LAFAYETTE – The Bayou Church is giving away $170,000 to benefit nonprofits in Acadiana, others parts of Louisiana and Haiti.
On May 1, members of the south Louisiana congregation collected the money as part of the Big Give, a campaign to go above and beyond the congregation’s tithes.
Mike Walker, pastor of The Bayou Church, said with the downturn in the oil business in the region, now more than ever a need exists to assist people in the community.
“Our mission as a church is to transform lives in Acadiana through Christ-centered relationships, and we can do that by practicing courageous generosity in order to support the needs of others,” Walker said. “We desire to make a lasting difference in the lives of those who are under resourced.”
The Bayou Church plans to give away the money today and Wednesday to Bridge Ministries of Acadiana, Hearts of Hope in Lafayette, Love INC (In the Name of Christ) affiliate in Lafayette, Reciprocal Ministries International that will benefit the church’s sister church in Petit Toru, Haiti, and a natural disaster relief fund for Louisiana.
Joel Lee, executive director of the Bridge Ministries of Acadiana, said the money given to her organization will make an investment into the lives of future teachers, preachers, engineers, musicians, writers, dancers, lawyers and doctors.
“We believe the sky is the limit, and we teach our kids that anything is possible through Christ,” Lee said. “This donation will help give our kids access to more updated technology, so they can get a head start in their future careers.”
Lisa Justice, executive director of Love INC, said the impact of the money given to transform lives is priceless and is an answer to prayer.
“We experience God and His miracles every day at Love INC, so when the oil industry took a nose dive and our donations dropped, I knew that God was going to provide,” Justice said. “I just didn’t know how and where the money would come from. We are all about transformed lives In the Name of Christ, and you can’t put a dollar value on that.”