The World and Everything in It – December 30, 2021 – WORLD News Group

WORLD Radio – The World and Everything in It – December 30, 2021
Katie Gaultney remembers those who died in the areas of sports and music; one of the missionaries who recently escaped captivity in Haiti recounts his providential walk to freedom; and listener prayers for the new year. Plus: the Thursday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Today, we’ll remember those in the fields of sports and music who made a mark on this world and this year who left it.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Also an interview with one of the missionaries who was kidnapped in Haiti.
And your prayers for 2022.
REICHARD: It’s Thursday, December 30th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: New COVID-19 infections hit record high » New cases of COVID-19 in the United States have soared to their highest level on record at roughly 270,000 infections each day. New cases per day have more than doubled over the past two weeks.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday…
WALENSKY: The rapid increase in cases we are seeing across the country is in large part a reflection of the exceptionally transmissible omicron variant. In a few short weeks, omicron has rapidly increased across the country, and we expect it will continue to circulate in the coming weeks.
The surge is largely due to omicron but not entirely. The CDC estimates that the new variant represented about 59 percent of cases last week. But that means the more dangerous delta variant is still spreading at a high rate.
White House virus response coordinator Jeff Zients said the federal government is working to support the efforts of states in battling the virus.
ZIENTS: More than 13,000 National Guard members have been activated in 48 states to support the COVID response, from vaccinations to testing to clinical care.
The surging caseload caused roughly a thousand flight cancellations again on Wednesday as airline workers call in sick with COVID-19.
U.S. goods trade deficit soars to record $97.8 billion » The U.S. trade deficit in goods jumped almost 18 percent in November to a record $97.8 billion. That’s up from just over $83 billion in October. That according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
And the United States is set to break the previous trade deficit record for a full year—set back in 2006.
Analysts say the soaring trade disparity is a sign that the U.S. economy has recovered more quickly than most other countries. But the deficit is likely to narrow as other countries catch up.
Violence breaks out along Israel-Gaza border » Palestinians and Israeli forces traded gunfire on Wednesday for the first time in months. The violence followed a rare meeting in Israel between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s defense minister. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Israeli military said gunfire from the Gaza Strip wounded one Israeli civilian near the Gaza border. Israeli forces responded with tank fire at multiple military positions manned by Hamas militants.
Three Palestinians were also wounded. It’s unclear if they were civilians or fighters.
The incident occurred after Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved a series of measures aimed at easing tensions with the Palestinians.
On Tuesday, Gantz hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his home in Israel late Tuesday.
It was the first time Abbas met an Israeli official inside the country in 11 years. The two discussed security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Gantz’s office said he approved measures including hundreds of new permits for Palestinian merchants and VIPs, the transfer of tax payments to the Palestinian Authority and approving residency status for thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Hong Kong pro-democracy news site closes after raid, arrests » The Chinese government continues its crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.
A vocal pro-democracy website shut down Wednesday after police raided its office and arrested six current and former editors and board members.
Stand News said in a statement that its website and social media are no longer being updated and will be taken down. It said all employees have been dismissed.
It’s just the latest example of China using its new so-called national security law to silence dissent in what had been a semi-independent territory.
The outlet was one of the last remaining openly critical voices in Hong Kong after the government shut down the Apple Daily newspaper and arrested its top editors.
GasBuddy: Gas prices could to top $4 per gallon next year » Gas prices in the United States could soar next year above $4 a gallon. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: The fuel price tracking service GasBuddy says it projects that gas prices will spike early in 2022, peaking in June, $4.13 for a gallon of regular unleaded.
And major cities in California could top $5 dollars per gallon.
Demand for gas is soaring and refinery capacity is already sitting at a six-year low. GasBuddy is calling that “a perfect storm.”
But Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at the company says this is not necessarily bad news. He said “The higher prices go, the stronger the economy is,” and while no one wants to pay $4 dollars a gallon, “we’ll only get there on the back of a very strong economy.”
Right now, the national average is about $3.28 per gallon.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: notable deaths in the world of sports and music.
Plus, a story of providential escape.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Thursday the 30th of December, 2021. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: we continue with our series on notable people who died this year.
So many made a profound impact in sports and music, like football coach Bobby Bowden, Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda, and Michael Nesmith of the Monkees.
REICHARD: WORLD senior correspondent Katie Gaultney reports now on a few more who left their mark.
AUDIO: [Basketball]
KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Just two days into the New Year, basketball great Paul Westphal breathed his last.

