Lysa TerKeurst 'Clings' to God, Revealing She Has Breast Cancer

New York Times Bestselling Christian author and speaker Lysa TerKeurst says she has breast cancer.

TerKeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, made the announcement in a Facebook Live video Monday afternoon.

“I’ve sort of dreaded this moment of telling you guys,” she said. “I really am fine, but I think because I’ve been through so much in the past couple of years…I’ve just kind of dreading telling you because I think people will think, ‘What in the world?”

TerKeurst recently went in for a routine mammogram but the results came back unclear.

She went in for a second mammogram and then a biopsy.

The doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer after finding the tumor.

“They caught it very very early. I am going to have surgery on November 10,” she said. “I really treasure your prayers. I’m going to have a double radical mastectomy and reconstruction.”

Despite the hard-hitting news, TerKeurst says she feels like she is in good spirits.

“I have such a joy and a peace about the surgery,” she said.

TerKeurst says she is well aware of the pain and the recovery process from a mastectomy but is optimistic.

“Just in terms of my emotional perspective and my spiritual perspective God has been so good,” she said.

She shared Psalms 52: 8-9 in the video. It reads:

“I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever… For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.”

The news comes after the Bible teacher announced this summer she would be divorcing her husband of 25 years.

“My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years. For the past couple of years, his life has sadly been defined by his affection for this other woman and substance abuse. I don’t share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce. God has now revealed to me that I have done all I can do and I must release him to the Savior,” TerKeurst wrote on her blog in June.

In her latest blog post, she writes that she is “clinging” to God’s promises.

“We are clinging to the promises of God on this journey full of twists and turns, ups and downs,” TerKeurst explained. “There is often a process God will take people through to prepare us for the Promise.”

She is asking other believers to pray for her while she is in surgery.
 

 

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/lysa-terkeurst-clings-to-god-revealing-she-has-breast-cancer

Mom Whose Unborn Baby Tested Positive for Down Syndrome Defies Doctor’s Suggestion to Abort, Chooses Life

A mom of seven recently recounted how she rebuffed a doctor’s suggestion that she terminate a pregnancy after her unborn baby was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

READ: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Brings Hotel Cleaning Woman to Tears With Simple Act

The woman, identified only as Karen C., said in an op-ed for pro-life group Save the Storks, that she was about 21 weeks when doctors found that her baby would most likely have Down syndrome.

She recounted, in detail, the ultrasound appointment where the revelation unfolded.

“We watched as the nurse measured all her parts and tried to get a good picture of her adorable little face. It seemed to take unusually long, but I was grateful for the extra time. When she finished she said that at their office the doctor always comes back in to remeasure and go over everything in the ultrasound,” Karen wrote. “As soon as she left the room, I told Chad something was wrong and that I could tell the lady saw something of concern.”

She said her heart was racing as the doctor entered the room and took some more measurements; meanwhile, she fervently prayed.

“He finally finished, took a deep breath, and said our baby had two of the four soft signs for Down syndrome,” she wrote. “He told us about a blood test we could do that would give us an answer and sent me to my midwife’s office for the test.”

The couple promptly had the test and needed to wait 10 days for the results. As the days forged on, Karen said she just kept praying and trusting God. Then, the results came and the doctor’s test was confirmed: their baby did have Down syndrome.

But it was what the doctor said next that left Karen angry.

“[The doctor] said, ‘Hello Mrs. Crawford, we got your test results back and your baby does have Down syndrome,’ and without taking another breath he went on to say, ‘We can terminate the pregnancy if you like…’” she recounted. “I immediately snapped back, ‘Never. That will never happen!’”

Karen said that her heart breaks over the fact that the vast majority of Down syndrome babies are aborted. She and her husband, Chad, named their baby girl Myla, and she wrote that she hopes her little girl helps “make a difference” when it comes to the tragic statistics surrounding Down syndrome termination.

“Down Syndrome obviously has its struggles, but so does everything this side of heaven,” she wrote. “We need to bring awareness to things like Down syndrome so people won’t be so afraid of it.”

