The World and Everything in It — January 7, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The way organ donation is carried out in the United States is coming under scrutiny.

CMUNT: We report the data ourselves and everybody reports it slightly differently because it’s really complex.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Changes may be coming to that industry. 

Also Marvin Olasky talks to George Friedman about rising tensions in the Middle East.

Plus the first Classic Book of the Month for 2020.

And Kim Henderson on being surprised by joy.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, January 7th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Iran honors fallen general, designated terrorist and vows revenge » AUDIO: [Sound of Iran crowd]

In Iran, crowds continued to mark the death of General Qasem Soleimani on Monday.

AUDIO: [Sound of Iran crowd]

Mourners heard there in the streets of Tehran during his funeral procession. Iranian leaders have vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death. 

A U.S. airstrike in Baghdad last week killed Soleimani, who led Tehran’s proxy wars—orchestrating attacks against U.S. interests and other nations in the Middle East. He headed Iran’s Quds force. The U.S. government considers it a terrorist organization. 

President Trump on Monday once again defended his decision to green light the airstrike. 

TRUMP: He should have been taken out a long time ago, and we had a shot at it and we took him out, and we’re a lot safer now because of it. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what the response is, if any, but you’ve seen what I said our response will be. 

The president has responded to Iran’s threats by threatening to strike 52 Iranian cultural sites—one for each American held in the hostage crisis of 1979. 

Defense Secretary Mark Esper cleared up confusion on Monday over whether U.S. troops will leave Iraq. He told reporters that the United States has no plans to pull out of the country. 

A U.S. military commander in Iraq indicated the Pentagon would be—quote—repositioning troops “over the course of the coming days and weeks.” Many took that as a sign that American troops were on their way out. Esper said that is not the case. 

Following the attack that killed Soleimani, many Iraqi lawmakers and the country’s prime minister say they want U.S. forces to leave.

House Democrats move to limit Trump’s war powers » Meantime, Democrats continue to condemn President Trump for the airstrike. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took aim once again on Monday…

SCHUMER: His policies seem to be characterized by erratic, impulsive, and often egotistical behavior, with little regard to a long-term strategy that would advance the interests of the United States.

And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats in the House will introduce a resolution this week—similar to one introduced in the Senate by Tim Kaine of Virginia. It will mandate—quoting here—“that if no further Congressional action is taken, the administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days”

The speaker called the airstrike that killed Soleimani “provocative and disproportionate” and said it had “endangered our service members, diplomats, and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.”

Australia commits more relief funds amid wildfires » Australia’s government says it’s willing to pay “whatever it takes” to help communities recover from devastating wildfires.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that the government’s committing more money to the effort. 

MORRISON: This is an initial, an additional investment of $2 billion. If more is needed and the cost is higher, then more will be provided. 

That’s on top of the tens of millions of dollars that have already been promised. The money will go toward rebuilding towns and infrastructure.

Nationwide, the fires have killed at least 25 people and destroyed roughly 2,000 homes.

5.8 magnitude quake hits Puerto Rico » A 5.8-magnitude quake hit Puerto Rico Monday, unleashing small landslides, knocking out power, and damaging homes. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones reports. 

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: The pre-dawn quake was one of the strongest yet to hit the U.S. territory that has been shaking for the past week.

A string of smaller temblors followed, including another quake measured at magnitude 5. There were no immediate reports of casualties but residents are still surveying the damage. The island’s infrastructure remains fragile after Hurricane Maria struck more than a year ago.

The flurry of quakes in Puerto Rico’s southern region began December 28th. Previous smaller quakes in recent days cracked homes and rattled goods off supermarket shelves.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones. 

Weinstein faces new charges in L.A. as New York trial beings » Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is facing new sex crime charges in Los Angeles, just as his trial on separate charges in New York is set to begin. 

LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that Weinstein is now charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013. 

Numerous accusers spoke out on Monday as Weinstein arrived at court ahead of his trial, including actress Rosanna Arquette.

ARQUETTE: Time’s up on blaming survivors. Time’s up on empty apologies without consequences. And time’s up on the pervasive culture of silence that has enabled abusers like Weinstein. 

