Mark and Charla Eastwood met in rural Kansas in 1990, and both truly believed they were born again. But when they realized that neither of their lives showed any visible fruit of the peace and joy that Jesus has promised to those who follow Him, they knew something wasn’t right.
As they sought the Lord, He led them to watch Kenneth Copeland’s television program, where they heard truths of God’s Word that they had never before been taught. Once they got a glimpse of all God had for them, they became immersed in learning more of His Word and His ways: “We learned about divine healing, which we knew nothing about,” says Mark. “I prayed for Charla, and the sinus headaches she’d been plagued with almost daily for more than two decades were gone, never to return. We were off and running!”
After several years of walking with the Lord in a Spirit-led relationship, God put it on their hearts to attend Bible college. They had no idea where to begin searching for a Bible college, but God did. God led Mark into a conversation on his construction job site one day, and he was given a cassette tape of one of Andrew’s teachings.
After learning more about Andrew and his ministry, they also discovered that he had a Bible college. At the time, Charis Bible College (CBC) Colorado was Andrew’s only college, so the Eastwoods began their studies via the correspondence program. After finishing their first-year courses, they relocated to Colorado Springs to complete the second-year program.
At CBC, the Eastwoods learned about God’s grace and love, how to live victorious Christian lives, and how to pray effectively—for themselves and for others. Charla recalls, “We were trained to minister. We volunteered on the prayer line, we effectively ministered discipleship, and we even traveled to other countries to minister.” In May of 2001, the Eastwoods became graduates of CBC-Colorado.
Upon graduation, Mark and Charla returned to Kansas and began serving as prayer ministers at Gospel Truth Seminars around the country. “Using the training we had received at school, along with the opportunity for practical application, we were able to minister God’s love and grace to hundreds—seeing signs, wonders, and miracles following,” said Mark.
During this time, God arranged many divine appointments for the Eastwoods, and they began holding local Bible studies and meetings, where they taught the Discipleship Evangelism program while ministering and praying for people. In 2011, God opened a door for them to intern with CBC-Kansas City when the director, Cody Hull, relocated to Houston to start a new CBC. In March 2012, the Eastwoods were chosen to take the helm as directors at CBC-Kansas City.
“The 2012-2013 school year has been an exciting one,” said Charla. “The college relocated, we have all- new classes for first-year students, and we have hungry students who are learning and growing quickly... Our second-year class has already been on a mission trip to Nicaragua, where they saw blind eyes opened and many physical ailments healed, along with salvations and baptisms in the Holy Spirit.”
Mark and Charla have caught Andrew’s vision of planting Charis Bible Colleges all over the world. They have seen firsthand how the message of God’s goodness and grace that is taught at CBC is both life giving and life changing. As the newest directors of CBC-Kansas City, the Eastwoods have the opportunity to impact their home community—and ultimately the world—in a bigger way than they ever thought possible. And it all started with a teaching tape that led them to CBC over ten years ago.