Andrew and Jamie Wommack have been in ministry together for more than four decades. Although Jamie travels with Andrew and shares the platform with him during Gospel Truth Seminars ministering through music and song, more often than not, she leaves the speaking to Andrew. Recently however, Jamie addressed the students at Charis Bible College, answering a number of questions the students had previously submitted. In the video below Jamie shares a portion of her own testimony, and about four-wheeling through life with Andrew and full-time ministry. Be sure to watch—you will be blessed.
In 2003, Carlynne Kotzè left the familiar surroundings of her home in South Africa, and her successful life in the secular workplace, to pursue the Lord's leading to attend Charis Bible College in the United Kingdom. Carlynne saw, first hand, the Lord's provision and faithfulness to His word as she walked through the double opened doors before her (Isaiah 45:1-3) in the UK.
After successfully completing the CBC program in Walsall, England, Carlynne returned to South Africa to launch and direct a CBC extension school. Now, two years later, Carlynne and her ministry efforts are bearing fruit; CBC-SA celebrated its first ever commencement ceremony in November of 2011 with 12 students graduating from the school in Heidelberg.
Andrew Wommack Ministries Director of World Outreach, Wendell Parr, was on hand for the graduation ceremony. Wendell oversees the expansion of the Charis Bible College ministry and the development of the extension school campuses in the United States and abroad. "It was an exciting event," Wendell said of the first graduation ceremony in South Africa.
While many aspects of her job as director of CBC-SA are fulfilling, Carlynne truly enjoys watching the process of renewal that takes place as students grab hold of the Word. She also takes pleasure in being able to watch as ministry gifts come alive in her students. "The best is to see their gifting to start to manifest. For a while, I can see what they have not yet realized— that I love!" exclaimed Carlynne.
In the mid nineteen-nineties, Marilyn Vyzourek and her husband, Paul, were living contently in Kansas. In May of 1995, however, a single conversation changed the direction of their lives forever. Friends of the Vyzourek's brought up the topic of speaking in tongues. Having come from a conservative church background, they didn't knowing much about the gift of tongues, so the couple gave Marilyn and Paul one of Andrew's teachings on the subject. This was the Vyzourek's introduction to Andrew's ministry and it marked the beginning of a new season in their walk with the Lord. After listening to the message, Marilyn and Paul were baptized in the Holy Spirit and received the gift of tongues, and by August of 1995, the Vyzoureks had relocated to Colorado Springs and enrolled in Charis Bible College.
During his first year at CBC, the Lord led Paul to bring sandwiches to the homeless and needy in the Springs. With the assistance of one of Paul's CBC instructors, Don Krow, and several fellow classmates, Paul and Marilyn steadily served the homeless community. It was out of these efforts that a food pantry ministry was birthed.
Initially the food was stored in a closet at the AWM headquarters, but in 1996, after Marilyn joined Paul as a student at CBC, the couple took a step of faith and founded Springs Rescue Mission (SRM). More than a food pantry, SRM became a parachurch ministry set up to serve and help the hungry, homeless, struggling, indigent and addicted in the Springs, by ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of each person.
The Vyzoureks graduated from CBC's two-year program, Paul in 1997, Marilyn in 1998, and Marilyn was ordained in 1999. She credits her time at CBC with helping her identify who she is in Christ and for recognizing the call on her life to minister to the forgotten and the lost. The couple also learned what unrelenting faith is all about. "It was one step at a time, without knowing what the next step was—a lot of faith in God's leading," remembered Marilyn.
Paul and Marilyn remained at SRM until 2000, when they moved to New York City and established another rescue ministry called, New York Metropolitan City Mission, part of which remains active to this day. After getting the ministry off the ground, the Vyzoureks returned to Colorado and rejoined the staff of SRM.
In 2002, the Lord led Marilyn to launch a new, non-profit rescue ministry focused on homeless women and women recently released from incarceration in Colorado Springs. Prompted by her passion for society's rejected and an unfortunate tragedy, Marilyn opened a transitional housing facility called, Liza's Place under the ministry name, Gospel Shelters for Women.
The unfortunate tragedy, which led to the naming of the facility, occurred on September 10, 2001 when 39-year-old, Liza Chavez, a woman whom Marilyn had been helping, was murdered on the streets of Colorado Springs. Liza was an alcoholic and had served time in jail for several non-violent crimes. Upon release from jail, Liza found herself without a support system, living outside, and sleeping in local parks and under bridges in the Springs. Although Liza faced an uphill battle to create a stable existence for herself, Marilyn said she was anxious to turn her life around. The night before Liza was killed she called Marilyn and said, "If you don't have a women's home for me to go to and get off of these streets, I would just as soon go to be with Jesus." Marilyn formed the shelter in response to the need for a safe, supportive home environment for women like Liza.
Gospel Shelters for Women, which now includes two rescue programs, the second one called Hope Home, provides housing and structure for the women it serves and teaches them about God's love. "At Gospel Shelters for Women we have devotions and a Bible study in the morning and a Bible study at 7pm. Many of the teachings are things that we learned at CBC. We also teach Discipleship Evangelism and many of Andrew's other teachings," said Marilyn.
While introducing the women to Jesus and equipping them spiritually is foremost on Marilyn's mind, her vision for rescue includes practical life skills and workplace training as well. As part of the program, the women learn how to take care of themselves, manage and budget their finances, and they also develop marketable business skills while working at the Gospel Shelters for Women Thrift Store.
Marilyn is many things to many people, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a business manager and a minister, but at her core she, like Jesus, is a lover of people—especially the lost. In Marilyn's own words rescue ministry is, "Ministry to the least, the last and the lost; men or women who are homeless or about to be homeless if not for your help."
"People turn their back on the poor because they do not understand them and they judge them. Most of these people have an addiction which hides the hurt and pain of the past," said Marilyn. She considers her work to be her calling and her ordination to be like a marriage vow. Marilyn works diligently to fulfill both. If you would like to know more about Marilyn's work or help support her efforts, visit the Liza's Place website.
Special Note: Marilyn's mission statement: "To help homeless and previously incarcerated women with programs of restoration through the Love of Jesus, Bible truths and self-discipline," is boldly posted, front and center on the ministry's home page. Marilyn has never hidden the ministry aspect of her efforts. Recently, however, the shelter's emphasis on sharing God's Word caused a stir in the media. In early November, Marilyn's ministry made local and national headlines, when her organization lost State and Federal funding for refusing to make the Bible study components of the programs "optional." The story even caught the eye of well-known American conservative political commentator, Glenn Beck, who not only supported Marilyn's refusal, but made a large donation to help offset the lost funding.