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Bringing Grace & Faith to Minneapolis

CBC-Colorado graduates, Lori and Ken Balma, Directors of the new CBC-extension school in Minneapolis, MN. (Click to enlarge)One doesn't have to look any further than the Pharisees in the Old Testament to see that the religious ear has a difficult time receiving the truth of the Gospel in all its goodness. For Ken and Lori Balma, the truth came like torture. As much as Andrew's teaching cut across the grain of the Balma's Christian religion, they couldn't stop listening. Once they opened their hearts to the truth, the couple began to let the Lord lead their lives. Today Ken and Lori are graduates of Charis Bible College in Colorado, and they have opened a CBC extension school in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ken Balma (Click to enlarge)Ken had only been listening to Andrew's radio program for a short time when he and Lori watched their first TV broadcast of the Gospel Truth. Lori's introductory teaching came from the series The Word Became Flesh and the topic for the day was The Sovereignty of God. The teaching was quite a shock to her because she had spent many years investing in performance-based church righteousness. Lori said, "I could hardly stand it. I told Ken, 'This [teaching] is heresy—turn it off.' At the same time the Spirit was saying to me, turn the TV back on—listen to this man. We would turn it on, listen for five more minutes, and turn it off."

Lori Balma (Click to enlarge)The Balmas continued listening to Andrew and finally came to realize that their efforts towards holiness had all been dead works. The two would study one of Andrew's teachings as they made their daily hour-and-a-half commute to work. "For the first time in our lives, we were growing in the word together, getting understanding and truth spoken into our lives through Andrew's ministry. We were so excited for all that God had for us," said Lori.

Lori and Ken went to work every day, sensing that God had a different plan for their lives. One day as they were walking together and praying during their lunch hour, the Lord spoke to the Balmas that they were to attend Charis Bible College in Colorado, and bring the message of grace and faith back to their home in Minnesota. Jacob, Sarah and Joe Balma at Sarah's college graduation. (Click to enlarge)Lori admitted, "We did not know much about AWM or CBC, or even that there was such a thing as extension schools. We thought we were going to Colorado for a year. We really had no information about Charis Bible College."

The Balmas immediately made plans to attend Andrew's upcoming Summer Family Bible Conference in Colorado. It quickly became clear to the Balmas that CBC-Colorado was where God wanted them, and six weeks later the couple had relocated. They had rented their home in Minnesota, and sent their three children off to other colleges. Lori is quick to emphasize that their family had five people in college at the same time, with tuition due for each person. "When we said, 'yes' to the plans and purposes of God for our lives, supernatural things and supernatural provision began to be available," she said.

Home of CBC-Minneapolis
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Lori shared that prior to attending CBC, she had always struggled with trusting God for finances and had virtually no understanding of how the laws of the Kingdom worked. As a result, she had always worked long hours to help provide for her family's needs. Part of the provision Lori saw, at the time they decided to leave Minnesota, was that the large corporation she and her husband worked for offered them a remote or offsite position, allowing them to stay employed with the company as they moved to Colorado. While this made the transition easier, it didn't last. Within four months of their arrival in Colorado, the Balmas saw this source of income dry up almost overnight. It was during this time that the inner knowing of Students in class listening to guest speaker Tammy Ericco, a CBC grad and the chaplain for Crossroads Ministries USA in Colorado Springs.
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God's goodness and care for her became very real. Even facing tuition payments over $24,000.00, Lori was able to release her grip on the things of this world, and she began to receive provision from God's hand.

As their tuition payment deadlines drew near, the couple had dinner with some classmates, and the friends prayed and agreed in faith for the Balma's provision. It was at that moment that something changed in the spirit for Lori and Ken, and the Balmas knew that they knew that they did not have to strive for their provision anymore. The next afternoon, the Balma's employer called and offered them two new positions with a pay increase totaling three times the amount they had been earning. Students enjoy discussion and study time between classes. (Click to enlarge)Ken and Lori's finances were restored, and they were able to meet their tuition obligations.

"We saw this story repeated over and over during those three years in Colorado. We learned to trust in God's goodness and live in a place of the peace of God. We entered a place of Sabbath rest as we understood our position in Christ. I am not saying that we live it out perfectly, but this new place is so different than our old address," said Lori referring to their place of self effort. "God is always speaking if you will take the time to listen. He provided that Sabbath rest for you and me, but it is up to each of us to receive the provisions God has already made," she said.

