Nebraska Lead Pastor to Donate Kidney to Associate Pastor for Life-Saving Transplant

By Sarah Einselen
kidney donor walter hooker andy kaup
Following a year-plus battle with kidney disease, Walter Hooker (left), senior associate pastor at Bellevue Christian Center near Omaha, Nebraska, has been matched with the church's lead pastor Andy Kaup as an organ donor. (Courtesy Photos)

After just months on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, a Nebraska associate pastor is getting a life-saving organ donation—from his own lead pastor.

Walter Hooker, senior associate pastor at Bellevue Christian Center near Omaha, Nebraska, has battled kidney disease for a year and a half. Dialysis three days a week keeps him alive, he said.

He began the process to get on the waiting list for a kidney transplant last June and was put on the list in November. When he got on the list, he said, doctors told him it could be years before he would receive a transplant.

Hooker’s O-positive blood type meant he could receive an organ only from someone else with the same exact blood type. A donor had to be compatible in other ways, too, so that his body wouldn’t reject a donated organ.

But God worked a miracle, Hooker said. Two actually.

Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb” by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel. To donate, click here.

He fought tears as he told the congregation this month that Lead Pastor Andy Kaup would be his donor. The two men are scheduled for surgery on August 2, Hooker said.

Kaup was one of about 15 people who considered donating a kidney to him, Hooker told the congregation. Then medical personnel gave Kaup the green light in April.

Finding a donor after just six months on the waiting list is a miracle in itself, Hooker said. Finding a donor who’s already so closely linked to him is “the second miracle . . . even greater than the first.”

“God has identified (Kaup) as the perfect match,” he said in a video posted on the church’s Facebook page.

University of Nebraska Medical Center, where the surgery is to take place, urges patients with kidney disease to ask family and friends to consider becoming a “living donor.”

That’s when a healthy person with two working kidneys donates one of them to someone on dialysis, the UNMC website explains.

“Living donation is a selfless act,” according to the website. It alleviates long and potentially fatal wait times for those in need of a kidney. And it’s successful because the donor’s risk is low, UNMC indicated.

Kaup and his wife started talking months ago about being part of “the story that God was writing” in Hooker’s life, he recalled.

After several rounds of testing showed Kaup’s blood and tissue was compatible, “it got to a point where it was really clear that OK, God is making a way for this to happen,” Kaup told the congregation.

Kaup cited James 2 as he explained why he decided to go ahead with the transplant. The passage teaches that “faith without deeds is dead.”

“What good is it if your brother has a need, and you say go, and hope that your need is met, when it’s in your power to help?” Kaup said, paraphrasing from James. “So we just wanted to be a part of helping.”

“To be able to do that for him, it’s a joy,” Kaup told local news station KETV.

This story has been updated to correctly describe Hooker’s blood type.

Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.

SHARE THIS:
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

GET EMAIL UPDATES!

Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore
discussion

4 thoughts on “Nebraska Lead Pastor to Donate Kidney to Associate Pastor for Life-Saving Transplant”

  1. Barry Poudrier

    Thank you for sharing stories like this – though your investigative journalism is clearly important and needed, so is the encouragement these types of stories bring!

  2. The grace of God can produce some amounts of love and good works DESPITE the systemic REJECTION of Jesus in teaching no pecking orders among his people.
    Matthew 23:8-12 (ESV)
    8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you ARE ALL brothers.
    9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
    10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.
    11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.
    12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    Clergy twist the simple and clear words of Jesus in 2 ways to nuance clergyism titles and power disparity back into godliness.Here is how they do it.
    1. Jesus doesn’t mention the title Pastor so we can use it. They demand Jesus give every title they can make up in 2000 years to restrain them from doing what they want. Jesus is not fooled by this. Are you?
    2. Jesus mentions the title father. Jesus is not restricting titles per se, just the exalting use of titles. Jesus would never forbid a child from referring to his father as father. This conflates family function with dividing believers into institutional boxes of clergy and laity, then into pecking orders of clergy. Jesus is OBVIOUSLY against anything that corrupts mutual brotherliness, mutual servant status all at the bottom level, and exalting some above others.

    “The great danger is not that we will renounce our faith but that we will settle for a mediocre (disobedient) version of it.” Author unknown
    Will we pander to systemic sin or work to clean it all up, refusing to justify massive sin with a little obedience?

  3. “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none…”
    -John the Baptist

    Very encouraging story. Thanks for posting it.

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people use their full name when commenting. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.

Comments are limited to 300 words.

Leave a Reply

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people register before they begin commenting. This means no anonymous comments will be allowed. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.
 
MOST RECENT Articles
MOST popular articles
en_USEnglish

Donate

Hi. We see this is the third article this month you’ve found worth reading. Great! Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help our journalists continue to report the truth and restore the church?

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $25 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Unafraid” by Carey Scott.