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Monday
May252015

An Unexpected Journey

For months, Karen Tinger had been trying to find a good book for studying the Old Testament. “I saw the announcement that Charis Bible College was starting online courses,” she explains, “and there was a course called Old Testament Survey, by Wendell Parr.” Karen immediately enrolled, not sure what to expect from an online course. Little did she know that she had just taken the first step of a journey that would lead her beyond her wildest dreams.

From her dining room, Karen had the opportunity to fellowship with other students from around the world. “I was fully enjoying the incredible experience of learning together with other students,” recounts Karen. “We also had a fantastic facilitator who journeyed along with us—ready to explain, encourage, and provide additional experiences or teachings to help us comprehend to our fullest potential.”

What started out as a desire to learn more about the Old Testament turned into an online, at-home source of fellowship. “And if I was away from home, I could still connect through the internet,” explains Karen. “It was so amazing to have such great fellowship with spiritually hungry believers right at my fingertips!”

One of the features of Charis Online that really captured both Karen’s heart and attention was the facilitators and their heart with each student to help foster a closer walk with the Lord. “They love to bring others into the love of Christ that they have come to know. They’re very personable and love to connect with you.”

Not only did Karen gain connections, but she also found some lasting friendships. A few years after taking her course, one of the online facilitators emailed Karen after seeing her graduate from Charis, congratulating her on her accomplishment. “I was so honored to think that one of my facilitators from three years ago not only remembered me but also still had my email address and contacted me. These facilitators genuinely take an interest in every student’s life.”

“I really had no idea the Lord had me on a specific journey,” admits Karen. “I was just enjoying the individual courses and fellowship, not really having a plan in mind.” But after finishing the first-year curriculum through the Distance Learning Program, Karen started her second year at the Charis location in Gardner, Massachusetts. “I am so thankful that Charis offers the different formats to take the courses. They truly make the learning experience convenient for anyone’s schedule. There are no excuses for not getting started!”

Just four weeks after graduation, her journey would continue as she made the move to Colorado to begin the Third Year in the Charis Business School. Today Karen is employed at Charis as the administrative assistant for the student portal, working with directors of other Charis locations, some of whom were her very own facilitators when she was enrolled in Charis Online. They were sowing seeds into her life, and now she gets to sow into theirs. “You never know where that first step is going to take you!”

Monday
May182015

The Word of Our Testimony

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11a, New International Version

Early one morning in Ecuador, as the Charis Bible College missions team was sitting down to breakfast, screams split the air. Rushing out the hotel’s back door, five team members searched the alley to find the source of the trouble.

Resurrected child“We found a woman pulling her hair, screaming at the heavens over a young man holding a very still baby in his arms,” one member recalled. Apparently, the one-year-old had fallen and cracked his skull on the concrete. He was dead. As the missions team began to minister to the woman and work to calm her down, a team member who happened to be a registered nurse verified the baby’s injury. “His eyes were set; there was no pulse. The child was dead.”

Moments before they left to take the baby’s body to the morgue, the Holy Spirit spoke to one of the team members. “You have a choice,” He said. “You can close the child’s eyes or speak life back into his body.” So, she began to speak life. The other team members joined in, and suddenly, the baby blinked. Shouts of praise erupted in the house as the mother took her child into her arms.

Later that night, the team held a powerful service about the power of testimony. During Larry Wilgus’s teaching, the parents of the baby who was raised from the dead shared their story with the congregation. Thirty people were healed that night—and word began spreading. The next morning, the Charis team’s hotel was surrounded with people requesting prayer. “Word about the little boy spread quickly, and people began to pour into our hotel, requesting the ‘Charis people’ pray for them,” Larry reported. “It was so awesome seeing God confirm His Word with signs following [Mark 16:17-18]!”

The testimony of the little boy’s miracle started a tidal wave of faith in Ecuador. After hearing the testimony, one mother approached the team for her six-month-old girl. She was born with a deformed hip that caused her legs to grow inconsistently. Two days after prayer, the mom brought her child and x-rays to show the team how her daughter had been healed. The hip was perfect, and both legs were the same length!

“This trip was a life-changer,” one team member said. “I’ve never seen such hunger for God or witnessed firsthand the power of the Gospel.” During their time there, the Charis team ministered in churches, at meetings, in the mayor’s office, and out on the streets. The entire hotel staff was born again, and the mayor openly requested prayer. The team witnessed people getting saved and filled with the Spirit, deaf ears and blind eyes opening, arthritic pain disappearing, cancerous cysts dissolving, limbs growing, and much more! “You could hear shouts of praise all over the city!”

Thursday
May072015

Relief for Nepal

Many often wonder if natural disasters—such as the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015—are the work of God. Let me first say that God’s discipline for the Christian is always one-on-one and always involves the Word of God, not a natural disaster.

Jesus clearly stated in Luke 9:56 that He did not come to destroy people’s lives but to save them. This was said in direct response to His disciples’ asking if they could call fire down from heaven and consume the Samaritans, just as Elijah had done in the Old Testament.

Jesus wouldn’t do it. In fact, He rebuked His disciples for desiring to do so. He was demonstrating that God would deal with man differently after the Atonement was made. The book of Revelation describes a time in the future when God’s judgment will rain down upon unbelievers; however, today we are living in an age of grace when God is not imputing man’s sin unto them (2 Cor. 5:19).

What has taken place in Nepal is truly devastating. An estimated 8 million people have been affected. More than 5,000 people have allegedly died in Nepal alone, and neighboring countries such as India and China have suffered losses as well.

Thousands upon thousands have been injured, many suffering multiple fractures and other injuries. After initial assessment, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that hospitals in Nepal’s worst-hit districts suffered significant damage, and some were completely destroyed. Medicine and medical equipment and materials are among the top necessities for these people.

As is the case with any mass destruction, a priority for the WHO is preventing the possible spread of diarrheal diseases among the millions of displaced people, especially those living in makeshift camps. So far, no camps have reported an increase in diseases or any outbreaks. Nepal is apparently renewing its appeal to international donors to send tents and canvas in order to build more temporary shelters. In addition, the Nepalese government is asking for grain, salt, and sugar.

Join Jamie and me in praying for the nation of Nepal along with the neighboring countries who have suffered this devastating earthquake. Agree with us that the Lord is giving supernatural wisdom and guidance to the leaders of these countries as they face the challenges of this disaster.

In addition, we have set up a safe and convenient way for you to donate to the people of Nepal. We are presently providing financial support to a number of contacts who have connections in the area, including:

  • Charis Bible College instructor Dr. Delron Shirley, who will be leaving for Nepal on May 17
  • Charis graduate Errol Mannon, who operates an orphanage in Nepal with twelve children, all of whom are safe—his contacts in Nepal are reaching out with physical aid
  • Charis graduates Bob and Dawa Wesley, who were in Nepal when the earthquake hit—they are safe and are presently taking action to help victims; their main focus is children and their mothers
  • AWM Germany director Juergen Pauli, who is leading a charity for an orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Charis graduate Luke and his wife Virginia Oyler, who work to empower Himalayan children with the skills to become the carriers of HOPE to their people 

 To make a donation, please visit: www.awmi.net/nepal-earthquake-relief or call our Helpline: 719-635-1111.