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Monday
Oct292012

Gunar and Shirley Gerthe: Fire Starters

Gunar and Shirley Gerthe stand in front of a painting done by a church member and friend. (Click to enlarge)Charis Bible College graduates, Gunar and Shirley Gerthe, have heard the Lord's call and traded a well-established life and ministry in Texas for life on the mission field in Germany. The Gerthes, who graduated from CBC-Dallas, are the Directors of the brand new CBC extension school in Birkenfeld. Although the couple grew up, married and raised their family primarily in Texas, this journey is a homecoming of sorts for Gunar—he was born in Dessau, Germany in 1939. Gunar's family moved to America in the early 1950's when he was 13.

Gunar owned an automotive repair shop in Rockdale, Texas. (Click to enlarge)It was in the 1960's that Gunar and Shirley began their life together. In the seventies, after spending several years in Boulder, Colorado, the Gerthes, including their two sons and daughter, returned to Texas and settled in Rockdale. Gunar established his own automotive repair business and Shirley worked for Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA). As they moved through life's routines and raised their children, they built a solid foundation around family, church and work.

Since the early 80's, when Gunar was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit, he has consistently developed his The Gerthe's leap into ministry... Rockdale Outreach Center.
(Click to enlarge)
relationship with the Lord. During a personal retreat, Gunar spent several days in prayer and fasting at the water's edge of the Brazos River in Texas. Through his time with the Lord, he understood that God had called him to ministry. On his way home from the river, he began to process what the shift to ministry would entail, and he knew he would have to sell his business.

After Gunar's return, he shared with Shirley what the Lord had revealed to him, and a short time later, he met with a trusted friend and told him of his plans. Inside the youth ministry center.
(Click to enlarge)
In agreement that Gunar should sell his business, the two men went and walked Gunar's business property, praying for buyers to come forward. A few weeks later, three men approached Gunar and offered to buy the property. They paid the exact price the Lord told Gunar to ask, and the shift to full-time ministry began.

Gunar wasted no time moving on what the Lord showed him; his first mission was to start a ministry for the youth in the Rockdale community. For that, he and Shirley needed a building. Gunar visited a local Real Estate agency to see what The Gerthes saw many kids give their lives to Christ. (Click to enlarge)was available. Within ten minutes of meeting an agent, Gunar had found a building that would meet his needs for a youth center, and on top of that, he had a received a commitment from the realtor for $200 per month in support for the ministry. Rockdale Outreach Center was born.

Soon the Gerthes were hosting between 50 and 80 kids on Saturday nights, sometimes more. The facility was full every weekend, and kids were coming from all over the area. The Gerthes would see many young people come to the Lord every time they gathered.Shirley and Gunar in class as third year students in Dallas. (Click to enlarge)

While this was a fulfilling start into ministry, Gunar began to recognize a greater need. As time went by, he would see the kids who had gotten saved slip back into old habits. Gunar realized that they were making lots of converts, but not many disciples. Gunar changed his approach to reaching the community and set his sights on including the adults. In 1996, the Gerthes founded Grace Vineyard Ministries Inc., and started a church.

The Gerthes watching Andrews Gospel Truth program. (Click to enlarge)As it became evident to Gunar that the people needed to be discipled, He and Shirley came across Andrew on TV. Andrew's teaching, Spirit, Soul & Body transformed Gunar's understanding. As they continued to listen and watch Andrew, their desire to know God increased to the point that the Gerthes decided to order CBC's Correspondence Curriculum. They received the materials and opened an in-church class, where they hosted seven other students as they worked through CBC's first-year courses.

Gunar ministering to to a man while on the Gerthe's mission trip to Germany in 2011.
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After celebrating the completion of the first year, the Gerthes felt the need to go further with their studies. Although they wanted to attend CBC-Dallas, ministry obligations, travel time to Dallas and finances stood in their way. As he and Shirley considered what to do, a group of men approached Gunar, out of the blue, and said they were interested in using the Grace Vineyard Ministries' building for a heavy equipment school. The men explained that they only needed the facility weekdays, and they offered to pay all the building's utilities on top of their rent. Suddenly, the Gerthes had the provision to go to Dallas. The partnership with the heavy equipment school paid for every penny of the Gerthes time at CBC, tuition, travel and a place to stay during the week in Dallas.

Over the course of their time in Dallas, it became evident that the Lord was calling Gunar and Shirley to ministry in Germany. Nearly identical prophetic words were shared by several The Gerthes with their staff, Gaby Wiesmann, and CBC-Colorado graduate and German native Christoph Paetzoldt, von unten im treppenhaus (from the bottom of the staircase). (Click to enlarge)unrelated people, acknowledging the work to which God was calling Gunar. Their experience in Germany on their second-year mission trip further solidified their call and bolstered their desire to go. In 2011, after packing second and third year classes into one school year, Gunar and Shirley graduated. When they finished, they were more passionate about the work of the Lord than ever.

