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Please, Once Again Bethani Roam Desperately Needs Prayer

I know I have asked before, but once more, please pray for Bethani Roam. She is in full rejection of her liver and is being transported back to UC San Francisco.

Bethani is a 24 year-old minister’s wife and the mother of a nine month old baby. Last month when her liver suddenly and completely failed, she was airlifted to San Francisco where she underwent a liver transplant.

Her blog is maintained here. At this moment Bethani and all her family desperately need our prayers.

EDIT: Bethani’s husband is a full-time evangelist, which means they travel from church to church preaching special revival services. As far as I know his only income is from the offerings he receives at these meetings, and I’m sure these are challenging days for them financially. In addition to not being able to travel as they usually do, I don’t believe they have medical insurance.

Someone asked them to set up a Paypal account on her blog, which they have done. There may be some who read here that will feel prompted to send money to this very deserving couple. I’m putting a check in the mail today.

Thank you friends for your love and prayers.


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Trust Fund Set for Alexis Goggins

Breaking news says that because of one of the the bullets taken in her brave body, Alexis indeed will lose an eye, and as early as tomorrow she willl have surgery to have a prosthetic eye implanted. Although she is slipping in and out of consciousness, her condition remains stable, and indications are that she will survive this tragic event.

Messages of concern, accolades and offers of help have poured in from around the world. According to the Detroit News, a trust fund–a hero’s trust fund– has been set up by her school through Comerica Bank.

Checks should be made out to the Alexis Goggins Hero Fund and sent to Campbell Elementary School in care of the Alexis Goggins Hero Fund, 2301 E Alexandrine St, Detroit, MI 48207.


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Once Upon a Time Was Alexis

Once upon a time in the country of the United States of America was born a baby girl. From her beginning–and most likely from the beginnings of her ancestors before that–she was assailed by severe challenges. It is likely her mother did not have adequate prenatal care, or again, maybe it was just a cerebral accident. At any rate, while this child was yet an infant in arms, she suffered a massive stroke. It affected her vision and it affected her brain function.

Once upon a time, Alexis Goggins entered this world, and, although it was not evident at first, she was born with a heart condition. There probably were previous symptoms of her heart situation, but last Saturday, Alexis, now a first-grader in a Special Ed Class in Detroit, Michigan had her heart form firmly diagnosed. Her heart condition is now clearly stamped courageous and extraordinarily heroic. That affected heart caused her to leap between her mother and a would-be killer and to take into her own tiny body six bullets that were intended to wipe out her mother.

This family picture of Alexis and her mother is from the Detroit News.

Bandage covered, she lies now in stable condition at Children’s Hospital in Detroit. She is recovering from gunshot wounds to the eye, left temple, chin, cheek, chest and right arm.

Once upon a time was born a darling, precious child. Her name is Alexis Goggins.


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Extremely Urgent Prayer Request for Bethani Roam

Tonight, I bring a very special need to you. Please, all of you join me in prayer for Bethani Roam who is desperately in need of a touch of God. In my Thanksgiving post I told a little of her story. She is 24 years old, the mother of an 8 month old baby and is the wife of a minister. Last month her liver suddenly and completely shut down, she was flown to U C San Francisco and had a liver transplant. She has been doing extremely well, until a few days ago, when she became unable to keep either food or medication down. Last night she was readmitted to the hospital.

Bethani, Brian and Wyatt Roam

There is only one God, and He is not of a certain denomination. I’m asking every friend and acquaintance I have on this blog to earnestly pray–however you find it comfortable to do so–for Bethani Roam.Thank you.

EDIT from Bethani’s blog

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hospital Report

Bethani has been resting more and more. She was dehydrated and one of her lungs is two-thirds filled with fluid, but she had no fever. The doctors at this point think the lung fluid will clear by itself. They can drain it if it is needed (God can drain it!) The ultrasound and x-ray on her liver was fine. Fluid is flowing through her liver. Last night she was able to keep her medications in her system. They are trying different meds for the nausea. The doctors want her to eat anything at this point. The more calories the better.

