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“I came to America with only $50, knowing no one in this country. Could hardly speak English, even though I was poor. But I was happy, because I was free,” says Dr. Ming Wang. He is an internationally acclaimed laser eye surgeon, who has pioneered multiple vision correction techniques.
When he came to America as a poor Chinese immigrant, he saw only opportunity and eventually earned a PHD in laser physics from MIT and a MD from Harvard.
“I came from China as an atheist. I believed nothing but science,” says Dr. Wang. “I was studying the structure of eye in med school and I realized that the human eye is so complicated. Trillions of trillions of cells has to line up perfectly for visual signal capturing and interpretation. If any one of those cells gets out of line, the person will be born blind.”
Dr. Wang continues, “So I had a big problem and the atheist me at the time, that how could so many cells form in such a short period of time out of randomness. So I kept on asking a professor and he said, 'Ming what's across the street?' I said, 'That's a car.' He said, 'What's the difference between a car and human eye?' I said, 'Human eye is a lot more complicated.' He said, 'Okay, can you imagine how random pieces of metal form itself into a car?' I said, 'No way.' And he said, 'How about human eye?' So, right there he opened a window in my life, making me realize that it was formed with a specific purpose for vision. So, there's a designer, a creator behind that. And I start with my journey believing first there's a creator, there's a God, and later on more specifically, the God is in the form of Jesus Christ and Christ has died for our sin so that we could have a chance for eternity.”
Dr. Wang began his career at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Years later he started The Wang Vision Institute, establishing a foundation to restore sight for orphans from around the world. Dr. Wang continues, “So far, I have done 55,000 laser vision corrections, including on over 4,000 doctors. Our foundation, we've been able to help many, many patients from around the world, from over 55 countries, and dedicated to blind orphan children.”
Kajal, a little girl from India had acid poured in her eyes by her stepmother. Prayerfully he attempted surgery, but was crushed with disappointment. “The surgery failed because her damage was too severe to be repaired when I opened her eyes during the surgery,” remembers Dr. Wang. “My Christian faith was fundamentally shaken at that time. I felt that if God, 'You're so loving, why would let you something horrible happen in the first place? But even that happened, why don't You answer our prayer to try to rescue Kajal eyesight in such a helpless precious child?' So for many months I was very down and I felt that I couldn't continue this line of work to help more blind orphan children and I felt that God didn't care to answer our prayer.”
That year at his annual fundraising event called the “Eye Ball,” Kajal and her host families were special guests. One of the boys that spent time with Kajal throughout the year said something that surprised Dr. Wang. “The boy turned around, talked to his father behind him, said, 'Dad, I'm okay. I don't need an iPod anymore.' So, standing on the side with Kajal on my side, I was looking at the boy, all of a sudden something dawned on me. That Kajal's suffering has... and how she dealt with it, she was able to move on and do the best with what life has dealt with her and still find joy and happiness in her life...has positively impacted those kids around her, make those American kids who grew up in this country appreciate more what they have,” says Dr. Wang. “So, I realized that Kajal, even though she couldn't see, there's no light coming from outside, light could emanate from within if one has love.”
He continues, “So I've come to realize that as a Christian, the ultimate test of the strength of our faith is not when we pray something God immediately gives us what we pray for. It's when we pray something God seemingly did not answer the prayer and give us what we want. Can we still maintain faith and confidence in Him, believing that He will answer, but in His way, at His time?"
Today Dr. Wang continues to help orphans regain their vision. His autobiography, From Darkness to Sight, is now the major motion picture, Sight. He hopes his journey will help others start theirs.
“Seeing the film, Sight, will make the young people in America realize today that science and faith are meant to work together,” says Dr. Wang. “You know, they do not have to choose between science or faith. They can choose science and faith."
"By making a case to the young people, many of them are rapidly leaving churches, that science and faith to work together in this very rapidly developing scientific era, we have the best chance to bring those young people back to church.”
“I am that lady that's out there walking at two o'clock in the morning to go get drugs,” says Jenee Noriega. “Constantly raging and screaming and just out of my mind.” Jenee Noriega had a traumatic and painful childhood. Abandoned by her parents as an infant in New Mexico, she longed for identity. Then, sexual molestation at the age of five brought confusion and fear. She says, “It distorted all the rest of my relationships. I was afraid from that point on. I was always afraid and scared and felt like, something was, um, wrong with me.”
She took her first hit of crack cocaine at 11 years old and began drinking regularly to escape her reality. Jenee says, “First time I had alcohol, it just, it was, it was, ‘wow.’ Like, I was so confident and I could be mean, and I had a voice and I could speak the way that I felt. And so I got easily addicted to alcohol because not only did it numb what I was feeling, but it also gave me some power.”
When she was twelve years old her father came into her life. He was physically abusive and kept Jenee in an emotional prison. “When you're constantly being told, 'if you tell I'm going to kill you,' it keeps you imprisoned, right? Not only mentally, but physically. You don't wanna run in fear of getting caught,” she says.
