“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
Pastor Cuong Manh Tran knew he needed help. More specifically, he knew he needed a kidney.
After decades of pastoring Mobberly Baptist Church’s small Vietnamese congregation, Tran had had to step down due to rapidly declining health. He spent hours on dialysis treatments each day and eventually learned he would need a transplant if he hoped to live much longer. He and his wife waited prayerfully for the right match to come. Expecting the kidney to come from a deceased person, they understood the wait might take years.
What he didn’t expect, however, was for the donation to come from someone living. Someone, in fact, he called friend.
77-year-old John Ramsey, a Buckner Westminster Place resident who at the time had known Tran for just a few years, saw his friend’s need. He joined the family in prayer, but the answer to those prayers led to an unexpected conviction: Ramsey donated his own kidney.
“I was praying for Brother Tran, and it was as if the Lord said, ‘What’s wrong with your kidney? You give him yours.’ And I just knew I had to do this.”
Today, both Ramsey and Tran are healthy. Tran is back working at the church occasionally. Ramsey is back enjoying resident activities at Westminster Place. They even spent the holidays together.
Tran and Ramsey’s story is a beautiful picture of the gospel—one of the closest we may see this side of heaven. Giving of oneself so another might live. This is what Christ did for us.
Ramsey gave comfort, security and assurance of health so his friend might have a chance at life.
God gave his Son, and the Son gave his life, so we might have eternal life.
This week, how can you take time to reflect on the gift of the gospel more? How will you let the undeserved gift of eternal life impact your life today?