Speaking at the New York courthouse Monday before the announcement of the new charges, Weinstein’s lawyers suggested they knew charges might be coming. They asked the judge for potential jurors to be sequestered over concerns that the announcement of new charges elsewhere could influence jurors.  The judge denied that request.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Iran searches for the leak in its intelligence apparatus.

Plus, a reading recommendation to prepare you for WORLD’s newest podcast.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Tuesday the 7th of January, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. First up: fallout from the killing of a top Iranian general.

Qassem Soleimani was a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and led its expeditionary Quds Force. His resume includes a long list of terror activities. He’s most recently accused of ordering attacks that killed American troops in Iraq.

REICHARD: U.S. forces killed Soleimani in a drone strike on Friday. That has inflamed tensions in the Middle East. 

For some perspective on the strike and its possible repercussions, WORLD editor in chief Marvin Olasky talked to George Friedman. Friedman is a geopolitical forecaster who founded the private intelligence firm Stratfor and now runs Geopolitical Futures.

MARVIN OLASKY: When you heard the news, that general Soleimani had met his earthly reward, what was your instantaneous reaction?

FRIEDMAN: What in the world was the head of Iranian intelligence doing just south of Baghdad airport? The last thing you do is allow your head of intelligence to go in harm’s way. You don’t want him captured, you don’t want him questioned. Yet there he was, meeting with the head of Iraqi intelligence.

So my first thought was, this is not how you plan a major attack. This is what it looks like when you’re panicking. And from there the question, “What were they planning?” came about. Well, they’re not in, really, a good position.

But then the question became, “Why would the United States kill him, instead of capture him?” He was at a place where he was really captured outside the airport. So, these are the mysteries that came to my mind, and they’re still there.

OLASKY: So, would it have been possible to capture him?

FRIEDMAN: I don’t know the precise location he was. I don’t know that we wanted him as a prisoner. I don’t know that we don’t have him as a prisoner. It has been claimed he’s killed. I don’t know any of these things. 

I know one thing: Heads of intelligence, the head of Al Quds, his mind filled with the secrets of Iranian intelligence operations, does not go to a meeting in an unsettled country where he might be captured.

OLASKY: Is it that surprising if, let’s say Iraq has become, to some extent, a tributary of Iran?

FRIEDMAN: Well, obviously it’s not enough of a tributary of Iran, to make it fully safe. And the issue really is, there’s just some things that senior intelligence people don’t do. It would be like in the Cold War, the head of U.S. intelligence deciding to go to a meeting in Bulgaria. Probably not wise.

So, the issue here is what is going on in Iran, that would cause him—a very, very good professional—to take this sort of risk. He didn’t do it casually.

OLASKY: And that’s still a mystery?

FRIEDMAN: It’s, well, we know that the Iranian economy is in shambles because of the sanctions. We know there has been a great deal of unrest. We know that the sphere of influence Iran has developed, which ran through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. There’ve been riots in Lebanon. The Israelis are hammering the Iranians daily in Syria, and the Russians are not protecting them.

And in Iraq there were anti-Iranian demonstrations. So, we know that the Iranian position is under tremendous pressure. Normally, at this time, you protect your top assets, and you send other people. So I’m trying to imagine a meeting that required or allowed the head of Iranian intelligence to go into harm’s way. Or worse, capture. And instead of sending a deputy or several layers down. So, from the intelligence point of view, this is not the way it works, but it’s what they did.

OLASKY: What would cause panic?

FRIEDMAN: Well, let’s assume for the moment that the United States, in its previous two or three bombings—which it carried out—indicated a high degree of knowledge of Iranian assets. And that, somehow, the Iranians are wondering if the U.S. has penetrated security for Iran. Well, we seem to have been hitting targets.

And that seems to disturb them, but even more disturbing is that he was meeting the head of Iraqi intelligence. And if you’re going to have these two guys meet, you’ll do it in Tehran. Or someplace safe. You will not do it outside of the airport. I mean, there is something very odd about all this, and I’m not sure what it is.

