BRISTOL, Ind. –In many ways, the Bristol United Methodist Church, just northeast of Elkhart, has adopted Jason and Melanie Owens. Jason has a rare disease, which causes non-malignant brain tumors.

Through recent years, Jason has lost his career, his hearing and his mobility. Melanie, a first grade teacher at Middlebury Elementary, has worked to balance taking care of Jason, their family and teaching. They have two children, Taylor and Austin.

“Throughout the treatment process, Jason’s concern has remained taking care of his family and the legacy of faith that he wants to share with his children,” said Bristol UMC children’s director Becky Goodman. “The health issues facing this family are overwhelming, not to mention the financial obligations.”

Bristol church also started a sign-language ministry, in order to provide support for Jason. Right now Jason is the only individual that is taking advantage of the sign language interpreting that is done at our church, however, a seven-year-old boy also has expressed an interest in the sign language ministry.

To assist the family with some of their expenses, the Bristol church sponsored a “Racin’ for Jason Run” Sunday afternoon, Aug. 18, and raised more than $10,000. The event included a 5K run/walk, one-mile fun walk and a bake sale. Race T-shirts were given to the first 200 who entered. Each entrant paid between ten-and-twenty dollars to enter the race depending on run or race and when participant entered.

Local partners participating in the race included: Chicago’s Downtown Eatery; 1st State Bank in Middlebury; and Harding’s in Middlebury and Bristol.

Earlier in August, Bristol also offered a very successful community-wide Vacation Bible School.

Goodman, told Together, “We are seeing God work in amazing ways throughout our church and in our community. It is indeed an exciting time to be at Bristol United Methodist Church, as we watch how God is working!”

“We are seeing God work in amazing ways…”

– Becky Goodman

Photo courtesy Bristol UMC

Participants in the Racin’ for Jason Run assembled in front of Bristol UMC before the run.