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700 Club

 The Great Marriage Divider

Today, Kent and Jessica Atwood have a happy life with their children. However, soon after they were married, Jessica gave her life to Christ after the death of her brother and their relationship changed. “Kent,” Jessica said, “I found Jesus and I want to be a Christian. I want to go to church and tithe. I want to do it all, I'm all in...and he was just silent.” In Kent's words, “You know, I thought I married someone and then six months after our wedding, I didn't marry that person and it was a completely different person. It all started from that and rolled downhill after that.” 

As Jessica began to live out her faith, she also desired to start giving money away. She began tithing on income she received from being an auditor for a hospitality company. “As soon as we started giving, we started having extra money at the end of every month,” she recalled. “Finances became easier almost immediately.”

Nine years into their marriage, they had two sons with another on the way and better paying jobs. Kent got a promotion and became a project manager for a construction company and Jessica got a new, higher paying job for a major auto manufacturer. Kent reluctantly agreed to allow Jessica to tithe off of his income too. However, as their giving increased so did his unhappiness. “I felt like that was our money,” Kent said. “And to give it away for something I'm not all about yet…it kind of hurt me and created tension between us.” 

One Sunday while they were at their church service, Jessica noticed Kent was crying. “I put my head down,” he said, “and I just heard, 'go get baptized.' I went to the back and I was so emotional in the back, the lady couldn't even understand me. She said, 'oh, sir, are you okay? Do you need me to call an ambulance?' I just said, 'I need to be baptized.' I was baptized that day and I've never felt anything like that, ever.”

“Kent came back to me after that and he was a changed man,” Jessica recalled. The couple began tithing together. “God has absolutely provided for us in the financial space and in our careers.” She exclaimed, “He's given Kent and I both favor and ability to do the things that He has called us to do.”

Today, the Atwoods are united by their love for God and happily married. They love to give and continue to tithe on all their income. “It's all God's money,” Kent said. “Money is nothing and it doesn't buy happiness. It makes you happy for a minute and then it's gone the next minute. To me, tithing is just the way of saying, 'thank you.'" 

“God is so good,” Jessica exclaimed. “And it is the one place in the Bible that has a promise that if you bring your tithes to the storehouse, He'll open the gates of heaven. He will provide and He is our provider. You can't outgive God.”
 

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700 Club

Sudden Blindness and Sudden Kindness

Nombekumbeku used to love to sing and dance. Now she mainly sits in silence, because she is blind due to cataracts.

Nombekumbeku explained, “I lost my vision very suddenly. I was walking home and I fell. That’s when I knew I could no longer see. Everything around me is foggy now.  I can’t do anything for myself. I need to be accompanied even when I go to the bathroom, otherwise I get lost.”

Concerned for her mother’s well-being, her daughter moved back home to the Eastern Cape, South Africa, to look after her. 

“Not being able to see has taken away my joy,” said Nombekumbeku. “I used to be very lively and independent. I worked hard and never sat down. I grew food in my garden and cooked for myself. Now, my garden is dry and unattended. It pains me so much.” 

Then they heard about Grace Vision, a ministry supported in part by Operation Blessing, and reached out to us for help. Thanks to your generosity, she received her cataract surgery.

As her bandages were being removed, her daughter sat next to her in anticipation. Then Nombekumbeku looked at her and shouted in joy and disbelief, “Xezi, my daugther! Is this really you!?” She then said, “God is with me. He is walking with me!”

Nombekumbeku broke out into spontaneous dance as she thanked everyone around her for their help.

“I can see perfectly now. I am so relieved. I feel like myself again. I feel alive!” exclaimed Nombekumbeku. “You have unshackled me from my pain, and I am no longer a burden to anyone. I am healed and very happy, and it’s all thanks to you! ‘Thank you, Operation Blessing. Thank you so much.’”


 

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700 Club

When God says, “You first!”

For years, Kelly Ficarra successfully ran two dance studios outside of New York City. Then the recession hit, and dancing was no longer a priority for many. Kelly’s income drastically went down. Meanwhile, her studios needed major HVAC, flooring, and plumbing repairs. “I was bootstrapping all of this with personal credit,” she recalls. “And month after month, slowly it starts to snowball where the debt starts to build.”

