Derek Staples has decided to donate his kidney to Jennifer.
What makes the story even more interesting is that Jennifer's husband was on the church pastoral search committee that interviewed and hired Derek Staples back in December 2006 as the pastor of FBC Jacksonville.
Jennifer's husband was quoted in the paper: "When I think back to seeing him preach, meeting with him and then I think about the resumes — and we got hundreds — I couldn’t in a million years have imagined what he would come to mean not only to our congregation, but to our family...that’s how we know this has all been orchestrated by God. There’s just no other way to explain it.”
Here is a quote from the paper:
Staples has always understood that his role as pastor is to guide the spiritual lives of his congregation. By donating a kidney, he hopes to exemplify a deeper commitment.What an example Derek is to pastors, being willing to give up an organ for one of his church members, possibly saving the life of Jennifer who has two teenage children. In this day and age where our culture is saturated with selfish, rock-star, mega church pastors who pull stunts to get media attention, who view church members as plebe who exist to support their ministries and lifestyles, here is a pastor who quietly is laying his life on the line for one of the sheep. No bed-ins, no gimmicks, no "orange code revivals", just a pastor living what he preaches.
Jesus said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
“I’ve preached on that text many, many times,” Staples said. “But how often I’ve asked myself if I ever really could do that — love my neighbor as I love myself?
“I consider it an honor that the Lord’s seen me worthy, to not only help Jason and Jennifer, but also to show our church in a very tangible way, how to truly love their neighbor.”
You can read the news story here, and you can read the Borders' blog here.
The transplant is scheduled for Tuesday January 23rd.