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Thursday
Dec022010

1000 New Bible Schools in Russia

AWM-Russia and Charis Bible Training Center directors, Mike and Carrie Pickett with their daughter. (Click to enlarge)Many have heard Andrew's series Don't Limit God, a teaching based on Psalm 78:41, through which Andrew shares how taking our limits off God allows Him to do greater things through our lives. Mike and Carrie Pickett, directors of Charis Bible Training Center (CBTC) in St. Petersburg, Russia, know that there are no limits for our God, and they are believing for huge increase over the next five years; specifically the launching of one thousand bible schools throughout Russia.

This is not a pie-in-the-sky, random goal for the Picketts; momentum toward this vision actually began building several years ago when Carrie was introduced to Pastor Svetlana Holina from Izhevsk, Russia at an annual pastor's conference in St. Petersburg. Since their introduction, CBTC has had a standing invitation to bring students to Izhevsk. The Lord led the Picketts to accept the invitation two years ago, and the timing as it turned out was divine. The area, nearly 2000 miles southeast of St. Petersburg, is home to more than 120 churches, and at the time was full of hurting people. A prominent church Bishop had been removed from his position, and the people were suffering through the associated fallout. During their mission trip the CBTC team ministered to those hurting people in Izhevsk and the surrounding villages, and successfully developed relationships with local pastors, leaders and other missionaries. Mike and Carrie also met the newly appointed leader, Pastor Vitaley, and developed a strong connection with him right away.

A map of Russia illustrating the distance between St. Petersburg and Izhevsk. (Click to enlarge)On their first visit to Izhevsk the CBTC team gave away twenty-five packets of Andrew’s teaching materials and books, translated in Russian. These teachings included Spirit Soul & Body, Identity in Christ, The Believer's Authority, Christian Philosophy, Integrity of God’s Word, and True Nature of God. The team was happy to leave the materials and considered them spiritual seeds.

A few months later at another pastor's conference, Mike and Carrie learned that the materials they had left behind were put to good use, and had begun to yield fruit within the Izhevsk church community. Pastor Svetlana showed her appreciation at the conference by greeting Carrie with an enthusiastic hug. She told Mike and Carrie that the materials were transforming lives, and that they needed more. Thankfully, the Picketts had prepared additional materials to give to Svetlana. Mike and Carrie also made arrangements for a second trip to Izhevsk with another CBTC team.

A group of 45 pastors and church leaders participated in the Leadership School.
(Click to enlarge)
During their second trip to Izhevsk in March 2010, the pastors and leaders which the team met with explained that while they were tremendously blessed by the materials, they did not know how to minister the message of grace and faith effectively. They asked the Picketts for more instruction and oversight.

Mike and Carrie sought God for wisdom on how best to equip these pastors. Over time the two were led to the conclusion that the best way to prepare them would be to teach an intense version of their CBTC Leadership School curriculum. When Carrie called and presented the idea to Pastor Svetlana, she was overjoyed. Earlier the same day, Pastor Svetlana and other church leaders held a meeting with the Bishop expressing their needs. The group had prayed together, and an hour later, Carrie called to offer the idea of the Leadership School; another divine moment.

Pastor Sergey (seated) and his church distributed 1000 copies of Andrew's Spirit, Soul & Body teaching.
(Click to enlarge)
Mike and Carrie explained that the vision for the new Leadership School is to help encourage and train the pastors, leaders and missionaries who desire to grow deeper in grace and faith. The school is focused on retraining the leaders first, and will then move on to the "how-to" of teaching grace and faith to their congregations. There will also be training on how to start, lead and operate Bible schools in their churches.

The first installment of the Leadership School took place in October 2010. Forty-five pastors attended, and the Picketts covered an extensive amount of foundational material. The pair also gave the students an assignment; prepare hour-long individual messages on Spirit, Soul and Body in time for their next meeting in February 2011. Future trips include February, May and September.

Mike and Carrie continued to hear testimonies of how lives are being transformed during their time in Izhevsk this past October. Pastor Sergey, a student of the Leadership School shared how he had been so impacted by Andrew’s Spirit, Soul and Body DVD course that he and his church decided to raise funds to reproduce Andrew's material. They raised enough money to make 1000 copies of the course, packaging and all, and they distributed them in surrounding cities and villages free of charge. They anticipate hearing great things as a result of their outreach.

Multiplication is the word that comes to mind when one considers the impact the Gospel is presently having in Russia (2 Timothy 2:2). And that is why one thousand bible colleges within the next five years is a goal within reach of our limitless God.

