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Thursday
Aug222013

Multiplication of Grace: CBC-Zimbabwe 

Keith Chigondo, a graduate of Charis Bible Training Center in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Director of Charis Bible College-Zimbabwe. (Click to enlarge)Throughout his academic career, Zimbabwean, Keith Chigondo, was always very good with numbers. In fact, as a high school senior, in 2003, he was awarded a Gold medal for winning the Mathematics Olympiad in Zimbabwe. Keith had lived a normal teenage life throughout high school and had simple aspirations. He planned to attend university, find a good, well-paying job and live happily ever after with his girlfriend and future wife. This plan seemed ideal at the time.

In 2004, at age 19, as Keith waited to go to university, his mother came across an advertisement in the local newspaper offering undergraduate scholarships to study in Russia. Although Keith preferred to remain in Zimbabwe and to maintain his relationship with his Keith and some friends during the early days of his first year in Russia.
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girlfriend, his mother was persistent. Keith decided to apply for a scholarship to study statistics; something he hoped would help him secure employment in field of Actuarial Science. He was awarded the scholarship and made arrangements to move to Russia.

"The scholarship was as a result of a bilateral agreement between Zimbabwe and Russia. The Russian government paid for my academic fees and accommodation, while the Zimbabwean government gave me upkeep stipends for my living expenses. My government bought my plane ticket and sent me out in September of 2004," Keith shared.

After completing his first year of studies and learning the Russian language in the city of Voronezh, Keith was transferred Keith visitng Moscow. (Click to enlarge)to St. Petersburg to continue his education. Upon his arrival in St. Petersburg, Keith met two other Zimbabwean students at the train station. During their conversation, the two invited Keith to their church, and Keith happily accepted their invitation. It was at the church that he met Carrie Pickett, the Director of Charis Bible Training Center in Russia (an extension of Andrew's Charis Bible College).

During their introduction, Carrie shared a word of knowledge with Keith and encouraged him to be attentive to the Lord because she sensed that He was about to do something significant in Keith's life. Carrie also invited Keith to check out CBTC. A short time later, Keith Keith ministering in the Congo during his CBTC second year mission trip.
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enrolled at the Training Center; like many foreign students, he managed his university studies during the day and went to Charis at night.

The time Keith spent at CBTC impacted him in a significant way. After his second year in Russia, and his first year at CBTC, Keith lost interest in pursuing a career in statistics, and instead he desired to plant a CBC campus in Zimbabwe. Although he wanted to leave school to focus on ministry, he would have lost all of his scholarship and government funding, which would have forced him to leave Russia. Keith said, "The love and friendship I got there, as well as the Word, changed me and my desires. By the end of second year, I no longer desired the big life I Keith ministering alongside Carrie and Mike Pickett in Izhevsk, Russia.
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had planned, and I wanted to spread the Gospel message." Although his heart was focused on ministering the word, Keith forced himself to complete the requirements so he could stay in Russia and study at CBTC. His diligence paid off and he earned his bachelor's degree in Statistics.

While finishing his degree, Keith was not content with studying the Word for three hours each evening at CBTC; he also spent his free time downloading and listening to Andrew’s messages. He listened to all of them continuously. As a result, his whole approach to life changed. Reflecting on his time in Russia Keith said, "I figured attending Bible school would keep me busy, but never knew it was God’s plan. When I look back at things, I see the real reason I went was to attend CBTC, Keith's class poses for a picture with Andrew during his 2008 visit to Russia. Front row from left: Mark and Sarah VanFrachen, Mike and Carrie Pickett, Andrew, Vladimir Tcys, CBC-Colorado grads and missionaries, Judy Gonnerman and (Click to enlarge)even though I only thought it was for Statistics. The greatest thing that transformed my life was realizing what the Gospel message is all about. Through the many teachings, mainly by Andrew, I got to understand that God’s desire has always been to make us His children. That alone gave me a new way with which to look at life and I decided to live for the One who died for me."

In order to honor his sponsoring government, Keith returned to Zimbabwe after graduation and took a job as an agricultural statistician. A position that would have been satisfying at one time, but after experiencing God's Grace, he had no peace about his work—the In the early days of CBC-Zimbabwe, Keith (left) and fellow CBC graduate, Ottilia (right) poured into the lives of just two students. (Click to enlarge)desire to share the Gospel consumed him. "The Lord put the scriptures in Haggai on my heart to build him a house and to focus on setting up CBC," said Keith.

Unable to contain his revelation, Keith began to lead Bible studies after work. Eight months passed, and he received a call from Zimbabwean, Ottilia Nyagura, a CBC-Walsall (West Midlands) graduate. During the call she shared her desire to collaborate and launch a CBC campus in Zimbabwe. Over the course of the next several months, the two managed to put the necessary pieces together to launch the school. Their efforts to get the new extension campus The ad that ran in the local paper. (Click to enlarge)off the ground were helped by generous donations from the staff at both CBC-Walsall and CBTC. CBC-Zimbabwe opened in Harare on October 3, 2011.

