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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Kayla Koslosky

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

An expecting mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia just weeks after finding out that she was pregnant, and she just gave birth to two beautiful and healthy twin babies.

Southern California, now mother of five, Susie Rabaca, found out that she had acute myeloid leukemia only a few months into her pregnancy. Doctors told Rabaca that she would not live to see her children grow up if she did not get a bone marrow transplant, and so the search began. Rabaca and her family took to social media to ask friends and family to help them find a donor. Soon the story gained national attention, even gaining the attention of country music superstar Carrie Underwood. 

"Finding my match is everything to me so I can be here for the three children I have, and the two that I have on the way, it's everything," Rabaca told Fox 11 while she was seeking out a match. "It's so easy, there's no painful procedure, there's no surgery, it's just swab your mouth and it's as simple as a blood draw, and you can save somebody's life, if not mine, somebody else's."

According to CBN News, tens of thousands of people added their names to the "Be The Match" registry in hopes that they could save Rabaca’s life. The young mother was overwhelmed by the amount of support she received and the willingness of people around the nation to help her.

She wrote on Facebook, "With tears running down my face and my heart full of hope I want to say THANK YOU LORD! And thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single person that has said even 1 prayer for me and my family! Thank you to my family, friends, people around the country that I don't even know that have shown support and especially that have signed up for BE THE MATCH!!!!! Journey isn't over but a huge step forward!!! Thankful for you all lots of love! Keep Praying thank you!!!!"

Just days before giving birth to her twins, Rabaca found a match.

She wrote on Facebook, "Hi I would like to introduce my miracle twin babies to all you who prayed for them cared for them asked about them every day!! Here is my Rainey and Ryan They are doing great healthy happy and hungry lol They truly mean the world to me and because of all the support and prayers I got my MATCH and get to LIVE and me the best mommy I can be!! THANK YOU!!!"

Rabaca is now preparing for her transplant, CBN News reports.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay/Creative Commons/Conger Design

After having an unimaginably difficult year, a Secret Santa has blessed one Idaho family in a way that they could never have expected.

Earlier this year, Dakota Nelson lost his wife, Ream, 38, when she unexpectedly collapsed from a massive heart attack that would eventually kill her, while they were cleaning out their garage. 

Nelson described the event in a thank you letter published by the East Idaho News. He wrote, “On July 11, we had been cleaning out the garage together and I left to put some tools in the shop 30 feet away while Ream swept the floor. I had been gone less than 5 minutes and saw her lying on her back with eyes wide open.”

He continued, “My 3-year-old was standing over her talking as he thought she could hear him due to her eyes being open. I ran and cradled her in my arms and blew into her mouth thinking she choked on something. I then started CPR and my 8-year-old walked out and started screaming. I told him to leave and my 12-year-old walked in the garage and, seeing the situation, called 911 and put on a show so the other kids would not go out to see her. He then went down to the end of the street to wave down the ambulance.”

Nelson added, “After two and a half weeks at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in ICU, she was moved to long-term care and we watched her pass away on Sept. 30 with all of her 7 kids gathered around.”

Now, the father of seven is working day and night to raise his kids as a single dad. One anonymous samaritan heard of the Nelson’s story and knowing the difficulty of holiday’s after the loss of a loved one, decided to show them a great act of kindness.

According to CBN News, a Secret Santa asked East Idaho News to deliver $2,000 in gift cards and an $8,000 check to the family.

East Idaho News reports that Nelson became overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry upon seeing the amount on the check.

In the letter thanking the anonymous donor, Nelson wrote, “It is hard to write this as I am at a total loss of words. There is no way for me to accurately convey how grateful we are for this kindness. As I was surprised with the gifts, I looked at my kids – who will remember this event forever as the best time they had in a hard time. Thank you for being an example to my family on how to look out for the needs of others.”

He continued, “I have noticed that through this ordeal, we have been blessed to see kindness replace the pain of losing a loved one whom I had been married to for 17 years. My children have noted this and have stated that they want to do the same for others.”

“Thank you again for making this Christmas special. Again, I just cannot convey how thankful we are,” he added.

Over the past four months, people have rallied together to help the family monetarily, and a GoFundMe account set up for the family has already raised over $40,000.

“I know no one makes it through life without some sort of event that is strenuous to the soul but I had not realized how much one can be happy even when the light is out and it is dark. Thank you for being that light," Nelson concluded his letter.

Photo courtesy: Jeshoots.com/Unsplash

Video courtesy: East Idaho News

Evangelist Franklin Graham is showing support for a Virginia high school teacher who was fired for not using a transgender student’s preferred gender pronoun.

"Peter's lawyer is right to ask where are the teacher's First Amendment rights in all of this?" Graham said in a Facebook post. "Why is tolerance never a two-way street?

“These cases are cropping up more and more frequently, and just think of the ramifications,” he added. “Just ten years ago we wouldn't have thought this would even be possible. Where is this coming from? The school boards and teachers' unions are allowing this to happen. 

“This is why it is so important for Christians to run for school boards, be involved, and let your voice be heard. Transgender policies are causing chaos, confusion, stealing privacy, and compelling speech. Deception from the Evil One."

Last week, a school board in Virginia unanimously voted to fire Peter Vlaming, the French teacher at West Point High School. He had worked at the school for nearly seven years.

A 9thgrade transgender student had requested being called by male pronouns, but in October, while Vlaming was teaching a virtual reality exercises in class, the French teacher said, “Don’t let her walk into the wall” as the 9thgrader avoided hitting a wall.

Vlaming claims it was a mistake and while he is Christian, he says he agreed to call the student by his new name only.

"I'm totally happy to use the new name," Vlaming said in an interview with WWBT.  "I'm happy to avoid female pronouns not to offend because I'm not here to provoke...but I can't refer to a female as a male, and a male as a female in good conscience and faith."

Shawn Voyles, Vlaming’s attorney, says they are looking at appealing the school board’s decision.

"Tolerance is a two-way street," he said. "My client respects this student's rights; he is simply asking that his rights be respected as well.”

Photo courtesy: Creative Commons/Nancy Dowd

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