Bank Robbery Gives ECA an Opportunity

June 01, 2009 | Kim Bryan

Pleasant Hill is a quiet, close-knit community just south of Eugene, Ore., where Emerald Christian Academy is located. ECA strives to live their mission statement in the local community by sharing Jesus in tangible ways.

During March a small Pleasant Hill bank was robbed twice. The burglars were violent and threatening to employees and customers. The community was in shock and the bank staff traumatized.

After the first incident the ECA staff sent flowers and prayers. After the second time ECA staff, students and parents wanted to do something more tangible. They organized a morning prayer time and invited the community to come to the bank parking lot on Tuesday, April 7. Students carried signs sharing their love as they boarded the buses with anticipation.

As students mingled with community members, local bank staff and regional bank administrators the sounds of praise songs filled the air. All prayed for peace and healing for the bank staff, customers and community. They also offered prayers for the offenders—for their repentance, forgiveness and change of heart.

One community member, with tears in her eyes, says, "I have never been more blessed. These children are like angels to our community."

The local Eugene newspaper and two television news stations were there to record and shared the story with the entire lower Willamette Valley.

Students experienced the joy of blessing others through outreach and also enjoyed watching themselves on television.