In the end, she said Myla brings intense joy to her family. Read more about the story here.

Karen’s story comes as people with Down syndrome are also increasingly defending their right to live.

As Faithwire previously reported, last week, actor and Down syndrome advocate Frank Stephens powerfully testified before the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Committee on Appropriations about the value of life — specifically the value of the lives of those born with Down syndrome.

“I am a man with Down syndrome, and my life is worth living,” he emphatically stated during a committee hearing on Wednesday.

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/mom-whose-unborn-baby-tested-positive-for-down-syndrome-defies-doctor-rsquo-s-suggestion-to-abort-chooses-life

Regent Law School Scores Highest Bar Passage Rate in Virginia

Regent University’s School of Law recently announced its alumni who took the Virginia Bar examination in July, passed with a 94.59 percentage — the highest in the Commonwealth of Virginia and 23 percent higher than the statewide average.

“To finish first in a state like Virginia is an incredible accomplishment,” said Regent Law School Dean Michael Hernandez. “I’m proud of our graduates, and I’m proud of our faculty that rallied around and supported our graduates. This is a validation of our program and I’m really thrilled with the results.”

Regent law alumni who took the test scored higher than other law schools in the state including University of Virginia (92.59 percent), George Mason University (79.37 percent), University of Richmond (79.37 percent) and Washington and Lee University (84.85 percent).

The Virginia Beach-based law school’s first-time test takers ranked second in the state, with a passing rate of 93.94 percent – just under .30 percent below the highest-raking law school in the commonwealth.

Additionally, several of the school’s 2017 honors graduates taking the bar exam for the first time, earned a 100 percent. Several alumni who took the exam in nine states, including Iowa, Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Washington, also passed the exam with a perfect score.

Hernandez attributes the graduates success to the “team effort” of the law school. He believes these results are the fruition of not only the faculty and the rigorous academic programming, but for the camaraderie amongst the law school community – what he refers to as “iron sharpening iron.”

“It’s a microcosm of the body of Christ,” Hernandez explained. He said he sees Regent LAW as a “lifelong partnership” and among those partners is Regent LAW’s Office of Career & Alumni Services.

“We are so pleased with these results. Our graduates are talented, diligent, and poised to serve as outstanding attorneys,” said Judge Patricia West, associate dean of Career & Alumni Services. “We are excited about the strong placements members of the Class of 2017 have already obtained and look forward to continuing to support these incredible graduates in their job placement efforts.”

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/regent-law-school-scores-highest-bar-passage-rate-in-virginia

'Let There be Light': Sean Hannity Stands for Christianity with New Film

Sean Hannity is taking on Hollywood.

On the 700 Club Tuesday, Hannity told CBN’s Pat Robertson, “I’ve always felt that Hollywood has a contempt for conservative values and Christian values.”

That’s why the Fox News Channel headliner has teamed up with a veteran Hollywood actor to create a new faith-based film called “Let There Be Light.”

It’s the story of a world-renown atheist, a near-death experience, and an encounter with the Creator of the universe.

Hannity is the movie’s executive producer, making his first foray into filmmaking, along with Kevin Sorbo, who not only stars in the film but also directed it.

The movie is a true family affair. Sorbo’s wife, Sam co-wrote the script and also plays his on-screen wife, while their two young sons make their own acting debuts.

Sorbo is known for his role in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” as well as the Christian movie called, “God’s Not Dead.” He reportedly approached Hannity about shooting the film, and Hannity decided to sign onto the project within an hour of his visit. 

Sean Hannity joins Pat Robertson on Tuesday’s 700 Club to talk about his role in bringing “Let There Be Light” to the big screen, and why he wants to be involved in making more quality films.

In the film, Sorbo plays an atheist making millions of dollars through his book called Aborting God. As the story unfolds, viewers begin to understand why he hates God so much.

Hannity describes it as “one man’s journey” and how the decisions he makes have a huge impact on his family and all the people in his life. Then he has an experience that changes everything.

