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Monday
Mar052012

CBC Students Minister in Santiago

CBC Instructor and mission team leader, Lawson Perdue (left) stands with team hosts Tim, Trena and Darren Johnson on the mission field in Santiago, Dominican Republic. (Click to enlarge)In early 2012, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent a team of students on to the mission field in the Dominican Republic. This was the second team, from the soon to graduate class of 2012, to minister in the city of Santiago. The students, led by CBC Instructor and local Colorado Springs pastor, Lawson Perdue, were hosted by CBC friends and full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at their Casa Grande Centro de Misiones Internacional mission compound.

Never short on options for outreach to their local communities, the Johnsons provided the students with many first-time opportunities to share the love of God with the people of Santiago. For one CBC student, Cindy Suess, that meant having the chance to lead Cindy Suess (left, light colored skirt and shirt) had the opportunity to lead a person to Lord while in Santiago—it was a first for both Cindy and the person to whom she ministered. (Click to enlarge) another person to receive Jesus as their Savior. Cindy said, "Prior to this trip, I had not personally led anyone to Christ. It was wonderful to be a part of the teaching and the altar call, where men and women came up to receive Christ. Wow! What an honor to participate in what God is doing!" Cindy is moved to tears when she recalls her experience.

Cindy's classmate, Joy Cousineau, learned several things during the trip; foremost was her realization that she was uncomfortable with public speaking. Over the course of the trip she did find freedom and was able to pray for the people who came forward with expectant hearts. Joy said, "Learning to pray for people, when there were not very many translators, built up my faith. At first it was intimidating not Out of her comfort zone, Joy Cousineau (right, colorful skirt) participates in open-air ministry in a local park.
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knowing how to pray exactly for what they needed, but after a few times, God revealed to me that He knows, and that is all that matters."

Although Joy found it a struggle to get up in front of people, it was evident to her by the end of the trip that the Lord was calling her to missions work. "Ever since I was in high school, I have felt like I was supposed to go onto the mission field. This trip has confirmed my love for people over seas and wanting to help them. I have also learned that evangelism might not be where God is calling me, but He is calling me to a form of missions... I am the type of person who would rather hang out in the background and help others minister to people," said Joy.CBC student, Joseph Nelson, poses with some new friends. (Click to enlarge)

Sometimes the ministry that is shared on the CBC mission trips extends beyond the expected opportunities to impact the lost souls of a particular region. Sometimes the people most deeply touched are the faithful ministers living in the areas of need. This seemed to be the case at one particular rehabilitation center the team visited. The facility primarily handles men with drug and alcohol addiction. According to CBC student, Dana Marsden, many of the center's patients were in such rough shape, they were unable be a part of the meeting. What struck Dana though, was that the pastor and his family really seemed to, in his words, "need" the team's visit. "They were so encouraged by us; it struck a chord in my heart. We could see the way the pastor was just teeming with joy that we had come; for me, that was a precious time," said Dana.

Thursday
Mar012012

The Nakkulas: Ministering Through Media

CBC graduates and CBC School of Media Coordinators, Jeff and Autumn Nakkula stand with Andrew on the set of the Gospel Truth television program.
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Jeff and Autumn Nakkula met during their first year at Charis Bible College in Colorado. Each of them had learned about Andrew and CBC from the Gospel Truth television program, and were drawn to the message of God’s unconditional love and grace. Following a prompting by the Holy Spirit, both Jeff and Autumn took a step of faith and left their homes in order to seek God's plan for their lives. Neither one could have imagined the abundance He had in store for them.

Jeff recalls a class assignment, early in the year at CBC. The class was told to pray in the spirit and listen to the Lord and write down what they thought He was speaking to them. During this activity, God showed Jeff a film strip of events that would happen in his life. Jeff and Autumn traveled in the same circle of friends while attending CBC. (Click to enlarge)Among the things Jeff saw and heard was that Autumn would become his wife. This was a challenging word for Jeff because he hadn’t enrolled at CBC to find a wife, nor did he think that Autumn would be interested in this information, so he kept it to himself.

Later in the year, Jeff heard another clear word from God. He was serving alongside friend and fellow CBC student, David Forgoston, and Jeff heard God say, “You’ll be helping this man. You’ll be a part of what he is doing.”

Autumn operating the camera on the set of Andrew's Gospel Truth television program. (Click to enlarge)Meanwhile, Autumn was hearing from God as well. During class one morning, Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford, asked for some volunteers willing to be trained with cameras to help out with CBC’s video needs. Autumn felt a strong leading to volunteer. Before long she was asked to film a praise and worship event, and as she prepared for the project Autumn heard God tell her that she would be assisting with fundraising for missionaries and ministries world-wide, through media. This word from God gave Autumn peace and purpose and she continued to learn all she could about media.

In 2007, Jeff and Autumn graduated from CBC, and Jeff recalls that there wasn’t even a hint that Autumn was interested in him. Jeff working on a dude ranch shortly after graduating from CBC. (Click to enlarge)He went to work on a dude ranch in Colorado, and Autumn stayed and worked in the television department at AWM, continuing to glean media experience.

Autumn remembers being pleased with the direction her life was going while working at AWM; she was content with her part of reaching people around the world. However, a short time later, the Lord began prompting her to pray in the spirit. Autumn found that the more she prayed in the spirit, the more she began feeling a holy dissatisfaction with her life, so she began preparing herself for change.

While talking with friends and fellow CBC graduates, missionaries, David and Judith Forgoston, David told Autumn that God had someone for her, someone who was going to love her unconditionally. When Autumn heard what David said, she knew right away that the person God had for her was Jeff. Frustrated and confused, Autumn surrendered everything to God and asked Him to lead her in the direction she should go. Within one week, Autumn knew she would soon marry Jeff Jeff and Autumn became Mr. and Mrs. Nakkula. (Click to enlarge)and also that she would be going to India to help the Forgostons.

