$5,000 Worth Of Free Gas Given Away

September 12, 2011

When the pastor of Restoration SDA church, Ulric Hetsberger, introduced the concept of giving away free gas as a way of helping people in this depressed economy, neither he nor his congregation realized how many people would show up.

More than $5,000 was given away in free gas yesterday [Sept.11] at the Warwick TigerMarket Service station. More than 250 families received help with approximately 200 cars served along with 50 cycles.


Hundreds of cars lined the road for several hundred yards in either direction and most people had one destination in mind, the Warwick TigerMarket. Scores of church members manned the pumps and cleaned windows while $25 of free gas was pumped into each car and many motor cycles.

The one hour event was extended as members put more money in the pot so as not to disappoint many who had been in line for long periods. However in the end, some did not manage to receive their gift.

The members were overwhelmed with the turnout and the kind sentiments from the public. Pastor Hetsberg mentioned how thrilled he was to have been a part of this program with his members, who also had a wonderful Sunday afternoon.

This was by far the most exciting event the Restoration Church, (established as a full church in February, 2011), has undertaken. The group is planning additional community service activities over the next 6 months.

Click to enlarge photos:

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (52)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bold Enough says:

    Well done Restoration! God is AWESOME! Keep up the good work in His name :)

  2. OMG says:

    WOW!!!!! what a blessing, congrats to Restoration Fellowship for such an innovative way of being a blessing to people.

  3. Goodintentions says:

    While I appreciate the intent, this caused total gridlock in the warwick area.
    Would it not have been better to just have handed out vouchers for a certain amount of $$ and people could then use the vouchers when they needed the gas. I also know of people who are hardly in need financially that were able to fill up with gas.

    • smh says:

      Please, just shut up.

      • pissed says:

        @ smh thank you for sayin that ppl r so ungrateful this church jus gave a away free gas n this knuckle heads wants to talk like that is yah church doing anything for the ppl of bermuda until they do shout the hell up

      • Goodintentions says:

        Not ungrateful at all but i just think they should have considered how it would impact the surrounding area and people driving through warwick…and also by doing it a different method that would enable the people that need it most to benefit the most.

        • Not Surprised says:

          I agree with you! It’s not being ungrateful it’s being better organized! The church would have been better off handing out random Gift certificates as act’s of kindness, Rather then causing Delays to traffic and cause a waste of gass just idling. I waited in this huge line near the warwick pond for almost and hour, Think about how much gas was wasted in waiting alone… It served no purpose doing it the way it was done and could have been organizd in a better way. I support the thought but not the actions. I didn’t get as and had to turn up Kyber Pass to get out of the traffic. And I “Waste” Half a qtr tank just idling!

          • oh dear says:

            why didn’t you go south shore?!!!! and as the article said this large response was not anticipated. I am sure in the future things maybe different. The POINT here is that people who really needed the help got it!!! you didn’t need the help so it wasn’t applicable to you.

            • sandgrownan says:

              You mean, even with the Lord on their side, they didn’t forsee the response. Bwwwwaaahhahaha

              • AMEN says:

                sandgrown…did you hear the crickets after your joke fell flat?!!! ppl are so ridiculous.

            • Not Surprised says:

              Because I had no clue this was going on! Had i known i would’ve have definatly gone to shouth shore. Applicable or not, It wasted the same gas they were giving out on numerous levels. And caused massive delays.

          • Honestly says:

            Really now…common sense should have told you to turn your car off. It did a lot for me and I am sooooo grateful. It wasn’t just the free gas…I needed it. Think about others before thinking about yourself. I am disappointed you took the time to write this rather than just calling the church and making a suggestion.

    • jury says:

      Good intentions I TOTALLY AGREE with you regarding the VOUCHER which should have had a expiring date to use by

    • Shut Up says:

      You cant “fill up” on $25. And the symbolism of giving would have been lost with vouchers…this brings the spirit of giving to the fore…it was a sunday afternoon. Where did you have to go?

      • sandgrownan says:

        Shouldn’t they have been in church. Or something?

      • Warrior 1 says:

        “giving away “…hmmmm thanks to the Gas co,….or did someone have to pay for this Petrol huh??
        Bermudians make me Holla!!!….sad so sad to see so many lost souls …

  4. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Publicity stunt…dat it!

    • oh dear says:

      and your point?!!!! does your belief make the gas any less valuable..bet you were first i line @ 2:55 :/

  5. Can't Take It Anymore says:

    This was a great idea!! Don’t kill me for this, but I did notice that a large amount of peopel that got free gas did not even need it. They had well paying jobs with no children. I noticed this young woman with children whom needed the free gas only to be told there is no more. Unfortunate. But well done for giving a bit of light to the community!

  6. sweets says:

    if you own a car then you should be able
    to pay for gas they should have put that money to the poor kids they cant eat gas.

    • Boo Hoo says:

      How about this…Don’t have kids if you can’t afford to feed them. Many methods of birth control, choose one.

      • BTW says:

        How about this… In this time with so many lay-offs and job losses people who otherwise may have been able to afford gas are now struggling. Those same people still need to transport their families and take care of their responsibilities. By this gesture, Restoration Church made their lives a little easier.

