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Thursday
Apr192012

“Going Deeper” in Costa Rica

CBC-Colorado students ministering in Costa Rica. (Click to enlarge)Recently, 25 Charis Bible College students from Colorado headed south to the Central American nation of Costa Rica. Led by CBC's Director of Online Education, Greg Macy, this small army of short-term missionaries was hosted by CBC-Colorado graduates, Jim and Lynn McHood of Kingdom Transitions Ministries at their 60 acre training center in La Esparanza.

While the trip offered a wide range of ministry opportunities, the students were specifically challenged by their host to, go deeper. "Go deeper in knowing Jesus. Go deeper in serving others, really listening and hearing God. Go deeper in being led and walking in the Spirit. Go deeper in building people and the Kingdom of God with pure motives and heart. Go deeper in unity, working as a team CBC student, Cathy Reeves, ministering from her own life experience to a group of ladies from a women's shelter.
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and loving others. Go deeper in the areas God is showing you," Jim encouraged.

One student, Cathy Reeves, took Jim's encouragement to heart and sought the Lord about where she was to focus her ministry. Cathy felt strongly that God was leading her to minister to abused women. She had her opportunity as the McHoods had a bus-load of ladies from a local women's shelter brought to the training center, aptly named Garden of Hope. The CBC team ministered to the women through breakfast and lunch, and during that time, Cathy could see that the women were bound by shame, hurt, guilt, sickness and hopelessness.

Knowing she was scheduled to teach between meals, Cathy had prepared a message to share with the women from the shelter, but as her turn to speak drew near, the Holy Spirit began to rearrange her plan. Sensitive to Jim's encouragement to "Go deeper," Cathy let go of her plan and embraced His. The Lord led Cathy to share As Cathy ministered, the Lord gave her a word for the women and a powerful time of individual prayer ministry followed. (Click to enlarge)a very personal healing testimony with the group—something she had not shared before. "Although I knew I was set free from a stronghold that had been in my life for 51 years, I had no idea he would want me to share such a personal message with these ladies. I obeyed, and I could tell the Holy Spirit was touching them even through my interpreter," Cathy shared.

Cathy said it had been raining all morning and that as she ministered the Lord spoke to her to tell the women that just as it was raining in front of them (the meeting was held in a cabana without sides) the Lord wanted them to know He was raining His love on them, healing and delivering them. As Cathy finished sharing the word, the rain turned to a downpour, and the place erupted into a frenzy of women crying out to God and being healed, delivered, saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. The women understood that God was there to meet them in their need. At that point, other ladies from CBC began to minister to the CBC student, Sheryl Ellis, seen here with several school children, ministered healing to a woman who had Parkinson's disease. "This was the first healing I had witnessed in someone I had prayed for—it was a wonderful feeling,"exclaimed Sheryl.women from the shelter. "There were more ladies than interpreters but the Holy Spirit knew what each one needed," said Cathy.

Later as the women were boarding the bus to head back the shelter, Cathy noticed that none of them looked the way they had when they arrived. She said they all looked younger and free. "The same enemy that kept me bound, has ladies bound in the same way, thousands of miles away! I know that the Lord loves these ladies so much that He sent me all the way to Costa Rica to deliver a message that had set me free and in turn it has set them free," said Cathy.

Monday
Apr162012

CBC-Colorado Students Encourage Believers in the UK

Charis Bible College-Colorado's team stands with Allan Bruce, Director of CBC-Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Click to enlarge)In late February, Charis Bible College's Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, and a team of eight second-year CBC-Colorado students ventured across the pond to minister in the United Kingdom. The annual trip to the UK, which includes stops in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is unlike the majority of the mission trips CBC offers. The students' primary audience for ministry in the UK is other believers, rather than the lost people of un-churched third-world nations. While the mission field is different, the impact is still powerful as this type of ministry mirrors the Apostle Paul's journeys to encourage and edify those already established in the Kingdom.CBC-Colorado and CBC-UK students in Walsall, England. (Click to enlarge)

The students had the opportunity to teach at CBC extension campuses in Walsall, England and in Belfast as well as minister at Glen Aros Church in Dumfries, Scotland. The team also participated in several evangelistic outreaches as they toured the UK.

One Colorado student, Lorin Guilkey, set his expectations for the trip on witnessing the miraculous; he wanted to see God work through him—and he did. He was standing outside the school in Belfast when a woman, who could barely walk, approached him. CBC-Colorado student, Lorin Guilkey ministers from the pulpit. Lorin wanted to God to use him and He did. (Click to enlarge)The woman hobbled across the street and asked Lorin if he could pray for healing in her back. Lorin prayed, and the woman instantly received relief from her pain.

The Lord used another CBC-Colorado student, Michael Lee, to share a word of encouragement with the students attending CBC-Belfast. Michael challenged them to begin to utilize the gifts the Lord had given each one for the benefit of the school and the body of Christ as a whole. Evidently, it was the right word at exactly the right time because several students approached Michael and others on the Colorado team, and shared that Michael Lee, ministering at CBC-Belfast, where he encouraged the Belfast students to step out in their faith and utilize their God-given gifts. (Click to enlarge) they had been struggling to know if they should step out and use their talents. The next day, a student with musical talent, got up to assist the school's director, Allan Bruce, by singing and playing the piano during praise and worship—something Allan usually did by himself. This experience was also an encouragement for Michael. "I learned that God could even use me, a middle-aged man, who had lived most of my life being self-centered, but when I truly surrendered my life and future to Christ, God was free to do amazing things through me," said Michael joyfully.CBC-Colorado students during a time of prayer ministry at Glen Aros Church in Dumfries, Scotland. (Click to enlarge)

Pastor John Donnelly, of Glen Aros Church in Scotland, offered these encouraging words of thanks to the team after their time in Scotland, "We can't quite find the words to say thank you to you and the team that have just been with us. We have been impacted as a church in a way that maybe I didn't think possible, and all of it for the good. Please do pass our love and thanks on to all of the team; they have left us with a legacy that will go on forever. As we gathered at church this morning we really felt that things had changed and that we had been strengthened and galvanized as we prepare to move on to the next level. Thank you all."