She has been very determined to get better. Even when she was nauseated she would still get up and walk. The doctors very strongly told her she needs to eat more to get more strength.

Bro Bishop is at home with Wyatt. Sis Bishop and Brian are at the hospital with Bethani. Thank you for your prayer for all of them. God’s family is awesome! The support and prayer they are getting is beyond words.   ____________________________________________________________________

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Pray for Lakshmi Tatma


EDIT: Tuesday November 13 Read here.


BANGALORE, India — A 2-year-old Indian girl born with four arms and four legs regained consciousness Friday, wiggled her toes and smiled at her parents, 48 hours after massive surgery removed the extra limbs, doctors said.

Lakshmi, who has been revered by some in her village as a reincarnation of the four-armed Hindu goddess she was named for, was still in intensive care. But she was “doing well” as doctors slowly stopped sedating her, said Dr. Mamatha Patil, Sparsh Hospital spokeswoman.

“She had smiled at us and moved her limbs,” Patil said. Besides her toes, the girl also moved her arms, Patil said.

Doctors took the girl off a respirator later Friday but were still monitoring her closely during the critical 72-hour period following the operation. She was allowed to spend some time with her parents and seemed a bit confused by her ordeal, chief surgeon Sharan Patil said.

“Lakshmi appeared very perplexed and kept staring at her legs, wondering where the rest of her body had disappeared,” he said.

EDIT Thursday morning: An xray of Lakshmi’s corrected body has been released

Intially her body was this way:

EDIT 7:15 am Wednesday : From news conference after the surgery

Wonderful news! Surgery great success!

EDIT: 2:00 pm Wednesday from Fox News

The doctors worked through the night to remove the extra limbs and organs. By midnight, a team of neurologists had separated the fused spines while orthopedic surgeons removed most of the “parasite,” carefully identifying which organs and internal structures belonged to the girl, said Patil.

Then began the difficult job of reconstructing Lakshmi’s lower body.

The operation included transplanting a good kidney into Lakshmi from the twin. The team also used tissue from the twin to help rebuild the pelvic area, one of the most complicated parts of the surgery, Patil said.

“Beyond our expectations, the reconstruction worked wonderfully well,” Patil said. “We were able to bring the pelvic bones together successfully, which takes away the need for another procedure,” he said.

However, she will have to have further treatments and possible surgery for clubbed feet before she would be able to walk, he said.

Lakshmi’s parents, who were expected to see their daughter later Wednesday, said they were very relieved.

“It will be great to see our daughter have a normal body,” her father Shambhu, who only goes by one name, told reporters. “We were worried for her future.

EDIT: Wednesday morning

BANGALORE, India — Doctors in India completed a grueling 24-hour operation Wednesday on a girl born with four arms and four legs, and surgeons said the 2-year-old — revered by many as a reincarnated goddess — has a chance at a normal life.

The surgery went “wonderfully well,” said Dr. Sharan Patil who led a team of more than 30 surgeons at a hospital in the southern city of Bangalore that performed the marathon procedure to remove the child’s extra limbs, salvage her organs and rebuild her pelvis area.

Doctors say the operation will give Lakshmi, a girl from rural northern India, a chance to start life again after two years in which her parents hid her from deeply superstitious villagers — who alternately revered her as a Hindu deity and tried to buy her for a circus.

“This girl can now lead as good a life as anyone else,” Patil said.

After I read her story, my heart was touched. When I saw the beautiful face of Lakshmi and her lovely parents and brother, and read what an exceptional family this is, I was deeply moved. Lakeshmi is two years old and was born with four arms and four legs. At the moment I am writing this, she is undergoing extensive surgery that will probably last 30-40 hours.

Lakshmi is joined at the pelvis to a “parasitic twin” that stopped developing in the mother’s womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.

