In 1984, The Alabama Baptist ran a front-page photo of a 17-year-old missionary kid who had just undergone a kidney transplant — his mother had donated one of her kidneys. The article’s headline read, “Send a pizza to my room,” a quote from a poster hanging on his hospital room door.
And for some reason, as Lynn Harper’s Acteens group at Northport Baptist Church read the article and prayed for him, her brain filed the image of that front page away. She had no idea that not too long after that they would both attend Samford University and start dating.
One day while visiting his parents’ house, she saw the poster hanging on his brother’s door and realized who he was.
“It was just like a flashback memory — ‘I have seen this before. I have prayed for him. I remember us praying for him,’” Lynn recalled.
And she still didn’t know that years later, after she and Chris got married, his kidney would fail again, and this time she would be the answer to everyone’s prayers. In 2010, she gave him one of her kidneys.
‘A heavy gift’
Chris said for his mother and wife to each give him a kidney, and for others to offer, is “such a heavy gift that it gets me in the heart every time.”
He says he’s lived a “charmed life,” even while dealing with kidney issues — he loved growing up on the missions field in Indonesia, and he now practices medicine in Warrior, where he and Lynn raised their four children.
Chris had originally hoped to be a missionary doctor himself, just like his father, but that was out of reach with his health issues. Instead, he’s been able to put that “missions spirit” into practice right where he is and through short-term trips to other countries, including Indonesia.
“I would just encourage folks to let the Lord guide and direct them,” Chris said. “God just directed my path. Somehow He always knows best and gets us where we need to be.”
The Harpers’ story is the third featured in the newest season of the Stories podcast, Season 7: The Living Donor Story. You can hear more about how God wove their stories and how that has encouraged them to trust Him even when times are difficult.
Listen at tabonline.org/stories or wherever you get podcasts.
Read more stories from this series below.