A church leader in the US state of Nebraska cried tears of joy as he shared with the congregation that he is getting a life-saving organ donation from his own lead pastor.
During last Sunday’s service, Walter Hooker, a senior associate pastor at Bellevue Christian Center in Nebraska said God had worked a miracle.
The father of three and grandfather of seven, has been battling with kidney failures for the last year and a half. Addressing the congregation, he said his kidneys had been functioning at about 10 per cent, which resulted in him having to do dialysis three days a week.
Consequently, Pastor Hooker was placed on the kidney transplant list at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in November 2021. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the average time frame for waiting can be three to five years at most centres.
Pastor Hooker said: “A couple of days ago I found out the UNMC has found me a donor. Incredible. I’ve only been on the list less than six months and because of the faithfulness of our God August 2nd I’ll be in surgery.”
He continued: "Folks, it does me great pleasure to introduce to you the donor that UNMC has identified as my match, but more importantly, the donor that God has identified as the perfect match, my friend, my pastor, Andy Kaup.”
As he joined pastor Hooker on the church’s stage, lead pastor of Bellevue Christian Center, Andy Kaup shared how God had moved him to become a kidney donor for his associate pastor.
“Michelle [his wife] and I began to have some conversations and say, 'OK, I don’t know what this would look like, but God, if there is an opportunity to be a part of this story, then we’re willing because, God, it’s your story. You’ve been penning this thing. You’ve been the author of this thing from the beginning,'" Kaup said.
He continued: "We started going through the process, going through several rounds of testing just to find out what kind of match are we. And the boxes just kept being checked and it got to a point where it was just really clear that if God is making a way for this to happen, [we had to obey].”
Pastor Kaup told the congregation his decision was a reminder that God is “constantly inviting us into his story” and he is just waiting for his people to be obedient.
“He’s always got room for you to step in and to watch what he can do and to just let him move in your life. The trick is that it’s just up to us to be obedient. And that’s our heart in this. It was just to be obedient.”
Both pastors are scheduled to undergo surgery on 2nd August.