1 Peter 4:12-13
The Living Bible
When my niece asked me to write my brother’s story, I first wondered what I would say, but as the morning progressed, God has given me the words that perfectly describe the relationship that I see Don has with Jesus and it is that relationship that allows me to write this tribute and to request that you consider helping him by donating toward his medical bills. Donald Ray Kuiper is so much more than just a man with stage four renal cancer.
I believe that you can learn a lot about a man by knowing the people who love him! He is loved by Judy Gabbard Kuiper, who was willing to put her own job security on the line to be with her husband when he started this fight, and she did end up losing her job as she used up all of her sick and vacation days. He is adored by his two sweet daughters Erin, married to Joe Lloyd and Emily, married to Alex Bowles. And words cannot express the depth of the relationship between Papa Don and his grandsons Joseph and Raymond…they can bring a smile to his face when nothing else can! Don is also loved by the many people who experience his gentle touch as he helps them fight the renal disease that forces them to go through dialysis. You see, my brother, although he is suffering daily, is continuing to work, sometimes double shifts as a nurse, it’s either this or lose his job! And yet, Don sees it as a way to help those who are suffering just as he is. Don is loved by his church, Azalea City Church of God, as well. Through the years, he was known as a true servant leader! He was always there to help trim the hedges, sing in the choir or Gospel quartet with his amazing bass voice, smoke the meat for the church fundraisers and quietly, do just about anything else that required doing. He was never one to take it easy, and loved to work on a good building project.
Last year Don thought he had pulled a muscle and instead of getting it checked out, ignored it for a while, figuring it would go away. When it didn’t, he went in and a small lesion was discovered in his right kidney. He decided to go to Emory to pursue treatment and in the time between its discovery and when the surgery could be scheduled at Emory the tumor had grown into a huge mass. Since then, it has spread and lesions are in his lungs, liver and back muscles. Scans requiring trips to Atlanta and treatments that are prolonging his time with his family are financially draining. This morning, I read a quote by A.W. Tozer, which fits Don’s attitude toward his illness:
“There are such things as consecrated griefs, sorrows that may be common to everyone but which take on a special character when accepted intelligently and offered to God in loving submission”.
It is for love and for God’s glory that I am writing this! I love my brother! I love Judy and want to help her to have relief from the debts that are mounting up. But more than anything, I want God to have a forum from which He will be glorified by Don’s quiet, patient endurance; and by our love and the fellowship of the Saints as we draw together and help the hurting. Today, we trust in a merciful God, who gathers every one of our tears and promises us that there will be a day when there will be no more pain, and no more suffering, but until then, we can remember and SEE our Lord, by watching His saints as they go through their suffering in an attitude of submission and love for God.
Please help by donating to the fund for Don Kuiper, and in advance- Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
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