Shane, who serves our country as a chaplain in the National Guard will be deployed once again at the end of July. He contacted us recently with a desperate plea to transport his wife Amanda from Nebraska back to Arkansas where she can be near her family while he is away.
Amanda and Shane met online and have been married only 5 short years. He has been in the service for 12 years now and she was working as an LPN when they married.
Not long after they were married she gave up her job and the 2 of them have been in ministry together. In 2015 they discovered Amanda was in need of a multi-organ transplant related to a previous illness. She received a liver, pancreas and small bowel transplant and over the last 2 years she has been very ill, requiring multiple hospitalizations.
They nearly lost her a few weeks ago. We arrive at her bedside and meet soft spoken Shane and Amanda’s mom as they continue to get her ready. Amanda has light blond hair that one of the nurses has neatly braided for her. Her cheeks are rosy and she smiles nervously as she tells us she is indeed nervous.
We do our best to reassure her. I think she looks great, considering everything she has recently gone through. Shane has packed a bag for her that we will take along with us. He is wearing a smile of relief that she will finally be in Arkansas. He and her mom kiss her goodbye since together they will make the 6 hour drive.
At the airport we paused outside to let her feel the sun and warmth for a few minutes. She has been in the hospital for about 2 months so she is gladly taking this in.
Hal prays and we place her on board Nellie. During take-off she once again shared that she was nervous. She was medically flown on 2 other occasions however she does not remember either one. During our flight we chatted about several things.
She is a middle child having an older sister and a younger brother. Between them she has several nieces and nephews that she and Shane enjoy time with.
She is excited to be near family. We talked about food, particularly melons, since it is “that” season.
She has not been able to eat to for quite some time. Watermelon being one of her favorites is something she is really looking forward to.
Once we were in the air her anxieties were gone and she enjoyed her flight. She looked out of her window and pointed out landmarks as we were flying into Little Rock.
She thanks Hal for her safe arrival.
Our ride to the hospital is short and as we walk onto the unit the staff are waiting her arrival. They welcome her and help to make her comfortable. We stopped to pray for her and Shane before we left as some of the staff joined in.
On the way back to the airport I called Shane to let him know Amanda was safely there. He once again thanked Grace on Wings for making this happen.
Please keep both Shane and Amanda in your prayers. Amanda for complete physical healing. A hedge of protection around Shane while he will be in Kuwait for the next year. For a blessed reunion when he returns.
GREATER LOVE HAS NO ONE THAN THIS, THAT SOMEONE LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS.
We also want to THANK Shane and all those in our military past, present and future for their willingness to serve and protect us. Also Amanda and all the families of our military who give up much as well, to allow their loved ones to serve. This is truly a selfless act that may be difficult to comprehend but that we should never forget and always show gratitude for. We tend to think more about this on days such as this, July 4th and Memorial day. These are great times to honor our military but we really need to keep them in our prayers daily.
Thank you to Hal, Jason and Chris for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN