Sarah Schecter, a school principal in Arlington, Texas, claims she obeyed God’s command when she donated a kidney to the father of one of her students.
Schecter, head of the lower school at The Oakridge School, consistently teaches her students about kindness and character. So, when she found out in 2018 that Nate Jones, a father-of-three, needed a new kidney, she decided to put her lessons into practice. Jones’ wife, Amenze, revealed to Schecter that he started experiencing vision problems, which escalated into more severe issues, eventually leading to a diagnosis of renal failure.
“It sounded really bleak,” Schecter recalled. “I didn’t really know him; I didn’t see him as much as I did her, but I thought it was strange that kidney failure would occur so suddenly.” The 46-year-old father had to face the choice of enduring dialysis or undergoing a kidney transplant.
Schecter felt a divine calling to help him, despite her initial reservations. “I know this sounds unusual, because I’m not the kind of person who hears the voice of God, but I just felt called to give him my kidney,” Schecter said. “I did not want to; it was not on my list of things to do. So, I kept hoping that someone else would offer him a kidney and that it would work out… But it turned out that I was the person to do it,” she said.
At 57, Schecter discussed her decision with her family, secretly hoping that they might dissuade her. Instead, they encouraged her, and, as it turned out, her kidney was a perfect match for Jones. “In a way, why wouldn’t I be – since God put it on my heart, why would it not be the perfect match?” Schecter mused. “But a part of me was hoping it wouldn’t be a match, so I could earn the credit for doing something good, without actually having to follow through.”
In November 2019, it was confirmed that Schecter was a match, and the transplant was scheduled for January 13. Schecter felt anxious leading up to the surgery until church members began praying for her, alleviating her anxiety and filling her heart with Psalm 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
The procedure, which lasted three hours, was a success for both the donor and recipient. Jones and Schecter shared an emotional reunion after the surgery. “Bless you. Bless you. Bless you,” Jones said. “I never thought this day would come.”
“There’s something bold for you to do. God will give it to you,” she told him. “You’ve got a good kidney now. Just go forward and do what you need to do.”
Looking back, Schecter admits that she questioned what God was calling her to do and grappled with fear.
“Truth is, I’m a normal person. I listened to God once and followed through. I wish I had listened to God more,” she reflected. “Who knows what exciting adventures I might have embarked on if I had listened more.”