Shared Blessings

Live kidney donor feels saved by grace; returns favor by saving his pastor

– By Lori Sorenson, Rock County Star Herald – 

Pastor Billy Skaggs told his Living Rock Church congregation last summer that his kidney was failing. He was on a transplant list, but he’d likely wait five years unless a living donor offered a kidney. The announcement was meant to be an update on his health and how it might affect his role as leader of the 300-member congregation in Luverne.

But 36-year-old Chad Van Surksum heard something else from his seat in church that day. “I had this feeling — peer pressure from the Holy Spirit,” he said about offering his kidney to Skaggs. “It kept poking at me every day for 30 days.” The feeling was strong enough to raise the hair on his forearms. “I didn’t even know what blood type I was,” Van Surksum said. “But I felt led to get tested.”

As it turns out, he’s Type O negative — a universal donor. Which was a good thing for Skaggs, who is a rare Type B positive. That was the primary hurdle toward following the spirit, Van Surksum said.

Before that point, he hadn’t shared with his wife, Vanessa, his idea of being a living donor. “When the clinic called, she looked at me and said, ‘What are you up to?’” he said. “But she was supportive. … For me, it was a step in this incredible journey we’d been on.”

For the complete article, please see the November 29th edition of the Edgerton Enterprise. If you do not currently receive the Enterprise, CLICK HERE for information on how to subscribe!