We have to remember that Iran is going through a deep internal crisis. They have been arresting people, they’ve been releasing people, there have been debates, and so on. Everybody assumes that this regime, this Shiite Islamic regime, is secure. It’s not. So, certainly it appeared to be going in that direction, then took a turn, and that turn really came from the United States.

When the United States withdrew from Iraq and president Trump basically said, I don’t want to be involved in a 19th year of war. Okay? Suddenly Iran had a sphere of influence, that ran from Iran to the Mediterranean. The United States formed an anti-Iranian coalition, a very strange one consisting of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. And thus far there has been a standoff with the United States, primarily not using military force, but squeezing the Iranian economy. Very hard, very effectively.

So, the Iranian intelligence people are now saying, how badly penetrated are we? So, when they see the killing, they don’t see what a horrible thing this is and everything else. They want to know how the U.S. intelligence knew this meeting was taking place. And there are many inside of Iran who are charging each other with duplicity, with working with the enemy, and so on. At this moment, everybody is, of course, shocked that he was killed. But the real question that everybody’s asking is, who betrayed him?

OLASKY: What do you think Iran’s response will be?

FRIEDMAN: Well, right now they are going to be threatening external responses. They may do one, but they want to know: What was he doing there? Did, how many know he went to this meeting, this dangerous meeting? Was that authorized by anyone? They want to know how the Americans got wind of it, what security failure was there.

So what’s going on right now in Iran, right now, is a witch hunt. It is who knew what, when? Who did they speak to? They’re going through all the records, all the movements, and everything else. Something went terribly wrong to a regime that has had things going terribly wrong for a year or two.

OLASKY: So the view we tend to get in The New York Times—from my cursory reading—and some other publications is: the sky is falling. This is a terrible thing. Iran is very powerful. And, oh my, oh my, oh my. When you, when you read those reports, do you chuckle, or what?

FRIEDMAN: Part of the picture is that the internal politics of the United States are such that whatever the president does, it will be catastrophic—in the press. But also that Iran has power, particularly covert power. It does not have nuclear weapons. It does not have a military force that can challenge United States.

The United States, for that matter, doesn’t have a military force to challenge the Iranians. Iran is the size of Alaska and Texas combined, has 80 million people. We’ve learned, hopefully, that occupying a hostile country is hard. And it doesn’t always work out as you’d want, so, we’re not going to go to war. They may strike at us, but we have shown a remarkable capability of striking at them. So, forgetting New York Times, and their mistake, there’s a huge psychological crisis in Iran. Their security apparatus, which is one of the best in the world, has been compromised.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: Organ donations.

MEGAN BASHAM: But before we get to that, Mary, we need to put out a call for more pre-rolls.

REICHARD: Oh, right! We’re running low. Pre-rolls are how we start the program. You know, “Hi, my name is Mary and I co-host a podcast. I live in Missouri and I hope you enjoy today’s program.” That’s the basic script, but you can get more creative if you want.

BASHAM: Creative, like the woman who recorded from the Antarctic with penguins in the background! Now, some parameters do apply: no longer than 20 seconds. No plugs for your business; just keep it generic like “physician” or “commercial airplane pilot” without mentioning the hospital or airline.

REICHARD: Right. It’s not hard to do and we love to hear your voices. You can find instructions at Hover over the “engage” tab, then click “record a pre-roll.” It’ll explain how to record on your phone and then upload it to us.

BASHAM:, engage tab, then record a preroll. OK, got it. 

Back to our original topic: organ donation in the United States. At least one hundred twenty thousand Americans are waiting for some type of organ transplant. Most of them need a kidney. Others are waiting for a heart or liver.

REICHARD: All of this requires meticulous coordination. Fifty-eight organizations match available organs with recipients on the waiting list. These organizations are called Organ Procurement Organizations—or OPOs. And they’ve been criticized for letting organs go to waste or missing donation opportunities. 

Now, industry leaders are pushing for a change. Here’s WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen with the story.

PATENAUDE: We thought she was pretty healthy. She was a pretty healthy 67 year old woman. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: This is Heather Patenaude. About four months ago, her mom suffered a massive heart attack. 

PATENAUDE: She was in ICU for a couple of days, but she had been without any oxygen for about 50 minutes. So we knew that she probably wasn’t going to survive. 

