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Monday
Oct272014

Hong Kong—the Gateway to China 

Hong Kong, the gateway to China (Click to enlarge)Charis Bible College Hong Kong recently celebrated graduating its first class of students! After years of preparation, the dream birthed in Andrew’s and Jamie’s hearts in 2010 is finally becoming a reality.

During the fall of 2010, Andrew and Jamie Wommack ministered overseas in Europe and throughout China, meeting with hundreds of pastors and encouraging them in the Word. At one such meeting, Andrew met a man who, for ten years, had been imprisoned and tortured for his faith. This selfless man now oversees 200,000 underground churches across four provinces in mainland China. It is estimated that those churches minister to more than 10 million dedicated Christians who are hungry for the truths of the Word!

While in China, the need for leadership training there became very apparent to Andrew. Once he and Jamie returned to Colorado, Andrew shared his experiences with the students and staff at Charis and explained how he wanted to help minister to the needs of church leaders throughout China. The planting of an extension school in Hong Kong was set in motion.

Andrew and Jamie Wommack visit the Great Wall of China (Click to enlarge)After hearing Andrew, Carol Odenwald, who was on staff at Charis at that time, felt God move on her heart for China. In March of 2011, she flew to Hong Kong on a scouting trip to discover what it would take to set up a school there. Immediately, it became apparent that the only way to reach China was through Hong Kong. Although a part of the same country, the government of Hong Kong operates separately from mainland China. Historically, Hong Kong functioned under British rule, and today the atmosphere continues to be much more open to Western ideas and influence.

Early in 2012, Carol returned to China to learn Mandarin Chinese and be Andrew’s “boots on the ground” as World Outreach continued pushing through the paperwork to open a Charis Bible College in Hong Kong. After months of bureaucratic delays and red tape, Charis opened its doors in January of 2013!

Carol Odenwald (left) with new director, Cindy Pearson (right), meet for a God-conneciton
(Click to enlarge)
After graduating Charis’s first group of Chinese students in June of this year, Carol Odenwald handed over the reins of Charis Hong Kong to a new director, Cindy Pearson. Cindy has felt the call to missions all of her life, but God placed a special love in her heart for the various people groups of China. Prior to graduating from Charis Colorado, she spent twelve years in China and Hong Kong, where she trained people to work with special-needs orphans.

As God continues to direct Carol and Cindy through the transition at Charis Hong Kong, it has become abundantly clear that He is uniquely positioning this school to fulfill His Word of “becoming the gateway” to reach one of the largest people groups on the planet with the unconditional love and grace of God!

Monday
Oct202014

When Purpose Found Me

Adam performing on stage (Click to enlarge)What does a successful life look like? Adam Stone was certain it had something to do with fame and fortune. His experience was unlike most people’s. “Although I was born again at seven years of age, I wasn’t really pursuing a relationship with Jesus,” he admits. “I was pursuing a career in the performing arts. I’ve worked with Anthony Hopkins and been in a James Bond film. I was even privileged enough to tour the world singing. However, there always seemed to be something blocking me from true success in that industry.”

Life in the spotlight would prove unfulfilling, while Adam’s walk with the Lord seemed foreign and irrelevant. “In my earlier years, my relationship with God was very up and down, depending on circumstances, really,” he recalls. “I didn’t find my identity inside, and as a result, I lived with a carnal mindset. I’d been confused by religion and bad doctrine. Experiences in life didn’t seem to line up with the Word of God.”

Adam using his gifts and talents to praise God in the CBC worship band (Click to enlarge)Thankfully, God is not the author of confusion, and He was determined to reach Adam right where he was. “My mother came across this American preacher on television called Andrew Wommack. He wasn’t the kind of guy we would normally listen to, but what he was saying resonated with our spirits. We recognized the truth when we heard it. At that point, our lives would never be the same again.”

