And so we provided the Donor Sabbath messages at our local Asbury United Methodist Church and it was a big success . . .

Sunday Service Children’s Message
First there was the children’s church for which Pam came up with a “What was your BEST gift ever?” question for the children, which would lead to connecting the gift of life through organ donation for these young minds, hopefully.  When she opened with a big wrapped present and that question, expecting someone to answer with some toy type gift, she was blown away when Michael immediately answered: “My parents!

Pam asking questions about "best gifts ever"

Pam asking questions about their "best gift ever"...

Wow!  What a beautiful answer, and you’ve never seen prouder parents than his in that front row (tears forming in their eyes).

the children feel blindness

the children feel blindness

She went on to have them cover their eyes to simulate blindness and shared a recent story of a grandmother who was able to see her grandchildren for the first time after receiving a cornea transplant. The kids “got it!

feeling the gift of a liver

touching the gift of a liver

Finally opening the gift box revealed soft replicas of a liver, kidney and heart, bridging to that final message of giving the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.

And then they prayed . . .

Closing the children's message with prayer

Closing with a prayer

The Sunday Service Sermon

Pam sharing her gift of Christopher

Pam sharing her gift of Christopher

Pastor John often reminds anyone speaking before this congregation that “time means nothing” to them, meaning “don’t worry about the length” and I must confess the Donor Sabbath sermon we gave based on our life experiences of Pam’s saying yes to organ donation when she lost her 13 year old son, Christopher, and my life saving heart transplant 14 years ago, went longer than we had planned – 33 minutes to be exact (according to the timings on the video of that talk).  Thankfully our “church family” (attendance was at a nice high of 158) seemed so tuned into the emotion filled stories that it really didn’t seem that long as many eyes were tear filled.   Comments afterward were glowing testimony to their love for us and support for organ and tissue donation with several sharing that this morning had moved them to take action on their new decision to be an organ donor.

Jim sharing his gift from the heart

Jim sharing his gift from the heart

Sometimes when you speak to audiences you know that this one is different, and today was just such a moment.  The heartfelt emotions of our lives seemed to reach out and deeply touch each heart before us, and at one point, a series of strong emotional phrases were met with audible affirmations from the congregation, almost like a mini revival type repeated “Amen!” after each statement.  “Wow!

Yes, today was very special, and in the post service receiving line, every heartfelt hug seemed so strong and loving, as tears and words of support were shared in response to this important message of Donor Sabbath.

Adult Bible Class

As if that weren’t enough, Pastor John joined us for an hour long class of bible study that focused on biblical quotes (see the earlier post for those quotes) that provided support for an in-depth Q&A discussion of organ donation.  What a beautifully attentive and interested class.  Truly we were deeply blessed with this whole experience and His guidance and help in getting the message out that “Transplantation works, make your own decision, and finally, tell your family about that decision and take the action of registering your decision with your state registry or driver’s license agency” and today, they got that message in a very prayerful way.