As a New Year begins, and most of the news is bad, the story of Manoly Viravong and Veronica Buttigieg is wonderful and so encouraging. Manoly and Veronica met for the first time last summer at a mutual friend’s wedding anniversary party. Manoly, who has 2 teenage children, told Veronica that she had been waiting for a kidney transplant for 5 years. A close relative had said he would donate one of his kidneys, but had changed his mind. Manoly was on dialysis for 8 hours every night and the need was becoming urgent.
When Veronica heard Manoly’s story she said, ”Why don’t you have one of my kidneys!” In July, 2 months later, the operation took place and Manoly is now well on her way to recovery. Veronica said, “I barely knew Manoly but after talking to her, and hearing how desperate she was, I felt it was the right thing to do. We all knew that there was a chance I could die, but I wasn’t worried at all. I am a Christian and I felt that God said it was right. I had real peace about it because I knew it was what God wanted me to do. I felt completely calm.” Manoly says, “I can’t really thank her enough. We are very close now, like sisters. I’m really very grateful to her and I count my blessings every day.”
The story of Manoly and Veronica reminds us of the wonderful love of God. One of the best known verses in the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Many people think that the message of the Bible is about God telling us what we should do. But Christianity is not about what we do, but about what God has done in giving us his Son. The Christian life begins for each of us when we gratefully receive Jesus as our Saviour.
We can never repay God for his amazing love in Jesus, but when we receive him as our Saviour, our hearts are filled with love for him and overflow in love for others. That’s why Veronica gave her kidney to Manoly. She had experienced God’s amazing love for her in Jesus and wanted to show that love to Manoly. This is a love we can all know and show.