Break-in at church prompts community to lend helping hand

Church theft (WISH Photo/ John LeSage)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Children collected pennies at an east side Indianapolis church that was to be used in support of church charities and missions. Those pennies later turned into dollars and then disappeared. Officials say a thief stole the money, but that’s only the start of the story.

Collecting to help others is a way of life at the Faith United Methodist Church near 16th and Post Road in Indianapolis.

But, Pastor Cameron Manifold says someone left a door unlocked one night and a thief got inside and stole a jar filled with $300 in coins collected by the congregation’s children.

“I was just sad. It’s such a shame,” Manifold said.

But then someone stepped in and changed it all.

“I look at this story and I say, ‘gosh, yeah, this happened.’ And yet, it’s an opportunity to step in and do something that’s really wonderful,” said Lynda Znacho, founder of the “He Knows Your Name Foundation.”

Znacho isn’t a member of Faith Church, but significantly changed the direction of what happened.

“This is something God can turn into good and these children can see that God gives back and sometimes he gives a double portion back,” she said.

Znacho first met members of Faith Church when the body of a baby was found near a creek in the church neighborhood. The baby was never identified. Znacho’s foundation made sure the baby had a proper burial and gave it a name, Moses Prince. Church members joined Znacho in prayer and support. So, when she heard about their loss, she took action. Her foundation donated $600 to replace the stolen funds, and then some.

“It’s a double portion, and I kind of subtitled it the Baby Moses project,” Znacho said.

Originally, half the stolen money was to go to Friendly Planet Mission’s work in the Congo for building a nursing school. Now, the full amount will go. Znacho says that’s a perfect legacy for Baby Moses.

“It’s humbling. It’s most wonderful,” said the pastor after getting the check.

This Sunday, armed with a new jar, the children will again collect coins.

Only this time, the pastor says, it will be deposited in the bank immediately so it can’t be stolen.

If you’re interested in Lynda’s foundation or the nursing school, visit either of these links:

Friendly Planet Missiology

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