Joshua Mason’s life was a waking nightmare by the age of five. Abused daily at the hands of his stepfather, he lived in constant fear. Then something changed it all – the birth of his half-brother, Lucas.
“There was joy in the home, and it was such an exciting time, and no one was getting physically abused,” Joshua said. “That was the moment that I actually saw what a family could be. Then, about two months into after she had the baby, all of a sudden I heard her scream, ‘My baby is dead, my baby is dead.’”
Lucas had succumbed to Sudden infant death syndrome. Broken hearted, Joshua’s mother sank into alcoholism while his stepfather became ever more violent towards him. Fearing for his life, his mother gave him a choice.
'"If you say yes, you can never come back,’” Joshua recalled his mother saying. “She pulled an airplane ticket out of her purse and she said, ‘This is a flight to your real father's house.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ I knew I had to get out of there. I was so sad that I was going to leave my mother behind, but I had to go.”
At 12-years-old, he was taken to the airport and put on a flight to his biological father, who gave him a stable home for the next several years. After college, at twenty-three, Joshua started dating a woman and she became pregnant. He was overjoyed to finally have the happy family he’d longed for, but the death of his half-brother haunted him.
“When she had my daughter, Lauren, it was such a beautiful moment,” Joshua said. “In my mind I had to make it three months, which to me, the research I had done said that Sudden infant death syndrome is the most common, or you have to worry about it in that first ninety days. Once you pass that point, then you’re okay. I was very particular about every little thing that could cause Lauren harm. I did have that level of fear because I went through that traumatic experience.”
Then one morning, just a few days to the 3-month mark, Joshua awoke to the voice of his partner’s older daughter.
“'Mommy, mommy, you're lying on the baby.’ I ran over there to her and I snatched my daughter out from between her and the recliner,” Joshua said. “As soon as I held her and I looked down, I knew that she was dead. I felt so much anger to the woman. I blamed God. ‘Why did you take her from me?’”
Joshua separated from his partner and spent the next several months struggling with severe depression. Eventually he got a new job and began dating another woman, trying to start his life over. But this time he was determined to not have children. Then one day, to his surprise, his girlfriend told him she was pregnant.
“I was terrified,” Joshua said. “I talked to her about how important it is for me to make it to that three-month mark, because Lucas didn't make it to that three-month mark. Lauren didn't make it to that three-month mark, very close. Just a gripping fear."
Two months and twenty-seven days after his daughter, Arianna, was born, Joshua came home one evening – to an empty house and a note.
“That note reads, ‘I'm sorry. It's too overwhelming for me. My mother and grandma came to get a U-Haul and take me back to South Carolina.’ Only three days to go at that point,” Joshua said. “Everything's gone. I've lost my family for the second time. That's when I decided, well, I'm just going to self-destruct.”
He began drinking heavily and taking prescription pills to numb his pain, but it wasn’t enough. A friend from work was shooting meth, so Joshua gave it a try.
“I became instantly addicted,” Joshua said. “I just don't care anymore about anything. That was an eight-year battle.”
Lost in his addiction and hurts, Joshua did his best to shut out the world. But then he met a Christian woman named Isela and the two became close. She would often pray for him and encourage him to come to church. Joshua hated God, but after experiencing an overdose that nearly killed him, he wanted to change.
“She would always tell me from the beginning, ‘You need God.’ So, I started going to church,” Joshua said. “At one service, the pastor said something that really, really stuck out to me. He said, ‘The devil comes to kill steal and destroy.’ I had essentially blamed God for killing my daughter, stealing my family and destroying my life. But I never knew that there was an enemy or the Devil on the opposite end, and that that was who the blame needed to be on and should have been on. One night I came home from a service and I went into the bathroom like I normally do, and I got the little baggie of methamphetamines out. I got the needle on the counter and I'm looking at it and I just thought, ‘I have to stop. God if you'll...if you'll have me, I want to give my life over to you.’ And I took that bag and I flushed it down the toilet. I surrendered that night to Jesus. I felt joy again.”
Following that night, through prayer and reading the Bible, Joshua found the strength in God to overcome his addiction. He also came to terms with his past, forgiving his abusive stepfather and those he’d blamed for destroying his families. He is now married to Isela and serves in ministry, helping to meet people’s physical needs while pointing them to Jesus. Joshua says that God has blessed him with the family he’d always hoped for.
“My family is my wife. It's the ministry that I'm in now, which God led me to,” Joshua said. “I have my family now and I feel complete. No matter how dark times get, there is a way that you can overcome whatever you're going through and that you can do that through God and by surrendering to Jesus. I went from the bottom and now I'm at the top and I did that through God.”
The anniversary of a ministry that changed the world. CBN looks back on 62 years of broadcasting.
Jerry and Mary Fitzgerald love antiques, turning their property into a showcase of relics across their three acres of land. Something they love even more than collecting antiques, is giving.
Jerry shared, “I believe that it's important to give because ministries don't operate on nothing.”
Mary said, “When we give the gospel is going out to reach people.”
They first learned about giving in 2009. They had started going to church together after going through a rough patch in their marriage.
