Alliance Neighbors Live the Call Together

When neighbors on Dogwood Court in Winchester, California, decided to come to the opening of Chorus (Alliance) Church, they hardly knew each other. “And they had no idea that God would lead one of them on journey that would involve physical sacrifice,” reflects John Cappelen, Chorus pastor of Connections.  
Herb and Susan LaMadrid were a part of that initial group of neighbors that made Chorus their home church. The LaMadrids decided to reach out in love to all the families on Dogwood Court, including Chuck and Peggy Donnelly. The Donnellys responded to an invitation to join a small home group. Chuck suffered from polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that he was convinced would end his life early. “I just kind of accepted it,” Donnelly said. “This was something God gave me, and I accepted it.” The only thing that would save Donnelly’s life was a kidney transplant. 
Although Donnelly had not discussed his medical problems with the group, his wife encouraged him to share a prayer request for a kidney donor with their fellow believers, who unanimously agreed that each would be tested to see if one of them was a match. “When test results showed that Herb was a match,” said Cappelen, “he decided that since he had two good kidneys, he would give Chuck one.”  
The Donnellys had been attending Chorus for about two years. The four-year-old church with nearly 300 members is part of a greater Alliance multiplication effort in Temecula Valley. “[The church] just spoke the truth,” Donnelly said. “The love and compassion the congregation has toward each other—I have never felt that.” LaMadrid’s willingness to give Donnelly a kidney took that compassion to a personal level. 
“I didn’t look at this as something that would make me a better person or more angelic,” said LaMadrid. “It was something I was called to do. It’s a bond we’ll have for years to come.”  
Donnelly returned to Chorus a week after his operation. “I feel like Herb is a part of me,” he said, “When I woke up [from the surgery], I had this need to hear his voice and know that he’s okay.”  
“We had people all over the country praying for us,” said Peggy, who also was baptized after her husband’s recovery. “We give all the glory to God, because it is the power of prayer that made this come to pass.”  
“Herb’s sacrifice was an inspiration to the entire body at Chorus,” says Cappelen. “It is evidence that if we let God use us in our neighborhoods, we can reach a whole street— and if a street, then the city, the state, the country, and the world. It is the life-giving story of transformation.”


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