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Monday
Mar262012

CBC Colorado Students Minister in Belize

CBC team leader, Dr. Delron Shirley (left), stands with Craig Rumbley, Director of CBC-Belize, as they minister to a local man dressed in aboriginal tribal array. The man makes a living having his picture taken with tourists. (Click to enlarge)In February, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent its fifth team of second-year students on to the mission field. This team, led by CBC Instructors and missionaries, Dr. Delron and Peggy Shirley, went to Belize and were hosted by full-time missionaries, Craig and Tina Rumbley, the Co-Directors of CBC-Belize. During the week, the Rumbleys provided the students with many opportunities to experience hands-on ministry. Regardless of the type of outreach, the students had many unique chances to share God's unconditional love with the people of Belize.

The team spent one morning walking through the city distributing free sandwiches and ministering to the homeless in the alleyways and in the city park. While ministering in the park, the team encountered an elderly man named, Gilbert; he was sitting on a tree stump. He had spent much of his adult life in the United States, but had come back to his native Belize in his retirement years. Through a series of events Gilbert had wound up alone. When the students met him, they asked how he was doing. His response was, “Well, I’m not doing as well as you are.” Jeanne praying for and laying hands on the sick.
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During the conversation that followed, Gilbert mentioned that he was trying to stop smoking but just couldn’t kick the habit. One of the students, Jeanne DuBoise, asked if he was born again, and Gilbert responded that he was and told the team which church he attended. Knowing that it was a Bible-believing, evangelical church, they knew that Gilbert understood what they were sharing with him. Then Jeanne asked him if he had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and he responded that he had not. She explained some of the Scriptures about the Holy Spirit baptism and then asked him to join her in singing a worship song. As Jeanne sang, she shifted into worshipping in the spirit—in unknown tongues. Immediately, Gilbert was also speaking in a heavenly language! When the team walked away to minister to others, they were confident that Gilbert was now free from the power that had held him and that he now had a new source of victory.CBC-Colorado student, Marcelo Duarte, speaking in front of a group at a prison in Belize. (Click to enlarge)

During a hospital visitation the team went to various wards and had many opportunities to minister to patients and their families. As they ministered, they shared the message of the completeness of Jesus' work; salvation, healing and the message of deliverance from fear that often attacks those suffering. As the team prayed, they saw new hope and peace manifest on all the people's faces. Some patients showed visible signs of healing in their bodies. "One gentleman, for example, was unconscious—almost comatose—as we began ministering to him and his family. However, as we moved to the next bed to minister to another patient, we heard some excitement around his bed and looked back to see the patient talking and CBC-Colorado's Belize 2012 mission team. (Click to enlarge)laughing with his family," said Delron.

CBC-Colorado student, Marcelo Duarte, had this to share as he reflected on his time in Belize, "God was faithful in confirming all that He had spoken in our lives (Marcelo and his wife Sandra). We were able to minister on different occasions and in different settings and were blessed to see the signs and miracles follow the Word proclaimed. Thank you Jesus."

Thursday
Mar222012

CBC Poland: Retirement Pleasantly Interrupted

Charis Bible College-Colorado graduates and Co-Directors of CBC-Poland, Ewa and Joseph Sederstrom. (Click to enlarge)After decades working in corporate America, husband and wife, Joseph and Ewa Sederstrom, did what most hope to do at the end of their careers—they retired. Both had worked at Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies in Colorado Springs, when they made the decision to trade in their corporate hats and lean into the next season. The Sederstroms were comfortable, and as they settled in to life in the slower lane, they were unaware of changes ahead of them.

Both Joseph and Ewa were born again and had been walking with the Lord for more than ten years when they retired. The couple loved God and faithfully attended church services and small groups, but there was unrest in their spirits. The unrest was magnified as they entered retirement. "We had been Andrew with Joseph.
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Christians for approximately 13 years, and we knew that there should be more to our lives. We were not seeing much difference between non-believers' lives and most believers around us," said Joseph.

The couple recognized that they weren't experiencing any excitement in their Christian walk. Looking back, Joseph said what they saw was, "Mostly legalism and just waiting to go home." But, in 2007, their ho-hum Christian walk was energized when Ewa found Andrew's Gospel Truth program on television. She was working out on her treadmill when she heard Andrew teaching about the authority of the believer and that was the jolt she needed. "We had found the 'extra' that we knew was available to every believer. God wanted more for us, and we wanted more of what God wanted for us," said Ewa.

In March of 2007, the Sederstroms were watching the Gospel Truth when God interrupted their retirement Andrew with Ewa
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through the voice of Andrew's TV announcer as he promoted Charis Bible College's Campus Days, an event during which prospective students visit CBC and attend actual classes to get a taste of what the school has to offer. On a whim, they decided to hop in the car and make the 20 minute drive into town to explore CBC. "We got there at about 10 a.m., in time for the third period class, and at Noon we were talking about attending CBC in the fall," said Joseph.