Doctors declared her brain dead. That was when someone approached Heather Patenaude and her family about organ donation.

PATENAUDE: Because my mom was declared brain dead, but her body, her heart obviously was still beating, they were able to bring in the organ donor organization that we worked with. We worked with an organization called the Gift of Hope. 

Gift of Hope is an OPO in Illinois. It matched Heather Patenaude’s mom with a recipient in the Chicago area who needed a liver. She was one of 450 cases Gift of Hope oversaw in 2019.

Each OPO tracks how many potential donors they have, how many organs they recover, and how many successful transplants they coordinate. 

Not every potential donor leads to a successful transplant. But critics think more of them should.

According to a 2017 analysis, OPOs could be recovering 28,000 more organs per year. Now, the government is proposing new standards to make OPOs come closer to reaching that number.

So how do OPO’s measure success?

First, they tally the number of eligible deaths—those that occur under the very specific circumstances that allow for donation. Then, they compare that to the number of organs actually transplanted. 

The problem lies in the difference between those two numbers.

KEVIN O’CONNOR: The issue is around the reporting of the number of opportunities, the potential donors. 

Kevin O’Connor is the CEO of LifeCenter Northwest, an OPO in Washington state. He says there is a standard definition for who is and is not a potential donor. But it’s an academic definition. And each OPO interprets it differently.

O’CONNOR: The specific criteria, medical criteria, and the definition of an eligible, uh, donor or eligible death, uh, allow for some subjectivity and interpretation.  You know, one, one organization might consider somebody to be medically unsuitable, uh, where another might consider them to be at least worth pursuing to see whether or not there’s some interest on the transplant side. 

That’s where the new metric comes in. The government is proposing that all OPOs be held to a universal standard. They would have to meet the donation and transplant rates of the peak performing OPOs—the top 25 percent. Every year, the government would assess the OPOs to make sure they’re performing up to snuff. If not, they could get decertified.

But recovering more organs doesn’t mean they’ll end up saving someone else’s life.

Kevin Cmunt is the CEO of Gift of Hope. He says OPOs aren’t the problem. Instead, too many transplant surgeons reject available organs. 

CMUNT: We’ve gone through the whole process. We’ve gone to an OR, we removed the organs and now somebody has decided that they’re not going to use them. 

Surgeons get graded on how well the organs do after they’re transplanted. So they’re very picky about which organs they accept. They don’t want to transplant less-than-perfect organs, so those often get discarded. 

CMUNT: There’s 5,000 of those a year that get discarded.

Cmunt says the proposed changes to the metric wouldn’t fix that problem. 

He also points out that OPOs have different resources and face different circumstances.

CMUNT: There’s a lot of things that are outside the control of an OPO that might make a patient here in Chicago a potential donor, but maybe in rural Wyoming not.

Chicago has a lot of transplant surgeons. Cmunt says he can send a team to wait at a hospital just in case a patient’s heart stops and he or she becomes a donor. An OPO in rural Wyoming doesn’t have that luxury. Logistics make a big difference, so Cmunt says OPOs shouldn’t all be held to one standard.

Kevin O’Connor agrees that all OPOs are different…but he’s still in favor of the proposed changes.

O’CONNOR: I would say that there’s definitely room for improvement in terms of having more independently reported, standardized, verifiable…data…throughout the country.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen reporting from Itasca, Illinois.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: People driving in remote Washington state last week got caught in an unusual storm. It quickly engulfed the area outside Richland. Visibility was zilch. And before long, many cars were buried—until rescuers came along in snow plows. 

A Department of Transportation employee recorded this video as workers shoveled their way to a stranded vehicle.

AUDIO: We have confirmed no one is in this car, but we are trying to access the license plate to get a hold of the owner this morning.

But here’s the thing: the road was completely dry and the snow plows weren’t plowing snow! Windy conditions created a tumbleweed storm. 

Brush piled up to 30 feet high.  It took authorities 10 hours to reopen the road. 

Some drivers with a sense of humor took to social media using the hashtag “tumblegeddon.”