Mary recalled, “I continued to be a little hesitant about tithing and giving more. When I finally relaxed and understood and the Lord really showed me how important tithing and giving was, I did not have a problem with it any longer. When God shows you and God touches your heart and you want to give. He’s gonna work it all out. He will always supply your needs.”
Jerry said, “It's just like planting a seed in the ground and then you cover it up. The soil and the water comes and the sun hits it and it grows.”
Once the couple began tithing and giving consistently, they soon saw the benefits. That same year, Jerry received notice that he would be laid off due to the refinery where he worked shutting down. Before his last day of work, he had two job offers. He picked one and started right away with no lapse in pay or benefits.
Jerry shared, “I'm gonna hold in my word and giving back to God what He's given to me no matter what the situation is. Because I know that if I do what God told me to do, God's going to do what He told me He would do. I put it in God's hands. In fact, that week we were able to get double tithes.”
Mary said, “I think as we were being faithful, God provided. The more we made, the more we gave.”
In addition to tithing to their church, the Fitzgeralds started giving to CBN to support CBN’s global outreach projects.
Mary shared, “Orphans Promise really touches me and when I see children without parents, it's just really special to see that they're receiving love in a home and learning about Jesus.”
Jerry especially loves supporting Superbook and Operation Blessing.
Jerry shared, “Not only are they meeting people's physical needs, but they're meeting their spiritual needs too. The Bible stories are broken down in a way that children can understand it.”
In 2022, Jerry was offered a new position that pays 20% more than his previous one. The Fitzgeralds know their lives have been sustained as a direct result of giving to God. They encourage everyone to give so they can be blessed too.
Mary said, “If I had known what I know now about tithing and giving, I would've been doing it all my life. If we stay faithful and we rely on God, He's gonna take care of us.”
Jerry stated, “God cannot pour into closed hands. You've got to open them and you gotta give. And when you give, God gives back in return, just like it says in Luke, press down, running over. God’s going to be faithful to His promises.”
When Ronald and Stephanie Jordan married, they didn’t think twice about living beyond their means. “I like to shop. I like nice things,” Stephanie explained. Ronald added with a laugh, “You know, we were just spending.”
Ronald worked for a premier package delivery company, and Stephanie was an administrative assistant. While they had enough to pay their rent and basic bills, they used credit cards for everything else.
“You know, as long as we can afford the minimum payment, we were good to go,” Ronald stated.
They charged their timeshare, cars, clothes, meals out, and household items. When they maxed out one card, they got another. Ronald handled the finances and wasn’t worried because the bills were always paid on-time. Then a couple years into their marriage…“I was looking at credit card statements, just trying to figure out where the money was going,” Ronald shared. He confessed, “You start thinking about the future. You start thinking about, am I going to be able to get a house? Am I going to be able to retire? And if you don't have any money left over in the month, there's no way you can do those things.”
After a close examination of their financial situation, Ronald broke the news: the couple was $145,000 dollars in debt.
“It was almost like all this can't come from just eating out or just, you know, spending or that type of things,” Stephanie proclaimed. “But I mean, it was there. He had it all laid out.”
Then, a co-worker told Ronald about a Christian-based money management program. Ronald said, “I found out about tithing, by listening to other ministers and then just reading the Bible for myself. The scripture talks about money, really how you treat and deal with money, really is how you treat and deal with everything in your life. Up until that point, nothing else had worked. So why not take a chance and try?”
As they tithed, they stuck to a strict budget, committed to paying-off their debt. Stephanie said, “We cut back. I mean, to make the sacrifice for, you know, the financial freedom that we desired to have.”
Ronald added, “I turned in my smartphone and got a dumb phone, stopped eating out, started cooking more at home. And when our friends wanted to go out, we just said, ‘Hey, we can't, can't do it right now.’”
Soon, Ronald and Stephanie started using money as a way to help others instead of satisfying themselves.
“It's like the scales coming off your eyes,” Ronald explained. “I wanted to give to God instead of spend on myself because my heart had been convicted. Like, you know, I really ‘gotta do this to honor God.'"
Stephanie contributed, “Things can go at any point. But being generous and caring for others are things that really hit to the heart.”
Within seven years of putting God first in their finances, the Jordan’s debt was gone.
“We were free,” Ronald said. “It is a great feeling. And I would not go back for anything in the world. It just opened up so many options for Stephanie and I. We've been able to give more. In addition to the tithe, we sponsor three children through various organizations.”
Along the way, Ronald and Stephanie got raises and promotions at work. Then, out of the blue, Ronald was offered a new job. Since starting to tithe, his salary has more than tripled.
He proclaimed, “It’s no coincidence, right? You get certain areas of life in order and everything else just kind of falls in place.”
Today, the couple looks for opportunities to give.
“I'm a lot more empathetic and sympathetic and my eyes are open to the needs of the kingdom,” Ronald shared. “Only God can do that.”
They have their own home and recently took a dream trip to Israel. For others who want to see a turnaround in their finances, they suggest making tithing and giving a priority, like they have. “Examine God's word for yourself. Look up scriptures and different messages on the topic and then practice it and watch God work,” Ronald said.
Stephanie concluded, “If you start tithing, God will definitely increase what you have. Give Him his 10% and God will definitely take care of you.”
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.