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Thursday
Sep082011

Zeke Wilkerson: Those With Ears

When Zeke Wilkerson was approximately three years old his parents, Kirk and Cindy, realized he was deaf in one ear. (Click to enlarge)Kirk and his wife Cindy were married in June of 1993. Kirk, a self-employed financial planner, also served as the North Carolina Project Leader for the JESUS Film Project, a video that has reached millions and continues to touch lives by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. With hearts to seek and serve Him, the couple has had, and continues to have joyous opportunities to see the Lord’s gracious hand at work in their lives.

Several years into their marriage, Kirk and Cindy had a son, Harrison. A few years later their second son, Zeke, was born, bringing more joy to their already happy home. When Zeke was around three-years-old, it was discovered that he was deaf in one ear. This was cause for concern, as Kirk and Cindy wondered what could be causing Zeke’s hearing impairment. As Kirk sought God about his little boy, he felt comforted by the words he heard Him speak. “I felt God clearly telling me that the doctors would not find anything wrong, and that He would heal Zeke,” Kirk said. Despite the opposition he encountered from some family and friends regarding his choice to believe God for his son’s healing, Kirk stood firmly on what he believed.

One day, a friend of Kirk’s told him about Andrew's Gospel Truth television program. Kirk’s friend had found him while flipping through the channels, and was struck by Andrew’s humble demeanor and clear teaching. He felt impressed to share his “findings” with Kirk.

Zeke and his teacher after receiving a class Character Award.
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Right away, Kirk was overwhelmed with the simplicity of Andrew’s teaching. He downloaded messages on to his iPod and began to listen regularly. “The teachings were so simple and right there in God’s Word! We had read those passages hundreds of times, but had never understood them with such clarity,” Kirk shared.

As Kirk received revelation from God’s Word, he realized that he had known the truth all along in his Spirit, and Andrew’s teaching helped him to clarify and solidify God’s goodness and His will for Zeke to be made whole.

Kirk’s faith was further strengthened as he listened to The Believer’s Authority, and he began to share the revelation he was receiving with Zeke, then nine years old, in a way he could understand. Then one night during bed-time prayers, after Kirk had attended the 2010 Atlanta GTS, he and Zeke prayed together. Zeke prayed, “God, if it takes two years, two weeks or two minutes, please manifest my healing. I know it’s already completed.”

The Wilkerson family 2011.
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Kirk remembers the prayer well, and the moments after it when Zeke shot up in bed, crying and exclaiming, “Dad, I can hear!”

Last November, while at his annual physical, Zeke stunned the nurse during his hearing test when she realized he could hear perfectly. She asked Zeke what had happened and he said, “My dad prayed for me.” The nurse said, “Well tell him to keep it up!” To which Zeke replied, “We don’t need to, I’m already healed!”

Today, Kirk and Cindy continue to seek and serve the Lord with grateful hearts for his goodness and mercy. In 2007, the couple adopted Lillie Mei, and in 2010 they adopted Jia Li, both from China, to complete their blessed home.

Monday
Sep052011

CBC Settles in Arizona

Andrew standing between CBC-CO graduates, Shelley and Ken Settles, the Directors of CBC-Phoenix.
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Charis Bible College graduates, Ken Settles and his wife, Shelley, have known each other since they were kids. The two can recall riding the same school bus from the time Shelley was in first grade. Much has changed since those childhood days in Washington State; the Settles have been married for thirty-five years and over the course of that time they have raised a family, moved around the country, started a business that ended in bankruptcy, worked hard to get back on their feet, and along the way they each found Jesus. Now, after three years attending CBC-Colorado, they have devoted their time and resources to sharing the Gospel Truth in Arizona, where they launched CBC-Phoenix.

The Settles sit with the first year students at CBC-Phoenix.
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Prior to receiving Jesus as his Savior, Ken lived with a just-get-through-life mentality, hiding from life in books, movies and computer games. Several brushes with death, including driving his wife and six-month-old daughter off a mountain road in Montana, brought him to the feet of the cross. With just a couple of bruises to show for the accident, Ken realized his need for something more—a Savior. Although he gave his life to the Lord, he would continue to lack relationship with Jesus.

Shelley, found the Lord at age sixteen as she was seated on the platform in a Masonic Hall. At the time she held the office of Chaplain in her girls group, the Rainbows, and after reciting the prayer at the opening of the meeting she heard the Lord say, "You pray to me, but you don't even know me." Shelley and Ken at Ken's graduation in 1974.
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Shelley can still recall the chills she felt at that moment. The next day she opened the phone book and with her eyes closed, pointed to a church on the page, and chose to attend the following Sunday. It happened to be a Baptist church, where Shelley was born again a few months later.

