A pastor in the US state of Missouri has donated a kidney to a member of his church who had been struggling with kidney failure for two years.
The leader of Park Grove Christian Church, Pastor Jack Coultas, had been a friend of the family since 2008 and was well aware of the health challenges the family had gone through. He told CBN News he wanted to do "something practical to be able to help him".
In 2018, Jeremy Whitham, 36, woke up blind after his kidneys had completely shut down because of diabetes. It took a year for Whitham to be placed on a recipient list.
"When it was first brought up that he would need a new kidney, the Lord put it on my heart that I should be thinking about it," Pastor Coultas continued.
"A verse that was regularly coming to mind was a passage out of 1 John 3:16-17: We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?"
After praying about the situation for nearly a year, Pastor Coultas decided to send a blood test to see if he was compatible to become a donor as he felt it was "the responsible thing to do as a Christian".
Shortly after, the test results revealed he was a donor match and on January 2020 the two underwent surgery at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City.
"The moment Jeremy received the kidney, it instantly started working," Pastor Coultas explained. "For two years, he was on dialysis and confined to his home. Then he was able to go out and start to live a normal life. Every test he's had comes back a little bit better."
Pastor Coultas concluded his interview hoping that Christians will feel encouraged to help others when they hear their story.
"I would encourage Christians to consider the Bible's standard -- Christ on the cross. He paid the price for our sins so we can experience His love. I encourage Christians to love in that same kind of love ... love like Jesus."