“It impacts you intellectually, it impacts you emotionally – many people were crying during this film – it impacts you spiritually. I know a lot of people have said, ‘This changed my life,'” Hannity said.

“It’s been likened to ‘Ghost’ meets ‘Heaven Is for Real,’ with a dash of ‘God’s Not Dead,'” Sorbo said about the film. 

“I think this touches your heart, your mind, and your soul,” Hannity told CBN. “And it has a very contemporary feel to it… How Christians are looked on in society, how their values are demeaned.”

“Let There Be Light” opens in 350 theaters in all 50 states on October 27th, with the goal of expanding to hundreds of new theaters each week.

 

 

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/let-there-be-light-sean-hannity-stands-for-christianity-with-new-film

AP Sources: DeVos May Only Partly Forgive Some Student Loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Education Department is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, according to department officials, abandoning the Obama administration’s policy of erasing that debt.

Under President Barack Obama, tens of thousands of students deceived by now-defunct for-profit schools had over $550 million in such loans canceled.

But President Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is working on a plan that could grant such students just partial relief, according to department officials. The department may look at the average earnings of students in similar programs and schools to determine how much debt to wipe away.

The officials were not authorized to publicly comment on the issue and spoke on condition of anonymity.

If DeVos goes ahead, the change could leave many students scrambling after expecting full loan forgiveness, based on the previous administration’s track record. It was not immediately clear how many students might be affected.

A department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

But the Trump team has given hints of a new approach.

In August, the department extended its contract with a staffing agency to speed up the processing of a backlog of loan forgiveness claims. In the procurement notice, the department said that “policy changes may necessitate certain claims already processed be revisited to assess other attributes.” The department would not further clarify the meaning of that notice.

DeVos’ review prompted an outcry from student loan advocates, who said the idea of giving defrauded students only partial loan relief was unjustified and unfair because many of their classmates had already gotten full loan cancellation. Critics say the Trump administration, which has ties to the for-profit sector, is looking out for industry interests.

Earlier this year, Trump paid $25 million to settle charges his Trump University misled students.

“Anything other than full cancellation is not a valid outcome,” said Eileen Connor, a litigator at Harvard University’s Project on Predatory Student Lending, which has represented hundreds of defrauded students of the now-shuttered Corinthian Colleges. “The nature of the wrong that was done to them, the harm is even bigger than the loans that they have.”

“Even more importantly, it is completely unfair that a happenstance of timing is going to mean that one student who’s been defrauded is going to have full cancellation and the next is not,” Connor said.

A federal regulation known as borrower defense allows students at for-profit colleges and other vocational programs to have their loans forgiven if it is determined that the students were defrauded by the schools. That rule dates to the early 1990s. But it was little used until the demise of Corinthian and ITT for-profit chains in recent years caused tens of thousands of students to request that the government cancel their loans.

In the last few months of the Obama administration, the Education Department updated the rule to add protections for students, shift more financial responsibility onto the schools and prevent schools from having students sign away their right to sue a school.

That change was set to take effect in July, but DeVos has frozen it and is working on a new version. She argued that the Obama regulation was too broad and could cancel the loans of some students without a sound basis.

DeVos has come under criticism for delaying consideration of over 65,000 applications for loan forgiveness under the borrower defense rule. The agency hasn’t approved a single claim since DeVos took office in February.

Jennifer Wang, an expert with the Institute of College Access and Success, said the Obama administration was providing full loan cancellations to students.

“It would be totally different from what was happening under the last administration,” Wang said. “It’s not equitable; it’s not fair for students. If she provides partial relief, it’s that she only cares what’s fair for schools and not students.”

Abby Shafroth, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, said the agency could be faced with lawsuits, especially from Corinthian students, whose classmates had received full forgiveness.

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. 

