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MEF Impact

MEF Impact Stories from 2017 to 2019 Grant Applicants

Christmas was nearing and my wife had a health challenge that required urgent attention. In the follow up in the new year, further action was required for clear health. Now our new year became the reality of two full deductibles on an already fairly rigid budget. On top of the expected anxiety and distraction of medical dept, we also faced the thankless task of fixing the mistakes of the providers as we navigated the insurance/medical billing world. Hearing about the Lilly Grant Initiative: MEF Debt Relief Grant, I recognized our situation as exactly why this money was being granted. The application process was fair without being inappropriate. The mentor relationship was joyful and the money relieved a burden that allowed us to learn and grow together through times of challenge. – Pastor Adam Berndt, Cross of Hope Lutheran, Albuquerque, NM


Even though I am able to pay student loans in a timely manner, the Lilly Grant provided a portion to be paid back 3 years sooner, alleviating interest. But mostly, the Lilly Grant kept me in school and moving toward finishing my thesis, which I had full intentions of not finishing. I now have a target date of one year.​  – Deacon Ro Fesser, Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center, Brush, CO​


Medical costs had added to the cost of a divorce and I found myself under water. I was staying up at night worrying, even though I had reorganized my financial house and got a roommate to cut costs. Indeed, I had forgone needed tests to cut down on co-insurance, having met my deductible. The modest grant helped me start fresh and begin putting away a bit of money each month. I am grateful for the grace in this opportunity and healing well. Thank you 3E. You've made a difference in my physical and financial health.​   – Pastor Laura Stephenson, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Grand Junction, CO


Twice the MEF grant was able to help me in my part-time call in ministry. I was serving a wonderful congregation that could only afford a part-time pastor. The first year of the grant, it bought me four new tires which i desperately needed for the 100 mile round trip to my congregation.  The next year, when my husband's job was downsized, the MEF grant helped me to pay off one of my student loans, easing some of the financial pressure. The team member assigned to work with me was very helpful and understanding. The kindness and understanding shown to me by the committee members is deeply appreciated.  – Anonymous


I was encouraged to apply for the Lilly Grant by a synod staff person when I shared that we were struggling with significant medical debt. My congregation was quick to find the $1000 matching donation that resulted in receiving a $2000 grant from Lilly. The whole process felt very supportive from the synod, my congregation and from Lilly. My husband and I were so grateful for the help and I was able breathe a little easier and feel some relief from the stress around our financial concerns. The generosity I received lifted my spirits and helped me to feel renewed energy and focus in my ministry.​​ 
– Anonymous