Eventually, her father was arrested for child abuse. Jenee then chose life on the streets over living in a group home. She turned to crime for drugs and money. By the time she was 19 she had been arrested 24 times. She says, “I was so overtaken by the drugs and alcohol that you can't think clearly. You, you lose compassion, you lose empathy for people. You, you start living like, you, you just don't care.”
For Jenee, prison provided a pause to the chaos of her life. It also introduced her to the love of God. “I would go to Bible study, I would go to anything that the church had to offer.” She says, “I was there 'cause I had always believed there was a God. I just never knew where He was. And so going to prison was a good thing for me. So I start praying this prayer and the prayer went like this, ‘Lord, I know that one day I will not be selling rock cocaine, but I'll be giving out the rock of salvation.'”
Despite her best efforts, when she was released she went right back to the streets and the drugs. “I would grit my teeth and stay clean for a couple of days.” Jenee says, “So many times after getting high, I would cry and ask myself, why are you doing this? How can you do this?”
Powerless to control her addiction, she kept smoking crack through two pregnancies. After Jenee delivered her second child a nurse told her something unexpected. “She just came over and she gave me a hug and she said, 'Jenny, Jesus loves you.' And I was so mad. I'm like, ‘How can Jesus love me? Look at my baby. Like, how can He love me?’ And, she just would not give up. She just hugged me and, and reminded me that Jesus loved me.”
Soon after, she became friends with a woman who was a Christian and told Jenee that God could set her free from drug addiction and forgive her sins. Jenee remembers, “I was crying like somebody had died and I began to pray that prayer. I was confessing all the wrong that I did. I was begging for restoration. I was begging to come home. I, I was tired. I was releasing everything up to that point that I had ever done wrong. And it was almost like a cleansing. It was, it was forgiveness. It was, ‘Lord, I need you.’ I was desperate. I was desperate. And I met Jesus. And I knew that I knew that the Lord had saved me. And I was delivered from a 19-year drug addiction. Like He took the taste of drugs and alcohol out of my mouth. It was as if I got my identity, I found my purpose, and the Lord had set me free.”
With addiction now behind her, Jenee is amazed at what God has done with her life. She has a healthy family who share the Rock of Salvation with those who long to be set free. “It was if I got my identity, I found my purpose and the Lord had set me free. There were times when I would wake up and I couldn't even believe my new life. I couldn't believe the way that I thought. I couldn't believe that I didn't cuss. I couldn't believe that, that I was kind to people.” She says, “It's this blessed assurance that God has given me that not only am I saved, but I'm gonna be with him one day. That's the best feeling to know that you are right standing with God, to know that you can have a right relationship with the Lord, and that you can love Him so much, that you be faithful to Him. That is who God is, that He does all that. It's not in, in, in my effort, but He has given me His spirit so that I could please Him and love Him. And that's a gift. It’s unbelievable. I live in peace because God gives us so much, so much that we don't deserve.”
Born and raised in the Philippines, Jim and Ailyn Tan, have seen first-hand the work CBN is doing there. Ailyn says CBN was, “Showing Jesus' love, not just through words or sermons, but actually in tangible ways to actually ease their suffering and improve their lives.” So, when the couple moved to the U.S. in 2001, they knew CBN was a ministry they wanted to support.
In addition to tithing at church, the Tans joined the 700 Club, pledging $40 a month. Jim says, “Seeing CBN, helping out people in need. It inspired Ailyn and myself because it's not just a ministry of building churches and spreading the word. It's also a ministry of helping people out.”
The Tans used Ailyn’s salary as a nurse to live on and Jim’s salary was set aside for savings. They always made tithing a priority before paying any bills and increased their giving to CBN over the years. Jim says, “All our resources are from God. We are just stewards of it.”
Then, in 2016, Jim was laid off from his job. With their older daughter, Pia, starting college in two years, the Tans wondered what they should do. Ailyn recalls, “We were really banking on that income for her college expenses. So ‘worried’ was probably an understatement.”
During that time Ailyn says God prompted her to do something unusual with their tithe. She recalls, “I was doing the budgeting one night and of course, silently whining to the Lord, like, ‘Why is this happening?’ And the Lord impressed upon my heart to go up to 11%, and try to increase 1% every year until I tell you to stop.”
Jim says, “It kind of surprised me though, when she said that she was going to increase it. But I trust my wife. She has a good judgment on that.”
So, the Tans increased their giving by 1%. Ailyn says, “There's just blessings that came in, you know, a raise, or I move up a tier in my nursing. I just feel like it was the Lord that carried us through that.”
Jim found temporary work as Ailyn was offered better and better positions. They obeyed God and increased their giving by 1% each year, as well as increasing their CBN Club level over the years. Jim says, “To a normal layman it would be illogical because your income is smaller, but it won't bother you actually, you just be surprised by the blessing that you get afterwards.”
After 7 years, the Lord told them they no longer needed to add 1% to their giving. The Tans saw God provide, in fact, their daughter was able to graduate from UCLA without any student debt. Ailyn says, “I credit that to God's faithfulness. You know, if you just obey, then he's faithful to just see you through.”
