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Thursday
Jun022011

Europe Trip 2011: A Special New Friend

The introduction. (Click to enlarge)If this is Sunday, then this is the day Andrew makes his annual visit to “Messy Church.” This is a special area where the small children of the Grace & Faith Family Camp are entertained and ministered to by a dedicated group of Charis Bible College students.

This series of pictures capture an encounter between Andrew and a special child. The photos were provided by Charis Bible A prayer observed. (Click to enlarge)College graduate, Joseph Djima, whose keen eye and sensitive spirit are a gift to us all.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then these three are worth thirty thousand. Enough said.

Filed Sunday, May 29, 2011 from England by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.A new friend. (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday
May312011

Europe Trip 2011: Chips or Crisps?

A lunch to make Gordon Ramsay proud.
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“Would you like crisps, Sir?”

“Uh, I uhhh… yes, thank you.”

Crisps”— that’s the word they use here in England for good old potato chips. These were real hand cooked, sea salt potato chips — er, crisps — to be exact. I was standing at a lunch counter. The sandwich was Gammon Ham with Irish mature cheddar and pickle. (I guess I’m glad they didn’t pick “immature” cheddar — but I’m not sure I would know the difference). And they put some kind of vegetable jelly spread on it instead of mustard and mayo, but that’s not a complaint. It was tasty. You know you’re not in Colorado anymore with a lunch menu like that, right?

As I boarded the flight in Denver, Chef Gordon Ramsay boarded right next to me. Maybe that’s why I’m paying attention to food and flavors today. Who wants something cooked-up in “Hell’s Kitchen?

Aaron Roach, Rory Kyle, John Maunder and Adrian Hills. (Click to enlarge)Anyway, Andrew, Jamie, their grand-daughter Rhiannon, David and Gayle Hardesty and myself (Media Manager, Stephen Bransford), have recently arrived at Stoneleigh Park where we are preparing another Grace and Faith Family Camp. It hardly seems a year has passed since we were last here.

Our European director, Will Graham, and his staff, along with Charis Bible College helpers, have put together another top notch event. Andrew and Jamie continue to express so much gratitude for the many staff and volunteers who work behind the scenes to make this happen. We just couldn’t be reaching out with the almost-too-good-to-be-true news without every one of them.

Rory with John, a representative from the Electro Voice manufacturing plant, inspect the Grace and Faith Family Camp audio setup. (Click to enlarge)Tonight and every night we will be streaming the conference live on www.awme.net, our European website. I’d like to say thank you to some “unsung Heros” who are helping to make this possible. First, Aaron Roach, our European IT director. He is assisted by John Maunder, and a new member of our team, who is a Charis Bible College UK first year student, Rory Kyle. Rory works for Sky TV, the Discovery and History Channels. He has won worldwide recognition and awards for sound design. We are so blessed that he and his wife felt lead to attend Charis Bible College. Now he lends his expertise to this event.

Filed Friday, May 27, 2011 from England by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.

Thursday
May262011

Luke Brownell: Faith Factory

Andrew with CBC graduates, Luke and Angela Brownell. Luke pastors the Faith Factory, the children's ministry at Tree of Life Church in New Braunfels, Texas.
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Luke Brownell received Christ when he was just a child, and realized at an early age that the Lord had called him to be a minister. Although he remembers a time in his late teens when Andrew was a guest speaker at his church in New Mexico, it was not until years later that Andrew's teaching truly impacted his life. Luke, now a Charis Bible College graduate, serves the body of Christ as the Pastor of the Faith Factory, the children's ministry at Tree of Life Church in New Braunfels, Texas.

Luke's high school youth pastor felt led to leave New Mexico to plant a new church in Denver, Colorado. When his pastor announced he would be leaving, Luke sensed that he would be moving to Colorado as well. He informed his pastor of his decision and joined him as part of his launch team. His pastor welcomed Luke's help, but made a life changing suggestion to him. "During the months leading up to the move, Pastor, Luke Brownell.
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my pastor emailed me, and said if I was going to be helping him in ministry, he thought it would be a good idea for me to go to Bible college," said Luke. The email included an attachment; Luke's pastor had sent Andrew's personal testimony about leaving school to pursue God's call.

Luke received the information and applied to Charis Bible College-Colorado without hesitation. In an instant, he turned his back on the future he had aligned for himself; his perceived occupation as an Emergency Medical Technician, a full scholarship to the University of New Mexico, his family and his home. Luke essentially gave up everything in his life to be a part of his youth pastor's church plant. With that end in mind Luke began attending CBC in 2000.

Several things changed over the two years Luke attended CBC. Aside from having his life and relationship with the Lord transformed by the teaching at Angela and Luke met and were married while attending CBC.
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CBC, he also met and married his wife, Angela, and his ministry leading changed. Although in his mind Luke initially believed he had moved north to be a part of his pastor's church in Denver, he began to realize that the main purpose for his journey to Colorado was to be equipped for his call to pastoral ministry. Six months after graduating from CBC, the Lord began to turn Luke's attention to Tree of Life Church in Texas. While there wasn't a specific position available, Luke and Angela felt as though this was their next step and they made the decision to move. "I actually stayed with the church [in Denver] longer than I should have because I lacked the discernment to recognize why God actually moved me up there," said Luke.

The young couple stayed in Colorado while their house was being built in central Texas. Halfway through the construction of their new home, the Luke (in red) at the Faith Factory, feeding the children big truths in small bites. (Click to enlarge)director of the children's ministry at Tree of Life, whom Luke had never met, called and offered him a paid internship position at the church, which he gladly accepted. Eventually, he was welcomed on to the staff as the full-time elementary children's pastor.

Luke has spent the past seven-and-a-half years with Tree of Life, putting into practice the lessons he learned while at CBC. He has been able to share the ideas behind the teachings that impacted him such as Spirit, Soul and Body, The True Nature of God and The Believer's Authority, with approximately one hundred children every Sunday. "We teach them big truths in small bites because if we can establish them young, I am confident they will stand strong, said Luke.

Luke (upper right) leading by example, worshiping with the children.
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It's important to Luke that the children learn that God is a healer—today; that God does not bring or allow for any reason, destruction, disaster, sickness, etc; that God is good and the devil is bad, and that God loves them and has good for them every day. Most importantly, Luke and his team of twenty-five volunteers, teach the kids how to access the finished work of grace—effortlessly by faith.

"We create an environment that kids can't resist so they'll come grow in the Word and with each other," said Luke, "I have heard parents say that their kids wake them up to go to church. I can see while I teach that they are soaking up the Word and believing God for big things."

"CBC was the first step toward God's call on my life. I believe if I had not taken that step I would not be in ministry. Andrew's teaching laid the foundation for the core beliefs I stand on today that have brought me confidence to stand and believe for big results."