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Tuesday, January 7th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Well, here we are in the year 2020 and that means another year of great books to read! 

And for that our WORLD book reviewer Emily Whitten takes us by the hand and walks us through the Classic Book of the Month every month. 

Emily, happy new year!

WHITTEN: And happy new year to you, too! 

REICHARD: Well, did you get any good books for Christmas?

WHITTEN: A couple. I actually got the one I’m talking about today, but I did order it for myself—so I’m not sure if that counts.

REICHARD: Ha. Sometimes those are the best presents!

WHITTEN: Well, I gave away my first copy several years ago. I finally got around to replacing it. 

REICHARD:  At least you gave it away in lieu of lending it and then never getting it back! What’s the title?

WHITTEN: I brought an audio clip to introduce the book. This comes from Newt Gingrich’s inaugural address as Speaker of the House back in 1995:

GINGRICH: I commend to all of you Marvin Olasky’s The Tragedy of American Compassion. Olasky goes back for 300 years and looks at what has worked in America. How we have helped people rise beyond poverty. How we have reached out to save people. And he may not have the answers but he has the right sense of where we have to go as Americans.

That’s Gingrich recommending The Tragedy of American Compassion. Audio courtesy of CSPAN. Not only did Gingrich recommend it, he gave a copy to members of the House! 

REICHARD:  Yes, that was quite a moment. And let’s note here that Marvin Olasky is our editor in chief.

WHITTEN: Yes. To be totally upfront, he oversees my book reviews. That said, my analysis today is my own. I asked to review The Tragedy of American Compassion because it’s a classic I wish more Christians knew about. That’s why I gave my old copy away!

REICHARD: That begs the question, why do you want more Christians to know about it?

WHITTEN: Olasky’s ideas continued to impact American politics over the next decades. You might remember George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” back in the early 2000s. Olasky contributed to that movement in several ways. If you’d like to know more about that, check out the Book TV interview with Olasky on Youtube. I’ll have a link on my Twitter feed today, @emilyawhitten

REICHARD: That’s helpful. And what else makes this a classic read to your mind? 

WHITTEN: For one thing, the book helps Christians recover our history. President Lyndon Johnson began his War on Poverty in the 1960s. Olasky says, from the 17th century through the early 20th century, religious Americans waged a far more successful war on poverty. And they did so without any help from the federal government. Olasky talks about Christian heroes like Charles Brace from the 19th century. Here he is speaking in 2007 to the Young American Foundation:

OLASKY: He was a minister and then he realized if he really wanted to change lives, he had to deal with material conditions as well as a spiritual conditions. He spent a lot of time walking the streets of New York City to gain a personal understanding of the problems. And then over a 40 year period, he built lodging homes in New York City that provided shelter for several thousand abandoned children. His agency placed 91,000 of them in adoptive homes all through the East and the Midwest.

Olasky says Charles Brace was just one of many forgotten heroes, a lot of them Christians, who successfully fought poverty in early America. It’s a heritage we do well to remember.

REICHARD: 91,000 orphans placed in homes—that’s quite a legacy.

WHITTEN: For sure. 

REICHARD: What else should we know about the book, Emily? 

WHITTEN: Olasky clearly shows the impact of theology. In the Bible, we see Jesus personally suffer and die for sinners. That’s the epitome of Biblical compassion. This contrasts with some non-Biblical theology that sees people as naturally good and easily saved. Pass a law, give some money…that’s all it takes to help people. In 20-12, a YouTube user with the rather odd handle of “length-youn-arthur” summarized Olasky’s idea of compassion this way:

AUDIO: I guess the Latin root of that is to suffer with somebody. If you’re walking down the street and there’s a beggar or somebody in the gutter, and you give them some money, that’s not compassion. Compassion would be to sit in the gutter with them and raise them up. The book actually challenged me in that way.

Olasky wouldn’t say we never need to pass better laws or give money. But when we look at Christ’s life, we see that’s just the beginning of what people really need.

REICHARD: That’s certainly a high calling. It makes me wonder, how does Olasky suggest we be more Christ-like in helping others?

