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Monday
Apr042011

Janet Maley: The Positive Fruit of Hearing

CBC graduate and founding pastor of Charis Bible Fellowship, Janet Maley standing with her husband David (right) and fellow minister Arthur Meinjtes.
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Words, good or bad, may be looked upon as seeds being planted in the hearer's or mind. These seeds eventually bear fruit in the hearer's life—positive or negative. Even people choosing carefully to listen to the goodness of the Gospel can find that there are differing degrees of goodness being presented. Such is the case for Janet Maley; she was a consistent listener of a number of well known pastors and teachers. She enjoyed receiving goodness from a handful of today's top ministers and thrived in her walk with the Lord. Then, Janet started listening to the almost-to-good-to-be-true-news that Andrew shares.

Janet's friends had given her one of Andrew's tapes in 2002, but at the time, Janet was not interested in adding a new teacher to her listening menu. This changed in 2003, Janet with some of her CBC friends, Tonya Spence, Denene Humphrey, Rebecca Ristesund. (Click to enlarge)when Janet's summer project was to paint the exterior of her home in southern Colorado. As she set out to paint, she borrowed her friend's entire audio library of Andrew's material. That summer, Janet spent ten hours a day listening to Andrew's teaching, planting the seeds of love and grace in her heart, and her life was transformed.

Among Janet's favorite teachings is Spirit, Soul & Body, particularly the second message in the series, where Andrew discusses the believer's eternal redemption. "As one who lived my life thinking that I had no real assurance of a lasting salvation, this was good news," said Janet.

A year later, Janet attended Andrew's Summer Family Bible Conference hosted by Charis Bible College (CBC) in Colorado Springs. She was so taken with her experience that she enrolled at CBC and began classes in August that summer. Janet's ordination ceremony at CBC. (Click to enlarge)The following three years at CBC equipped and prepared her for the ministry to which the Lord would call her.

As Janet began her first term at CBC, the thought entered her mind that she may one day plant a church. At the time, she was leading an adult Bible study group, and the idea of leading a congregation held some appeal, although it was truly counter to Janet's shy and introverted nature. This coupled with Janet's misimpression that the administration at CBC was against female leadership in the church, caused her to put the thoughts aside.

From time to time, Janet would hear comments from other CBC students and apprentices regarding what they perceived to be her call to pastor or lead a church, Andrew's hug of congratulations.
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but Janet would dismiss the sentiments because of her inaccurate assumption that female leadership was not acceptable. Her thoughts of starting a church continued to lay dormant, like a seed in the ground, until January of her second year as a student, at which time she took a class on church planting.

During the semester, Janet approached her instructor, and asked him if he wanted to plant a church in her hometown. He responded respectfully declined, and suggested that Janet should be the one to do it. The instructor went on to mention that a married couple he knew was sensing that their time in Colorado Springs was coming to an end and that they may be a good fit to help her launch a new church.

Janet and David stand behind visiting Christian recording artists, Wendy and Don Fransico and several members of the Charis Bible Fellowship.
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Janet and her husband, David set up a weekend for the other couple to come visit Pagosa Springs to discuss the prospect of launching a new "grace" church. Janet also contacted people she thought may be interested in being a part of the new fellowship. Unfortunately, during the week leading up to the visit, the other couple called to cancel, simply stating that they did not feel God was leading them to Pagosa Springs. As Janet made the phone calls to cancel the meeting, she heard herself explaining to the person who was to host the gathering that she could preach. "I said, 'I can preach, I've got so much inside me that I've got to share, I can preach,'" said Janet. This was an uncharacteristically bold statement for Janet, one which prompted the meeting's host to insist on holding the meeting anyway.

After the meeting, Janet felt strongly that she needed to discuss her plans with Andrew—after all, she was a woman preparing to lead a church. Janet and David with their son Thomas and grandsons Dylan and Travis.
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Contrary to her assumptions, Janet was overwhelmed by Andrew's support for her idea. Not only did he share his blessing, but he encouraged her not to be swayed by those who would despise her because of her gender. "In essence, he told me to do what God has called me to do without apology," said Janet.

Janet launched Charis Bible Fellowship in Pagosa Springs in 2006, while still attending CBC, and stepped into full-time ministry after graduation. Through Jesus, and the seeds of the goodness of God's word being planted in her heart, Janet overcame her shy and introverted nature, and began to share the unconditional love of God with the people of her new congregation. Since those early days, Janet has seen steady growth—and the positive fruit of guarding what she had chosen to hear.

