On this day dedicated to generosity, your gift will ensure that together, we’re ready to face whatever lies ahead. All gifts given before midnight tonight will be matched—up to $250,000—making your gift today go even further in 2024.
“When I arrived at work on August 3rd, 2022 and I had the voicemail, she was crying and she said, ‘I think I'm having a stroke.' And I work 30 miles from our home. So I shot out of there as quickly as I could."
Gary Florence received a frantic call from his wife, Robin, who was complaining of an intense headache. She then called her sister and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Robin was then life-flighted to York, Pennsylvania, where she went straight to surgery. “I was praying the whole way,” Gary said. “I had no idea what was going on. All I know is my wife was crying and she believed she was having a stroke.”
Robin suffered a brain bleed. Dr. Evan Fox, one of the physicians that treated Robin’s aneurism, recalled, “She had a subarachnoid hemorrhage resulting from an aneurism of the basilar artery, which is one of the arteries that goes and feeds the brain stem. Twenty-two percent don’t even make it to the hospital. Seventy-one percent don’t survive.”
“After the surgery, when I went into her room, she was on life-support and she had so many IVs sticking out of her. And her head was shaved right up the middle,” Gary recalled. “I took one look at her and I, I turned to the wall and I, I just started sobbing. Cause I thought to myself, ‘That's not my wife.’”
For several days her life hung in the balance. Her husband called friends and family to ask them to pray. Gary said, "There was a gentleman from our church, he sent me a text and it was from our intercessors. It said, 'This is not unto death, but this is to the glory of God.’ And I just, I took a hold of that.”
Robin’s condition initially improved rapidly—which shocked her doctors. “This nurse came up to me and he said, ‘Now, Gary, remember this is a 21-day marathon.’ But, this time yesterday, my wife was hanging between life and death and now you don't want me to get excited?”
Then Robin had a major setback and was put back on life support. One of her doctors warned Gary how serious it still was. “He said, ‘We are in no way out of the woods yet.’ This is over two weeks since the initial surgery. And you’re saying we’re still in a life and death situation?’ He said, ‘But we haven't given up on her.’ So once again, I got on, started texting, calling, people started once again praying.”
Gary continued to make the three-hour round trip every day to the hospital to be by Robin’s side. “When I came home, as I'm pulling into the driveway, this is as strong as an audible voice that I've ever heard. But I heard such a resounding, in my spirit: ‘Whose report are you gonna believe?' And out loud, I said, ‘I choose to believe your Word.’”
Their family and friends continued to pray. Robin began to respond again. “The next day I walk into her room and as I'm looking at her, she's actually blinking her eyes for probably the first time in a week,” Gary remembered. “And the physician walks in. He says, ‘Well, how do you think your wife's looking?’ I said, ‘Well, she's looking a lot better than she did 24 hours ago.’ And he said, 'You know what? I think she's looking better too.’ Robin throws her right arm up over her head. This physician begins to chuckle. And he said, ‘Okay, now she's just showing off.'"
For the next three months, Robin gradually improved and she was eventually released. Today, she is fully recovered, with no serious side effects. “God had the right people at the right time exactly where they needed to be for me to survive what I survived,” Robin said.
“I was concerned that she may pass away,” Dr. Fox said. “And I was concerned even more that she would not be able to get back to her normal self. Let alone—I hear she is back at work now, which is quite amazing. Very rare. Very unusual for somebody to have had such a significant bleed from this type of aneurism, to come back like this.”
Although Gary and Robin were strong in their faith before, they say this experience has taken them to another level. “My faith has just exploded because I saw the supernatural, miraculous intervention of God. I saw with my own eyes my wife go from death to life.”
“He healed the lepers. He healed the lady with the issue of blood," Robin added. “And yet even greater things are we to do as followers and believers of Jesus Christ.”
“The Word says He's the same yesterday, today, and forever,” Gary stated. “And what He did back in the first century, He's doing in this century. But it's available for anyone.”
“I'm an ordinary girl, but I serve an extraordinary God,” Robin said, smiling. “I know He saved me. I know He touched me. I know He healed me. And I say that with all conviction, and He can heal anybody at any time. And He does."
For most parents, a child’s birthday is filled with hope for the future. But not for Alexa. She been born with a hold in her heart. “She went to the cardiologist every year around her birthday,” recalled her mother, Jackelline. “At first, they said the hole could close on its own with treatment. And every time he said the hole had gotten bigger."
And every year, Alexa’s health got worse. “She did not grow or gain weight despite what we gave her. And even with the heart medicine the hole did not close,” said Jackelline. “Her heart was always beating too fast. And she was tired all the time.”
Meanwhile, Alexa’s condition was taking a toll on the whole family, including her dad, Carlos. “We cried when they told us that she urgently needed surgery,” said Carlos. “The doctor said if Alexa was not operated on in a year or so that she would possibly die. I didn't want to hear that news.”
Both Jackelline and Carlos worked hard to save for their daughter’s surgery. Carlos knew there would never be enough. “It's impossible with the salaries we have, even joining the two together. Even if we join my brother’s salary or the whole family’s income there would never be enough to pay for this surgery without help,” explained Carlos.
Then they received the news they’d been praying for. Operation Blessing paid for Alexa to receive open heart surgery at the only heart hospital in El Salvador.
“It was very emotional for us because we saw that this was a miracle for our daughter—that she would be healthy,” said Jackelline. “I will be forever grateful to the people who made this surgery possible and for restoring our peace of mind. We thank God and Operation Blessing for helping us.”
The annual tradition continues on the campus of CBN as The Founders Inn rings in the Christmas season with their annual Grand Illumination.