        It saddens me to see how judgmental and cynical we have become as a society. We all need to remember- There, but for the grace of God, go I. No one knows what the future holds for them. Sometimes it’s sunshine but sometimes it’s rain. Regardless of what troubles we face, it’s comforting to know that people such as the members of Restoration Church are willing to give of themselves for no other reason than to be a blessing to others. We need more people with that mentality in our society.

  7. Terry says:

    Should have given the monies to the Sunshine League. I mean jingus….look at the SUV’s…..

    But is was done with good intentions.

    Imagine who would have turned up for free food. That day will come…be assured.

  8. Brilliant says:

    Restoration Ministries you are setting the mark!! Ministry outside the four walls – people have been begging for this from Christians for years! Congratulations on a brilliant idea Pastor Hetsberger. This is a positive step in the right direction for meeting the needs of others for nothing in return!

    I was wondering how far down the comment list I’d get before I found some sort of negative complaint. 3 comments in…. sad! Do not be detered. Continue the amazing good in the face of negativity! Job well done.

    • Bermuda is truely another world....(SMDH). says:

      Well said! I was thinking the same thing.

      Excellent idea, nice to see Christians outside the church walls interacting with the general public showing how to give without looking to receive. Doing what JESUS did!

      For those of you that think so and so don’t need – think first before you judge others as no one truely knows the plight of another. Just be thankful and show some damn gratitude.

      Jingus my(some)Bermudian people :-(

  9. Hey says:

    Just think of all the gas burnt off from the hundreds of cars, whether lined up for the gas or not, stuck in traffic.

  10. Boater says:

    It is refreshing to see a response from this article both positive and negative. I would like to add, as one who was there and one who knows the ministry, that Restoration does in fact give to targeted families and individuals who are in need. That is something they do normally.

    However this time the giving was a gift to all who came without selection. Few of us give gifts only to the needy. We give gifts to those we care about regardless of need. The Restoration group decided to give to all who would come and many did come. When it rains it rains on those who need and those who do not.

    The expressions of gratitude from all who received their gifts yesterday made the event well worth the effort. It was a joy to watch.

  11. Just Because says:

    I was a part of the Ministry yesterday, I was blessed to help, I am a person who is not blessed with Good speaking ability or the gift of song. Yesterday i was able to be a part of grass roots ministry. We prayed with several people. We were able to collect names and e-mail addresses (to keep in contact). This initative is part of our evangelistic meetings that will start this Friday Night.

    There will always people people that disagree with somethings that you do. I am glad my pastor listen to what God asked HIM to do. I also know that this is one of many things that we will be doing in our Community. I praise God for the opportunity to be a servant.

  12. Just in time says:

    I was broke, down to my last ten dollars.I have been recently laid off of work. I was depressed and feeling down. Yesterday morning I received the BB informing me about the free gas. I thought it was a hoax, i went down to the gas station anyway. I waited in line, i received free gas. I needed it ! I really needed it. The free gas represented hope, it showed me that someone cared for me. The people pumping gas prayed with me. I left feeling much better. I am grateful and humbled by the support i recieved, just in time.

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      You do know how this Bernews thing works, right? ;-) ‘Just Because’ or ‘Just in time’

    • Bee says:

      Your note had me in tears. God is good and reaches down to each of us and PERSONALLY meets our needs. I am so happy that you were blessed by our Creater, Redeemer and best friend we could ever have – Jesus!

      What a friend we have in Jesus!

      • SMH says:

        now wait a minute….you lost your job, and you got a BB???? I make over 100K and can’t afford a BB…..and why are you driving around on a weekend knowing you may need the Gas in your tank to get to an interview this week? Not buying your post M8!

        • Shut Up says:

          ignorant comment…who is to say that he is not one of the 15 lawyers at appleby making well over 100K at one point who lost his job…you dont know the circumstances of his unemployment…he at one time may have been able to afford a bb, but now he cant perhaps…maybe somebody bought him the bb….Judge not

        • sandgrownan says:

          Huh, if God worked in mysterious ways, perhaps he should have saved your job.

        • Tuba says:

          Lol…… I like your comment but don’t believe that you make over $100k a year and cannot afford a bb. Obviously different priorities..

        • WOW!! says:

          ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!! did you not see the word recently….you make me sick with your judgemental self!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • amen says:

      lol Just in time you are from the church and pretending to be someone who was down and out and needed gas? That’s not very Christian like to be lying. How sad. It was a nice gesture on the church’s behalf so I don’t know why you are leaving another fake comment about being down and out to just to have a nice comment about the church on here.

    • trees says:

      it’s not very Christian to be lying! One minute you claim to be part of the ministry taking part, next you claim to be be one of those assisted!! tut tut!

  13. Can You Handle This says:

    Thank you Restoration SDA for “giving”. I did not need any gas so I did not stop by but I did forward the BB that I received. Whilst some are annoyed that they were stuck in traffic just think of the joy that you gave to those that needed and in return received. You have set the mark now let’s see if anyone else can step up to the plate. People are not always looking for a “hand out” they just need a “hand up” and that’s what you all offered yesterday. We can’t please eveyone so don’t take the negative reponses personally.

