There are some of the most amazing, selfless, wonderful people I’ve ever met that attend Elevation. One of those people is George Collins. He’s an orthopedic PA and has an amazing family. He is one of those people who light up a place just with their presence. He’s a man who loves to pray and let’s you know when you’re on his mind and that he’s praying for you. He’s definitely someone to look up to. I have had the awesome privilege of serving in Quest alongside his wonderful wife, Shellie.
Here is what truly makes George a special person. We begin with a back story. A couple years ago Elevation did a reverse offering called the “Bless Back Project”. Instead of taking up the offering, the church had strategically planned finances in advance so that they could have church members actually take an envelope FROM the offering bowl. Yeah, not the norm for a church, I agree. This was during a series on doing finances God’s way and learning to be generous with what He has given us. We were told to take whatever amount was in the envelop and use it to bless someone else, hence the BLESS BACK. It could be paying for someone’s gas, paying for the meal of someone in the car behind you in the drive thru, buying groceries for someone, etc. There were amounts from $5 to $1000 in the envelopes. They set up a website for people to share stories – Bless Back Project.
Flashforward to January 2010. The earthquake in Haiti hits. Within weeks a team that George mobilized comprised of doctors, students, etc. set off to Haiti to serve those who were in need, particularly to meet the medical needs of children. Through that trip, Bless Back Worldwide was born. When I read the name they’d come up with, I couldn’t imagine anything more appropriate. We’ve been given so much, we need to pursue the opportunity to bless back. During the summer they began forming another team to head down to Haiti. They raised money, gathered medical supplies and had many meetings to prepare. The first team left two days after Christmas for one week. A second team left on Sunday to serve.
It’s been wonderful to be able to follow their journey, hear stories and see pictures through the group’s facebook page. I’m particularly impressed with one gal that I love greatly – Cassie. I’m proud of that girl and who she’s become in the last year and a half. She went with the first team. It’s thrilling to see the difference they are making.