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An Unexpected Journey

For months, Karen Tinger had been trying to find a good book for studying the Old Testament. “I saw the announcement that Charis Bible College was starting online courses,” she explains, “and there was a course called Old Testament Survey, by Wendell Parr.” Karen immediately enrolled, not sure what to expect from an online course. Little did she know that she had just taken the first step of a journey that would lead her beyond her wildest dreams.

From her dining room, Karen had the opportunity to fellowship with other students from around the world. “I was fully enjoying the incredible experience of learning together with other students,” recounts Karen. “We also had a fantastic facilitator who journeyed along with us—ready to explain, encourage, and provide additional experiences or teachings to help us comprehend to our fullest potential.”

What started out as a desire to learn more about the Old Testament turned into an online, at-home source of fellowship. “And if I was away from home, I could still connect through the internet,” explains Karen. “It was so amazing to have such great fellowship with spiritually hungry believers right at my fingertips!”

One of the features of Charis Online that really captured both Karen’s heart and attention was the facilitators and their heart with each student to help foster a closer walk with the Lord. “They love to bring others into the love of Christ that they have come to know. They’re very personable and love to connect with you.”

Not only did Karen gain connections, but she also found some lasting friendships. A few years after taking her course, one of the online facilitators emailed Karen after seeing her graduate from Charis, congratulating her on her accomplishment. “I was so honored to think that one of my facilitators from three years ago not only remembered me but also still had my email address and contacted me. These facilitators genuinely take an interest in every student’s life.”

“I really had no idea the Lord had me on a specific journey,” admits Karen. “I was just enjoying the individual courses and fellowship, not really having a plan in mind.” But after finishing the first-year curriculum through the Distance Learning Program, Karen started her second year at the Charis location in Gardner, Massachusetts. “I am so thankful that Charis offers the different formats to take the courses. They truly make the learning experience convenient for anyone’s schedule. There are no excuses for not getting started!”

Just four weeks after graduation, her journey would continue as she made the move to Colorado to begin the Third Year in the Charis Business School. Today Karen is employed at Charis as the administrative assistant for the student portal, working with directors of other Charis locations, some of whom were her very own facilitators when she was enrolled in Charis Online. They were sowing seeds into her life, and now she gets to sow into theirs. “You never know where that first step is going to take you!”

Reader Comments (7)

By taking that first step she started a chain that resulted in the call that God has had on her life! Jeremiah 29:11 He knew the plans he had for her and that they were good, and would bring her to an expected end!

Praise God!

May 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEleanor Lock

Way to go Karen! What a great testimony and encouraging. Thank you very much for sharing it. Blessings to all of you and everyone reading, in Jesus' name.

May 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEsteban

I agree--CBC online is super dooper and facilitators are great! Thanks for the post Karen!

May 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave Shirvis

It is the WORD Karen! Awesome to see what it is doing in your life! You are blessing many!

What an awesome testimony Karen! And the journey has only begun with sharing and spreading His Word! Keep listening to His still, quiet voice as He guides you in reaching and teaching many about His tremendous Love!

May 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia Nepley

Thank you! This article blessed me to tears, literally. At 65 I have been praying for guidance to finally have a spiritual goal for finding a road to travel for the Lord. Karen's story gives me hope and purpose and my goal to have like_minded, Godly connections now see!s possible. We have not been able to find a Good bible following, believing church, so I now have another portal. Thank you for sharing Karen, maybe I'll get to thank you in person one day soon.

May 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne Ottewell

This story God has placed in my heart and I want so bad to go in the direction God's will wants me.....I really need your prayers for my mind to be cleared from all the influences around me....I have a lot of healing to do and am finding it hard to do so in my current situation....I pray God send me an Angel with good intentions to guide my voice and hand to serve him in the direction which leads to my destiny.....Something Andrew said today on TV that spoke to me was his dislike of inflated egos and stuck up attitudes....that is words are pretty but my hands are not as they like to get dirty....I don't want to be just a voice of pretty words for that does nothing to heal my pain....and I need healing inside of me today....God's love is in me and needs to give, my hands need to help build a foundation to heal the hurt that is seen as emotions are restless...they need an escape.....please pray God to give me a hand to lead my way for at the end of the will be hard work in the right direction that calms my ways....a fire burns in me you see....let it be a fire for God's will for these things I pray....Amen

June 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTammy Reedy

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