There is a saying ‘one good turn deserves another’ – and in Pastor John Greenaway’s case, it has proved to be true.
A Northern Irish man has saved the life of a pastor who took him in off the streets after donating one of his own kidneys to the kind-hearted minister.
Pastor Greenaway and his family gave shelter to a homeless man in 2016, after a chance meeting in a faith mission book shop.
Belfast man Melvin Boyd had fallen on hard times, but said once he met Pastor Greenaway’s family and began living with them, his life changed.
In turn, Mr Boyd changed a life when he offered the pastor, who needed an organ transplant, one of his kidneys.
In their first broadcast interview, Mr Boyd said living on the streets was difficult and that he could not trust anyone.
After meeting the pastor’s son, who brought him to the family home in 2016, the Greenaway family helped Mr Boyd to beat his alcohol addiction and start over.
Pastor Greenaway told BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday News programme: “I believed Melvin needed a new start in life, we wanted to help him.
“He’d been homeless since he was 14 and had always wanted the love of a family; he was so desperate,” John explained. “When he came here and saw the love between us and the children, he wanted to be part of it.”
“He was different than other people. There are a lot of people who want help but don’t want to do anything about it themselves – but Melvin wanted to help himself.”
Since then, Mr Boyd has stayed at the family home every day and night, and has become another son to the pastor, and his wife, who already have four children.
At the time, Pastor Greenaway had been suffering from kidney failure. As his health continued to decline, he had started crying out for healing, convinced that the Lord was going to come through. Then, something extraordinary happened. As soon as Melvin learned of John’s medical condition, he offered to donate one of his own kidney’s to help save his life.
Last March, he repaid the pastor for his generosity by donating one of his kidneys to him.
“There was no agonizing about it,” Boyd said of his quick decision to donate his kidney to the minister.
Both of them believe it was God’s plan for them to cross paths.
“The biggest thing about it was God bringing us together. I believe it was meant to be,” Melvin said.
“I got the transplant on March 23 last year; Melvin came to our place less than a year before that on April 23, 2016,” Pastor Greenaway told Belfast Telegraph.
The story was first reported by the Ulster Gazette.