Celebrity Chef Lexy Rogers, author of Break Bread on a Budget (Rowhouse Publishing, 2023) says her inspiration for cooking comes from her grandma (Mama Anne) and Aunt Lovie. “At eight years old, I remember being on my tippy toes, peering over the counter to get a peek at my Aunt Lovie and Mama Anne making magic in our tiny, rustic kitchen,” shares Lexy. These ladies expressed their love for family by turning everyday ingredients into extraordinary meals. “Thanks to the aroma-filled, warm-bellied childhood memories created by Mama Anne and Aunt Lovie, cooking for others became my love language, one that I now express to my husband, my children, and my community,” shares Lexy.
Lexy’s friend Maryann sent her a flyer encouraging her to apply to be on MasterChef, a food competition on Fox. She says, “I loved to cook, and loved the show, but I never ever thought my two minutes of spontaneous boldness would lead to all of this. My time on that show was challenging.” Lexy was also six weeks pregnant with her third child when she was selected to be on the show. She struggled with morning sickness when she arrived on set. “I was stressed every day, trying to impress the very chefs I had been watching and studying my entire life,” recalls Lexy. Lexy had to press through all the stress. “I heard voices in my head constantly telling me, “You’re not good enough. You’re not worthy. You won’t win anyway. You’re just here to help fill a demographic.” However, she kept making it through to the next round. She earned a spot as a top nine finalist on Season 11 of MasterChef on Fox and received high praise from legendary chefs Gordon Ramsy and Roy Choi. She says, “When I got that apron, I became a member of a new family of chefs that brought me comfort and support … And all because I said yes to being uncomfortable and pushing past my fears, and no to doubting myself.”
Growing up, Lexy would help out in the kitchen with whatever job needed to be done, including washing dishes. As a newlywed, she recalls one Thanksgiving in particular at Mama Anne’s house where she was asked to make the fried chicken by herself. This was a big confidence boost for her which carried over into her culinary career on MasterChef.
After the Thanksgiving meal there are usually lots of leftovers. She says, “The goal is to turn it into something new that your family will eat.” Below are a few recipes Lexy will share with our viewers using leftovers from a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Some are family favorites and a couple others are just fun for the more adventurous cook.
- Mac-n-Cheese and Sweet Potato Stuffed Egg Rolls - Lay out egg roll wrappers. Spread a thin layer of mashed sweet potato mixture on each wrapper and a small spoonful of mac-n-cheese in the center. Be careful to not add too much filling and overcrowd the wrapper. Using your finger or a small brush, apply water to the edges of the eggroll wrapper. Fold the bottom corner in towards the center, covering the filling, then fold in the two side corners and roll to close. Bake these at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until golden. You can also deep fry them for 2-3 minutes or air fry for 5-7 minutes at 360 degrees F.
- Turkey Sandwiches - Open a pack of Hawaiian-style rolls and slice each one in half, creating a top and bottom bun. Layer leftover turkey, stuffing, and gravy over the bottom layer of the sandwich. You can also add greens if desired. Place a top bun on each sandwich and bake at 350 degrees F for about ten minutes or until the top layer buns are slightly toasted and the filling is warm.
- Mashed Potato Pancakes - Using cold leftover mashed potatoes, add 1 egg, and 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour per cup of mash. Combine thoroughly with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese of choice, 1 tbsp of chopped chives, and 1/4 cup of chopped cooked bacon. Melt 1 tsp of butter in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Using a spoon or round food scooper, scoop filling into the pan and fry for about 1 minute on each side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten before flipping. Each side should be golden brown and slightly crisp. Top with sour cream if desired.
- Burgers with Cranberry Sauce – Using leftover burgers or ones freshly prepared, you can top them this way to use up some of the leftover cranberry sauce. Top each burger with cranberry sauce and arugula. Toast the top bun in a pan with a little butter, then spread goat cheese on it and place it on top of the burger. Lexy’s favorite food is a good burger!
- Sweet Potato Spice Cake - Using your favorite boxed spice cake mix, prepare the mixture accordingly, leaving out 1/4 of the liquid that's instructed on the box. Replace that with 1 cup of sweet potato leftovers, mashed, and combine thoroughly, mixing for at least 4 minutes. Bake as instructed and enjoy with or without icing! Lexy uses a Bundt® pan for a great holiday look.
CBN’s impact around the world
Daily prayers for people across the country
CBN’s prayer team prayed with over 1.2 million callers in 2022 alone, while also praying with people through email, social media channels, live chat on the website, and written correspondence.
Highlighting testimonies of God’s faithfulness
Vida Dura or “Hard Life” stories are sourced throughout Latin America and produced in Spanish to reach a region with testimonies of people who hit rock bottom and turn to God for change. CBN has a prayer center in Latin America to support people through prayer and faith resources.
Serving in the wake of natural disasters
CBN's Operation Blessing was on the ground quickly in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, providing much-needed food, relief supplies, and medical aid. After large-scale natural disasters, Operation Blessing strives to be the first to arrive, and the last to leave, tending to the needs long after the news cameras leave.
Ukraine and Poland
For 30 years, CBN has been serving the people of Ukraine
Through CBN’s Orphan’s Promise and Operation Blessing, we were able to quickly provide valuable resources soon after the conflict began, and we continue to support Ukrainian refugees.
Projected 135 million* watched a CBN program in 2022
CBN partners are reaching children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus through Superbook, a Bible-based animation series. In 2022 alone, children in 139 countries watched at least one episode of Superbook.
Bible Reading for the Day
Read or listen to today's Old and New Testament Bible readings. Each day is portioned to give the entire Bible to you in a year. Start anytime. Scroll forward or backward if you miss any days or want to get ahead.