As the religious misconceptions slowly began to clear up, Adam started to view himself, and the life he lived, through a different lens. “Suddenly, I knew that God had a purpose and a destiny for me that was greater than anything I could ever achieve in my own strength,” he says. “Before, my ambitions were earning a BAFTA or an OSCAR. Now my ambitions are healing the sick and preaching the Gospel.” This newfound sense of purpose seemed new and exciting for him, but left the lingering question of “How?”

Adam and his newlywed wife, Cathrin, in England
(Click to enlarge)
My wife Cathrin and I did not know what God’s plan was for our lives, but thanks to Andew’s teaching, we knew it wasn’t going to just come to us automatically—we had to pursue it. So, we decided we had to step out of the boat and follow Jesus.”

Adam and Cathrin decided to leave London, where Adam had a prosperous job, sell everything they owned, and make the courageous move to Colorado to attend Charis Bible College. He admits, “As soon as we got here, we knew we were where we were supposed to be. It truly is the most amazing feeling to know you are right in the center of what God wants for you.”

Adam adds, “Since being here, we have learned so much every day through the Word of God. The main thing I am benefiting from immediately is realizing how much God loves me and how much Jesus achieved for us. Charis Adam putting his studies into action as he prays for a fellow student (Click to enlarge)is empowering and equipping us with the tools that we need to become usable for the kingdom of God. I believe that God wants to use us more than we want to be used, and I’d say I’ve been getting in His way until now. Through Healing School and prayer ministry, we are seeing the sick healed, the dead raised, and that’s exactly what Jesus told us to do.”

Monday
Oct132014

The Gospel Works- No Matter Where You Live

Charis Bible College, Heidelberg
(Click to enlarge)
Not far from the coast of South Africa, where the Langeberg Mountains rise, the message of God’s unconditional love and grace is spreading like wildfire. As more of Andrew’s materials are translated into Afrikaans (an official language in South Africa and one of the most widely understood throughout South Africa and Namibia), people’s lives are changing. As a result, they are reaching out to others with the truth of the Gospel.

This testimony recently came through Andrew Wommack Ministries’ South Africa office:

“A young couple in our church was having problems. The husband was drinking and his family treated him like an outcast, but we saw something else in him. We loved him…we heard the Holy Spirit say to give him a book. I knew instinctively it was one of Andrew’s books, Effortless Change. A week Map of Western Cape, South Africa
(Click to enlarge)
later, he phoned and asked to keep it longer. He was reading the Scriptures and making notes. He [said he] never knew how much God loved him. The next Sunday, he came to us bubbling with excitement. He gave us a bone-crushing hug and said, “My uncle, you will never know what this book has done to me.” His [marriage] changed; they were like honeymooners [again]. His mom wants to read the book [next]; she cannot believe the change in her son…God bless Andrew!”

-The Winklespruits

Not only are lives being changed through printed material but also through television and discipleship. In 2010, Charis Bible College South Africa opened its doors in Heidelberg, Western Cape with 20 first-year students. Now over 500 students (on campus and via correspondence) are experiencing the effortless change the truth of the Word brings!

Carlynne Kotze, Bible school director, Heidelberg (Click to enlarge)As Charis students grow in their understanding of God’s love, they boldly begin to minister to the townspeople around Western Cape in hospitals, prisons, schools, and their local churches. It’s only natural that others experience the power of God’s grace. Director Carlynne Kotze says that as inquiries continue to increase, God is simply being faithful to His Word and bringing people from afar to attend school and grow in their knowledge of Him.

When asked about the change in her life since she left a successful physiotherapy practice, Calynne said—

“There is no comparison between the life of faith and grace I now live, and my previous life as a physiotherapist. My focus then was on myself and [my] performance, but now my focus is only on God and what Jesus accomplished for me on the cross. There are still times that I feel scared or inadequate and have to remind myself that no one was qualified when God called them. [But because I know He called me, I know] He will also qualify me [as I] focus on Him alone [to] do the job. An anchor in my life, Acts 5:38-39, basically says , ‘Leave and stay away from these people. For if the plans are of man, they will come to nothing, but if the plans are of God, no one will be able to overthrow it!’

Andrew Wommack Ministries, South Africa (Click to enlarge)