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Thursday
May102012

CBC-Colorado Broke through the Wall in Berlin

This team of CBC-Colorado students had great success ministering to the people of Berlin. (Click to enlarge)A team of short-term missionaries from CBC-Colorado reaped a harvest on a recent trip to Germany. The 23 member team led by CBC Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, joined forces with their hosts Jeff and Barb Serio in Berlin. The Serios are the founders of European Initiative, a ministry whose mission is to mobilize teams of Christians and leaders A powerful time of worship held near the Brandenburg Gate. (Click to enlarge)to partner with European churches and ministries to advance God’s Kingdom.

This is the third team from Colorado to minister on the streets of Berlin in the past 18 months. While the previous two teams spent much of their time planting the seed of God's Word and ministering to seemingly skeptical crowds, the most recent team was blessed to witness hearts and lives in transformation. Not only did they see the fruit of their own ministry, but also that of previous teams' efforts. This team saw 44 Berliners and Europeans receive Christ during their outreaches, and hundreds more were engaged in one-on-one conversations.Students ministered in a variety of settings. There were many opportunities for individual conversation and prayer.
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One CBC student, Karen Buhrke, saw breakthrough in her own life while ministering to the people of Berlin. She had grown up singing in church, but when she was in her late teens she had gotten up to perform a solo and made a mistake that traumatized her. Karen had choked in front of everyone. In those moments on the platform, she made a decision never to sing a solo again. For nine years she harbored the anxiety of singing on a serious level in front of people. Nearly a decade later, she found herself standing in front of the crowds on the streets of Berlin—microphone in hand. Sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading, Karen began to hear God speaking to her. "I heard the Lord tell me 'Get the microphone and sing Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.'" All that anxiety from years ago rose up and she was terrified. As hard as it was, Karen chose to listen to the encouragement of the Lord. She stepped forward, grabbed the microphone and sang her heart out.CBC student, Karen Buhrke, overcame nine years of anxiety in Berlin and she began to sing her heart out for the Lord. (Click to enlarge)

Karen's team leaders were astounded, and most of the team members were crying. Karen said, "I felt the blood of Jesus wash all over the city, and it was at that moment that I made a decision to no longer live my life by my circumstances, but live my life by the cross. "Another student, Ashley Tomlinson, said after her trip, "I will never be the same." She shared the Gospel with two 13-year-old girls and afterwards, had the privilege of leading them in the prayer of Salvation. While that experience is a priceless one, it was more of a shock to Ashley because the two girls had never heard the name, "Jesus."

CBC student, Ashley Tomlinson, enjoyed the team's skits and dancing with the Berliners. Here the locals joined in the team in dance. (Click to enlarge)Ashley said, "It broke my heart, and was a huge wake up call to realize that there really are people in this world that have never even heard our Savior's name. I mean I have heard that, but when you encounter it, it becomes more than hearsay. It becomes reality; it's in your face and you are left with a decision on what you're going to do with it." Ashley went on to say, "I'm no longer okay with just day-to-day living when there are people around me living without Life. It's ignited a fire in me for the lost that I didn't have before...May this fire that has started in my heart fan into flames and never, ever be quenched!

Be sure to check out the video below, produced by Jeff and his team at European Initiative.

Monday
May072012

H.I.S. Table Luncheon 

Andrew, staff and students look on as native Hawaiian and CBC graduate, Niau Mora (right), and her dancing partner minister through hula during the H.I.S. Table Luncheon. (Click to enlarge)Charis Bible College in Colorado recently held a luncheon in honor of the school's international students. Andrew and Jamie were on hand to celebrate with the students and to enjoy the colorful and flavorful festivities. The event was called the H.I.S. Table Luncheon (Hello International Students) and it was the fourth of its kind to be held.

In 2009, CBC was awarded Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certification from the United States Department of Homeland Security. This certification granted CBC the ability to enroll non-immigrant students on M-1 visas. During the first year of the program, CBC was home to 14 international students. In this, its third year, CBC Student Services Assistant, Designated School Representative for SEVP, and luncheon organizer, Wendy Okamura, welcomes guests. (Click to enlarge) CBC hosted 27 SEVP students and the enrollment numbers continue to climb with 42 students expected to start classes in the fall of 2012.

SEVP students who make the decision to study at CBC in Colorado not only commit to making cultural adjustments by leaving their homelands, but they are required to provide proof that they have the finances to support themselves and their families while in America, because their visas do not permit them to be gainfully employed while in the States. It is because of these requirements and the sacrifices many students make to come to the U.S. to study the Word that CBC holds a special luncheon to honor them.

In addition to the 27 SEVP international students, CBC is also home to 14 other students from outside the country who have chosen to obtain legal immigrant status. All 41 students were honored at the luncheon and together they represented 24 nations The celebration of international diversity included students from 24 nations. (Click to enlarge)(Switzerland, Ireland, Haiti, Russia, Canada, Scotland, Poland, England, Ukraine, Guernsey, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Korea, Italy, Bahamas, Ghana, India, Mexico, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia).

According to Wendy Okamura, the event's organizer and MC, the theme for the luncheon centered around the Hawaiian word Aloha because of its multifold meaning. "The word Aloha means hello, goodbye, affection, love, peace and the breath of life," said Wendy. It was a fitting title for the celebration of international students coming to attend CBC and those leaving after graduation to go back to their homelands to share the Gospel. The celebration included worshipful hula dancing and musical worship provided by CBC graduates, staff and students from Hawaii.

Sometimes students find more than Biblical revelation at CBC. Here Andrew and Jamie celebrate two student's wedding engagement.
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During an opening performance of hula ministry, CBC graduate Niau Mora, a native of Hawaii, shared more about the definition of the word Aloha. "The word 'Alo' means, 'God's centered thinking'. He thought about man before He put us on this earth. He prepared everything for us so that we would lack absolutely nothing. Then, 'ha,' He blew the breath of life into us. We are God's center focus," said Niau.

Andrew also shared a special message at the luncheon, during which he likened the international students to, containers full of God's Word. "We have been depositing [the seed of] God's Word in you and we're expecting it to grow and change entire nations. I don't know what your thoughts were when you came here, but you are going to go out and change nations," Andrew proclaimed.

Andrew shares his thoughts and encoragement with the staff and students at the luncheon.
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Andrew went on to say, "The Lord fashioned our hearts alike, and it doesn't matter what the color of your skin is, what language you speak, what your customs are, on the inside we're all exactly the same and the Word of God is written straight for a person's heart. And, we're teaching the Word. These truths that are working in my life, will work anywhere in the world. If you will preach this in your culture, you can see every single person impacted by this. We don't need another American to go in and try to make Americans out of everybody. We need you to take these truths, put it in your culture, use your background, share the things that will reach your people, and we'll see it—just like fire—go all over the world."

From the colorful decorations to the flavorful food and conversation, there was an excitement in the room and around H.I.S Table because the potential to change the world is limitless through Christ in us.

Thursday
May032012

Sanctuary Virtual Tour: Inside the Auditorium 

Andrew's television department has recently completed the fourth and final virtual tour of The Sanctuary facility. Watch as Andrew narrates your journey through the new 2,500 seat auditorium to be built in Woodland Park, Colorado. Picture the building when it is filled with students who will one day change the world; imagine the discipleship that will take place. God is doing something amazing through Andrew and Charis Bible College and you are a big part of it.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the other three virtual tours.