The complications for Lakshmi’s surgery are myriad: The two spines are merged, she has four kidneys, entangled nerves, two stomach cavities and two chest cavities. She cannot stand up or walk.

A team of 30 doctors was removing the extra limbs and organs, surgery that if successful would give her a good chance to live past adolescence. They have already separated the fused spines and the next step will be to remove the extra limbs and the rest of the “parasite,” said Dr. Sharan Patil, the orthopedic surgeon leading the operation.

These reports from her surgical team were posted late Tuesday night.


Surgeons in India are removing the excess limbs, organs and other body parts of Lakshmi’s “parasitic twin”.

Her twin stopped developing in their mother’s womb and Lakshmi absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped foetus.

Lead surgeon Dr Sharan Patil said: “The child has been responding very well.”

Fox News

I wish that every baby in this world gets parents like the parents of Lakshmi Tatma. Her parents were not rich but they love their daughter with all their heart. Lakshmi Tatma was born in a poor family and she had abnormal body condition with 8 limbs.
India is famous for its neglect of female babies. Many couples kill the female fetus in womb and this is causing shortage of female babies in India that is resulting in renting a wife and gambling a wife.

Against such a backdrop, the parents of are really exceptional and one in a million in
India. They were offered handsome amount of money if they agreed to sell their daughter in a circus. They did not sell their daughter and instead they tried to take care of her in the best possible way despite the fact that Lakshmi Tatma had little possibility of having any normal life in future. Her father is a day laborer and naturally, he is always under pressure about money.

So, Pray for Lakshmi Tatma. I really wish that the operation becomes successful and Lakshmi Tatma becomes normal and her parents can be happy.

From Fox News

Much more here on South Asia Biz


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Fire Containment in Sight

Dan Long, left, and Tom Ramsey, barbecue hot dogs 24 October 2007

Support during this ghastly days has been tremendous. These men barbecued hot dogs for Lake Arrowhead wildfire evacuees at a Red Cross evacuation centre.

Fire Progress in our Mountains

Edit: 7:55

Crestline Evacuation May Lift Today

Update 7:18 AM KTLA news is reporting that residents with proof of residence address will be allowed to return to Crestline after 9:00 AM this morning. Residents will need a photo ID and proof of address (such as a driver’s license, utility or tax bill), and will be issued a re-entry pass. To obtain a re-entry pass, residents should go to the checkpoints set up on 40th Street and Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino, or Highway 138 at Lake Silverwood. It was not stated if this includes Cedarpines Park and Valley of Enchantment residents also.

Firefighters continued to cut a line around both the Slide and Grass Valley Fires overnight as calm winds, cooler temperatures, and slightly higher humidities slowed the progress of the fires. Evacuated residents, tired from the ordeal and the worrying and the hoping and the dashed hopes, were hungry for information about lost homes and when they will be able to return home to their communities. Tired from sleepless nights, rumors of lifted evacuations frustrated residents when they discovered they were unfounded. But, today — a year after the horrible loss of five firefighters during the arson-sparked Esparanza Fire — firefighters are hopeful about significant progress on both fire fronts. Unconfirmed reports indicate that firefighters expect full containment of the Grass Valley Fires by Sunday.

Grass Fire Now 70% Contained; Slide Now 15% Contained

Firefighters have made significant progress with both mountain fires. At 8 PM, the Grass Fire was reported to be 70% contained. “Firefighters continue to make good progress on line construction in the Miller Canyon drainage as well as mop up in the northern and eastern flanks of the fire,” said fire officials. “Damage assessment teams were able to enter the area yesterday, reporting no additional structures burned, details to be released soon. Large scale evacuations and road closures remain in effect surrounding the entire perimeter of the fire area.” Containment has begun on the Slide Fire with 15% of the 11,675 acre fire contained. “Firefighters report moderate fire intensity surface fire, backing, occasional torching, and short-range spotting,” said fire officials. “Additional structures were reported lost yesterday, with structure protection continuing along Highway 18 and Green Valley. Damage assessment teams are starting to work in the area to provide details on structures destroyed, with dangerous access due to continued fire activity. Fire perimeter containment efforts slow due to rough terrain, heavy vegetation and high density residential properties intermixed with bug killed timber.