Jim was able to take early retirement. As 2500 Club Members, the Tans enjoy seeing the work their gifts are doing around the world, especially in Israel. Jim says, “We strongly support Israel. To be able to channel the resources that have been given to us, back to God. And then also to Israel. We're happy with that, super happy with that.”
Ailyn says, “Seeing CBN Israel reach out to the Jewish people is very important to us, and it makes us happy.”
By trusting God with their finances over the years, Jim and Ailyn have seen God’s blessing over them. Now their younger daughter is headed to college and the Tans have no concerns about paying for her education. Ailyn says, “So unlike the time when Pia left for UCLA, where we’re like, okay, where are we gonna get the money? This time the Lord has provided for us for her tuition already.”
They encourage everyone to step out in faith and see how God will provide. Ailyn says, “For those that are hesitant about giving or worried, I was there, I know how it feels. Just obey and take that leap of faith.”
Jim says, “It may not make sense, but you just have to learn to trust the Lord, and you will be blessed.”
“I felt like not only was He rejecting me, I felt like He wasn't real. I felt like I hadn't seen God do anything for me. So He's not real. I mean, where is He at?”
Rhoda Diehl grew up as the equivocal “good church girl” and had high expectations of her life being the fairytale she’d always hoped for. However, unexpected heartache began chipping away at her young faith starting at age 16. That’s when she learned her mother had breast cancer. “I didn’t know if my mom was going to live or die. It was hard…seeing my young, beautiful mom just fight to live.” Though her mother’s cancer then went into remission with treatment, this experience had already launched Rhoda onto an unraveling journey of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness.
At 19, she married her childhood sweetheart. It was far from the fairy tale marriage of her dreams and quickly ended in divorce, but not before the birth of her first child. Now as a new mother with an infant, left feeling alone and rejected by her divorce, Rhoda concluded that her faith was useless. She began smoking cigarettes and drinking. She became a chain smoker as she realized that the nicotine calmed her down more than her medication.
“I trusted that God was going to heal (my first) marriage and put us back together, and it didn’t happen. I blamed God…I was like I’m going to do a different route now…I’m going to go out with guys that don’t go to church now.” She did this to spite God because she felt like He didn’t answer her prayers concerning her first marriage.
Since her first marriage with a Christian guy didn’t work, she chose a non-Christian to marry next. However shortly after the wedding, her second marriage also experienced significant issues that led towards its eventual demise --- but not before her second child was born. By 25 she was divorced again, but now with two children by two different ex-husbands. The feelings of shame and rejection began to intensify.
She hit rock bottom in 2006 at age 27 when her mother died from the breast cancer that had swiftly returned. Rhoda was devastated when her mother passed away. “She was everything to me…she was my provider…she was my friend…she was like a mother to my children…I was broken into a million gazillion pieces.”
Her parents’ home was then sold, leaving Rhoda and her two kids homeless. She went on welfare and shuffled between the homes of her three brothers. Her breaking point came about a year after her mother’s death. She was nearly 28 and driving to her brother’s house one night. When she pulled into the driveway, she looked in the rearview mirror at the big Tupperware box on the backseat that held all their belongings. “The car was literally our home…I started to cry and weep, and I cried out to Jesus at that point…I was sitting in my car. I began to say the sinner’s prayer. I rededicated my life back to the Lord. I literally felt the Lord just wrap His arms over me…I felt his love…I felt a peace that a beer bottle couldn’t give me…a peace that a cigarette or my anxiety medicine…couldn’t give me.”
Rhoda began going to a Spirit filled, Bible teaching church. She had seen her mother often fast and pray in the past. She says, “I began to fast. I began to pray…and the Lord broke down every wall in my life…He healed my heart…and set me free.”
Two bad marriages had made her give up on the thought of ever marrying again --- then she met Troy Diehl, an older, godly, well-established businessman nearly a year later. They married on October 9th, 2009.
Troy and Rhoda have been happily married for the past 14 years. In all those years, she has never had to worry about financial provision for herself, her own two children, or the three biological children she has with Troy. Today, she (in her word), lives in the house of her dreams with the man of her dreams. (A special aspect to note --- when Rhoda and her children were bouncing from house to house, her 2-year-old daughter used to always tell her she wanted a princess room. When Troy and Rhoda married, her daughter got her pink princess room.)
Rhoda has written a book called, The Jericho Fast. Rhoda says, “That’s how my book got birthed…because…through all that hurt, through all the pain I began to fast; I began to pray.” She began to see incredible results because of her fasting and prayer. Her heart’s desire is to help others fast and pray so that they can have the same miraculous breakthroughs that she has experienced through fasting and prayer.
“God is able. He can take you from the pit to the palace. He can take you up out of a mess and turn your whole life around. My story shows people that there is a God. And if He can do it for me, He can do it for many others.”
Purchase Rhoda’s book, The Jericho Fast here: https://rhodafayediehl.com.
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.