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Monday
Sep092013

CBC-Toronto Opens Doors

Andrew and John Elshaw watch as the Director of CBC-Toronto, Abigail Elshaw addresses the audience at the first Gospel Truth Rally held in Toronto, Canada in 2012. (Click ot enlarge)Almost twenty years ago, John and Abigail (Abi) Elshaw were newlyweds living in England. Early in their marriage, the two were part of a ministry outreach team that had been invited to Abi's high school alma mater to perform for the Christian Lunch Club. While the team waited for the student audience to gather, John and Abi looked at some books about famous Christian missionaries. John picked up a book about a man named, Sir Wilfred Grenfell. Because John’s birth name is Grenfell, he was curious about the man's story. John found that Sir Wilfred was a missionary to Canada, and his motto was, “Preach the word: Heal the sick!” John looked at Abi and said, “I think the Lord is telling me that I am related to this man, and that I The book that the Lord used to spark the call to ministry in John's life. After looking at it John prayed, "Lord, I will go anywhere, but you have to open the door." (Click to enlarge)will succeed his ministry; where he healed naturally (Sir Wilfred was a doctor) I will heal supernaturally!” The two agreed, knowing that if that were true, God would have to open the necessary doors for them. Then, John put the book back on the shelf.

Based on the peek into the Elshaw's life in the paragraph above, it would appear that their lives and marriage were beautiful and harmonious as they travelled the countryside serving the King of Kings in the United Kingdom—unfortunately, that was not always the case. In the late 1990s, John and Abi's marriage was on the rocks, and they were struggling financially.

As the couple began to feel the squeeze of their financial situation they made necessary cutbacks, and cable TV was one of the first things to go. Without cable, Abi missed the programs she was used to watching on GOD TV, so Abi's friend would recorded six John and Abi's wedding day, 1995. (Click to enlarge)hours of GOD TV on a VHS tape, and give it to her. Abi would watch the tape, and give it back to her friend to record another six hours.

One day, Abi's friend gave her the tape cued up to Andrew's Gospel Truth broadcast and asked her to let him know what she thought of the message. On the tape, Andrew's opening words were, "Do you know it’s always God’s will to heal‽” Abi, having questioned why some people in church received healing and some didn't, was hooked, and she watched the whole program. John also viewed some of the program, but he was convinced that Andrew was a stereotypical American preacher—just after money, and he wasn't interested.

After Abi watched the program, she found that Andrew's products were available for free, and she ordered his teaching series Christian Survival Kit, followed by Harnessing Your Emotions. John and Abi graduated from CBC Colorado in 2006. Here they stand with Andrew. (Click to enlarge)"God suddenly showed me that contrary to my belief, I was the problem in our marriage! I started to change and John noticed. After that, John began to listen to Andrew too. Listening to Andrew’s teaching saved our marriage," Abi said.

Eventually, the Elshaws attended one of Andrew's annual Grace and Faith Conferences in the UK. Abi came away feeling as though they were to attend Charis Bible College, but at the time John felt differently. John said, “Jesus never went to Bible school, so I’m not going."

Abi adressing the third-year class at CBC-Walsall (West Midlands) in 2010. (Click to enlarge)As the couple continued to listen to Andrew's teaching, they realized that the call to ministry they once shared had been reawakened. They knew that CBC was the stepping stone, or necessary door, they needed to prepare to walk in their calling. Although the Elshaws originally thought they would attend CBC-Walsall (now called CBC-West Midlands) the two ended up leaving the UK to study in Colorado.

John and Abi moved to the United States in 2004 and graduated from CBC's two-year program in 2006. After graduation they returned to the UK, where they completed their third-year ministry training at CBC-West Midlands. After completing the program, John and Abi took positions on staff with Andrew Wommack Ministries Europe and CBC.John speaking in Heidelberg and CBC-South Africa. (Click to enlarge)

In 2007, the Elshaws were ordained by Andrew while visiting the Colorado campus. Immediately following the ordination ceremony, David Hardesty, the General Manager and COO of Andrew Wommack Ministries, approached John and Abi and said, “We’re looking to start a work in Canada, and I can’t stop thinking about you two. Is that something you would be interested in?” The Elshaws were excited by the thought of being a part of AWM's efforts in Canada, and memories of the day back in Abi's old high school began to flood their minds.