Last evening this was reported:

A Forest Service truck spotted a red pickup truck at Circle View Drive and Wilderness Drive in Running Springs (correction) with a shovel and container of gas in the bed. They are pursuing the vehicle and law enforcement is en route. This area is under mandatory evacuation. Witnesses also reported another suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood in Valley of Enchantment. Law enforcement has been notified.

And in San Diego:



Rigoberto and Bernardina Rozco wait in the Temecula Community recreation centre 23 October 2007

Around a million people have been forced to leave their homes as the fires have caused havoc in southern California.



Tents in the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, 24 October 2007

The San Diego area has been hit hardest, with makeshift shelters set up for 300,000 people, including these tents in the stands at the Qualcomm Stadium.







SAN DIEGO – One by one, the neighbors returned to the cul-de-sac at the end of Valladares Drive.

The Lyons home: gone. The Chaya home: ashes. The Bostwick home: leveled. The Dela Cruz home: unrecognizable.

“I’m so sorry,” Therese Dela Cruz, 24, told each of her neighbors as they came home on Thursday afternoon to confirm that a wildfire had virtually wiped their end of the street off the map.

More here.

And so the days are better. Containment is in sight. Rebuilding will begin. For all God’s mercies we are grateful. For those who have endured extensive loss, we grieve.


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The Shock and Awe of California Wildfires



‘We can’t stop it’

Officials all but concede defeat to wildfires as estimated 1 million evacuate

California wildfirePicture and headline from MSNBC Wednesday morning

“It’s like a bomb went off. It’s like shock and awe. It is shock and awe,” says Kim Wurm.

From her home, she spoke of the fires in the mountain areas of Running Springs and Lake Arrowhead where more than 200 homes have burned. Picture from LATimes

I’m taking this moment to honor the brave heroes of the hour: our firefighters. Because of them my home and the homes of my sons and my daughter are still standing. Because of them my irreplaceable pictures are intact, my important documents preserved, my old books and treasured items from our 51 years of marriage are safe. I salute their raw courage, their valor, their strength and commitment. I pray for renewed energy for them today as they continue the fight against these horrendous fires.

Edit Wednesday 8:15 am: It is reported that exhausted firemen are throwing down sleeping bags on the lawns of homes to get rest. God bless them and renew their strength.

Edit Wednesday 10:20 am: says: The signal at my
folk’s house was strong, which they said is a very good sign that the house is still standing. If you are interested in checking your lines
call Verizon repair at 800 483 1000.

Edit 5:00 pm Wednesday Mountain Area Update

Note: Crestline is in the Grass Fire Area, still not contained at all, although the winds have shifted, and our home at this point is safe.

Update 4:30 PM

As of 4 PM, fire officials report that the Grass Fire is 30% contained and the Slide Fire is still at 0%. The Grass Fire has burned about 1,000 acres and was primarily burning within its perimeter today with little expansion. The Slide Fire continues to grow and has burned just over 10,000 acres. A volunteer firefighter who fought the blaze in Green Valley Lake and Running Springs said that for every one house there were unable to save, firefighters managed to save five. The fire has burned down Highway 330 to near the middle passing lane and 1N09.

A number of residents have been reportedly hiking up to reach the mountain communities or trying to use unauthorized roads. Please remember that this is a dangerous fire and can change rapidly. In 2003, a resident died while trying to hike up from Silverwood Lake after falling into a ravine. Please give law enforcement and fire officials the time and space to ensure safety and protect property.

Report from the Crestline, Lake Arrowhead area

Fire Operations Enters Second Night

Update 2:45 AMFire operations have entered a second night after a devastating two days for the mountain communities. Best estimates indicate that at least 300 homes have been destroyed between Green Valley Lake and Twin Peaks, with the greatest loss of property in the Running Springs area today. Mixed reports of homes and businesses lost have frustrated and confused residents and business-owners. Meanwhile, the fire continues to threaten and destroy homes and businesses.

