You read stories everyday in the newspaper about people going through trying circumstances and think "Wow, sorry for them." Implied is "Geeze, great that's not happening to me..." It's easy to think this way because how often have you actually met the person featured in the article? This morning we woke to the Dailynews bearing the news of a family in Sherman Oaks who have twins that are in need of a bone marrow transplant. Click here for a link to the web article.
Amy and I were out on a walk tonight and we passed a couple that Amy though she recognized. The light went on and she said, "I bet those two babies are the ones in todays news paper!" I thought she was mistaken but she insisted that it was. A moment of decision had arrived, how could we help this couple who is going through such a difficult circumstance with two precious babies? We could offer meals, but who takes a meal from a complete stranger? We could offer to babysit, but who leaves babies with special needs with complete stangers? How about buying them a gift card so they could get out on a date? But who wants to go on a date when your babies are hurting? Strike three, we couldn't think of anything but now this very family was walk right back toward us! Do we play dumb and pretend we don't know anything? No way, the news paper article was a plea for help, how could we turn a deaf ear to them?
As they got nearer I stopped them and with a bit of the gamblers luck asked them if they were the parents of the children that had been on the front page of the news paper. The gamble paid off and they said they were. We talked to them (Xander and Carrie Denke) for a minute, offered our help in anyway we could. They suggested we contact the bone marrow registry to obtain a free sampling kit that could potentially be used to identify someone as a bone marrow donor for their babies. I thought, what the heck, that would be a great addition to my senior testimony, if I turned out to be a match! More than that though, our brief meeting had left Amy and I moved- so we did what they suggested. At 9:35pm we order bone marrow testing kits and prayed that God the Father would find it pleasing in His sight to grant us the privilage of being donors. Here is the best part- you too can participate by clicking here and following the links on the website for a free testing kit.
I'll tell you it is a no brainer for us to get tested to see if we are a match. God the Father gave his only son to us so that we might reap the benefits of having a relationship with Him. Um, God gave his son so I could become a citizen of heaven, have eternal life, peace with God and the judicial forgiveness of sins...and this family needs help... is it really too difficult a thing for me to offer to give something to this family when I have myself been a recipient of so much? If this doesn't answer the question in your mind about whether or not you should help, consider the profoundly theological song, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, be they yellow, black or white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world..." Let me break this down for you,"Jesus loves the little children", don't make me go chapter and verse on this, it's simple. Take a moment and go to the website to request a free testing kit, in fact I'll help you...click here now.
Action step 2: The family keeps a pretty well updated web page running, check in from time to time to read the news and then pray for them. We don't serve a dumb blind God but an active, compassionate Father who delights in the prayers of His children, so for all you 'frozen chosen' ones out there, pray like it!
Action step 3: The odds of finding a donor are 1 in 20,000. I attend a church of 10,000 people- that's half the candidate pool right there. Lets see if we cannot organize a donor drive. It's a great thing to send teams all over the world for short terms mission. For the rest of us who can't go, here is a way to have meaningful ministry right at home.
Lastly, I will treat anyone (within limits of course) who completes a testing kit, turns it in and is able to produce proof positive of this- to a a Venti whateveryouwanta at Starbucks. All you poor seminary students this is a great way to get yourself a drink. If you actually turn out to be a donor we will emblazen your image on a plaque, hang in it our boys room and point them to it everyday to show them an example of a courage, self-sacrificing hero. Coffee and potential hero status! Go the the donor website now.
Disclaimer**** Both photographs in this posting are from the family Denke website. We will include a permanent link to their website as long as their situation remains unresolved.