When her debt reached $52,000, she got a second job stocking shelves, as she continued to try and keep her business going. Kelly confesses, “I don't like to fail at things. I was rolling change to pay my rent. I was worried, and I remember one night falling asleep, just praying, ‘God tell me what to do.’ I woke up as if there was a voice in the room that said, ‘Be still.’ I get up, I go to my computer, I open the email and the scripture of the day that day was Psalm 46:10, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ It's almost like God said to me, ‘Okay, it's just me and you now, what are you going to do?’ And I needed a plan. You know I was praying to God, saying, ‘God, God, I need you to move in my life.’ And He was looking at me going, ‘You first.’”

She decided to trust God and close both studios. She found a cheaper apartment, got rid of her car and cable and began going to church. A friend gave her a book by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland that introduced her to biblical money principals, including giving 10% of her income away. Kelly says, “I thought to myself, ‘These two people who wrote the book have lost their mind.’ And I thought, ‘You know, God, I can't give right now when I don't have anything, when I have more, I'll give more.’ And I feel like the Holy Spirit said to me, ‘You had more at one time. You didn't give me anything then either.’ And it's so funny because I would say, ‘Oh God, I want to submit my life to you. I trust You with my heart and soul. Yeah. But I don't know if I could trust You with 10 cents on every dollar.’ I had to get over that.”

Kelly started tithing. “From that point forward, I never had another late bill. I never seemed to struggle,” she exclaims. The scripture says, ‘If you tithe, I will pour out a blessing that's more than you can contain.’”

A year after, she got a job in sales and her income went up 25%. She gave more and her debt began to go down. “Getting a better job, having opportunities to make more income, I think that is directly related to tithing,” Kelly proclaims. “God, He's the CEO, He's the Chief Eternal Officer. We are the CSO, we're the Chief Stewardship Officer. In the middle of service, I felt that God spoke to my heart and said, double it.”

She didn’t know where the money would come from, but she doubled her offering. The very next day, Kelly heard about a sales contest at work. She entered and won. She explains, “I felt like God's looking at me going, ‘Mm-Hmm.’ I had that special offering back ten times over. But it was my job to be obedient and to trust and to move in faith.”

From then on, she committed to give even more. She started working for a debt counseling company, and within three and a half years of closing her business, all of Kelly’s debt was gone. Since starting to tithe, Kelly has now received five promotions and her income has quadrupled. “It's very clear what God instructs us to do,” she exclaims. “He will never leave us short when we decide to give.” She concludes, “I would encourage anyone who has been struggling with the idea like I was, take that leap of faith.”


 

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700 Club

The Toll of Pain

Durga lives in a small village in India. She has deformed lower jaw caused by a benign tumor. The condition causes her both physical and emotional pain. “I've tried everything to fix it at home, but nothing worked,” she told us. “Now, my lower jaw swelled up, and it's really hard to eat or even drink water."

Durga said she now lives in self-imposed isolation, hiding from the cruelty of the community. “What people say about my face is really hurtful,” she said through her tears. “Their words broke my heart. It even made me question how I could go on living.”   

Finally, she had the courage to remove her face covering during our interview with her. “There have been times when I thought about killing myself.”  

Durga told us her family is poor and cannot afford surgery to repair her face and jaw. So she sits, waits, and hopes. “Whenever I see people who look ‘normal,’ I wish I could be like them too, a pretty woman like anyone else. It's hard to deal with the depression, especially when people bring up marriage. I can’t even think about that. All I want is to have surgery, but my parents do not have money for it,” she said.

Then Durga heard about Operation Blessing. Thanks to your support, we were able to provide multiple free surgeries to remove a benign tumor and repair her face and jaw.  

“Thanks to you,” she said, “I've now started a whole new chapter in my life. I'm thrilled! I keep looking at myself in the mirror because I can't believe how beautiful my face looks now. People who saw me after the surgery don't even recognize me! I've been dressing up and going to the market feeling confident and happy.”

Durga says she now has a happy life, one that she never thought was possible before.  

“I'm really happy that I can eat and drink without any problems now. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the people who supported my operations. Thanks to you I have a brand-new life!” she said with a big smile. 

CBN’s impact around the world

USA

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.

Latin America

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.

Turkey

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.

International

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.

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