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/ap-sources-devos-may-only-partly-forgive-some-student-loans

Puerto Rico Gov Seeks to Cancel $300M Whitefish Contract

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor on Sunday demanded that the board of the island’s power company cancel the $300M contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings amid increased scrutiny of the Montana company’s role in Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

The announcement by Gov. Ricardo Rossello comes as federal legislators seek to investigate the contract awarded to the small company from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown.

“There cannot be any kind of distraction that alters the commitment to restore electrical power as soon as possible in Puerto Rico,” Rossello said, adding that nearly $8 million has been paid to Whitefish so far.

Whitefish spokesman Chris Chiames told The Associated Press that the company would soon issue comment. Power company spokesman Carlos Monroig did not return messages for comment.

Rossello said he has requested that crews from New York and Florida come help restore power in Puerto Rico as he criticized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for not meeting its goals. The agency could not be immediately reached for comment.

Audits of the Whitefish contract at a local and federal level are ongoing, and the governor also announced the appointment of an outside coordinator to oversee the power company’s purchase and contracting division.

“If something illegal was done, once again, the officials involved in that process will feel the full weight of the law, and I will take administrative actions,” Rossello said.

Roughly 70 percent of the island remains without power more than a month after Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. territory on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm with winds of up to 154 mph (245 kph).

Power company Director Ricardo Ramos has said that Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority reached a deal with Whitefish just days before the hurricane struck, saying that he spoke with at least five other companies that demanded similar rates, in addition to a down payment the agency did not have. Ramos also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency had approved of the deal, something the agency has denied.

FEMA said it has not approved any reimbursement requests from the power company for money to cover repairs to the island’s electrical system. The contract said the utility would not pay costs unallowable under FEMA grants, but it also said, “The federal government is not a party to this contract.”

FEMA has raised concerns about how Whitefish got the deal and whether the contracted prices were reasonable. The 2-year-old company had just two full-time employees when the storm hit, but it has since hired more than 300 workers.

A Whitefish contract obtained by The Associated Press found that the deal included $20,277 an hour for a heavy lift Chinook helicopter, $650 an hour for a large crane truck, $322 an hour for a foreman of a power line crew, $319 an hour for a journeyman lineman and $286 an hour for a mechanic. Each worker also gets a daily allowance of $80 for food, $332 for a hotel room and $1,000 for each flight to or from the mainland.

Whitefish Energy Holdings is based in Whitefish, Montana. Zinke, a former Montana congressman, knows Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski, and Zinke’s son also had a summer job at a Whitefish construction site.

“I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico,” Zinke recently said in a statement linked to a tweet. “Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract involving Whitefish are completely baseless.”

Democrats also have questioned the role of HBC Investments, a key financial backer of Whitefish Energy. The Dallas-based company’s founder and general partner, Joe Colonnetta, has contributed thousands of dollars to Trump and other Republicans. Chiames has said Colonnetta’s political donations were “irrelevant” and that the company would cooperate with any federal authorities.

This week, Rep. Rob Bishop, the Utah Republican who heads the House Natural Resources Committee, sent the power company director a letter demanding documents, including those related to the contract with Whitefish and others that show what authority the agency has to deviate from normal contracting processes.

“Transparent accountability at (the power company) is necessary for an effective and sustained recovery in Puerto Rico,” his office said in a statement.

A Bishop spokesman did not immediately return a message for comment on Sunday.

A federal control board that oversees Puerto Rico’s finances announced this week that retired Air Force Col. Noel Zamot will be in charge of power reconstruction efforts. Rossello and other officials have rejected the appointment, saying the local government is in charge of a power company that is $9 billion in debt and that had struggled with ongoing outages before hurricanes Irma and Maria hit last month.

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. 

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/puerto-rico-gov-seeks-to-cancel-300m-whitefish-contract

Conjoined Twin Babies Survive World's Rarest Surgery

For the first time in their lives, fifteen-month-old Abby Delaney and Erin Delaney have their own bodies. 

The twin girls were born conjoined at the skull, which made any possibility of separation life-threatening. 

“When you see stories of conjoined twins being separated it’s so exciting and everyone is so happy…I wasn’t able to have that moment for a while,” their mother Heather Delaney wrote on her blog. 

