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“It just got stronger and stronger. It had control…you just stopped.”
It was late April 2022 when Don Jockman started having intense chest pain. He phoned his cardiologist who urged him to go to the emergency room immediately.
“I was afraid cause you don’t know what’s happening,” said Don. “You kind of realize what’s happening is not right. I was concerned. There was a lot of prayer inside of me going on. You’re hoping…you want it to be good.”
Too weak to drive himself, Don called his son Brandon. He says getting to the car was a struggle. “Oh, the pain was strong. I took about 10, 12 steps and it hit hard. I said, ‘Brandon, I need help. I’m not gonna make it.’ And he basically carried me. I walked with my feet but put my arm around his head and shoulders.”
They drove to St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, TX where doctors performed a heart catheterization to determine what was causing the pain.
“They said, ‘You’re blocked, you’re horribly blocked. Your aorta on one side is 100% and the other side is 98%. And the third one, you’re really blocked,’” recalled Don. "'Surgery is the only option.’”
They told Don he needed a triple bypass as soon as possible and admitted him to the hospital. Surgery, however, would have to wait.
“I was on blood thinners and my blood would not clot and they could not operate. So, they put it off for three days hoping that would be enough time,” explained Don. “I was praying. Thanking Him for His presence and to get me through it and just, ‘Lord be with me.’”
Don wasn’t the only one praying. By now, there was an outpouring of prayer as his daughter Jennifer reached out to family, their church, and anyone she could think of to pray.
“The situation was so severe. You know what’s at risk, what’s at stake,” explained Jennifer. “There were times I battled fear and um, I had to trust God and pray more. I knew that God answers prayers, that God hears His people. So, I tried to reach out to as many people as I could.”
By day three, Don was still in no condition for surgery. That night, he turned on the television. The 700 Club was on, and Gordon was praying, “I am getting a visual picture of someone in a hospital bed. Either you just finished a procedure or you're getting ready for one,” said Gordon. “God is healing you. He is restoring you right now. As you are listening to me, faith is building within your body…believe. Jesus is coming to you now with healing. Be restored. New energy, new vitality, in Jesus' name, receive it now.”
“That’s got to be me. I felt blessed, assured,” said Don. “God had me. God used that situation to speak to me, to tell me, I’ve got you. You have your problem…I’ve got you.”
Four more days passed with no sign of improvement. Doctors decided they couldn’t wait any longer and went ahead with the triple bypass. It was successful, but they couldn’t get Don’s blood to clot. Jennifer says prayers for her father continued. “During my prayer time with God, I was very honest,” explained Jennifer. “God, just be with my dad. God, be with us all. My dad is like my best friend. And I didn’t want to lose that.”
Then, two days later, they had a breakthrough. “Listening to their conversations and then became aware that they had solved the clotting problem,” said Don. “The Lord had kept His word.”
Don was discharged after a week of recovery and went home to begin rehab. “I could have died. I know how close I was, but God had something for me. He brought me through the operation, through the rehabilitation and to this present day. And I’m looking forward to God completing the work He has for me.”
Don had a full recovery and says he’s had no heart problems since. “My faith is stronger. Closeness with the Lord grows stronger day by day,” explained Don. “He has put things in my heart. And the closer you get to Him, the more He reveals Himself to you."
Emmanuel Crawford is a record-setting high school running back in Grove, Oklahoma – and a Gatorade Player of the Year! You’d expect his rare explosiveness and vision, but not Emmanuel’s early childhood start – that led to a unique, elaborate match of one’s longing for family and another’s desire to adopt.
“This family in Grove and an enslaved kid in Ghana come together,” says Audrey Crawford, “that’s – that is God!”
At age three, Emmanuel was sold by his birth parents, victim to human trafficking and forced labor, enslaved in Ghana’s fishing industry.
Question: “Emmanuel, what's the stamped memory you have of those early days in Ghana?”
Emmanuel Crawford: “There was a pretty dark, um, memory and stamped memory of what it was like. Just a wooden canoe with holes. You know, my job as a three-year old was to scoop the water out of the boats to keep it afloat. Taking water, throwing it over the side because the holes were, you know, so big.”
Question: “Not a place to sit?”
Emmanuel Crawford: “No!”
Question: “On your knees?”
Emmanuel Crawford: “Mm-hmm. Yep! I remember waking up super early mornings and being out there all day.”
A world away in Grove, Stan and Audrey Crawford are both dentists and in 2010, raising their five growing kids.
Stan Crawford: “Audrey had always had it in her heart from the Lord that there was to be another child, even though we were already a pretty big family. One day I was at the dental office, and I had a patient and she knew another lady. They had been rescuing kids and gone to West Africa.”
Audrey Crawford: “And so, that’s what opened the door, and then through asking our friend, Pam Cope, who had Touch a Life Ministry, who was part of the rescue for Emmanuel. For us to be chosen was – was amazing, because she said, ‘Look at this video and take a trip with me to Ghana.'"
Stan Crawford: “Before we did anything, we made sure with all the siblings that they were going to be okay with it. That it wasn’t gonna feel like it took away from their lives or from their attention. We got their blessing and – they’ve loved him ever since!”
After 6 trips to Ghana and 9 months of paperwork, the adoption was ready!
