In the summer of 1999, shortly after my graduation from Kentucky Christian College, I nervously made the trek to southern Indiana to help out at a week of church camp. The location was Wonder Valley. All of the faculty graciously accepted me as part of their family and I am friends with several of them to this day. One of the ladies, Dana, has been a dear friend ever since that week. Dana and her husband, Jay, have two daughters, Andrea and Lindsay. They were young teenagers but have since grown up, married, and have cute children of their own.
Andrea, the oldest daughter, became a friend of mine as the years passed. She became a nurse and took over her mom's position as Camp Nurse for that annual week of camp. She is super compassionate and kind. She is well-grounded, extremely dependable, and as sweet as her parents.
She met a guy named Adam and even brought him to camp to work one year. Everyone found Adam to be as kind and humble as Andrea, and you couldn't help but root for them and their relationship.
I got to be there the day they married. I was there the day they found out that their first child would be a girl. I happened to be there when she was born. They have become like family, and they have accepted me into theirs.
One memory I have of Andrea was when she was pregnant with her first child, Macy. We were at church camp that week and I found out that my mom had cancer. We were staying in the same dorm and, after a long day, climbed into our bunks. As I lay there in the dark waiting for sleep to come and trying to block out the worst case scenarios of my mom's condition from my mind, I looked over to see movement and watched Andrea crawl into my tiny bunk with me. She said she just wanted to make sure I was ok and didn't want me to feel alone as I dealt with the news of my mom's frightening condition. A while later, after the serious conversation fizzled out, we somehow started talking about kidneys. And we ended up stifling our laughter realizing that we had 7 kidneys in that one bunk! She had four (Macy's) and I had 3. But I will never forget Andrea's compassion during that time. It was one of the sweetest gestures that I have received.
Adam and I have a history of our own. Other than smashing the campers in the yearly Faculty vs. Campers basketball game together, we have also co-hosted a radio program. That's right, folks. Two shows, to be exact. We named it J-Love. We needed a skit for a night at camp and so we decided to create a radio program and take calls from listeners, aka other faculty members. Adam, though soft spoken, is a funny guy and pretty quick witted. We got several laughs out of that deal and still joke about it to this day.
Adam has been a high school teacher, has worked for his county, and now works with computers at a School of Dentistry. He's a smart guy, and his brain gears are always at work. But one thing about Adam that I appreciate is his desire to always deepen his walk with Christ. We have swapped books to read and talked about books that have challenged us. I appreciate his insight and his servant-like demeanor.
I was surprised to hear that Adam had called in to be a kidney donor for me. I didn't know that it was even a possibility. The more I process it, though, the more I am not surprised. Of course he would donate a kidney. Not because of me, but because he loves the Lord and it is his nature to serve others. Just like my sweet donors before (Susie and Scott), Adam represents the love and grace of God to me. A kidney donation isn't something that you can repay. I just have to accept it. And that is a very humbling place to live. Because Adam and Andrea love the Lord, they are free to love me, and I am so grateful.
Adam and Andrea, I want you to know that you are making a spiritual impact all over the world. Let me tell you why:
Last week I was talking with my teammate, Gaby, about the happenings in Spain. She said that the other night she was visiting with a Spanish friend of ours named Eva. Eva was telling Gaby that she saw on Facebook that I had a donor and that I will be having a transplant soon and that she is happy for me. Eva said that she was so amazed that a friend would just give me a kidney. She said to Gaby "That is the biggest testimony that the evangelical church has. They aren't just talking.....they are doing." WOW.
Adam, you are impacting my friends. You are impacting my family. You are impacting people I don't even know. Thank you for your gift. I know that there are still possible problems that could occur between now and the transplant. But for now I choose to live in faith that God has ordained this and that on March 17th God will guide our physicians in a successful transplant.
Let the countdown begin. 56 days....