Jennifer Borders is among the 26 million Americans with chronic kidney disease (CKD), from which more than 70,000 people die each year. Jennifer has had two previous transplants. One from her mother when she was only 16 yeas and another later on. However they have all for unexplained reasons failed. As hope seemed to fade, help came from an unexpected source:
Sunday, [ 22nd January 2012] after conducting morning worship services, Derek Staples, pastor of Jacksonville First Baptist Church, will drive to Birmingham to be with a member of his congregation who is scheduled for a kidney transplant.
Staples won’t just be at the bedside, however. He’s the one donating a kidney. The woman whose life he may be saving is Jennifer Borders, who turned 40 in December.
“It’s special to me that anyone would be willing to do this,” said Borders. “And I think Derek’s as excited about it as I am.”
“It’s an honor for me,” said the 51-year-old Staples, who doctors say has the kidneys of a 20-year-old. “I feel like this is the role that God has chosen for me to play in the lives of this family. I’m proud to be able to do it.”
Three days before Christmas, Jennifer Borders [recounts how after being put back on the national register she] learned that she had found her third kidney transplant match.
“The church has wrapped its arms around my whole family,” she said.
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.
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?
Please pray for Jennifer as she goes through the next phase of her transplantation. You can follow her on her blog here
. Remember to pray as well for the many people who suffer from Chronic Kidney disease. Some of whom may never get a donor.
We rejoice with Jennifer and thank God for His providence.
Soli deo gloria!