WHITTEN: The book uses the A-B-Cs of compassion to describe good poverty-fighting. Olasky summarizes those in WORLD’s upcoming Effective Compassion podcast. First, he says, help should be challenging. Whenever possible, we want to gently and wisely push people to reach their God-created potential. Second, help should be personal. God made us to reach out and care for one another as individuals. Third, help should be spiritual. Our greatest need is a restored relationship with God. Here’s a clip from the podcast:

OLASKY: When we treat people as human beings made in God’s image and not just animals to be fed and watered and patted down, then that’s helping people get some of that sense of Biblical hope. And that’s the goal of    poverty fighting today: challenging, personal, and spiritual. 

So, Mary, I hope people will check out The Tragedy of American Compassion. My favorite part of the book isn’t a particular chapter or argument. It’s the tone. Warm hearted but tough-minded. We need that today, just as much as we did 30 years ago.

REICHARD: This book sounds like a good way to help set our priorities in the new year. 

And for folks interested in hearing more about compassion that isn’t tragic, check out our new Effective Compassion podcast. You can listen to it wherever you get your podcasts. Emily, thanks so much. 

WHITTEN: Glad to help, Mary. Happy reading! 

REICHARD: Today, Emily recommended Marvin Olasky’s The Tragedy of American Compassion. Find other classic book recommendations at Just search for Classic Book of the Month.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Tuesday, January 7th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham.  Here’s WORLD Radio’s Kim Henderson on pleasant surprises from the One from Whom all blessings flow.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: I bawled like a baby after I told the doctor “yes” and signed those forms. Yes, we knew she needed one. Yes, we knew it was time. But in my mind a feeding tube was a death knell, a mysterious end-of-life tether to all things diminishing.

Sometimes you’re wrong.

My 87-year-old mother still blames the whole thing on high heels she wore to church that day. But the path to her procedure included a bad fall, brain surgery, and all the related rehabilitation. What it did not include was adequate caloric intake. Despite our best efforts, Mom wouldn’t eat. The tipping point finally came about two weeks post op.

I was stretched out on the couch at the rehab center when I overheard them. A pair of nurses were discussing the numbers showing up on a weighing device connected to Mom’s bed.

“. . . came in at 123 . . .”

“ . . . down to 109 now . . .”

The next day found us in a surgical suite. A kind lady in blue scrubs told us about adult food formulas and asked me if Mom vaped. (That would be a negative.) She then explained that the feeding tube would be the common, garden-variety type. Less than an hour later, Mom had the latest abdominal accessory. And a new lease on life.

Dad and I had a lot to learn about continuous feeding pumps, but the payoff was nothing short of miraculous. With the right nutritional intake, Mom made a major turnaround. She even started talking again. Her therapists were shocked.

When my brother called that weekend, he and Mom had a full-blown conversation. Before that, the discourse had simply been long, yawning syllables.

“Wow!” he gushed after their extended call. “What’s happened? This is wonderful.”

I credited the wonder-working power of food and prayer, not necessarily in that order.

In time we went home, where a truck unloaded a month’s worth of Mom’s liquid meals. We settled into a new normal, a daily cycle of four timed feedings. But Dad was determined to get her eating again. He cooked oatmeal for breakfast and made her eat a few bites. I stocked their fridge with her favorite chili and delivered beefed-up bedtime smoothies. Gradually her feedings were replaced by a real meal here, a real meal there.

A crackerjack nurse named Renee had Dad weigh Mom each morning. Slowly the numbers rose, finally hitting and hovering at an acceptable 116 pounds. And then the big day dawned. Grinning from ear to ear and talking 90 to nothing, Mom arrived at the doctor’s office. Precisely three months after getting her feeding tube, she left it behind. And never looked back.

Renee has been at the home health nursing bit for a while. She said she’s never had a patient who was able to have a feeding tube removed. Until Mom.

May that encourage whoever else is out there signing forms and hearing death knells. Sometimes God is pleased to surprise.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Kim Henderson.

MEGAN BASHAM: Tomorrow: we talk to former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats about his time in the Trump administration.

And, we’ll tell you about the ongoing flood recovery efforts in Louisiana, six months after Hurricane Barry.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ …with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents.

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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