Thursday
Apr122012

CBC Grads Launch New Church in Michigan

CBC-Colorado graduates and pastors of House On The Rock Church in Michigan, Mike and Rose Gonyer. (Click to enlarge)Mike Gonyer remembers a time in the late nineties, when he made the decision to press into God’s Word to find the answers he was seeking regarding healing. For years, he had struggled with multiple health issues and doctors were unable to provide him with lasting relief. Mike’s wife, Rose, just a friend at the time, had been listening to Andrew for years and introduced Mike to Andrew's teaching. Andrew’s materials made it possible for the couple to dig into the Word and learn as much as their hungry hearts desired.

Mike listened to Andrew’s teachings, The Believer’s Authority and You've Already got It, and as a result began receiving the healing he so desperately sought. At the time, Mike and Rose both led Bible Rose, Mike and Bob Wood. Bob and his wife, Carol, are friends of the Gonyers and the owners of Alpha Metal Finishing. Bob offered the Gonyers the use of his facility's lunchroom as a place to start House On The Rock. (Click to enlarge)study groups, and as they continued to see the Word produce fruit in their lives, they began to share what they were learning with their study groups as well. “We were seeing miracles and healings regularly,” Mike said.

It wasn’t long before the Gonyers started thinking about attending Charis Bible College. At the time, Mike worked for a large pharmaceutical manufacturer in his home state of Michigan, and Rose was on staff at the church the two attended. Initially, as the couple considered attending Bible college, they planned to make their move following retirement. Soon, however, their desire to attend CBC intensified. Mike attended CBC's Men’s Advance in February 2005 and recalls Andrew ministering a series on A Place Called There. His excitement to enroll at CBC began to get the best of him, but when he brought it before the Lord in prayer, he heard, “Not yet.” Disappointed, but obedient, Mike returned to work in Michigan.

Two months later, Mike was informed that his employer was closing his facility, and he was given the option to apply for another position within the company and relocate or take a severance package. Once again, Mike and Rose prayed about their next move; they heard God Humble beginnings...Mike's first lectern, from behind which he ministered while teaching at the metal factory. (Click to enlarge)tell them to take the severance and go to school. The compensation Mike received was enough to pay for the couple’s schooling and living expenses for their three years at CBC.

Following graduation, Mike accepted a position at CBC as the director of the third year program, a program specifically for students planning to go into full-time ministry. Rose was also hired by CBC as an adjunct faculty member. The Gonyers spent the next two years teaching, pastoring and encouraging the students—positions they both very much enjoyed.

Mike and Rose now know that the time they spent on staff at CBC was excellent preparation for where the Lord was bringing them. In February, 2010, the Gonyers were on a CBC mission trip in Ireland when the Lord woke Mike in the middle of the night and said, “Get ready, you’re moving to Michigan.” Mike shared the word with Rose, and the two began to pray for God’s plan and timing.

The Gonyers started with twelve people the first night at the metal factory. The group grew and moved to a local church building where they held mid-week healing school services with 40-50 people. (Click to enlarge)In April, Mike and Rose felt led to put their Colorado home up for sale, and despite the terrible housing market, the Gonyer’s home sold in two weeks time. Still unsure where they were to go or what they were to do, the two stayed in Colorado and moved into temporary housing. “We didn’t know where the Lord wanted us to move in Michigan and we continued to seek Him until we heard, 'the Ann Arbor area,'” Rose said.

Although the Gonyers knew they were called to pastoral ministry, and they knew where they were headed, they were still not clear whether they would be assisting with an existing church or planting a new church. The two moved into an apartment in the Ann Arbor area and Mike took on a temporary job while they waited to hear from the Lord. As they waited, God faithfully and vividly presented His plan to them, and Mike and Rose understood that they were to plant a church. “We were to establish the church, build the foundation of grace After six months of meetings, the Gonyers heard the Lord tell them to start regular Sunday services. On January 15, 2012 they held their first official service at the Marriot Hotel. (Click to enlarge)within the body and reach out to a very lost and struggling world here in this area,” Mike said.

“It was during our first year at CBC that I knew we would be pastoring someday, so when Mike told me we were going to Michigan, I knew what it was to do. I never told Mike all that I knew in my heart because he needed to hear it from the Lord first. It would be the word from the Lord that would sustain him in the hard times,” said Rose.

Mike and Rose officially launched House On The Rock Church in January, and call it a privilege to pastor and care for His people. The couple loves to see the proverbial, "lights come on" when the people they minister to begin to understand God's grace, love and faithfulness. They are thrilled when they hear of the lives being changed as people are set free from religion. “The grace of God and His A full House On The Rock continues to grow and share Jesus in Michigan. (Click to enlarge)love are like a breath of fresh air in a place that religion has been dominant for so long. We are seeing such closeness in the body of believers in our church,” Rose said.

With patience and trust, Mike and Rose have been faithful to listen and obey, and as a result they are now living their destiny and changing lives. “So here we are, going step by step. We are here for the long haul and have no plan B. And, we are expecting great things because we work for the Chief Shepherd who will not fail or forsake His people,” said Mike.

House On The Rock Church meets at the Marriott of Ann Arbor, 1275 South Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Healing School meets Sundays from 9:30–10:15 and regular Sunday services begin at 10:45 a.m. For more information about the church or the Gonyer's ministry call or email 734-562-9053 or hotrockchurch@yahoo.com.