Jeff and Autumn Nakkula met during their first year at Charis Bible College in Colorado. Each of them had learned about Andrew and CBC from the Gospel Truth television program, and were drawn to the message of God’s unconditional love and grace. Following a prompting by the Holy Spirit, both Jeff and Autumn took a step of faith and left their homes in order to seek God's plan for their lives. Neither one could have imagined the abundance He had in store for them.
Jeff recalls a class assignment, early in the year at CBC. The class was told to pray in the spirit and listen to the Lord and write down what they thought He was speaking to them. During this activity, God showed Jeff a film strip of events that would happen in his life. Among the things Jeff saw and heard was that Autumn would become his wife. This was a challenging word for Jeff because he hadn’t enrolled at CBC to find a wife, nor did he think that Autumn would be interested in this information, so he kept it to himself.
Later in the year, Jeff heard another clear word from God. He was serving alongside friend and fellow CBC student, David Forgoston, and Jeff heard God say, “You’ll be helping this man. You’ll be a part of what he is doing.”
Meanwhile, Autumn was hearing from God as well. During class one morning, Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford, asked for some volunteers willing to be trained with cameras to help out with CBC’s video needs. Autumn felt a strong leading to volunteer. Before long she was asked to film a praise and worship event, and as she prepared for the project Autumn heard God tell her that she would be assisting with fundraising for missionaries and ministries world-wide, through media. This word from God gave Autumn peace and purpose and she continued to learn all she could about media.
In 2007, Jeff and Autumn graduated from CBC, and Jeff recalls that there wasn’t even a hint that Autumn was interested in him. He went to work on a dude ranch in Colorado, and Autumn stayed and worked in the television department at AWM, continuing to glean media experience.
Autumn remembers being pleased with the direction her life was going while working at AWM; she was content with her part of reaching people around the world. However, a short time later, the Lord began prompting her to pray in the spirit. Autumn found that the more she prayed in the spirit, the more she began feeling a holy dissatisfaction with her life, so she began preparing herself for change.
While talking with friends and fellow CBC graduates, missionaries, David and Judith Forgoston, David told Autumn that God had someone for her, someone who was going to love her unconditionally. When Autumn heard what David said, she knew right away that the person God had for her was Jeff. Frustrated and confused, Autumn surrendered everything to God and asked Him to lead her in the direction she should go. Within one week, Autumn knew she would soon marry Jeff and also that she would be going to India to help the Forgostons.
Autumn immediately began helping David and Judith with their ministry newsletters and also began spending time with Jeff. The two built a relationship and were soon engaged to be married. After Jeff proposed at the Hungry Bear restaurant in Woodland Park, he shared with Autumn about how God had told him that she would be his wife during their first year at CBC. Autumn was overwhelmed with Jeff’s faithfulness, and Jeff was encouraged to know that he did indeed hear God’s voice.
While the newlyweds were on their honeymoon they felt that they needed to visit India and decided to buy their tickets immediately. The reality of the mission field was a bit different than they expected. India was dirty and the two were overwhelmed with the amount trash that could be seen in heaps all over the city. It was truly a rude awakening; however, upon their return to the United States, the call to India continued to grow stronger.
Jeff and Autumn began trusting God for the finances to get back to India and it was a short time later that they had enough to buy one-way tickets. When they arrived, the Forgostons were busy setting up the CBC extension school in Chennai; Jeff and Autumn helped out where needed. One of the pieces of equipment that the Forgostons had purchased was a video camera, and Autumn decided to teach Jeff how to use it. The Nakkulas bought a computer and went to work creating a promotional video for the Forgostons. When they finished the short video, it became a hit. Partners started calling and emailing to let David and Judith know how much they appreciated actually seeing what was going on in India and their support base grew.
Around Christmas time the Nakkulas learned that Autumn was pregnant. Another exciting change was in the works. In addition to having a child on the way, the couple’s visa was running out, and it was time for them to return to America. Between selling their equipment and an unexpected financial gift, Jeff and Autumn were able to purchase their tickets to fly home to Colorado Springs.
Finding a job once they returned proved to be quite challenging at first, however God’s faithfulness put Jeff in the right place at the right time and he was able to find work. The job sustained them while they re-established their lives in the Springs and had their son Isaac.
Shortly after their son was born, Stephen Bransford called the couple and told them about the new CBC School of Media and asked them if they would be interested in being assistant directors. Jeff and Autumn were thrilled to accept the new position and began developing the courses immediately.
The Nakkulas serve as coaches to the CBC students while training them to help ministries raise support and communicate through a variety of media. “Looking back at what God spoke to me right at the beginning of the first year of bible college, there are a couple of things from that film strip that I’ve seen come to pass already, but there is still a lot more to come. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, God opens up a new door and does amazing things,” said Jeff.
Thrilled with the initial success of the Media School, Jeff and Autumn love giving back to CBC. “I’m able to take everything I’ve learned and share it with students at Charis Bible College. It’s just amazing to see how I’m able to take the things that they’ve poured into me, and pour into them,” said Autumn of the Media School students.
For more information about the Nakkulas, be sure to watch the video below.