Be sure to visit the Charis Bible Fellowship website for more information about Janet and the fellowship she started in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Thursday
Mar312011

Sharing God's Love in the UK

Charis Bible College instructor, Dr. Delron Shirley (left) and the eight member CBC Colorado mission team visiting the United Kingdom. They ministered in Ireland, Scotland and England. (Click to enlarge)A missionary team from Charis Bible College-Colorado (CBC-CO) recently returned from a bustling adventure to the United Kingdom, which included stops in Ireland, Scotland and England. The team was made up of eight second-year students and was led by Dr. Delron Shirley.

The first stop was in Belfast, Ireland, where the team ministered at Charis Bible College-Belfast, which is directed by CBC-CO graduates Grady and Yvonne O’Brien. The team members were given opportunities to share their testimonies, teachings and prayer ministry with the Belfast students. The Colorado team also participated in an in-home fellowship just outside the city, and in a campus ministry in the heart of Belfast.

CBC-Colorado student missionary, Lydia Schneider, teaching at CBC-England.
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When their time in Belfast came to an end, the Colorado team crossed the Irish Sea by ferry to Scotland where they were met by John and Susan Donnelly, pastors of Glen Aros Church in the town of Dumfries. The team members stayed in the homes of various host families while ministering in Scotland.

The student’s adventure with the Donnellys began with a traditional ceilidh (pronounced kay-lay), which is a social gathering complete with bagpipes, kilts, and Scottish dancing. The highlight of their evening was the meal, which was complete with haggis, a Scottish delicacy of sheep heart, liver, and lungs mixed with onions, oatmeal, and spices cooked inside the sheep’s stomach. Yum.

The first day of ministry in Dumfries took place in an open-air meeting on a downtown public street. The students were invited to stand on the park bench and share their testimonies and whatever message was on their hearts. When anyone showed interest, they were offered free literature and a prayer. The following day, the students ministered at a church during both the Sunday morning and evening services. Colorado student, Doug Bishop teaching. (Click to enlarge)Students took turns sharing a testimony or short message in the church service, and then spent time ministering individually to the people as they fellowshipped after the service. A number of individuals received healings and a woman received a dramatic deliverance from a spirit that had been tormenting her severely. One man who had been suffering from serious knee problems was totally healed and began running up and down the stairs proclaiming his healing.

At the Sunday evening church service, Colorado team member, Caroline Walton had the opportunity to minister to the large Scottish family with whom she was staying. During the conclusion of the service, as Delron invited people forward for prayer, Many witnessed the love and miraculous power of God flowing through CBC-Colorado student, Caroline Walton (right) as she ministered. (Click to enlarge) the eldest daughter of Caroline's host family indicated that her friend needed prayer but was too shy to go forward. As Caroline approached him, she remembered being told that he had not previously received Jesus. Caroline asked him if he needed to be healed, and he explained that he had chronic pain in his lower back. Caroline then asked if she could pray for him and he agreed. She proceeded to evaluate his legs and saw that one leg was shorter than the other by approximately an inch. Standing on God's word, Caroline commanded his leg to grow in the name of Jesus Christ—and it did. After prayer for his back, hips and spine, all the pain left his body.

As Caroline made her way back to her seat, she heard the Lord say, "He is ready." Caroline knew this young man was ready to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. She looked over and saw him sitting with his face in his hands. Caroline knelt down beside him and asked if he would like to make Jesus his Lord and Savior. The young man looked up with tears streaming down his face and answered, yes. "I placed my hand on his shoulder and introduced him to the God who had just healed him, and then led him in a prayer of salvation. What a wonderful way to meet the Lord, knowing what a mighty God He is,” said Caroline.

The CBC-Colorado team included Doug Bishop, Tennie Goen, Jim Schneider, Lydia Schneider, Jay & Karen Smith, Trish Sinclair, Caroline Walton and team leader Delron Shirley. (Click to enlarge)For the final leg of the journey, the students were guests of Charis Bible College-England, directed by Paul and Sue Fong Flanagan. Just as they had in Ireland, the Colorado team shared their testimonies and taught in the classes and in small groups. A highlight of the ministry in England was a communion service in which the Colorado team served the local students and then prayed with them. Many students from both campuses testified to receiving physical and emotional healings that day.