WESTPHAL: There’s no ultimate victory in sports. My parents taught me that when they told me about the true nature of life.
That’s Westphal delivering his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2019. He won a championship with the Boston Celtics, but spent most of his career with the Phoenix Suns, both as a player and coach. After his pro career ended, Westphal coached at Southwestern Baptist Bible College and Grand Canyon University.

WESTPHAL: Following Jesus—I chose to give my life to Jesus. It would allow me to ride the ups and downs of life with the understanding that whatever happens on earth is only a prelude to eternity.
The Hall of Fame basketball player died of brain cancer at age 70.
From the basketball courts in Arizona to the baseball fields of Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.

ANNOUNCER: Henry Aaron steals the headlines when he hits his 500th home run of his career. (Crack!) It comes against the Giants.
A Hall of Fame baseball slugger who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, Hank Aaron died January 22 at age 86. He started out in the Negro Leagues in the Southern Association, where black players had to stay in separate accommodations. Striving through racial prejudice, he then played 23 years in the majors, mostly with the Braves. As he chased Ruth’s record, some fans reviled him with racist taunts and hate mail.
In his 1982 Hall of Fame induction speech, Aaron acknowledged that his success came on the heels of black players who blazed a trail for him, like Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.

AARON: They proved to the world that a man’s ability is only limited by his lack of opportunity.
A convert to Catholicism, Aaron told Guideposts, “I need to depend on Someone who is bigger, stronger, and wiser than I am. I don’t do it on my own. God is my strength.”
Turning from sports to music.

SONG: “Stop in the Name of Love,” The Supremes
On February 8th, the world lost one of the original Supremes, Mary Wilson, who died at the age of 76. She stayed with the Motown girl group until it disbanded in the late 1970s. Wilson showcased many talents during her career. Beyond singing, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2019. And she was a New York Times bestselling author, writing several books about the Supremes.
And now to Irv Cross, an NFL player who was a coach at the same time.

CROSS: Being a player coach is obviously a very unusual position to be in. What it simply means is you know enough about the game to be able to coach and teach other people about it, but in the same sense, you still have enough physical skill to be able to perform on Sunday afternoon.
That’s Cross talking to colorful interviewer Leta Powell Drake in 1978. Cross spent most of his football career with the Philadelphia Eagles before launching an iconic, 14-year TV broadcast career. He was the first black sports analyst on network TV, anchoring NFL Today.

MUSSBERGER AND CROSS: Irv, we’ve got a lot about standing rookies, George Rogers doing a number today for the Saints./ Oh, having a big day indeed, Brent. You know, 220 first year men on NFL rosters last week, and 37 of them started…

SONG: NFL Today theme
Cross was a Christian and wrote in his memoir, “There hasn’t been one problem I’ve ever had that wasn’t addressed in the Bible. To me, to solve any issue, you turn to Jesus Christ.”
From athletics to acrobatics.

SOUND: Circus music
The last surviving member of the stunt performing troupe The Flying Wallendas died in March. Carla Wallenda was 85 years old.
She first appeared on the high wire when her parents carried her across on a bicycle when she was just 6 weeks old.

HARVEY: Yes! (music)
Her final public performance came in 2017, at age 81. She did a handstand atop an 86-foot sway pole, much to the excitement of a giant crowd and TV host Steve Harvey below.

HARVEY: Miss Carla Wallenda! Eighty-one years old!
And in May, we bid farewell to the man who brought us “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

SONG: “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” B.J. Thomas
Country/pop singer B.J. Thomas died this May at age 78. Thomas appeared in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and reached number one on the pop charts. He also made a name for himself in Christian music. He grew up flexing his musical chops in the church choir, but in adulthood, he fell into drug and alcohol dependency. That put his marriage in jeopardy. Then, in 1976, he made a profession of faith and reconciled with his wife, Gloria, who had become a Christian just a month before. His wife and three daughters survive him.
For our last entry of the day, one of the most influential names in music that you might not recognize.

SONG: “He’s Everything to Me,” Ralph Carmichael’s Young People (1967)
Composer Ralph Carmichael died on October 18th at the age of 94.
In the 1960s and 70s, Carmichael earned the title “Father of Contemporary Christian Music” for layering jazz and pop-rock styles over church music. His experiments in Christian music created controversy, and some churches dubbed him a heretic for bringing guitars and big-band style music into places of worship.
He caught a break in the 1950s when his musical chops gave him entree to Capital Records. The company asked Carmichael to arrange a Christmas album for Nat King Cole. The result was The Magic of Christmas, an album with a secure place in the annals of holiday classics.

