includes children ages 6 to 14. The church also presented a commemorative plaque to a few members of McKinney's unit who were present during the church service to let them know that the church "can't help everyone but we can help one."
"They were so humbled and extremely blown away by the generosity, they just couldn't believe it," said Crumbley. "The youngest girl was giggling, it was really cute, and they couldn't understand why someone they didn't know would do this for them."
In the past, C3 Church has been involved with other community service deeds as well. Last year, the church gave back to their community by helping another veteran from Georgia who was injured in a car accident after being laid off from work. With the help of the congregation, they were able to raise $10,000 and rebuild his shed that was he was going to use to begin his contracting business.
Their other service efforts through their C3 Beyond Ministry include helping single mothers, home renovations, assisting a family purchase a home, and other projects.
"Pastors Dean and Jill Sweetman have fully empowered and released people in ministry to reach out to others," said Crumbley, crediting C3 church's senior pastors for the community service they are able to offer.
The Sweetman's have planted 19 churches in the U.S. alone. The Lawrenceville church has been in the Atlanta area for nearly 20 years and has planted two additional congregations: C3 Church Milton and C3 Church North Hollywood, Calif.