As time in the UK drew to a close, the Colorado team gathered for fellowship with a number of the local college students and staff, as well as members of the community for a home fellowship at the farm of Carol and Barrie Dupree. In that closing meeting, students offered prayer and ministry one last time. “It was beautiful to see how so many kept coming to various members of the team for prayer before we finally loaded the bus and headed back to the hotel in preparation for our departure,” said Delron.

Monday
Mar282011

The Wesley's International Journey

Charis Bible College graduates and missionaries to Nepal, Dawa and Bob Wesley. (Click to enlarge)In 1984, Bob Wesley walked away from his job as a civil engineer in Texas to answer the Lord's request that he return to his old stomping grounds in Indiana to share Jesus with some old buddies. With that first step he entered a life of missionary ministry that eventually led him to Nepal. After ten years serving the Nepali people, Bob met Dawa, a native of the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, India, who was working for a ministry in the same area of Nepal. Two years later the couple was married. Little did the Wesleys know that they would soon find themselves on an international journey.

City streets of Kathmandu, Nepal
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In 2000, the couple lived in a small town called, Kalimpong in the State of West Bengal, India. One day as Dawa was preparing lunch, Bob flipped through the television stations, and he came across Andrew's Gospel Truth program on the God TV Network. Bob watched for a short time and then asked Dawa to come and listen to what Andrew was teaching. After several minutes, Dawa said to Bob, "If you preach what he is preaching people here will kill you." Intrigued by Andrew's simple straight forward approach to teaching the Gospel, they continued to watch Andrew regularly.

Map of Nepal (Click to enlarge)Both Bob and Dawa continued to serve the Lord passionately; however, as time passed, the couple began to struggle under the weight of self-centered priorities. Their vows had united them as husband and wife, but both were driven by their commitment to their individual ministries. Each one preferred to focus on their work, and they had not continued to develop their relationship with one another or with the Lord; subsequently, their marriage began to fail.

After three years at CBC, Bob and Dawa returned to the mission field of Nepal. (Click to enlarge)After a long struggle with language and cultural barriers as well as differing levels of spiritual maturity, the Wesleys made the decision to put the work of the ministry on hold, and focus on addressing the their spiritual and marital issues. Having both gleaned a great amount of revelation from Andrew's, the couple chose to pursue relational and spiritual healing at Charis Bible College (CBC) in Colorado.

Though the three years in the United States presented their fair share of challenges for the couple, they managed to repair and rebuild their relationships at the feet of the Lord. After their time at CBC the couple was more fully equipped for life on the mission field—working together. Bob sharing the Gospel, discipling and working with the boys living on the streets. (Click to enlarge) Throughout their time in Colorado their hearts burned for the Nepali people. From the first week of classes, Dawa grew in her understanding of the love of God and she longed to share it. "I felt the love of God for the Nepali people who, like me, were dying in legalism and in bondage even after they were genuinely saved," said Dawa.

After three years, Dawa had grown accustomed to the comforts and convenience of living in the States, and her desire to leave had waned. Bob only had to remind Dawa of the call on their lives, and the couple again purposed to return to the people to which God had called both of them in Nepal.

Dawa ministers to the young women in the city. (Click to enlarge)Upon their arrival back in Nepal in 2009, the Wesleys stepped back into full-time ministry. They were struck by the harsh reality and contrast between life in America and life on the mission field. One afternoon, as Dawa approached her new office, she saw two boys on the street ahead of her. Immediately, she noticed the condition of their clothing and particularly their bare and roughly worn feet. As she watched them, she asked the Lord what He wanted her to do. "I heard the Lord reply, 'feed them,'" said Dawa. In that moment, the Wesley's ministry, Wesleys International was set in motion and they have been caring for the destitute of Nepal since.

The Wesleys have a number of programs that minister to local widows. (Click to enlarge)Bob and Dawa are dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus, equipping the saints for the work of ministry and caring for the needy. Their work is accomplished through the printing and distribution of Gospel tracts and bibles, teaching the body of Christ and caring for the impoverished. The Wesleys minister to the surrounding communities through a variety of programs, and they are bringing forth fruit as they continue to witness people being saved, healed, delivered and prospered. To learn more about Bob and Dawa's ministry to the people of Nepal and their united efforts to share Jesus, visit the Wesleys International website.