SONG: “The Christmas Song,” Nat King Cole
On top of his work with big names like Cole, Bing Crosby, and Rosemary Clooney, Carmichael wrote more than 300 gospel songs and scored movies like The Blob and The Cross and the Switchblade.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Katie Gaultney.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Every family has their holiday traditions, but this one’s pretty sweet!
It started in 1987, when Ryan Wasson gave his brother a 10-roll package of LifeSavers candy for Christmas. It was a gag gift. Brother Eric Wasson told WMUR that he didn’t like the candy and Ryan knew it, just like a brother.
ERIC: I didn’t eat them. And so the next year I thought hey I think I’m going to give it back to him.
But the following Christmas, Ryan gifted the candy back to Eric once again and so it began.
And through the years, the brothers have gotten quite creative, finding ways to surprise each other by delivering the candy in unexpected ways.
RYAN: Froze in a block of ice before, put it in jello. He one time sewed it into a teddy bear.
Ryan said his brother has come up with some great ideas, but he’ll never surrender. 
Whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender
Never surrender to Eric.
RYAN: Neither one of us will give up. You know, we’re brothers. We can never give up.
It’s probably also a safe bet that no one will ever actually eat the now-34-year-old candy.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, December 30th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re so glad you are!
Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: God’s faithfulness in trials.
This fall a Haitian gang kidnapped 17 missionaries in a roadside ambush. The gang demanded millions of dollars in ransom. Over the two month ordeal, the captors released a handful of the workers serving with Christian Aid Ministries.
Two weeks ago, the 12 remaining captives escaped—walking many miles by moonlight. One of those kidnapped was Sam Stoltzfus.
Just a few days after returning home he delivered a 3-hour testimony to his church in New Holland, Pennsylvania. We’ve edited his presentation down to fit the available time. We’ll post a link to the complete recording in today’s transcript.
Here’s Sam…
SAM STOLTZFUS: After the first week and half of the second location, they would circle a little tiny airplane, way up there. And then a bigger—like a four prop airplane—a huge, huge thing would circle and circle and circle. And we’re thinking surely we have to be getting out of here.
We were desperate. We made signs with cardboard, and charcoal: “S-O-S” to hold up and show the airplanes. We made another sign “We need in Help!” in very big letters, the airplanes saw them. One time there was a confirmation. He throttled way down. Nothing happened, nothing. The Lord wanted us to put our complete trust in Him and let Him work out the details. It wasn’t by the arm of man that we were delivered – at all.
It was a progression of events that miracles, small things that the Lord did for us. We were in the back side of the house, beautiful evening, having our devotional time, there was storm clouds rolling and there was a beautiful double rainbow in the sky, the sign of God’s promise. Oh, we were encouraged. We were so encouraged. And we had a very good time of prayer and singing together.
And the rain poured that during the first part of that evening, and they took us all into the house and everywhere around the building was muddy. We talked about escaping that night, because during that night, the guards got really, really drunk and we’re high on drugs. And we talked about just walking out into the mud. And I was like, You know what, let’s do it. Let’s go, like this is our chance, here’s our opportunity. For sure, we would be muddy, we’d look like pigs by the time we were out there. But if we get out, it’s going to be well worthwhile. And look, the Lord is working for us.
But not everyone was agreed. It was just the constant struggle to get everyone united and on the same page and faith. But it was…God was moving in our hearts and leading us every step of the way. The next day, Ryan and Melody are desperate to get their children out of there. Andre is not in good health. We had Wesley the mechanic going that morning, go into to the bushes to see if there’s a possible way of getting 12 people and two little children through there without, you know getting scratched up too bad or whatever. Just check things out.
And Wesley came back out of the brush with a big smile on his face. He said I think we can do it. Let’s hear from everyone. So we all share. I said, “Yeah, I share the same burden as Ryan.” Finally, everyone was on board. Finally, we had faith. Finally, we had unity. We felt overjoyed. This is one o’clock. We have preparations to be made. And Ryan said “Yeah, we don’t necessarily think we have to wait for the perfect time. The Lord is gonna intervene. He’s gonna, if he wants us to get out of here, he’s going to set it up to where he puts the details in place and we can take a step of faith and follow Him out of there.”
So we made preparations, we packed our bag, we had a bag with some of our belongings, keys. And oh, the joy, the joy that came from all being united. And we were scared – of course, we were scared, but the joy of being united and everyone was happy.
So there were things we tried to do. We weren’t trying to help out the Lord but we were just acting in faith and trusting the Lord to work on our behalf. So we moved the couches over there and we had our worship service on that side of the house that evening, and that evening was one of the most beautiful sunsets that we had seen during the entire time we were there.