According to The Washington Post, Heather and her husband, Riley, discovered their daughters were cojoined over a year ago when Heather was only 11 weeks pregnant. She delivered Abby and Erin prematurely, and it was the beginning of an emotionally draining battle for their lives. 

Just a few months ago some 30 doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals spent 11 long hours meticulously disconnecting the girl’s heads. 

“This is one of the earliest separations of craniopagus conjoined twins ever recorded,” Jesse Taylor, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the newspaper. “We know that children heal better and faster the younger they are, therefore our goal for Erin and Abby was separation as soon as possible with minimum number of surgeries.”

During the surgery, Erin stopped breathing and Abby’s head started bleeding. Miraculously, the babies survived the procedure. 

Heather Delaney said she felt helpless through the surgery. 

“Feeling helpless was the new normal, and I hated it,” she wrote. “The worst part is everyone keeps asking, ‘If you are ok.’ That’s when you know things aren’t good. When you have person after person asking if you’re ok, if they can get you anything, trying to hug you or pat you on the back to offer some support. It’s moments like that were you just want everyone to go away and leave you alone.

Now, the girls are recovering, though their weakened immune systems make them more vulnerable to disease. 

Meanwhile, Heather Delaney calls her children an inspiration. 

“As their parents, it is very neat for Riley and me to have a front row seat to this and watch them overcome these incredible obstacles,” she said in a statement. “We cannot wait to see what their future holds!”

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/conjoined-twin-babies-survive-worlds-rarest-surgery

Sharks and Lost Hope: 2 Women Rescued After 5 Months at Sea

HONOLULU (AP) – Their engine was crippled, their mast was damaged and things went downhill from there for two women who set out to sail the 2,700 miles from Hawaii to Tahiti.
  
As their 50-foot sailboat drifted helplessly in the middle of the Pacific for months, their water purifier conked out, sharks started ramming their vessel, their food ran low and their distress calls and signal flares went unanswered day after day.
  
Some nights they went to sleep wondering if they would live to see the sun rise.
  
Then their fortunes changed Tuesday: Five and a half months after Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava embarked on a journey that might normally take about three weeks, a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted their boat 900 miles off Japan and thousands of miles in the wrong direction from Tahiti.
  
The Navy sent the USS Ashland to their rescue.
  
“I had tears in my eyes,” said Appel, the Sea Nymph’s 48-year-old captain, who blew kisses to her rescuers as they pulled alongside.
  
She and Fuiava quickly clambered aboard, followed by their dogs Zeus and Valentine, who were hoisted up.
  
“It was actually quite mind-blowing and incredibly humbling,” she told reporters during a conference call from the ship.
  
All four looked remarkably fit, and Appel credited that to veteran sailors who had warned them to prepare well for the voyage. They had packed enough food that could last for a year, mostly dried goods like oatmeal and pasta.
  
“They said pack every square inch of your boat with food, and if you think you need a month, pack six months, because you have no idea what could possibly happen out there,” Appel said. “And the sailors in Honolulu really gave us good advice. We’re here.”
  
Appel, who has been sailing the Hawaiian islands for a decade, said she had planned this voyage for more than two years. She and Fuiava were to spend about 18 days getting to Tahiti, then another six months or so cruising the thousands of small islands that dot the South Pacific before returning to Hawaii.
  
But she acknowledged that perhaps she and Fuiava, a novice at sea, weren’t as ready for the crossing as they could have been.
  
“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she said. “When I asked Natasha, I told her I have no idea what’s going to happen out there and she said, ‘That’s OK, I’ve never sailed.'”
  
The two set sail on May 3 and ran into trouble almost immediately, Appel said, hitting a storm that pounded their vessel with 50 to 70 mph winds for three days as they traveled the Hawaiian islands. The boat seemed to hold up fairly well through that, however, so they decided to continue.
  
Their engine went out toward the end of the month. They thought they could continue on with just their sails, but the rigging on the 57-foot mast was damaged and they were unable to make any headway.
  
