MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The surprises just keep coming for the people of Gethsemane Lutheran Church after a week they will never forget.
Sunday, Pastor Jeff Nehrbass said before leading service, “I tell you from Wednesday to today it has been nothing short of a miracle.”
And that miracle is thanks to you, our WCCO-TV viewers.
We first reported what was happening on Wednesday – the church’s boiler went out. Without $50,000, they would need to shut down their low-cost daycare center and their food ministry, which serves more than 4,000 people a month.
Just four days ago, the sanctuary was frigid and their fate was grim. The pastor explains how things have changed.
“To start from a cold sanctuary and a dead daycare to where we are today with smiling faces, warmth in the daycare, and resources to continue to do our ministry, we are so excited,” Nehrbass said.
Half of the building is up and running and soon, Owens Air Conditioning & Heating will have the sanctuary completely warm, too.
And it’s all thanks to you, WCCO viewers. Rose Reeves is a church member.
“For somebody to come to our rescue is a miracle, very, very happy,” Reeves said.
When WCCO first told you about the church’s plight, the GoFundMe had no donations. But then, they started coming from former members, from neighbors, even the local fire station gave a $1000.
And two days later, the church had more than $50,000. Joyce Turner used to receive food from the food shelf. Now, after she says the church changed her life, she is a volunteer.
“I was like ‘YES! WE did it, we did it we did it, we did.’ It was all I could think of was that WE did it, I was SO happy,” Turner said.
As the congregation celebrated, they had no idea they were about to get yet another gift. Victor Perlbachs and his friends at Church of the Good Shepherd in south Minneapolis were watching when WCCO aired the story.
“So we’re gonna present a check for $10,000,” Perlbachs said.
It seems the viewers of WCCO realized that warm hearts deserve a warm building. The pastor smiled.
“With God at the helm, the future at this sanctuary is bright!” And now it’s warm,” Nehrbass said.
With Sunday’s surprise donation – the church has received more than $67,000 since Wednesday. The church says they will use any extra money to pay off the loan they got open the daycare.