While firefighters are risking their lives trying to save homes, there have been dozens of reports of looters across the mountains. Deputies have not been able to confirm many of the reports, but there have been some arrests. Even worse, authorities made an arrest of a motorcyclist who was allegedly witnessed trying to start an arson fire near Camp Seely on Tuesday evening.On Tuesday evening the Slide Fire advanced through much of the Rowco neighborhood of Running Springs, as well as Fredalba and Smiley Park. The fire reached as far east as Mount R and westward to between Heaps Peak and Nob Hill. Reports of structures lost poured into dispatchers as strained resources were rendered helpless.

Edit: 7:30 am Fox News just reported that 400 homes in this area have now been lost. A suspected arsonist has just been arrested.

Edit: 10:45 am

According to John Miller of the US Forest Service, the westward advance of the Slide Fire stalled overnight. Flames got as far west as Heaps Peak between the waste transfer station and the radio towers. The front to the south of Green Valley Lake has moved toward Highway 18 and Snow Valley. It was less than 1/4 mile from the highway.

In the Running Springs area, catastrophic fire activity burned through Fredalba and Smiley Park with widespread losses. The fire burned along the southern edge of Running Springs, eastward, to the Rimwood Ranch area.

With an evergrowing air force of fixed wing, rotary wing, and jet tankers, fire officials are gearing up for a massive assault. Miller stated that super scooper aircraft and other resources are being moved into California from other states and Canada.

Picture of firemen in our area Courtesy of LATimes

This DC 10 is used to drop water onto the fires in the San Bernardino Mountains.

The skies over Crestline and the other mountain areas are a constant roar as these helicopters fly over, drop water, then return to Lake Gregory to suck up more water.

Pictures of planes from Ray’s public gallery.

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Empire State Building Is Lighted Muslim Green

Today, the Empire State Building is lighted green!


Tell me why I should not be outraged! The very group–Muslims— who blazed these buildings into oblivion a mere 6 years ago, taking 3000 human souls with them, are being honored this weekend.

Where? In our foremost metropolis–New York City, itself.

Where? Take a look. Gaze into that place there…there…that hole, that void, the spot where before rose the stately Twin Towers. That’s where. And tonight, a stone’s throw away, our American Empire State Building has gone green in honor of Ramadan. from Jon Zucker

When I first read this story, I perceived my brain as having a lapse, thinking such a tale could in no way be true. I blinked, took a breath, and sadly knew it was so.
Think about it. During the Second World War, would there have been any city–name one if you can–who would have remotely considered the raising of Swastika riddled flag in any United States parade–in observation of any holiday–at any time? No, of course not. The thought is preposterous.

Six years ago we watched in agonized horror as those blazing buildings melted and imploded. Indelibly etched in a dark corner of our brains are images of human bodies as, to escape the licking flames, they hurled themselves hundreds of feet to their ghastly deaths. We’ve heard the screams of trapped men as they made final 911 calls. Think about it. On that dreadful day as we watched and listened, could we possibly have thought that today, six years later, we would light the Empire State Building so as to honor Ramadan? It’s unthinkable.

Who are we America? Are we now a nation of cowards? Is there no one who can stop this nonsense?

Do I hear something? Could that be a faint clanking of bonds? The light sound of chains as they slip gently but surely around our complacent, weak necks?


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Anguish and Forgiveness

To plumb the depths of a person and there find pristine virtue and untarnished valor is rare, seldom sighted among us, notable because of its infrequent reality. To detect its presence in a lighted eye neath the furrow of sincere brow, to catch a drift of telling word and its corroborating moves–moves that signal not only the philosophy, but the exhibition of this thing called forgiveness, is an almost unknown factor in our jaded society. I mean real forgiveness, gut-wrenching forgiveness, ghastly forgiveness. Forgiveness that stops the world, that snaps to attention the heads of men and women across the globe. It matters not our divergence, our cut, our color or our class…for when we see it and hear it and know it, we understand that we are seeing, hearing and knowing God. It’s that rare.