Although the school opened with only two students, both Keith and Ottilia were committed to seeing the school succeed. Keith was confident in his calling, and as such quit his job as a statistician. This caused no small stir in his family as they had expected him to be a successful career person. His fiancé could not accept his decision and the uncertain financial situation that accompanied Keith's choice—she walked away from their relationship.

After 15 months of pouring their hearts into two students, Keith and Ottilia decided to put an advertisement for the school in the local paper. The response was tremendous; within three Keith, stands with Andrew during his ordination ceremony in July. Carrie and Mike Pickett are in the foreground, with (L-R: Greg Mohr, Dean of Education; Gary Luecke, Director of CBC-Colorado; Daniel Amstutz, Director of the School of Worship and Healing School; George Appleton, Director CBS-Plymouth and Wendell Parr the Director of AWM World Outreach (Click to enlarge)days, CBC-Zimbabwe fielded more than 100 calls and emails from people interested in enrollment. One week later the school opened with 10 students in class, and today they are up to 106 students participating through correspondence!

This response is due, at least in part, to Andrew's recognizable presence in the region through GOD TV, TBN, and Daystar—the viewers in Zimbabwe want more of what they see on TV every day. As word continues to spread about CBC-Zimbabwe, the class sizes are sure to expand exponentially. This could be why the Lord chose a mathematician to plant the school—to turn large numbers of students to the One.

Classes meet Monday through Friday at 51 Churchill Avenue, Alexandria Park in Harare. To find out more about CBC-Zimbabwe, contact Keith via email: enquiries@cbc.awmzim.net or call 0772 486 956.

Reader Comments (16)

Wow! and next CBC-TANZANIA. We are ready and hungering!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChemo Mutani

Decisions, really determine destinies.

August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChemo Mutani

May the lord multiply his blessing on you brother for such a right decision. We also praying that
the lord may send a CBC TO RWANDA

August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMP

Thanks Keith & Ottillia for obeying God's calling!!God bless you abundantly as many lives will be transformed for good!Looking forward to meet you when we come back kumusha.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPriscilla

Glory! His Word says if we choose to be a living sacrifice and renew our minds, we will prove that good, acceptable and perfect will for us - Rom 12:1-2

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

We will not stop praying for you Keith. This is such a blessing to the nation of Zimbabwe. I believe the CBC will help building a generation that will stand on the Grace of God. I urge Keith and Otillia to open another satellite campus in Bulawayo, I know of a number of people who will be interested, several people have been asking me where they can find a Bible centered Bible School in that town.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd wekuZimbabwe

Hi Keith,

It was a pleasure to meet you at the Director's Meetings and to be at your ordination!
What a great article! You are a blessing!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Palomares

It's been a wonderful decision Keith! Just as Andrew's. May God continue to reveal His Will for you and the Government of your country through CBC-Zimbabwe, in Jesus name Amen.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSAMUEL ETUS

Thats my dream. would love to enrol yersterday

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmmanuel Ndlovu

Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. Indeed when we refuse to give in to discouragement and are focused on God, it all comes together. Praise to the Faithful God who always delivers!

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

im so excited. I have been waiting for CBC YIMBABWE . So happy i can nw have a meaning full bible college to attend.

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRuth Kamudyariwa

Yey !!!!!!! exciting !!!!! thank you Lord ,recently discovered CBC Zimbabwe in june and realy it is changing my life.

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJuliet Rundogo

Thats wonderful brother keith i hev been loking for this in Zimbabwe and am now happy that with Ottilia u doing wonders lets change the hearts of the world koz the tym is now Amen

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarveldino Brazilian

CBC is what Zimbabwe needs now!!. With people being blown by every wind of doctrine. We want a stronger foundation in the Word of God. We would like Andrew to come visit this nation it will help us.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPedro Nyamayedenga

Its a blessing to have such awesome, wonderful, loving and obeying sons of GOD for being faithful to GOD`s divine calling. Stay blessed KEITH and OTILLIA and keep on speaking and pronouncing GOD`S BLESSING UPON ZIMBABWE and beyond.... AMEN and AMEN! ! !

I enjoy the word of God & l am going to enrol. I was suprised to realise that CBC - Zimbabwe was actually opened in Harare on October 3, 2011. I thought it was only in America (my people perish for lack of knowledge kkk).

I started to know about Andrew Wommack Ministries (AMW) in 2012 when my manager at the company where l was attached for my studies gave me some of his sermons. From there l changed my approach to life. Keep up the good works Keith. Keep on spreading the word of God. CBC - Zimbabwe is a blessing to our country.

March 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRomeo Chongore

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