Offerings: Donating a kidney just part of living one’s faith

Carol Penner with her husband Eugene

Carol Penner with her husband Eugene

This is a repost of an Edmonton Journal article by Carol Penner, who donated a kidney as an undesignated donor.

Offerings: Donating a kidney just part of living one’s faith

In 2012 I donated a kidney to a stranger. I never met them, I still don’t know who they are. My donation allowed a chain of donations to happen; four people got life-saving transplants that day.

An important part of my motivation to donate came from my Christian faith. Jesus modelled a life that was filled with giving. I was brought up in a Mennonite congregation, taught that faith in God wasn’t just something you believed, it was something you had to live out in your day-to-day life.

When I told people that I was going to donate a kidney, some of them responded by saying, “God is calling you to do that.” I do think God had a lot to do with it, but I reject the idea of “call” because it sounds like it was a specific voice just for me.

Every year hundreds of people die in Canada waiting for a kidney. I believe God’s voice is always there calling us to be a good Samaritan to the stranger who is dying. It’s just that I found myself in a place where suddenly I could hear God’s voice more clearly. What nudged me in that direction? There were three separate nudges.

The first thing was that my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer….

Click here to read more.

Carol Penner blogged about her experience as an undesignated or anonymous kidney donor, you can see it here: She is a pastor at Lendrum Mennonite Brethren Church in Edmonton.


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