JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A family feels inspired after they said their life-changing journey led them to a Jonesboro church.
The Deaton family from Poplar Bluff found a home at Central Baptist Church.
Matt Deaton was four-years-old when he was diagnosed with a kidney disease in 2005, and four years later, his family's journey took an interesting turn.
It was a 2009 ice storm and a simple church service broadcasted on KAIT that led the Deaton family from Poplar Bluff to Jonesboro.
That's when they visited CBC live, not on television, and where they met the man that would save Matt's life.
"After a week with no power, one of the first things that came on was Central Baptist Church, it was a Sunday morning, flipped it on and there it was, and I saw Brother Archie up there preaching and we'd been hunting for a church for sometime, but no one ever spoke like he did. I mean it hit me right here," Grady Deaton, Matt's father, said.
Grady said he tried to persuade his wife to make the 90-mile drive to attend the church for a year.
"I mean it was big and it was intimidating at first, but I mean it just it felt like home," Amanda Deaton, Matt's mother said.
"I've heard people drive all the way to Nashville, just to go shopping, other people drive all the way up to St. Louis. It's like, okay so what's an hour and a half a week to go to church," Grady said.
The Deaton's said they loved the church, but the drive became costly.
They wanted to call Jonesboro their home, but things did not work out.
The family struggled to understand why they felt led to attend church so far from their Missouri home, but little did they know, God was about to reveal his plan.
The family joined a life-group at the church, and then their son's condition took a turn for the worse.
"Whenever Matt's kidneys failed, it was brutal," his father said. "I mean we tried coming down here for a few weeks and he was just getting sick."
Before this, the family met Jerry Allison, who after hearing about Matt's disease, felt God calling him to help the boy.
"I felt a burden on my heart for the whole family, before Matt actually got on the transplant list," Allison said. "So, um you know, my whole family and our whole life group, we spent a lot of time in prayer for this family. Just you know, in the course of my prayer I felt like God was urging me to do more."
In January, Allison volunteered to be tested to see if he was a match for Matt, and he was.
In March, doctors gave the approval. Jerry Allison would donate his kidney to Matt Deaton.
The transplant happens this month and Matt said there is only one explanation for how things worked out.
"It's God's plan," he said.
And, he's not worried about the future.
"God's done all this other stuff for us, why stop now."
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