A Missouri pastor is connected to one of his congregants in a truly special way.
Jack Coultas, pastor of Park Grove Christian Church in Deepwater, found out that church member Jeremy Whitman, 36, was in desperate need of a new kidney due to diabetes.
Coultas, 35, told CBN News that he wanted to do more than just pray for Whitman. He was hoping to become a donor.
"I wanted to do something practical to be able to help him," the pastor said. "When Jeremy went through kidney failure that put a heavy burden on my heart.
"When it was first brought up that he would need a new kidney, the Lord put it on my heart that I should be thinking about it. A verse that was regularly coming to mind was a passage out of 1 John 3:16-17: We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?"
Coultas said he continued to pray about the situation but couldn't come up with one reason why he shouldn't try to help Whitman.
"As I was meditating on that verse, I thought that Christ gave His life for us and I have something for Jeremy that he needs," he told CBN News. "I just felt like the responsible thing to do as a Christian was to see if I could be a candidate. I could not think of any reason not to."
Then the test results came back revealing Coultas was a donor match.
"It reaffirmed that this was what God wanted me to do," he said.
On Jan 17, 2020, Whitham and Coultas underwent surgery at Saint Luke's Hospital and the operation was a success.
Coultas revealed that Jeremy's health continues to improve with each new day.
"I gave him the better kidney," Coultas said jokingly.
"The moment Jeremy received the kidney, it instantly started working," he explained. "For two years, he was on dialysis and confined to home. Then he was able to go out and start to live a normal life. Every test he's had comes back a little bit better."
The pastor hopes that everyone, including Christians, will hear about their story and help others in need, even when there are risks involved.
"I would encourage Christians to consider the Bible standard -- Christ on the cross. He paid the price for our sins so we can experience His love. I encourage Christians to love in that same kind of love ... love like Jesus," Coultas noted.
"Jesus's love was not safe. It put Him at risk. Christ didn't give us the example of easy love," he said.