Monday
Nov292010

Mike Hoesch's Mountain

Mike Hoesch on San Carlos Beach in Senora, Mexico September 1999. (Click to enlarge)Back in 2000, Mike Hoesch had an itch, and though he scratched it, the itch persisted. Because he was unable to find relief, Mike examined the itchy area on his chest, and he noticed a pimple-sized sore. He dismissed it, but the itch remained.

Months passed and the sore did not go away; it began to worsen. Although Mike believed in healing, he lacked the revelation of God's unconditional love and his authority as a believer. Instead, due to twenty years of involvement with a ministry that focused on performance-based doctrine, Mike believed his healing was available, but conditional upon his efforts. He continued to suffer.

Mike was diagnosed with skin cancer. Photo September 2001 (Click to enlarge)After a year, Mike sought counsel with his pastor and explained his situation. The pastor, who also happened to be his employer, was struggling with his own physical issues. He expressed to Mike that it wasn't healing that they needed, but herbal remedies. His pastor prayed that the Lord would lead Mike to the right remedies.

The sore continued to worsen, and it began to grow. Mike's pastor suggested that he visit a doctor for a diagnosis so that they could pray more specifically when seeking the Lord for the correct herbal remedies to help his condition. Mike made an appointment with a doctor.

As Mike waited in the examining room he was slightly apprehensive, 2002 (Click to enlarge)but not fearful. The doctor entered the room in a casual friendly manner, putting Mike at ease. But almost instantly his ease turned to fear as the doctor's face revealed grave concern when he saw Mike's chest. The doctor excused himself from the room and returned with a colleague, then continued to examine Mike. Without much conversation the doctors insisted Mike was to go see a third doctor, a surgeon, 2003 (Click to enlarge)for immediate surgery—they insisted Mike be seen right away. The sense of urgency was troubling.

On his way to work from the doctor's office Mike called his wife, Caroline and shared the news that they had diagnosed his sore as being a malignant neoplasm. The term did not mean anything to the Hoesches, so Caroline looked it up on the Internet. Caroline said, "Mike, that means it is a malignant [cancerous] 2004 (Click to enlarge)skin tumor." Fear immediately gripped Mike. "All of a sudden I went from having something that was no problem, to this dreaded thing," Mike said.

Not wanting to do anything driven by fear, Mike cancelled his appointment with the surgeon, and sought counsel with his pastor. The doctor strongly advised Mike to reconsider; stressing that what Mike had was extremely serious and could spread through his entire body.

2005 (Click to enlarge)Over the next six years Mike's once pimple-sized sore metastasized to become a very large and troublesome tumor requiring cleaning and bandaging several times a day. He became increasingly weak as the tumor slowly drained the life out of him. In his weakened condition he was forced to quit his job with the ministry.

Mike purposed in his heart that he would seek the Lord and spend time in His Word. While his intentions were good, he struggled as he began to see things in the Word contrary to what he had been taught over the previous twenty years. The tumor became so large that Mike wore a modified bra to support it. Photo 2007
(Click to enlarge)
Still confused, he began confessing healing Scriptures, not out of understanding, but out of a desire to earn his healing.

In March of 2008, as Mike was wrestling with faith and his beliefs, a friend brought him Andrew's teaching series, You've Already Got It. Through Andrew's messages the Lord confirmed the things He had been showing Mike in the Word, and Mike's eyes began to open to the truth. He rejoiced as he listened to Andrew. "It just blessed me so much when I heard Andrew sharing these things. It was like, yes, yes, I've already got it!" exclaimed Mike. After Mike received revelation, he began to see his healing manifest. Photo March 2008 (Click to enlarge)"I was waiting for the Lord to intervene again on my behalf, but he had already done that in Christ. Everything that I had, every sickness, disease, or sin that I’ll ever commit or had committed—Christ bore!" Mike gained an understanding of the fullness of Jesus' atoning sacrifice and his faith was strengthened. As a result he completely let go of his tumor, switching his focus to Jesus, to receive what He had provided.

A month after his revelation, Caroline was helping Mike change the dressing when the couple realized that the tumor had decreased in size. At one time this would have surprised Mike, and sent him jumping for joy, but because of his new found steadfastness in the Word of July 2008 (Click to enlarge)God his reaction was one of calm expectancy. Through Andrew's simple expression of the truth, he had come to realize that the cancer had to leave because of what Jesus had already done for him.

Approximately five months later Mike's chest was clear. Over the course of his battle with the enemy, Mike had lost more than twenty pounds, and become very weak. As he walked out his healing his strength returned and he gradually began to regain the weight he had lost. Now, aside from a minor scar, there is no sign of his tumor.

