When a pastor decided to donate a kidney to a stranger, the doctors would make a horrific discovery. Lives were indeed changed that day in ways no one could have imagined. How often do we see karma work like this?
Don Herbert and his wife Belinda stopped at a church yard sale on a fateful Saturday, not knowing that it would set off an incredible chain of events that would change multiple lives. Drawn by the gospel music coming from inside, Don made a decision to stop, and that one simple choice would start his family on a journey they never imagined.
“And for me, being a gospel singer, that was like saying, ‘come on, come on,'” Don recalled of the moment he heard the music coming from inside the church. That “special invitation” seemingly came from a Higher Power as the man met Pastor Tim Jones, who shared Don’s love for gospel music. The two struck up a conversation, and it wasn’t long before Don was telling Tim about his quartet.
Before Don walked off, Tim invited him to come and sing at a revival. “Went to a yard sale with my wife never expecting to find anything and come out with a date for the group to sing,” Don said. Little did he know, he was about to get so much more. For starters, he made a new Facebook friend. But, he had no idea at the time just how valuable that contact would become.
Although Don hadn’t told his new friend, he had a liver transplant 6 months earlier after suffering from a chronic illness for 12 years. The transplant was a success, but his kidneys had since started to fail. He needed another transplant, but he wasn’t worried. “I had a strong faith that God was going to take care of me no matter what happened,” he said.
His wife, however, wasn’t feeling quite as confident. Her faith was being pushed to its limit. “I felt alone. I was more depressed. I was more discouraged than Don ever felt. He had that faith,” she admitted. Luckily for them both, Don was right. God was looking out, and not just for him and his family as they would soon learn. But, first, Belinda would find herself crying out to God — and Facebook — for help.
“I said, ‘Lord, you told me that you wouldn’t give me any more than I could handle.’ And He said, ‘That’s not really what I said. Because, if you could always handle the things, why would you ever need Me? So, you need to release it. Give Me your burdens. I’ll carry them.’ And I did,” Belinda recalled.
Things would get worse before they got better, though. Doctors discovered Don’s heart had blockages and he needed surgery, but his weakened kidneys wouldn’t survive the procedure. He would have to go on dialysis until he found a donor, and that could take years. Desperate, Belinda made a plea on Facebook, according to CBN.
“It is so hard to ask something so tremendous and so humbling, but I want the man that I love to live a long life. I want to grow old with him by my side,” Belinda wrote on Facebook, where Don had 500 friends. That’s where his new friend, Pastor Tim, who he just met a couple of weeks before, found out about Don’s struggles.
“The thing that really tugged at my heart was on down the post she said, ‘I love him. We’ve been together this long. He’s my best friend and I can’t imagine going through my life without my best friend by my side,'” Tim recalled. “And I remember I got tears in my eyes and I thought, ‘Wow, what a thing to put on Facebook.'” And, thank God she did.
After seeing the heartfelt plea, Tim called Belinda. “I told Belinda, ‘I’m not calling you to be a hero or to give you any false hope, but I believe God is showing me something and I would like to try and help you in some way.’ And I said, ‘even up to’ – and then I just kind of let it slip – ‘even up to possibly even being the kidney donor.'”
Tim was the first one to answer Belinda’s post, and it seems God had a good reason for making sure it showed up in his newsfeed. Tim was a direct match for Don, but little did anyone know, more than one life would be saved when the two men went into surgery. The transplant was a success. Don’s life was spared, and another was saved that day too.
As doctors operated on Tim, they discovered an aneurysm. If it had gone undetected, it would have ruptured, which would have proved fatal. Had Tim not volunteered to give up his kidney to a stranger who he’d only recently met, he would have never known about his aneurysm until it killed him. When God answered Belinda’s prayers, He was saving Tim’s life too. It was a “perfect match,” indeed.
Today, both men are alive and doing great, often ministering together to share their story, which is a testimony to God’s goodness. “This goes to show who God is, and this is why we’re supposed to obey God,'” Tim said, but perhaps it’s Belinda who got the greatest gift of all as she explained, “I was the one who benefitted from this. Don got the kidney, but I got the Lord.”
“I stood back in awe of how God can work, with doing something like this,” Don added. “How He directed me to a yard sale on a Saturday to meet a pastor that would be willing to give me a kidney.” Indeed, two paths crossed, not knowing then how they would save one another and prove that our kindness and faithfulness to the Lord can be so greatly rewarded.