  14. Young Bermudian says:

    At the end of the day, this Ministry should not be blame for those who have chosen to abuse an obviously charitable act. I, for one received a BBM about the promotion, and I could certainly use the gas. Times for me aren’t necessarily easy right now, but then I thought about how many people that truly are in serious need and can benefit more than I from this generous act of kindness.

    If you see people with big SUVs and expensive cars in line for a handout like this, judgement passes through your mind immediately. “Why do they NEED gas, they bought a big car”. In actual fact, while you are probably right, these Christian individuals took it upon themselves to extend a charitable hand to those who needed it. There was no judgement cast, and no assumptions made. They helped who showed up because the gas donation was obviously not for those who could afford it themselves.

    Judgement on a matter as such should not be on the individuals extending a helping hand. Instead, consider those who did not have the common sense to realise that they are NOT truly in need for this charity.

  15. Hey says:

    You know what would’ve worked too? Ask everyone if they would rather be stuck in traffic and burn off 5 dollars on fuel or give 2 dollars to the needy and have a timely ride home. Wow that was easy and we didn’t pollute the air either.

  16. Judge Not says:


    Stop being judgemental. This is not about commenting to incite anger or taking this as an opportunity to foward any selfrighteous/pious view point. We are celebrating the vision shown at this Church. They took an out of the box approach to helping a social problem in our Country. Regardless who it helped, we are all clear that many people recieved a blessing from the event.

    We should all introspect and see how we can help others in our country…

  17. tradition says:

    God will multiply your giving. True christian love.

    I love it.

  18. Lion says:

    What do people have to do to please you fool. Probably jealous because it was not your idea. Dam if you do and dam if you don’t. At least people benefited. I guest Restoration should have done a Needs Analysis and then determined the Financial Status of each indivudual, taken the information to Financial Assistance and waited for approval from the Charities Board.

  19. Observing says:

    I may be the last to comment but It should be noted that not one person who participated was sad yesterday. Neither the givers nor the receivers. The interaction between people was what made the day special. Only those who do not understand the power of touch and social interaction would argue with the benefits of face to face social interaction.

    There is absolutely nothing that can compare with the interaction between the giver and the recipient. In a Christian context this is even more amplified.

    Vouchers may have been more convenient but they could not have come close to making the event as successful as it was. Giving to others is as much a blessing for the giver as to the receiver. One would have had to have been there with true love for others to appreciate the impact.

    I suspect they will need more volunteers next time. Come and be a part next time. It was quite a wonderful experience for all. Those without care and empathy need not apply.

  20. Vina says:

    Has anyone ever regretted not doing something? I remember I was living in Maryland and I was on my lunch break walking to McDonalds. I passed by this gas station and saw a woman with about 4 kids in the car. She pumped $2.75 in gas. I walked by and said how sad… After a minute, I ran back to the gas station to full her tank but she left. SHE LEFT!!! I have always wished that I could go back in time and put the gas in her car. When I heard about this gas giveaway, I was excited and I felt as though I was given a second chance (through my fellow Christians) to give although I wasn’t physically there. Take advantage of opportunities to give and remember life is too short to complain. God loves you all!

  21. Observing says:

    Vina you have the true spirit of the intent of the Restoration group. For many who help put fuel in cars and interact with others this was a first for them. It is hard to think about self when one is helping others.

    There some who write cheques and that is good. There are others who give of themselves and other resources. That is even better.

    269 people received gas from approximately 60 volunteers who not only gave cheques but prayed for and encouraged others.

    That may be foreign to some but should be the goal of all Christians.

    Restoration is on the way to great things with His help.

  22. Prayed Up says:

    First off, let me say that I am a Seventh-day Adventist who lives in the United States and who has visited the beautiful island of Bermuda several times. I need now to get to the point quickly. It is comprehensively impossible for me to find the heart to criticize any wholesome project in which the exclusive purpose is to give and not to receive. Therefore, this will be my contribution: I thank the committed pastor and dedicated members of Restoration Church for executing God’s whisper to selflessly distribute, without discrimination, free petrol to anyone who wants it; I thank Tigermarket for making the gas station available so that this precious commodity could be received by the wonderful motorists who showed up; I thank these motorists for their exemplary, courteous conduct throughout the period of distribution; to those who complained about the traffic tie-ups, I would offer that I understand your disappointment, which could easily be cured if you direct your thoughts urgently to the spirit of compromise and the true meaning of giving, and divorce from your good self the spirit of grumbling, the spirit of protest and the spirit of criticism. If you do this, you will soon find yourself thinking of the day you will be welcomed into heaven by the King of Glory, who is the Grand Architect of the Universe and provider of petrol worldwide, whom you should make every effort not sadden with displays of lovelessness. God commands that we must love every neighbor as we would ourselves. Funny how crowds and gridlock mean different things to different people. You see, I have taken a look at the photos of the event posted to this Web site. Believe me, I do not see a traffic jam. I see the gracious, thankful queue of friendly Bermudans – whom I love – having a jolly good time accepting the freewill offerings of God, and even finding the time to pray. God bless ‘em!