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Thursday
Mar072013

Choosing Life in Santiago

These Charis Bible College second-year students ministered in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.The first CBC-Colorado mission team to leave the country in 2013 went to the fertile ground of the Dominican Republic to share the love of Jesus. They were hosted by ministry friends and full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at their mission compound in Santiago. The hug of a lifetime. CBC student, Jim Holmes, bear-hugging some local children with the Father's love.
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Using the compound as a hub for their outreach activity, the students were given the opportunity to minister the Gospel in a number of ways throughout the city. The team held meetings, visited schools and prisons, and ministered through street outreaches, performing skits, canvassing neighborhoods and distributing food. Their efforts yielded fruit in God's harvest.

One CBC student, Dennison Strong, spent his time in Santiago acutely aware of the Lord's voice (John 10:27) and he shared the words he heard, as the Lord led him to speak. The CBC team was the first group of missionaries ever to enter this school. It was here that souls and lives were saved. (Click to enlarge)During one outreach, held in a school that had not previously allowed missionaries in to minister, Dennison heard a specific word from the Lord. Concerned because the service was winding down, and most of the ministry had already taken place, he wondered how to present what he had heard to the hundreds of students in attendance. Dennison kept hearing, "There's a girl here who is going to commit suicide. She doesn't like herself. She's ashamed of what her life has been like. She feels dirty and has been abused."

"I knew it was the Lord speaking, but didn't know how to find her," said Dennison. Dennison and Ismaria, the young lady saved from suicide because Dennison stepped out in faith, and let her know of God's specific love for her. (Click to enlarge)He approached one of the team's interpreters and asked him to make this word of knowledge known in Spanish over the PA system. After the word was shared, a teacher, who was talking with a girl at the side of the platform, sent the girl over to Dennison to receive prayer. "After praying for deliverance in her life from the lies she'd believed, the Lord gave me more words to encourage her. She is a different person now and was glowing with God's love and mercy in her life. I love how God knows who's hurting and orchestrates His provision," said Dennison.

Another student, Rena Keener, shared an encounter of her own. During an outreach in a public park, Rena noticed a young man resting on the fringes of the ministry area. He was noticeably downcast and had several visible injuries. He had casts on his left leg and his left hand, with screws and stabilizing pins sticking out of both. Rena watched Rena (center of skit) noticed Davor while performing in one of the groups dramas. (Click to enlarge)the young man draw closer as the team ministered. After the presentation, Rena and classmate, Gary Laxson, approached him. His name was Davor; he was an 18 year old Haitian refugee. After being asked about his injuries, Davor expressed that his hand was in severe pain. Rena and Gary laid hands on Davor's hand and commanded the pain to leave. When asked if his hand was pain free, Davor said it was better, but it still hurt.

As their ministry to Davor continued, Rena asked if he had ever received Jesus as his Savior. He said no, but expressed that he wanted to receive Him. With the help of their interpreter, Rena and Gary walked Davor through the prayer of Davor (circled in red) sitting on the curb where Rena first noticed him. (Click to enlarge)salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Davor's countenance had changed since she first spotted him, and a big smile began to spread across his face. Rena said, "He was very excited. Then he looked at me, touched his hand and yelled 'C'est bien! C'est bien!' which is French for 'It's Good! It's Good!' We had the interpreter verify that all the pain in his hand was now completely gone!"

According to CBC student, Diane Coble, one of the team's interpreters tearfully expressed that she knew the team was sent by God, because the CBC team introduced the Holy Spirit during the Salvation message. "I was so blessed to be able to take what I've received at CBC and share it with others," said Diane.

Monday
Mar042013

Laying Hands in a Hands-On Profession

Dr. David Riffel and his family. (L-R) The Riffel's son, Kirk and his wife Shelley; their two daughters, Danielle and Lauren; daughter-in-law, Rhonda and her husband, the Riffel's son, Craig, and their two children, Emily and Stephen; Marian and David. (Click to enlarge)What happens when a Christian doctor, a man who practices a hands-on form of healthcare, gets a revelation of the power of the laying on of hands and of his authority in Christ? Miracles happen. Meet Doctor David Riffel, a practicing Chiropractor from Michigan, who has gotten a hold of Andrew's teachings and they have radically changed his life, work and ministry.

David and his wife of 45 years, Marian, have been spirit-filled believers for four decades. The couple had watched Andrew's television program periodically for a couple of years, but it wasn't until a longtime friend, Angie Abraham, who had been healed of cancer, suggested they read Andrew's books, that they really got a hold of the Gospel Truth.

The Riffel's friend, Colleen Morabito, had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the lungs and spine. This photo was taken between PET scans. (Click to enlarge)Just before the Christmas holiday in 2011, David read God Wants You Well, and he said that the information rocked his world. Between his formal medical education and having attended a church that taught about healing, David was familiar with the subject prior to reading the book. This made receiving the revelation of the availability of healing, through prayer and faith in Christ's finished work, a short leap of faith. "What I read in God Wants You Well told me that we have the power and authority to command sickness to leave and to release the power of God to heal others. This was something I had read in Scripture before, but I never saw it modeled in the dramatic ways that Andrew explained with certainty, and so I never believed that I had reason to expect dramatic results and that miracles could be a normal part of the Christian life."

As David began to get a hold of the revelation unveiled in Andrew's books, he also began to step out in faith and put into practice the things he saw in Scripture. David saw that Jesus told the disciples to, 'speak to the mountain,' but he had never understood that to be After David began to see results as he ministered to others, his pastor asked him to teach a class on healing at their church. (Click to enlarge)applicable to disease. After reading God Wants You Well, he had understanding and started to address people's ailments by their root causes. He has spoken to various mountains including kidney stones, Alzheimer's and cancer and seen some dramatic results.