The process and preparation for the launch of CBC-Toronto has been six years in the making, during God used AWM's GM and COO, David Hardesty, to "open the door" in Canada for John and Abi. (Click to enlarge)which time they remained under the ministry's leadership in the UK. "We worked at CBC and AWME doing a variety of different jobs. Between us, we’ve worked in most departments in the ministry: on the helpline, GTR team, Worship teams, CBC Third-Year program, Pastoral Relations UK, Production, Audio Dept., Media/Graphics, and Finances," said Abi. She went on to say that they have also had the privilege of teaching at the school in Belfast, Ireland and at the campus in South Africa.

The Elshaws have had an awesome response to the announcement of the school's opening. Abi and John left England in March of 2013, and they are on the ground in Canada now with plans in Besides being home to CBC's first campus in Canada, Toronto, Ontario, is also the home of the world's tallest building, The CN Tower. (Click to enlarge)place to open the Toronto area campus this fall. "We still had several years to wait, but in June last year, when we attended the first Canadian Gospel Truth Rally, we saw things beginning to come together and here we are!" Abi said excitedly. At this year's Gospel Truth Rally, held on July 25, 40 people requested applications, and 80 more requested more information about the school.

Getting a hold of Andrew's teaching, and the revelation of God's unconditional love and grace, has changed everything for John and Abi. They both have a deeper relationship with the Lord and their marriage is intact. "We are more in love with each other today than when we first met— I never thought we’d make it past the first 5 years. We’ve been debt free and prospering since 2004, and we have seen so many miracles happen through Christ in us. We’ve left our country twice (that’s something I would never have done before) and we feel that we are just beginning to see the fulfillment of a calling that was initiated long ago," said Abi.

For more information about CBC-Toronto visit the AWM-Canada website or contact the Elshaws via email: abi@awmc.ca.

Reader Comments (6)

I'm so blessed by John and Abi and thankful to God that He put Canada on their hearts and that CBC Toronto opened it's doors this year, Thank you Jesus!

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula John

Thank you Abi & John for listening and obeying God’s call for you start CBC Toronto. My gratitude is beyond what words could possibly express.

In the very short time I’ve been attending CBC Toronto I have experienced tribulation in my life that would have normally overwhelmed me into a state of anxiety, worry and fear. In fact, I can’t remember not feeling those emotions at varying levels over my entire lifetime. I’ve heard Andrew say that sitting under the Word of God 4 hours a day can’t help but transform you. This was my hope and sincerest desire; to get to know Him personally and have that “peace” everyone talks about.

Since attending CBC Toronto and sitting under the Word of God 4 hours a day I can joyfully declare I have that “peace”. The peace that does in fact surpass all understanding because, given the circumstances I’m living in, in the natural it should not. What a glorious freedom this has given me!!!!

Praise God!

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine Smith

I'm eternally grateful for the Andrew Wommack Ministries. When I first discovered this ministry on Christmas night 2011 on TV I was just flipping through the channels to look for something to comfort me as my husband went off to be with his family leaving me alone.
This teaching gripped me like no other as I had never heard the Nativity Story taught the way Andrew did. Then I found out that he was coming to Toronto for the first time June of 2012. I was estatic. I was able to attend the rally and then in June 2013 another visit to Toronto was a double blessing followed by the opening of CBC Toronto headed up by John and Abi Elshaw. I love them. They are an answer to prayer.
Today, John visited with my husband, Robert who has had MS for the last 14yrs and prayed with him and was well received. I know my husband has been healed and with John's prayer and encouragement I now believe that my husband has a new perspective on the fact that God wants him well. After the prayer when John asked him what he could do that he could not do before he said he had feelings in his feet. He was given the said teaching on mp3 to help build on his faith and he hopes John will come back to visit him.
Thanks again John and to Abi of CBC Toronto who not only have me as a student but now my husband who is a possible candidate. God is good. Amen.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonia

Thank you! You are all such a blessing! Paula, Katherine and Sonia - First Fruits of the Canadian School. You are World Changers!

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbi

Maybe update the page, the CN tower isn't the worlds tallest building since 2007. Burj Khalifa, Dubai is the tallest and the highest observation deck is in China in 2008. Can't really count the CN tower as a building either due to no fulltime habitable floors.

Not nit picking but accuracy does define a ministry and Toronto needs to realize it isn't the end all.

December 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjohn brooks

God bless John & Abi

January 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGary Elshaw

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