Students enjoy fellowship between classes. (Click to enlarge)Ken and Lori have since graduated and completed their third-year internship at CBC-Colorado, and they are now directing CBC-Minneapolis. The word the Lord spoke to them during their lunch-hour walk several years ago has come to pass; they have brought the message of grace and faith back to the people of Minnesota. The Balmas are leading 39 students and they know they are in the center of the perfect will of God for their lives. "It is the best place ever. He has this place for each of us. If we will take the time to earnestly seek Him, we will find Him. It is a promise, not made by me, but by Jesus," said Lori confidently.

For more information visit CBC-Minneapolis, contact the Balmas via email: or call (612) 217-4565.

Reader Comments (9)

How encouraging! I was moved by their courage and it enforced in me, how Andrew's teaching are such a blessing in MY life!

It helps me to read these testimonies, for the encouragement I need, in trying to reach my family and friends steeped in religious & doctrinal bondage! I send books & try to reach them with Andrew's teachings, because just like Jesus, reaching out with family, "who knew you when", is very difficult, but as this couple did, we must press on in doing right. God Bless them!

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne Ottewell

What a wonderful testimony of Gods faithfulness and what it means to rest in him. God has been teaching me a lot about resting in him lately. When I looked up CBC in Mpls. I saw it is on Olson Highway ~the same highway the small Bible college was located where we met well over 40 years ago! God bless your new adventure in faithful living.

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Dahlen

Great testimony! The Word Became Flesh series has especially been wonderful. A blessing to us here too. May God continue to strengthen the Balmas and help us to also get to the centre of His will.

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOpawoye Adefolarin

God is so Good! I am so proud of the Balmas for taking that step of faith in their lives, and truly believing God! I can honestly relate to Lori, because I struggle with just trusting God, and I often rely to much on my flesh, and I know nothing good comes from the flesh! I pray that God continues to direct the Balmas' path, and strengthen their walk with the Lord! This is an AWESOME testimony! It really touched my life and truly inspired me in the Lord! I just want to live in God's truth for my life and meditate on HIs word! I do face some problems in my own life, but I know, that God said, "In this world, we will face persecutions, but be of good cheer, I have conquered the world"! Again, may God continue to guide and lead the Balmas into paths of His righteousness!

December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlisha R. Arceneaux

I just wanted to add to my previous post, Andrews teachings are awesome! Andrew has truly inspired me greatly in my walk with the Lord! The Sovereignity of God, has moved me in ways I couldn't even imagine! Andrew is truly an instrument used by the Lord! I study and listen to Andrew's teaching everyday and through God, it is really changing my life!

December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlisha R. Arceneaux

Thank you Lori and Ken. As one of your students at CBC Minneapolis, I see first hand your genuine love and living testimony for the Lord. I am beginning to understand why all my religious training and hard work left me feeling dissatisfied and even questioning God's love for me personally. Your ongoing encouragement and reassurance are helping me relax and allow my mind to be transformed as Andrew and the other awesome instructors faithfully teach us the Word. I am experiencing the goodness and grace of God at CBC Minneapolis.

December 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrace Goodall

This is an awesome story. The moment I met Ken and Lori I knew that I was supposed to go to CBC-Minneapolis. They are awesome people that love God and love people. Thank you very much for everything. The school is the most awesome thing I have ever experienced with God. We are right where God wants us and God has an awesome plan for each one of us students and you guys as well. I believe that CBC-Minneapolis has just scratched the surface of an awesome journey ahead and is going to be a huge blessing to God's kingdom. :)

March 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCory Pearce

This story is so encouraging to me as I am making the decision in my heart to pack up and leave Oklahoma for CBC Colorado. It will take many miracles to get us to Colorado. Finances my wife isn't on board yet but with all my heart I can see us attending and in the new complex. Thanks for sharing your testimony!!!

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarin Hedrick

I actually live in Ohio. But there is a person who is very dear to my heart that lives in Minneapolis. When we were young, he walked with the Lord but since then he has walked away. It breaks my heart. In my heart, I believe that Andrew Wommack Ministry having an extension in Minneapolis is no coincidence. How God will use your ministry in his life I do not know. I have talked to him about the Lord many times. I purchased some books to send him but I have not sent them because I thought he would not welcome the books. I have told him about Andrew Wommack's ministry. My heart's desire is for him to return to the Lord.
I love your testimony. I have a tendency not rest in the Lord for financial provision and to experience anxiety financially... actually in many areas of my life. I believe with all my heart that what Andrew Wommack has been teaching concerning the Word of God is the truth. I thank you for the encouragement of your testimony.

January 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWanda Haley

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