The Riffels have a friend, Colleen, who had been diagnosed with stage four cancer of the lungs and spine around the same time they had read God Wants You Well. When the Riffels found out about the diagnosis, they gave Colleen's husband, Paul, a copy of the book to give to Colleen. In March of 2012, they invited Paul and Colleen and their longtime friend Angie and her husband Eldon to their home. Together they ministered to Paul and Colleen Colleen and David. Here, Colleen shares here testimony of healing in front of David's healing class at their church. (Click to enlarge)regarding God’s will to heal. The couples prayed and commanded cancer to leave Colleen's body, and they released the life of Christ into her to heal the damage done by the cancer.

Two weeks later the Riffels saw Colleen at church, and she looked radiant for a woman battling cancer. Two months after they prayed for Colleen, she had a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan which showed that all of the nodules in one lung had gone and that the tumors in the other had shrunk by 50%. Two more months passed, and another PET scan showed that one tumor was completely gone, and the second one had shrunk by 90%. The doctor explained that what was left was, “just a dot,” and according to Colleen the doctor said, “I’m ecstatic!” All the families involved are ecstatic as well, and David is standing with Colleen that her David and his friends, brothers, Dave and Dan Zink standing next to David's plane. David's revelation of his authority in Christ hasn't been limited to spirit and body, but he has spoken to weather conditions while flying and seen the weather change. (Click to enlarge)full healing will manifest as she and Paul continue to stand on God's Word.

The reality of God's power being available and flowing through believers has changed David's approach to healing and has opened up opportunities for him to share the good news with others in new ways. Since reading God Wants You Well, David has given away more than 200 copies of the book to relatives, friends and patients visiting his practice. This has not only produced healing, but has also yielded many salvations. And, after witnessing the fruit of David's ministry to people in their church, his pastor asked him to teach a series on his revelation.

This screenshot from the cockpit satellite weather display shows the weather parting after David spoke to the storm as he and his son flew to Colorado Springs. (Click to enlarge)It has become a daily occurrence for David to pray for a patient or friend and to see results, either on the spot or progressively—both undeniably credited to God's healing power. He has seen kidneys healed, barren wombs retain pregnancy, and even seen weather patterns change after taking authority over them. "We have gained so much understanding of the Word by reading Andrew’s books (we have about every book he has written) and the revelations God has given me in the Word are amazing," said David with joyful satisfaction in the Lord.

Thursday
Feb282013

John Essy Launches New Church

CBC graduate, John Essy, pastor of Charis Church in State College, Pennsylvania. (Click to enlarge)Two years ago we introduced readers to John Essy, in an article titled God Rocked My World. John is a Charis Bible College graduate, and he is the founder of John Essy Ministries (JEM) located in State College, Pennsylvania. At the time of our first article about John, JEM was a para-church organization, but for the past 12 months John's ministry focus has shifted and he now leads a gathering of believers called, Charis Church. While the perception of his ministry has changed, his focus and role have not; he ministers the Word, prays and shares God's merciful love and grace with the people of State College.

John during a pre-service time of sharing personal testimonies and answering questions. (Click to enlarge)When John and his wife Leslie left Colorado to step into ministry in the Keystone State, planting and pastoring a church was the last thing on John's mind. However, as the years went by, he sensed the Lord refocusing the direction of his ministry. John first began to entertain thoughts of starting a church at the end of 2011, but he was reluctant to make the change and dismissed the idea, blaming it on his imagination. The prompting to plant a church not only remained, but it continued to grow. John finally acknowledged that the idea may be the Lord's. Conscious of his commitment to do whatever God asked of him, John said, "Okay Lord, I think this is you. I will start a church if that is what you want me to do."

Charis Church's new location in the Hope for Kids building, 1400 Fox Hill Rd, State College, PA 16803.
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Three days later a close friend of John's, who operates proficiently in the prophetic, approached him and said, “The Lord told me to tell you that it is time for you to start a church.” At that point, John said it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that he should move forward and start a church.

In February of 2012, John launched Charis Church in State College. In the early going, John ministered to a small, but steady crowd of 15 regular attendees. By early autumn the church was meeting in a hotel conference room, and the base of regular attendees had doubled. Growth continued and at the end of 2012, a Christian business woman recognized John's need for more space and offered the use of a large multipurpose room in her business complex. John's wife, Leslie, and daughter, Rachel, serving as part of the Charis' tech team. (Click to enlarge)At the beginning of 2013, John and Charis Church moved into the new space. Charis' new facility can accommodate 200 people.

Many of those in John's congregation are people who had previously stopped attending church for one reason or another. Often these people are the ones John sees break free from the bondage of religion when they receive the true Gospel of grace. He views the ones who find the freedom, as those who will be leaders in the church. "My vision is to establish these leaders in the grace message, for the next year or so, and then send them out to do the work of the ministry in the heart of our city," John said.

John's services are casual, relaxed and focused on the Word. (Click to enlarge)Most of his congregation loves the grace message, and John can see them growing by leaps and bounds in their relationships with the Lord, but John is also aware of some resistance in those new to grace. John said, "The true Gospel of grace, preached in its purest form, can be offensive to anyone who has even a little religion in them. For instance, I recently preached that sin does not stop the power of God from moving in a person’s life, no matter how big the sin—even adultery. I said that people can get healed even if they are having an adulterous relationship. You preach a message like that and you will have resistance. But like it or not, that’s the Gospel."

Although in appearance, John's ministry has taken on a new face, that of a church, his job description hasn't changed much in the crossover. He considers the shift an expansion of ministry he was already doing, only now he focuses on teaching in one location. The church posts most of John's Sunday messages on their website, so in essence, he is still bringing the Word to all who will listen, he's simply traveling via the internet.