As you will see in the video below, the Gerthe's, now in their seventies, have faced significant challenges on their road to ministry in Germany, but because of their experience and faith in God, Gunar predigen (preaching) the Word in Germany. (Click to enlarge)they are running the race the Lord has set before them; they are well seasoned, and they are going to make disciples in Birkenfeld. “God is no respecter of age. Age is just a number, and right now, we don’t feel those numbers. We just feel there’s a call and a purpose, and we want to get on with it,” said Shirley with a twinkle.

What follows is a video detailing the amazing story of the Gerthe's call to rekindle fires in Germany and a documented account of the enemy's attempt to thwart God's plan for them. Be sure to watch this faith-building journey to see how our Lord empowered Shirley to save Gunar's life.

 

Thursday
Oct252012

Leveling the Land at The Sanctuary

Andrew descibing the process of leveling the land at the Sanctuary building site. (Click to enlarge)As we mentioned in an earlier post, heavy construction equipment began sculpting the landscape at Charis Bible College's new campus in Woodland Park, Colorado. Excavation at the Sanctuary property began on September 7, and two weeks later, on the third anniversary of the purchase of the property, Andrew recorded a new update, live on the jobsite.

In the video Andrew shares the progress that has been made in just two weeks of actual site work. Watch Andrew as he reports from the exact spot from which he revealed the plans for construction on the hood of his Jeep in 2010. Andrew gives viewers a picture of where the buildings will be located, and he discusses the on-campus student housing projects slated to begin at the end of the year.

Andrew unrolls the architectural drawings in 2010. (Click to enlarge) Andrew standing in the same spot as he was in the previous picture. (Click to enlarge)

Scrapers crawl through the landscape, working together to shape the land. (Click to enlarge) Andrew points to stakes marking where the second building will be errected. (Click to enlarge)

Andrew in the cab of a D9 bulldozer getting ready to move some dirt. (Click to enlarge) Andrew driving the D9 bulldozer breaking up the ground for the scrapers. (Click to enlarge)

Andrew also shares a special thank you with those who have helped support the first phase of the project, making mention that because of the generosity of the ministry's partners, AWM has been moving forward debt free.

Be sure to watch the video through to the end to see Andrew "move some dirt."

See Andrew's latest video update here.

Monday
Oct222012

Should Christians Get Involved? Part V

For many, civil government and spirituality are diametrically opposed. Often, Christians see absolutely no reason to get involved with anything having to do with politics, even to the point of not voting. Three common reasons are:

   • The Bible has nothing to say about government, so why should I care?

   • There’s nothing I can do to make a difference.

   • Jesus is coming back in my generation, so there’s no point.

In this series we have taken a closer look at each of these statements through a biblical lens, and in post four At the Very Least...Vote! we looked at the simplest way to get involved. What follows is a guide for voting.

VOTE GOD'S WORD

If the option is available, however, we must vote for godly leaders whose views match biblical principles. Instead of voting along party lines because we’ve always done it that way in the past, we must vote based on the Word of God.

For instance, we know God is opposed to abortion and homosexuality, so in order to vote biblically, we should seek candidates who also oppose abortion and homosexuality. The Bible has something to say about every issue we face. The more we study the Word, the easier it will be to identify those candidates whose views most closely align with Scripture.

Noah Webster, known as the Father of American Christian Education, advised, “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate—look to his character.”3

And Founding Father Samuel Adams warned us about taking our voting seriously: “Let each citizen remember, at the moment he is offering his vote, that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual…but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society, for which he is accountable to God and his country.”4

Our voting should not be restricted only to presidential races. Those running for president were once congressional leaders, senators, or governors. Local and state races are just as critical for the future of our country as presidential elections. Also important are elections of local judges and school boards.

No one area is a more important determinate of the future of our country than the education of our children. Let’s think about the difference between a school board filled with Bible-believing Christians and one filled with godless humanists. Which would we rather have choosing curriculum and making policies for our schools?

OUR DUTY

John Jay concisely summed up our duty as American Christians when he wrote,

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.5

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). We, the church, are the ones who will determine whether or not America will stay blessed. God will hold us accountable for what we do with the government He has given us. Our job is simple, yet essential: Pray, seek God for guidance on how to get involved, and in the meantime, vote for godly leaders.

3 Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823).

4 The Writings of Samuel Adams, Volume IV, Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1908).

5 The Life of John Jay: With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers, Volume II, William Jay (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833).

This is part five of a five part series adapted and reprinted from the article "Should Christians Get Involved?" originally printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries Gospel Truth magazine.