In February, 2014, I drove to Lincoln, Nebraska, to be with my oldest son to watch the University of Nebraska men’s basketball team play the Indiana Hoosiers. Before the game, a highly reputable Indiana cardiologist, Dr. Larry Rink (who has now been IU’s team doctor for the past 39 years) walked by my seat. I instantly said, “Dr. Rink, thank you for helping save my brother-in-law’s life.” The doctor stopped, shook my hand and asked who it was he had helped. I reminded him of the story that took place (now over 31 years ago) that forever tied three cities together: Bloomington, IN, Rochester, MN & Indianapolis, IN.
In May 1985, Dr. Rink was my brother-in-law’s cardiologist and after giving him an echocardiogram, immediately arranged a private jet to transport my brother-in-law (in his late 20’s), my sister-in-law, a registered nurse, a pilot, and me to Rochester, Minnesota. While a team of Mayo Clinic doctors stabilized my brother-in-law’s heart, Boots Young prepared a place for my sister-in-law to stay. It just so happened that a new ministry had begun called “Hands Of Compassion” (HOC), and a room was provided for my wife’s sister during her week-plus stay in Rochester. She was HOC’s first houseguest!
Meanwhile, I flew back to Bloomington, Indiana with the pilot and nurse, and less than two weeks later, my brother-in-law was transported from Rochester to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, to await a new heart. On Memorial Day weekend, 1985, the Lord most graciously provided my brother-in-law with a strong and vibrant 24-year-old heart. The doctors gave him, on the average, three years to live. However, by God’s grace, over thirty-one years later, my brother-in-law and my wife’s sister, remain alive and well, praising the Lord!
For sometime now we have been praying for Brent Hanson -- for God to heal his heart, or by God’s mercy and grace, give him a new one! Brent and Becky came to us from northern Minnesota and have stayed at our houses of compassion several times over the years. This week, Brent and Becky are scheduled to fly to Mayo in Arizona as they continue to await God’s heart decision.
Much has happened since my brother-in-law was jetted to Rochester in 1985: my older brother, Stacy, came and worked 15 years for HOC; a second HOC house was built; I was hired to begin ministry here in August, 2013; and three days before we arrived, Stacy and Carol moved up to northern Minnesota where he met an EMT pastor in need of a new heart -- Brent Hanson! God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Mr. Steve