I’ve known Donna for most of my life. When we moved from our home in Hot Springs,we had to find a new church and Christian school. That’s where we met this wonderful family. Donna was the same age as my sister. She also had younger sister the same age as I! It was perfect. Donna and Melanie worked in our church’s bus ministry. She always had a heart to serve God, even as a young teenager. She was always kind.
Donna married a wonderful guy, named Jenceson. Jenceson was my bus driver when I was a teenager and, to be honest, I think of him as an older brother. He always made Sunday a fun day! It’s hard to describe him, I suppose the best way is to say that whenever I felt the like the Christian life was a prison, (you know how teenagers are…) his way of looking at life unlocked the doors. He is genuine, just like his lovely wife. I like that, don’t you?
When I was a young, insecure teenager, I stood up to testify at the end of a church service. Everyone was saying something, so I wanted to, also. I have an older brother and sister who are nearly perfect. I grew up often feeling quite inferior to them and their many abilities. I said in my testimony, “I know I’ll never be like Kevin and Melanie, but I hope that God can use me in some way.” (Or something like that.) After church, Donna stopped me and said, “Valerie, you don’t need to feel like you’re not as good as Kevin and Melanie. You’re a wonderful person, just the way you are.”
I was speechless. No one (outside of blood family) had ever been that kind to me. As you can see, these *cough cough* years later, I still remember it.
Donna’s mother was a teacher at our small Christian school, and she was a hoot! She would often start helping a child with the question, “How now, brown cow?” She loved practical jokes and saw the bright side of life so easily. Well, a few years after Jenceson and Donna married, Donna lost a baby and her health. She had to have her kidneys removed. I watched as they buried their sweet girl, as Donna fought for her life, and as her mother joyfully gave her one of her kidneys. I watched as they stayed true to God and His Word in the darkest days of their lives. God was gracious to us, He allowed Donna and her mother to recover. We all breathed a sigh of relief.
That was many years ago. Today, Donna is needing another kidney. Her sister, Audrey, who is the same age as I am, is giving her one. I’m praying for safety as they undergo this serious operation. I’m praying Donna’s body doesn’t reject this organ, that Audrey will heal quickly, that we can all breathe another sigh of relief.
It’s so hard to watch family suffer – and the people in my home church are my family. I want to do something, to get in there and fight for them, to serve them, to help in some way. I don’t really know how many folks this blog reaches. I have Google stats, but I don’t know how accurate that is. I’ve asked people to spread the word about my blog for myself in the past, just so I could have the pleasure of a larger readership. But today, I’m asking you to spread the word for a different reason. Would you please pray for Donna and Audrey as they undergo surgery this Thursday, December 15? Would you pray for Donna to accept the kidney easily? She will have to live near the hospital for two months, maybe more, and that will be a lot of added financial stress, as well as emotional stress. They were able to adopt a daughter, so this will be hard on her as well. Please pray for Paige, who is 12 years old.
This family is so precious and so amazing. Through all of their trials, they have stayed faithful to God and have served Him with joy. If there were a church full of people like them, that church could reach the world!
If you happen to be a millionaire and would feel led to make a donation to help with their expenses, please do so by clicking the “donation” button in the lower right hand corner of this blog. Just mark it “Donna”. I will see that it gets safely to her. I also ask that you please share this post with others so that many will be in prayer for her in the days and weeks to come.