When Pastor Walter Hooker took the stage after the sermon at Bellevue Christian Center (Bellevue, Nebraska), he started off the announcements with, "Well, church family, I've got some good news for you!"
In a Facebook video titled "Hook & Andy Kidney News," Pastor Hooker starts off by thanking the members of the congregation who had prayed for him while he was being kept alive through kidney dialysis. He also gave a special thanks to those who had gone a step further by getting tested to see if their kidneys were a match.
He then announced, "UNMC (University of Nebraska Medical Center) has found me a donor!" As shouts and applause erupted throughout the sanctuary, Hooker shed a few tears and said, "I've only been on the list less than six months; less than six months because of the faithfulness of our God."
Hooker clarified that finding a donor is difficult and a series of tedious steps have to be taken before a potential donor is named as a match. For Hooker, the donor's blood type had to match O+. If his blood type was matched, further tests were performed on his blood to see if his O+ blood and each potential donor's O+ blood were compatible.
After explaining both of those key tests, Hooker explained the next step: "They look at nine genetic factors, and based upon the probability of us matching, they determine the success or failure of the surgery."
After multiple blood and tissue tests, the odds of finding a match in less than six months are pretty low.
Once Pastor Hooker finished explaining the low probability of finding a donor so quickly, he started his slow reveal. "This individual that God selected for me, God said, 'This guy is perfect for you. He's perfect.' My donor and I, our families are tightly woven together ... God saw this years ago, decades ago."
Hooker said that in the late 1990s, he went on a mission trip with the donor. Then he revealed that the donor's mother was his executive assistant for years. After he listed a few other details, he announced through tears, "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 (the lead pastor at Bellevue Christian Center)."
As the congregation applauded and shouted, the two pastors embraced for over 20 seconds. As they separated, Hooker laughed and said to his new donor, "Man, it's quite a week for you."
When Hooker encouraged him to share, Pastor Kaup shared some of the pain that "Hook" and his family had gone through.
"Most of us have no idea how bad things really were," Kaup says, "and yet the two of them (Pastor Hooker and his wife) and their family as a whole just continued to say, 'God is working something out in the midst of this.'"
Kaup then described some of the conversations he and his wife had about wanting to help "Hook." They both made the decision and prayed, "God, if there's an opportunity to be a part of this story, then we're willing, because, God, it's Your story. It truly is just a joy and an honor to be able to step into this story and to watch God move."
To watch the video of the donor revealing, click here.
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