The Nickel Mines Amish did it. They showed us Forgiveness. Awful forgiveness, anguished forgiveness, bloody forgiveness.

Recall that just over a year ago these Amish people–a religious group who lived in Nickel Mines, Pa. on farms without electricity and other modern conveniences had their lives splintered into untold agony when a person who lived in the area, their milkman, Charles Roberts, burst into a one-room schoolhouse, and shot ten young girls. Five of them died. Unbelievably, during these atrocious actions, one of the girls, 13-year-old Marian Fisher, offered to be killed first, thinking perhaps the others would be saved. The most telling of all is that within hours of the murders, these beautiful Amish people–the families of the slain children–not only spoke of forgiving Charles Roberts, but visited his wife and children and gave them food and money.

Picture and the following from the Pittsburg Post Gazette

Horrified strangers worldwide sent $4.3 million to the Nickel Mines Amish settlement in Bart, Lancaster County. But the Amish, who have no insurance, used the gifts for more than medical bills.

They gave shares to local emergency services that came to their aid and, in a move that caught the world’s imagination, to the widow and children of the man who murdered their daughters.

“It certainly means a lot for us to spend some time with the families,” Miller said after their meeting together on the anniversary of the shooting. “There’s no other place we would have rather been this morning.”

Also attending were community members, state troopers and officials from Virginia Tech, where a gunman killed 32 students and faculty members in April, Miller said.

Though grateful for all the help and sympathy it has received, the Amish community is hoping to be left alone as much as possible Tuesday during the actual anniversary of the shootings.

The New Hope Amish School, which replaced the one torn down after the attack, was closed Monday and will remain shut Tuesday.

Read more here.

Now consider this–also from the Pittsburg Post Gazette

Not everyone affirms the Amish response.

Rabbi Alvin Berkun, rabbi emeritus of Tree of Life Congregation, Squirrel Hill, and president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international organization of Conservative Rabbis, applauds the Amish care for Amy Roberts, but not their forgiveness of Charles Roberts.

“In Judaism, there are some strings attached. I have to say I’m sorry for what I did, I have to resolve not to repeat that pattern of behavior again and I have to ask those I harmed to forgive me,” he said.

“Letting somebody off the hook even though they are dead doesn’t sit well with me. Society can’t function when you just wipe the slate clean constantly. He did a horrendous, horrendous thing and he did absolutely nothing to repent.”

This post was difficult for me to put together, and I truly can say as I finish here, that from the skin of my body to my inward parts, I am shaken, and at this moment physically tremble. I knew when I broached the subject it would be difficult. For in trying to be honest with myself, I wonder…I truly wonder…could I forgive such an assault on my family as did the Amish in Nickel Springs? Am I that Godly? If I’m not, why not? Is such forgiveness indeed Godliness?

What about you? Do you have it within you to exhibit such a sterling quality? Have you been challenged in your resolve to forgive those who wrong you? Ever had to extend forgiveness when it really hurt, when it caused anguish? Do you perhaps agree with Rabbi Berkun that forgiveness in this instance is misplaced?


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Hypochrondriacs Always Die

I once knew a lady who, I think, was a hypochrondriac--always sick, frequently being injured. She grew older, and one day she died.


It’s a strange deviation from normal thinking, but there are many people who enjoy illness. Some are so terribly sick that they are fond of having operations, and somehow deceive their doctors into having multiple surgeries. Some have even been known to have operations in order to receive cash payments.

(I found this cute drawing on somebody’s blog, but I can’t seem to get back there to acknowledge its source.)

I Told You I Was Sick

(This picture from Zooomr is public.)

Well, got anybody around your house today with a sore throat or a gimp in their back parts–take care of them. They might up and die on you.


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