So they drifted, sending out distress signals every day for 98 days straight. They said they also tried without success to hail a number of ships and fired off 10 signal flares. One of their cellphones had been washed overboard early in the voyage, and they were out of cell range anyway.
  
One night, a group of tiger sharks began attacking the vessel, and the next morning, a shark returned and rammed the boat again, Appel said, adding, “We were just incredibly lucky that our hull was strong enough to withstand the onslaught.”
  
“There is a true humility to wondering if today is your last day, if tonight is your last night,” she said.
  
As the months passed, the pair discovered they were going through their food much faster than they had anticipated. Ninety percent was gone by the time they were rescued, some of it having been fed to their dogs after their pet food supply ran out.
  
“The dogs turned out to really like human food,” Appel said.
  
“A lot,” Fuiava added.
  
Meanwhile, loved ones had no idea where they were. Appel’s mother said she contacted the Coast Guard when she hadn’t heard from her daughter a week and a half into the voyage.
  
Still, as the months passed, Joyce Appel said she never lost hope that the pair would be found.
  
“She is very resourceful and she’s curious, and as things break she tries to repair them. She doesn’t sit and wait for the repairman to get there,” said Joyce Appel, 75, who lives in Houston. “So I knew the same thing would be true of the boat.”
  
She finally got a call from her daughter early Thursday.
  
“She said, ‘Mom?’ and I said, ‘Jennifer!?’ because I hadn’t heard from her in like five months,” she said. “And she said, ‘Yes, Mom,’ and that was really exciting.”
  
Despite the ordeal, the pair said there were positive moments, such as when they fixed their broken water purifier and used their long days adrift to learn more about the sea and the weather.
  
“You may as well use the time you have to do something beneficial,” Fuiava said.
  
Although the Navy declared the Sea Nymph no longer seaworthy, Appel said she hopes to eventually recover it and perhaps take it out again.
  
“Well, you got to die sometime,” Appel said. “You may as well be doing something you enjoy when you’re doing it, right?”
  
Associated Press writers John Rogers in Los Angeles; Rachel D’Oro in Anchorage, Alaska; Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska; and Ken Moritsugu in Tokyo contributed to this story.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/sharks-and-lost-hope-2-women-rescued-after-5-months-at-sea

Domestic Abuse Shelters for Men Help Spotlight Male Victims

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas group has opened what’s believed to be only the second shelter in the U.S. exclusively for men who are victims of domestic violence, as advocates say more men are seeking help amid changing views about male victims.

“We’re trying to help men understand that it’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to have emotions. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to be vulnerable,” said Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place in Dallas.

Before opening the 21-bed shelter in a two-story home in May, Flink’s organization, like many others, housed male victims in hotels. But Flink said that not only was that becoming costly as the numbers grew, it also wasn’t an ideal arrangement for victims to get support.

“They get a lot of growth from being together,” Flink said.

The number of male victims calling the National Domestic Abuse Hotline and its youth-focused project — loveisrespect — has been growing. Last year, about 12,000 male victims called — about 9 percent of victims who identified their gender. That’s about double the about 5,800 male victim callers from 2010, said hotline spokeswoman Cameka Crawford.

“We believe that there are likely many more men who may not report or seek help for a number of reasons,” she said.

Flink said her organization has sheltered men abused by male partners, female partners or relatives. Some men bring their children. Flink believes one reason her group has seen an increase in male victims has to do with how Dallas police in recent years have been handling domestic abuse calls: They ask a series of questions and if someone is believed to be in danger, that person is immediately put on the phone with a shelter.

Some shelters house both men and women, but Denise Hines, a professor at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches domestic violence by women against men, said it’s more common for men to be put up in a hotel.

Valley Oasis in Lancaster, California, says it was the first in the U.S. to accept men into its shelter. “It created an environment where maybe for the first time for female victims and male victims that they could actually talk to members of the opposite sex that were not going to hurt them, that were not going to degrade them,” said CEO Carol Crabson, who said the shelter houses victims in cottages on its campus.