Autumn immediately began helping David and Judith with their ministry newsletters and also began spending time with Jeff. The two built a relationship and were soon engaged to be married. After Jeff proposed at the Hungry Bear restaurant in Woodland Park, he shared with Autumn about how God had told him that she would be his wife during their first year at CBC. Autumn was overwhelmed with Jeff’s faithfulness, and Jeff was encouraged to know that he did indeed hear God’s voice.

On the streets in India.
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While the newlyweds were on their honeymoon they felt that they needed to visit India and decided to buy their tickets immediately. The reality of the mission field was a bit different than they expected. India was dirty and the two were overwhelmed with the amount trash that could be seen in heaps all over the city. It was truly a rude awakening; however, upon their return to the United States, the call to India continued to grow stronger.

Jeff and Autumn began trusting God for the finances to get back to India and it was a short time later that they had enough to buy one-way tickets. When they arrived, the Forgostons were Jeff films as Autumn interviews David Forgoston about the launch of CBC-Chennai, India. (Click to enlarge) busy setting up the CBC extension school in Chennai; Jeff and Autumn helped out where needed. One of the pieces of equipment that the Forgostons had purchased was a video camera, and Autumn decided to teach Jeff how to use it. The Nakkulas bought a computer and went to work creating a promotional video for the Forgostons. When they finished the short video, it became a hit. Partners started calling and emailing to let David and Judith know how much they appreciated actually seeing what was going on in India and their support base grew.

Many exciting changes occurred while the Nakkulas were on the mission field. (Click to enlarge)Around Christmas time the Nakkulas learned that Autumn was pregnant. Another exciting change was in the works. In addition to having a child on the way, the couple’s visa was running out, and it was time for them to return to America. Between selling their equipment and an unexpected financial gift, Jeff and Autumn were able to purchase their tickets to fly home to Colorado Springs.

Finding a job once they returned proved to be quite challenging at first, however God’s faithfulness put Jeff in the right place at the right time and he was able to find work. The job sustained them while they re-established their lives in the Springs and had their son Isaac.

Jeff, Autumn and AWM's Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford. (Click to enlarge)Shortly after their son was born, Stephen Bransford called the couple and told them about the new CBC School of Media and asked them if they would be interested in being assistant directors. Jeff and Autumn were thrilled to accept the new position and began developing the courses immediately.

The Nakkulas serve as coaches to the CBC students while training them to help ministries raise support and communicate through a variety of media. “Looking back at what God spoke to me right at the beginning of the first year of bible college, there are a couple of things from that film strip that I’ve seen come to pass already, but there is still a lot more to come. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, God opens up a new door and does amazing things,” said Jeff.

Thrilled with the initial success of the Media School, Jeff and Autumn love giving back to CBC. “I’m able to take everything I’ve learned and share it with students at Charis Bible College. It’s just amazing to see how I’m able to take the things that they’ve poured into me, and pour into them,” said Autumn of the Media School students.

For more information about the Nakkulas, be sure to watch the video below.

Monday
Feb272012

Andrew's Recent Visit to Phoenix, Arizona

Andrew indroducing the topic for the first Gospel Truth Seminar of 2012 held in Phoenix, AZ. (Click to enlarge)Andrew kicked off the 2012 Gospel Truth Seminar schedule in Phoenix, Arizona. The three-day event was well attended with more than one thousand people at each of the five sessions. Andrew taught a series called Taking the Limits Off God x 10. As he introduced the topic for the weekend, he made reference to the fact that it has been 10 years since the Lord told him he was limiting what the Lord could do in his life by thinking too small. Up until that point, Andrew's own thinking and expectation had limited what God could accomplish through him and through AWM. Andrew went on to say that the same issue, small thinking, hinders many believers today. He made the point that for most people, their problems begin right between their ears with limits they've imagined. Andrew Andrew stands before Friday night's crowd. (Click to enlarge)said that life goes the way of a person's dominant thoughts. "The answer is to take the limits off...because as you think in your heart, that's the way that your life is (Proverbs 23:7). That's tight, but it's right. That's what the Bible says," said Andrew.

As Andrew taught through the weekend, many in attendance, suffering from physical and emotional problems, were touched by the Word and responded by coming forward for prayer. As the Word produced faith in their heart, they were ready to be free from their hindrances.

Prayer ministers were in high demand as the people came forth expecting to receive, and thankfully the GTS Andrew praying during the altar call Friday night. (Click to enlarge)team was prepared for the large response. 13 Charis Bible College students, who had been trained at CBC's School of Healing in Colorado, traveled to serve on the prayer ministry team. In addition to these, eight CBC-Phoenix students and a handful of AWM partners also ministered to the crowds.

Praise reports through Saturday's meeting included numerous healings from a wide range of physical and emotional oppression. Notable among these was one woman's release from a two-decade struggle with her eyesight. After receiving prayer for freedom from glaucoma, her vision cleared. Because she could now see and read, even very small print, she insisted on writing down her own praise report for the ministers.Andrew during a session on Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

One young man, also attending the GTS, shared his story of overcoming a neurological condition and depression. Six months prior to the GTS in Phoenix, he had travelled to Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs to attend the School of Healing. He had been struggling with his neurological issues for some time, and they were preventing him from earning a living as a race car driver. After attending the School of Healing he was able to receive his healing and return to work. Praise God!

Be sure to watch the clip below to see Andrew introduce the series for the Gospel Truth Seminar held in Phoenix earlier this year.