And then it rained a little bit, just a little bit. But what it did is it pushed the guards on to the front of the porch, and they ordered us into the house early that evening because of the little shower. Oh, and we had during that day we had taken a stick or two into the house. Our plan of escape was to push on the rock that was in front of the door to move it away from the door. Late that evening, brroom-brroom, they’re firing up the generator. And the fans are running and praise the Lord. Thank You, Jesus, just another miracle. And as this was going all this progression of events, our faith was boosted and lifted. And we were just putting more and more trust in the Lord and God was just working out these details.
We planned to wake up that night at one o’clock, and one o’clock rolled around. Most of us had barely gotten any sleep. Our legs were like jelly. I was shaking. But we were trusting. We were in the Lord’s hands. There was a fragment of the board, the cross board on the bottom of the door, that was loose, but it was held by a nail. He pulled on that little stick and the nail—you know how a nail sounds when it comes out of wood? It made a nice little screech. And it alerted the guards. Oh, we we hit our we hit our beds.
He was looking at the door. He had heard the noise. And he walked away. So we waited a half hour to 45 minutes and our time window of when we thought would be a good time to leave was nearing its end, and the guards were really really really really nervous. I believe they were awake when we left. They were uptight. They had heard noises coming from the house. But we were ready to take a step of faith.
And we all got up, and the three year old and the 10 month old by this time, their parents picked them up. They whimpered a little bit. They didn’t cry real loud I don’t think. Wesley went outside. He took a good look this way, took a look this way. He said the coast is clear. Let’s go.
We filed out of there and into the brush. Hearts pounding. Ready to hear gunshots, ready to get yelled at. We closed the door. I grabbed the rock, placed it in front of the door and off we were into the into the brush. If God wouldn’t have blinded the eyes of those guards, I believe I would still be sitting in that prison camp right now.
God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. He’s the same God who delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of the fiery furnace. He’s the same God who took Daniel out of the lion’s den. He’s the same God who delivered Peter out of prison. He sent his angel in and he took Peter out of prison. You know what? That’s the same God we serve today and I’m here this morning to proclaim His goodness. I’m here to proclaim His faithfulness. We were in God’s hands and the Lord took us through every step of the way. His faithfulness was right there with us.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, December 30th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Time now for your prayers for the New Year. Today, selections from the book of Daniel, Paul’s letter to the Colossians, and from the book of Psalms.
JACKSON: Hello, my name is Caroline Jackson. I am eight years old. I’m going to read Daniel 2:20-21. Daniel answered and said, blessed be the name of God forever and ever to whom along wisdom in might. He changes times and seasons. He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
VARNER: Adrian Varner reading Colossians 3:12-17. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another, if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace, and be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly, as you teach and admonish one another, with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
YOST: I’m Dan Yost in Stillwater, Oklahoma. And I really appreciated world’s recent story about the pilgrims in their use of the Psalter for singing the Psalms. I’m going to read a portion of Psalm 33 from the Psalter that my church sings from every week. But you can follow along in any translation. This ought to really set the stage for 2022 and tumultuous times. 
The Lord by his word has created the heavens, and he by his breath made the stars come to be. The depths of the ocean, he heaps up together and puts in a storehouse the waves of the sea. So let all the earth and its people revere him. And in the Lord’s presence with awe let them stand. He spoke, it was done and continues to stand fast. It all was accomplished when he gave command. The Lord brings to nothing the plans of the nations; he frustrates their counsel and makes their schemes fail. But all that the Lord in His heart has intended, the plans he has made, will forever prevail. The nation the Lord has embraced is most blessed, where he is acknowledged to be God alone. This people he claims his inherited portion, the ones he has chosen, and calls as his own. The King is not saved by the strength of his army, the soldier as well should not trust his own might. The strength of a horse does not make rescue certain. A horse is a false hope for winning the fight. The Lord we await is our help and protection. Our heart is glad, trusting in His holy name. Oh, Lord, let your covenant love be upon us as we hold to you and the hope that we claim. Happy 2022.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: the last in our series of notable deaths.
And, New Year’s Eve movie night. We’ll have a few suggestions for things you might watch if you’re staying home.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: 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.
Twenty-four hours remain in our December Giving Drive. We’re so grateful for your support, as every dollar counts and makes a real difference to what we can do to bring you more and better reporting from a biblical worldview. WNG.org/donate.
The Bible says: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
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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