The first shelter in the U.S. solely for men opened two years ago in Batesville, Arkansas, a town of about 11,000. Patty Duncan, executive director of Family Violence Prevention Inc. , said that when a three-bedroom home was donated to her organization, her thoughts turned to male victims.

“I could just see that they were in the situation, but they didn’t have anybody that they thought they could call. In speaking with them, that was what they would tell you as well: ‘Where am I going to go? Who’s going to believe me? Here I’m a big guy, and who is going to think that I’m telling the truth?’ It just got me thinking,” Duncan said.

Duncan said that before Taylor House opened, male victims stayed at her group’s women’s shelter. But staffers, she said, have noticed that those staying at the all-male shelter seem to have more of a “freedom to be upset.”

“They don’t have to put on a strong kind of ’I’m OK,’” she said, adding, “Their feelings can be hurt. They can be sad. They can be angry and they’re not seen as being aggressive. They can talk about how it felt to be physically hit and not feel emasculated.”

Hines said some men don’t even realize they’re being abused until they read pamphlets — mostly geared toward women — listing abuse signs. “If you are the man, that’s a very difficult process to figure out,” she said.

In the U.S., about 31 percent of men and 37 percent of women have experienced sexual violence, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A 35-year-old man who spent almost three months at The Family Place’s shelter said he went there after feeling threatened by his boyfriend. Because his boyfriend didn’t physically hurt him, he said he hadn’t necessarily thought of his situation as abuse.

“It just opened up my eyes to realize that this isn’t the first time I’ve been in a situation like this and I just never thought of it being an abusive relationship,” said the man, who insisted that his name not be used out of fear for his safety.

“You never really hear about males being victims or even there being a male shelter,” he added.

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. 

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/domestic-abuse-shelters-for-men-help-spotlight-male-victims

Operation Blessing Provides Urgent Clean Water as Leptospirosis Outbreak Strikes Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO – Widespread damage still covers the island of Puerto Rico more than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. But it’s what can’t be seen that worries doctors. Bacteria in the water could lead to major health problems.

CBN News visited Roberto Clemente Coliseum which has become hurricane-relief central as this devastated island struggles from day to day.

City municipalities have been using this location to provide food to the people. Operation Blessing has also been working out of this location since day one after the hurricane, providing clean safe drinking water for people by giving them filtration systems.
 
“Operation Blessing has some amazing tools, everything from small family units to larger units that we can put in to a community. It can take sea water and turn it into clean drinking water up to 1800 gallons a day,” said OB Vice President David Darg.

It couldn’t come at a better time as at least 76 cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed here.
 
Doctors say the spiral shaped bacteria, found in rodents and other animals, tend to spread after flooding. Serious cases of the infection can organ failure and even death.
 
“Clean water is an urgent need here and it has been for a long time. Operation Blessing has been here since day one and will continue to be here to help,” Darg said.
 
So far, OB has installed 11 community sized water filtration systems throughout some of the hardest hit areas of this US territory.
 
“Water filled our home and now we can not find clean drinking water anywhere,” one woman told us as she showed us the disaster in her house.
 
Now, thanks to OB, clean water is flowing from Lares in the north to Humacao in the east to the hospital on the island of Vieques.
 
“This is the medicine supply of this island of 10,000 people here and Operation Blessing is helping to keep it going with the help of our generator,” Darg said.
 
In addition to water filtration, OB crew members are making chlorine.

With just salt, water and eight hours to time, gallons of chlorine solution can be made.
 
Workers say just a cap-full in every 5 gallons of water can kill harmful bacteria, and make it safe to drink.

If you would like to make a difference and provide clean drinking water to the people of Puerto Rico, you can donate to Operation Blessing by clicking here.
 

 

http://www.cbn.com/api/urlredirect.aspx?u=http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/october/operation-blessing-provides-urgent-clean-water-as-leptospirosis-outbreak-strikes-puerto-rico