Americans owe approximately, $81 billion in medical debt, but churches all over America are taking on its weight.
This Easter, Pathway Church in Wichita, Kansas bought and forgave over $2 million in medical debt after only paying $22,000.
As one in three Americans struggle to afford the cost of their medical care, what is the church's role in such a crisis?
"People used to feel like their money was going towards their community, and now it feels like it going all over the world," says Craig Antico.
Antico is co-founder and COO of Rip Medical Debt, a non-profit that buys medical debt for cents on the dollar and allows donors to buy it and forgive the medical debt of thousands of Americans.
"I think this is bringing it back to the region and community. People are just astounded that they can abolish a million dollars of debt when the church just gives $10,000."
Antico started his career as a debt collector, but a shift in his life lead him to be a debt forgiver. "I never loved the collection industry," says Antico.
"Imagine going from being a debt collector to a debt forgiver. It's a miracle."
RIP Medical Debt began in 2014 and has now forgiven approximately $800 million in American medical debt.
Antico says that those suffering from the most medical debt are 27-year-olds who used to be able to pay their bills: "What they're under is tremendous pressure and burden. The donors are relieving them of that pressure."
"We get letters from single moms with two kids that tell us they don't know how they could have made it without abolishing their debt."
Antico has seen a growing trend in churches wanting to use their own offering money to forgive the debt of hundreds and thousands of people. "Churches are now coming to us," he says.
"We have 62 campaigns with churches that are coming say that they want to abolish debt in their region. ... Our mission and outreach often go all across the world and you don't usually give financially to people in the region that you're in."
Churches, like Revolution Annapolis, a small Maryland church that doesn’t even have its own building, collected $15,000 last December. That donation wiped out $1.9 million for approximately 900 families no longer have overdue medical bills thanks to an Annapolis church.
Antico says that this kind of giving from churches is part of living out our faith: "In my church, we say, 'Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors,' which is part of my Lord's prayer!
"It's kind of ironic that even in the Lord's Prayer we're talking about this. This concept of debt forgiveness goes back to Biblical times."