September 2010!Mike and Caroline were so impacted by God's faithfulness to His Word, and by the clarity with which Andrew teaches the Word, that they relocated to Colorado Springs and enrolled in Charis Bible College, where they are presently first year students. "I want to be able to minister to people, that they might receive the love of God that I’ve received, and know that it’s unconditional. That is so important for us to understand," said Mike.

Watch the video below as Mike and Caroline share their Healing Journey. For a more reccent update, please check out their Healing Journeys Reunion post.

Thursday
Nov252010

From Wisconsin to Zambia

Lemuel Siame and Dave Keating, Missionary to Zambia. (Click to enlarge)Years ago, Dave Keating was given a prophetic word that there would be resurrection power in his hands and that he would see people raised from the dead. After he ended a successful corporate career in 1999, Dave and his wife wanted to go to Bible school.

He says that, instead, “the Lord brought the Bible school directly to us in Wisconsin” via CBC’s correspondence program. “Ever since then, we’ve appreciated the message of relationship with God, grace and mercy, and the practical application of the Word. It was a desire of our hearts to go to the missions field and apply that Word in a practical way.”

In 2005, the Keatings moved to Zambia as missionaries, and early one morning in 2008, they got their chance. Charity Siame, the mother of a three-and-a-half-year-old boy who lived on their property, was screaming in the backyard. Her son, Lemuel, lay facedown in the swimming pool, entangled in some ropes. They pulled the child from the water, but it looked grim. “There was no pulse, no heartbeat. His eyes had already rolled back in his head, and we think he was in the water at least five minutes,” says Dave.

The Siame family (L-R) Joy, Charity, Prince and Lemuel with Dave.
(Click to enlarge)
Instead of panicking, Dave turned to the Word. “The scripture that came to my mind immediately was Luke 5:17,” he says. “At the end of the verse, there’s a part that says the power of the Lord is present to heal. It just came to me very strongly that this child was going to be okay.”

The little boy’s father, Prince Siame, was also a born-again, Spirit-filled believer, so he and Dave began to declare that Lemuel was going to live. “We weren’t praying, ‘God, please heal him,’” explains Dave; “We just declared that the Word of God was so.”

After twenty-four minutes of praying over the child, “his body leaped off the concrete,” says Dave. “It only came up an inch or so, but his whole body responded. We had a heartbeat and a pulse.” They drove him to the local clinic, but the nurses insisted that they hire an ambulance and go to the hospital in Lusaka. “The nurses at the clinic kept saying, ‘He’s too far gone. There’s nothing we can do,’” recalls Dave. “But I told the dad, ‘This child will be okay, and don’t let them tell you anything different. They are just doing their job, but we need to do our job.’”

At the main hospital, the doctors said the boy’s body temperature was low, and they couldn’t do anything besides wrap him in a warm blanket and wait. But Dave and Prince “continued to pray and minister to his spirit, declaring that he was going to be okay,” Dave says.

They waited all day. That evening, about twelve hours after the accident, Lemuel awoke for the first time, but his speech was garbled and made
no sense.

Faith partners Dave and Prince pose with Lemuel more than one year later.
(Click to enlarge)
Dave spent the next day at the hospital, waiting and praying with the boy’s parents. He was there the third day as well, when they saw a marked change. “He sat up in bed about eight o’clock that evening, and he said clearly, ‘Dad, there’s a toy that I’d really like to have. Would you go and get it for me?’ And so Prince rushed out, got the toy, and brought it back to the hospital,” says Dave. When he returned, he also brought his laptop computer, which had on it a racing game that the little boy loved to play.

The following morning when Dave arrived, he saw a group of doctors gathered around the boy’s bed. They were excited, but he didn’t know why. “I walked up to them, and this three-and-a-half-year-old is explaining to the doctors what keys on the laptop to hit to select a race car,” says Dave, “and how to move the keys so the car would turn the corners. The doctors were just astounded, and they declared, ‘This is a miracle! We can’t believe it.’”

The doctors kept the little boy one extra day for observation and then released him. “The whole hospital was on fire, talking about the miracle that had happened,” shares Dave. “And when we took the child home, the whole city was talking about the miracle.”

Father and son more than a year after the accident and miraculous recovery.More than a year later, Lemuel is a happy, healthy five-year-old. He just finished preschool, having passed every test. “He’s a perfectly normal, ambitious, highly energetic child,” says Dave. “I believe that God has a great plan for his life. My life has certainly
been changed.”

Looking back, Dave says, “I thought I would come a little bit unglued, but I was able to stay calm. Even though everything around us showed the vital signs of death, we stood on His Word by faith. This is what God wants to do through His people, if we’re willing to apply His Word in a demonstration of authority.”

 

Reprinted from the article It's the Fruit that Counts, found in the Spring & Summer 2010 edition of Andrew's Gospel Truth magazine.