Although both were born again, and attended church regularly, the lack of true discipleship left them with less than God's best. Shelley remembers the first time she heard Andrew on the radio over the airwaves near Portland, Oregon. It was in the early nineties, and she was driving in her car during the hardest stretch of the Settles married life; a time when the couple was losing everything due to the failure of their business endeavors. "My first thought was, 'Who is this guy?' Andrew was saying things that the Lord had shown me in the Word decades before, things that I had dismissed thinking surely the pastor must know more than I did. Andrew's teaching was nearly opposite what I had learned in church," Shelley said.The Settles family in 1990, including their son, Joshua and daughter, Marcie.
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During these hard times Shelley began receiving Andrew's audio tapes in the mail. She would receive three free teachings a week, and the Settles would listen to them over and over again. "We ended up losing everything. I played Andrew's tapes almost 24/7 just to try to keep the torment at bay and my mind on the Word. He kept me sane," said Shelley.

The first teaching that made an impact on Shelley was The True Nature of God, and for Ken it was Spirit, Soul and Body. "Spirit, Soul and Body made sense of things that had puzzled me. Also it seemed to empower me, and showed me that things in me could change," said Ken.

In 2003, the Settles were living in Florida. It was there that they became active in a non-denominational church, and Ken began to serve as part of the praise and worship team. Both Ken and Shelley found the best jobs they had ever held. Ken serviced mobile medical units for the United States Air Force. The Settles on their CBC mission trip to St. Petersburg, Russia.
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These units were flown all over the world, especially to the Middle East. At the same time, Shelley managed the Florida division of the Jackson Hewitt Tax Services company, where she hired and supervised tax preparers working in three counties.

Shelley attended her first Summer Family Bible Conference in Colorado Springs in 2004. During the week-long conference she began to feel a pull in her spirit to attend Charis Bible College. The following year, Ken attended the summer conference with Shelley, but it wasn't until the conference in 2006, that Ken yielded to the Lord and agreed with Shelley that it was time to enroll in CBC. Ken came to realize it was God leading the couple to go to school, in part as an answer to his own prayer for a change of heart. "We signed up for CBC, went home, quit the best jobs we'd ever had, found renters and moved to Colorado to begin CBC," said Shelley.

Ken teaching (Click to enlarge)The Settles made a commitment to attend CBC for the full three year program—two years to graduate and a third-year apprenticeship. For Shelley, each year was a blessing, better than the previous. "I loved every minute of it," said Shelley. While the couple attended school they also worked for Andrew in the ministry's Phone Center.

For Shelley the idea of planting a CBC extension school was birthed in her spirit the moment she realized the other extension schools had been planted by previous CBC graduates. Ken agreed he would like to pursue planting a school as well, and the two simply believed that the opportunity would come. Ken kept the Settles' options open by saying, "Wherever you call us—thank You God."

Shelley addressing students and guests at a CBC-Phoenix event.
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During their apprenticeship year, the call to plant a school came; AWM suggested the Settles launch a school in Phoenix. The couple made the decision to spend their third-year preparing for the start up of the school in Arizona. They attended the Phoenix GTS in 2010 and introduced the plan to launch a school in the area. Later in June 2010, AWM granted approval for the school and the Settles were off and running. Doors opened and classes started in late November with seventeen full-time and eleven part-time students. The Settles are looking forward to kicking off their second academic year later this month, and are excited to be sharing the almost-too-good-to-be-true news with the students at CBC-Arizona.

Thursday
Sep012011

Inside CBC's Future Barn

A view inside the Barn, CBC's future banquet hall, facing the platform. (Click to enlarge)

Plans continue to move ahead for The Sanctuary, the future home of Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado. Andrew's design team has created new images to share his vision for the proposed facilities. The following series of images show a variety of perspectives of the building Andrew refers to as the Barn. Several of these images may be familiar to those who tuned in to Andrew's live broadcast on July 28th. The main level includes a large banquet facility and industrial kitchen, and the lower level will be home to CBC's new class rooms as well as a secondary expandable auditorium. Both the upper and lower level floor plans are visible from cutaway perspectives in the images below.

An aerial cutaway view of the main level banquet hall of the Barn (Click to enlarge) The view of the banquet hall from the stage. This configuration seats 750 people. (Click to enlarge)

Looking across the banquet hall (Click to enlarge) The proposed fireplace in the Barn (Click to enlarge)

Cutaway view of the Barn's lower level, including the CBC classrooms and an expandable auditorium. (Click to enlarge) The south facing view of Pikes Peak from the Barn's upper level. (Click to enlarge)