Question: “Take us to that day your mom and dad come in and you're introduced to them …”
Emmanuel Crawford: “I kind of just knew something better is coming. It was an immediate connection. It wasn't something that was forced, and you could really feel that the Holy Spirit had made that connection possible and it was, it was meant to be. I just always thought it was funny that, you know, God would put me in a town with a lake. The very thing that, threw my life into a spiral at the beginning would be the very thing that I would live on and begin to appreciate.”
Question: “Where does it make you go when thinking a Creator goes ahead of us?”
Audrey Crawford: “I think Emmanuel believed and came in agreement with God as a little child. We are told this story by the Ghanaian that rescued him he would go around saying, ‘I will wrestle with the white man.’ Say that in his native tongue. Now where did he get that because he had not seen a white man? It just flowed with his brothers - they've wrestled plenty. Definitely out on the football field with his teammates. He has wrestled with the white man for sure. In his formative years he had to protect himself. So he saw everything. He can see the whole field from a hover view. He sees and he knows how to protect himself to get to the endzone.”
Question: “Stan, what has football brought uniquely to Emmanuel?”
Stan Crawford: “Well, it's brought him the opportunity to trust other men, meaning coaches, to listen to them, because he grew up without any father figure. Other men treating him harshly.”
Emmanuel Crawford: “There was a lot of cussing and you know, yelling. But I felt a sense of peace, um, which is crazy for somebody that's been through, something like that at a young age to feel that I never felt like I’ll trust human beings.”
Question: “Where did you find that peace?”
Emmanuel Crawford: “The times I feel the most peace is when I'm just talking to God. I just started feeling this unnecessary anger or frustration. I just heard a voice say, ‘You gotta let it go.' I sat there and cried, and you know, said, ‘I forgive you mom, I forgive you dad. I forgive the people that hurt me when I was younger.’ I grew so much spiritually just letting go of the baggage – and getting into the word. Just being able to have that moment at a young age has completely change my outlook.”
Question: “Emmanuel, what does your name mean to you?”
Emmanuel Crawford: “Even from a young age, it was very evident to me that there was something bigger than myself. So, when I got here, and I learned the meaning behind my name - God with us - that's been my whole entire life. That's the only way that, you know, any of this could have happened. Because God is with me!”
Question: “How important was community in their support for your family?”
Stan Crawford: “Oh! Community support was huge! You could tell the community was going to be behind him. You know there was some fear - in me – and you know, we’re an all-white community in Grove, Oklahoma. And I think of my dad who was always a little bit prejudice. He changed! It changed him! (emotional pause). And one of his last times he talked to the family before he passed - and said eh, (emotional pause) ‘How proud he was of Emmanuel – and that we brought him.’”
Question: “To those that want to adopt an at-risk child, what’s your encouragement to them?”
Audrey Crawford: “Ask God. Ask those around you. We’re gonna have to take a step and when we said ‘yes’ to Emmanuel we didn’t know how long the process or how much it would cost us, that step of faith of not knowing. I appeared bold but I was always afraid. I didn’t realize it, but I was fearful. I’m not afraid anymore! When you see God do something that magnificent and just the joy and satisfaction of night turn to day – if He asked me, I would say ‘yes’ to anything!”
Stan Crawford: “I just see His love for us, for everyone! His love flows through each of us and He’s a great father and a great example to me to be a father.”
Emmanuel’s storied journey shifts to Fayetteville, Arkansas, soon to run as a Razorback, continuing a transformation that surges with redemption!
Emmanuel Crawford: “Don't be a victim to your circumstances, things that have happened to you, the things that have been done wrong. You become a prisoner to your own mind. I would have hardened my heart to promises and redemption that God has brought me through.”
Question: “If not a victim, Emmanuel, then what?”
Emmanuel Crawford: “A conqueror! Look how big your God is.”
Myo was born with a cleft palate. Sometimes, when her mother, Ni Ni, looked at her daughter, she remembered what the midwife said the day Myo was born. “She said my daughter would not survive,” said Ni Ni. “I promised myself that I would do everything I could to save her life. The doctor said she could have surgery when she turned one. So my husband and I decided to save up for the operation.”
Than and Ni Ni work in the rice fields in Myanmar. Ni Ni also weaves mats to sell, so they earn just enough for the basics. "I thought about working as a maid in the city so I could save more for the operation,” Ni Ni explained. “But Myo needed me. She was always sick. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her.”
Myo’s big sister, Kyaing, helps out when she can.
"It breaks my heart to see her cry,” said Kyaing. “I play with her so she stops crying. Some of our neighbors call her “cleft-cleft girl,” and that upsets me.”
Then one day, Ni Ni learned about Operation Blessing. The organization paid for Myo to receive surgery to repair her cleft palate. “When she came out of surgery, I was really happy to see her,” said Ni Ni.
And Kyaing was excited to see Myo when she came home from the hospital. “My sister’s lip is so beautiful now,” said Kyaing. “When my friends say, ‘Your sister is so pretty,’ my heart is filled with happiness!”
“Now, Myo is able to eat well,” explained Ni Ni. “She likes looking at herself in the mirror and loves being with her friends. I never thought this day would come, but you made my dreams for Myo come true.”
The annual tradition continues on the campus of CBN as The Founders Inn rings in the Christmas season with their annual Grand Illumination.
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.