Greg Bishop may not be a popular celebrity nor a prominent personality but he is certainly well-loved by his neighbors. Described as loving, helpful, and kind, Greg proved to the world that you reap what you sow when he was facing the most difficult time of his life.
The well-loved farmer of the west Texas community is undergoing chemotherapy and treatment in order to win against leukemia. Just like the 174,250 people in the U.S. diagnosed with leukemia, Greg Bishop knows how financially draining these treatments cost. To make things worse, because of his present condition, Greg was not allowed by his doctor to attend to his responsibilities in the farm.
Because of his serious illness,Greg Bishop could not harvest the cotton crops which covers over 450 acres of farm in Floyd County. Fortunately, the compassionate neighbors of the kindhearted farmer did not think twice to lend a helping hand.
“He’s a very good Christian man. Just a goodhearted man. He’s very humble. He’s just the best person,” The general manager of Floydada Co-op Gins, Aaron Hendricks, described the sick farmer.
According to Aaron Hendricks who has known Greg Bishop for 25 years, their community knew that Greg’s chemotherapy would leave him with a vulnerable immune system. Thus, they had a meeting and discussed what can they do for their sickly friend.
“They all said, ‘What can we do? We’re ready to help.'” Aaron recalled. Their meeting was successful, a lot of people eager to help came. In fact, some volunteers had to be turned away for they can no longer accommodate the volume of people.
“We had people come from 100 miles northwest of us to help,” Aaron shared.
In a heartwarming gesture of thoughtfulness, those who have heard about Greg Bishop’s condition brought about $12 million worth of farming equipment over Greg’s land in order to harvest his cotton crops. Some initiated to inspect his fields to know which cotton was ripe for picking.
The overwhelming amount of help poured in, there are even local companies who were willing to donate fuel for the farming equipment and machines. However, the volunteer farmers asserted that they wanted to provide the fuel themselves.
“We started around 10 o’clock this morning and a little before 3 we were done. I mean we had that many people,” Robert Nixon who also helped Greg shared in an interview.
The volunteers’ group effort was able to harvest and process 1,200 bales of processed cotton in less than 5 hours. Approximately, the harvested and processed cotton will amount to $420,000. According to Aaron, it would probably take Greg 2-3 weeks if he will be the one to harvest it himself.
Reportedly, Greg swelled up in tears after learning about the overwhelming amount of help that poured in for him.
“He was just overwhelmed by what everybody did,” Aaron shared Greg’s reaction towards their act of kindness. “He was in tears. He couldn’t thank us enough for what we did.”
But the selfless and thoughtful volunteers assured Greg that they need no words of gratitude.
“Nobody wants any thanks,” Aaron said. “Everyone is just thankful to be able to do this for him.” According to Aaron, Greg is the kind of man who will not ask for help, but will be the first one to lend a helping hand if someone needs it. Thus, all of them are happy to do something for him.
Aaron also shared that their kindhearted friend remains in good spirits, Greg is still as optimistic and hopeful as he was before. As of now, Greg is preparing to go to Dallas and stay there for 100 days in order to undergo a bone marrow transplant.
“He’s fixing to go to Baylor, in Dallas, for 100 days. He’s going to get a bone marrow transplant,” Aaron added. In fact, numerous people also volunteered to be tested to check if their bone marrow is compatible with Greg’s.
Greg’s community also set-up a fundraiser in order to gather enough money that will cover for his medical expenses in Dallas.
“We’ve started a fund to raise money for him to stay in Dallas,” Aaron shared. “Everyone wants to help.”
The touching gesture of compassion and thoughtfulness shown by Greg’s close friends and neighbors made noise in the internet. It reached the attention of Rev. Franklin Graham, the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Rev. Graham shared Greg’s beautiful story on his Facebook account which made his story even more viral.
“What if each of us didn’t wait for them to ask, but helped them out when they were in a hard place or needed a hand. Maybe they just need to know that someone cares.” Rev. Graham wrote on the Facebook post he shared which reached more than 16,000 shares.
Here is the full text of Franklin Graham’s Facebook post:
The Lord Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” I just read about some farmers outside of Lubbock, Texas, who put this into practice in a very literal way. Their neighbor, Greg Bishop was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatments—right at the harvest time for his cotton crop.
They said Greg wasn’t the type of person who would ask for help—but that didn’t stop them. This week, these neighbors took their time and equipment and harvested Greg’s cotton for him. I think that’s great! They saved him a great financial loss, and I can’t even imagine how blessed he and his family were by this outpouring of love.
Let’s think about our own neighbors (close by and far away) who may need our help today. What if each of us didn’t wait for them to ask, but helped them out when they were in a hard place or needed a hand. Maybe they just need to know that someone cares. Ask God how He wants to use you as a good neighbor today. Share in the comments below if you already have ideas of how God might use you.
Life sure is a journey filled with countless challenges and difficult times. But that’s what makes life even more beautiful, because trying times always bring the best out of people. Just like how it brought the best out of Greg’s thoughtful friends and neighbors!
Photos | KCBD