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Wednesday
Jun082011

Europe Trip 2011: Changed Hearts in Holland

One of Holland’s national treasures.
(Click to enlarge)
Only a mile from our hotel at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, we saw an old thatched windmill standing above the trees. David Hardesty and I visited and took pictures, learning that many years ago, the Dutch reclaimed land from the sea by building dykes, pumping seawater out, and using the land for farming, housing, roads, airports, cities and all other productive uses. Fully one-third of Dutch real estate is land stolen from the sea. Our hotel and meeting site were a dozen feet below sea level. The old windmill used to create the ground we walked on, had been preserved as a historical reminder.

There is a saying that goes, “God created the earth but the Dutch created Holland.” This idea contains a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing that Dutch engineers have learned to harness and control water so well. It can also lead to the kind of pride that elevates human achievement to the status reserved only for God, People at Andrew’s book table in Holland. (Click to enarge)and that kind of self sufficiency is a spiritual curse.

Indeed, we noticed that Holland appeared more industrious and prosperous than its neighbors. The countryside was manicured and groomed to look like a well-maintained park. We wondered how the message of dependency upon God—the ingredient for activating God’s life within us—would be received among these industrious folks.

Dutch people crowd the front seeking new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
(Click to enlarge)
Our meetings answered the question. The power of the Gospel operating by the Spirit, changes hearts, whether in America, UK, China, Africa, or Holland. Our crowds had already embraced Andrew’s teaching through television and books, and they came ready to receive even more. Dozens came forward to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many were released from religious bondage, experienced healings, and renewed their freedom in Christ.

Pictures courtesy of David Hardesty and John Elshaw

View the video below for a behind the scenes look at Stephen Bransford working in Holland. It was recorded by CBC Netherlands Student Kees Pos during Andrew’s visit to the country.

Filed Monday, June 6, 2011 from Amsterdam by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.

Tuesday
Jun072011

Europe Trip 2011: Amsterdam Surprise

Mark Becking with Andrew (Click to enlarge)His name is Mark Becking. A few years ago he was a successful psychologist who specialized in training leaders in Holland. After immersing himself in Andrew’s teaching, his life radically changed. As happens to so many, he felt a need to go to Charis Bible College for a complete baptism in the grace and faith teaching.

He took a huge risk, putting his practice on hold and moving his wife and daughter to Walsall, England. By the time he graduated, CBC director, Paul Flanagan and others had seen his leadership skills. Andrew addresses students of Charis Bible College Amsterdam. (Click to enlarge)They asked if he would consider returning to Holland to start an extension school.

It was a daunting idea. There was no facility, no translated teaching materials, no student body and no way to support his family while leading a school. A series of miracles and provisions accompanied his efforts, including a businessman who offered to pay his salary so that he wouldn’t have to return to his private practice.

The results are our Amsterdam surprise: Andrew enjoys informal discussion with CBC world changers in Amsterdam. (Click to enlarge)At the end of his first year, Mark leads one of the most successful Charis Bible Colleges in the extension school system. He has supervised 20,000 hours of translations of first year curriculum, he has recruited 90 full and part time students into the school, and projected enrollment is pushing him beyond the walls of his current facility for next year.

Andrew fully enjoyed the special meeting he had with the student body. The academic year has already ended and promotions have been celebrated, so not all of the students were able to return for this meeting. But those who came really impressed Andrew, Wendell Parr promises to provide the full attention of his office to the future of the Amsterdam School. (Click to enlarge)David, and Wendell with their dedication and focus on the almost-too-good-to-be-true Gospel.

“I think the quality of the leader is reflected in the quality of these students,” Andrew concluded. “Mark Becking is bearing very good fruit.”

Pictures in this post supplied by CBC Amsterdam students, Kees Pos, and Kjell Schipper.

Visit CBC-Nederland for more information about the school.

Filed Saturday, June 4, 2011 from Amsterdam by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford. 

Friday
Jun032011

Europe Trip 2011: Andrew In The Youth Zone

In a zone not his own...Andrew jumps into the craziness of the Youth Zone. (Click to enlarge)The minute Andrew walked in the room he knew he was in trouble. The place was too dark, and decorated with a hodge-podge of party lunacy. The music was pounding with too much bass for his seasoned ears. And a young man with spiky hair came rushing up to him with a clipboard and a plan for him to be on the receiving end of some good natured teasing. They call it the Youth Zone.

It was all in good fun—but you could tell that Andrew was going to be taken places he had never been before. This would be a way for the teenagers at the Grace & Faith Family Camp to feel like they had brought Andrew onto their turf.

Andrew was forced to lead praise and worship singing, Oh, Happy Day. (Click to enlarge)The idea here was to make Andrew paint the spiky-haired guy’s face while blindfolded. (Click to enlarge)Andrew proved that football in America is nothing like football in Europe. And his ever-present cowboy boots did nothing to help his aim. (Click)Here, Andrew was forced to ride piggyback on the spiky-haired guy, whose face he had just painted. (Click to enlarge)David Hardesty triumphs over Andrew in a contest to see who could quote the most scripture with the most marshmallows in his mouth. (Click to enlarge)David beat Andrew in a contest to see who could make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using only a plastic knife held in the mouth. (Click to enlarge)

Standing up under persecution: In this part of the program, it seems that Andrew had the teens in the Youth Zone on his turf. (Click to enlarge)After the fun, things turned more serious. The teens asked Andrew how they could stand up to the persecution they were suffering from their peers. Andrew shared several stories from his life, including his time in military boot camp in the 1960s, where he was made a laughing stock by the drill sergeant. In spite of it, he gave a witness for Christ to every member in his barracks. Later a race riot broke out among the soldiers within the barracks, resulting in the death of two servicemen and the hospitalization of many others—when the mob turned its attention to Andrew, the leader inexplicably protected him. Andrew was the only white man left unharmed. It seems that being a witness for Christ can have unexpected benefits even in the face of persistent persecution.

As the Grace & Faith Family Camp came to an end it was noted that 1500 had attended. Another peak crowd of more than 4,000 had followed on the live stream. Once again, lives were changed and stories of God’s transforming power were begun in the lives of many who attended. Next year the event moves to the Telford Convention Centre. Surely this location will evoke a proper solemnity to the Family Camp, and there will not be a repeat of the Youth Zone insanity. (But don’t count on it.)

For now, we’re on to CBC Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Gospel Truth Seminar.

Filed Thursday, June 2, 2011 from England by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.