Their spirits had been persuaded to attend Charis, but later the same afternoon, the Sederstroms began to doubt the idea of actually going through with enrollment. Joseph remembers saying, "How stupid—us going to Bible college? What a dumb idea!" Still unsure, the couple went to the evening session. Again, they came away excited to go to CBC, and planned to attend the final Campus Days session the following morning. The next day however, Joseph's doubt had returned for the second time. Fortunately, Joseph and Ewa had agreed to meet friends at the morning session, so they In the Planning stages: The Sederstoms meeting with Andrew and AWM's World Outreach Director, Wendell Parr.
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pressed ahead with their plans. "Again, after the teaching, we were pumped! Then I remembered Andrew saying, 'The devil always overplays his hand.' And, I knew that our negativism and doubt was from the enemy," said Joseph.

The Sederstroms went on to graduate with the class of 2009. During their time at CBC, Joseph and Ewa received the Lord's direction to plant a CBC extension school in Poland. The two have special ties to the nation and received the call with gladness. Joseph's fondness for Poland was instilled in him by his Polish grandmother who immigrated to the USA before WWI, and his mother kept the traditions and connection to his Polish heritage alive in their home. Although Ewa has lived in the U.S. since 1975, her ties to Poland are deep; she was The Sederstroms have chosen to launch CBC-Poland in the central part of the country, in the city of Łódż.
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born and raised in Łódż, (pronounced: woodge) Poland. Through the years the Sederstroms have stayed connected with family and friends and visited Poland many times.

The couple attended CBC's optional third year as apprentices, spending their time developing plans for their ministry in Poland and preparing for the relocation. They moved to Łódż in September of 2010 to establish their new residence and organizational status. Their ministry, Sozo Life Ministries and the new school, CBC-Poland are now recognized under the law in Poland as a legitimate religious organizations, and the Sederstroms are free to minister legally.

Since their arrival, the Sederstroms have also been building relationships with pastors and churches throughout Poland. Joseph and Ewa have Ewa ministering to a group.
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introduced the Discipleship Evangelism materials in a small-group setting in their home and in a larger class setting at their church. Several pastors from other local churches are using the Polish-translated DE materials as well.

"This is a country that is traditionally Roman Catholic. Protestants are a small percentage of the population, probably less than 1%, but we are not here to convert people. We are here to open a Bible college and teach the Word of God to anyone with ears to hear. Period," said Joseph.

When asked to compare retired life before God's interruption to their current adventure, the Sederstroms The Sederstroms with local pastors and church leaders in Krakow, Poland.
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had this to say, "There is no comparison. Every day is exciting. We wake up anticipating what the Lord will show us and do that day. Every day begins with Kawa i Słowo (pronounced kah-vah ee swoh-vo, "coffee and the Word") for around two hours. Then, whatever we have to do. It is never boring and always amazing [to see] who the Lord has put in our place to continue what we need to do to get the school started in September 2012."

Monday
Mar192012

How HE Loves Each of Us

In early 2012, CBC-Colorado sent a student missionary team to Russia. CBC students Shirley, Rheta, Gideon Collin and Dan pose for a living "Last Supper" portrait at the Koralia Church.
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One visit to the mission field, short term or long, has a tendency to change a person. The experience often exposes an individual to facets of God's love and aspects of ministry that they would otherwise never encounter. Through Charis Bible College's missions program, many students have had the opportunity to see the world and God's people from a new perspective. This was the case for CBC student, Sharayah Stitt; her trip to Russia with a team from CBC-Colorado solidified a direction for her future.

The team led by CBC-Colorado's Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, visited St. Petersburg in January and ministered alongside staff and students from Charis Bible CBC-Colorado students, Sharayah, Alex and Steve, enjoyed their time ministering at Charis Bible Training Center in St. Petersburg.
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Training Center. The Colorado students had the chance to minister in the CBC extension school as well as at a local rehab center and small village church several hours outside St. Petersburg. It was at this village church that Sharayah encountered the Lord in a new way.

At the church, the students gathered in groups of three in front of the platform for a time of prayer ministry. A young girl named, Galya, was brought to Sharayah's group. It was evident by her lack of eye contact that Galya was very shy and timid. Through the translator Sharayah understood that the girl, about 17, was recently orphaned, and now found herself living on her own and caring for a younger sister. While they did have a home Carrie Pickett, the Director of CBTC in St. Petersburg (center) stands on the platform of a small village church with the team's interpreter and CBC Colorado's team leader, Michelle Patterson (right). (Click to enlarge)and a small pension from their father's passing, it was clear that Galya's heart was broken and she needed love.

"After praying, I asked our interpreter to tell Galya that she was pretty and reminded me of one of my friends. She looked up nearly astonished, for the first time making eye contact, then smiled ever so slightly and threw her arms around me in the most desperate hug I have ever experienced," Sharayah said.

The two embraced for several minutes and for the next half hour, stood with their arms around each other, listening to another CBC team member minister on God’s love. From those first moments, Sharayah and Galya were inseparable. If they were standing, they were hugging; if they were sitting they had their arms around each other. It did not matter that neither spoke the other's language—God’s During the course of the mission trip, Sharayah (right), gained a glimpse of God's love for each of us. Here she sits with her new friend, Galya.
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love bridges any language barrier.

"She had obviously not been shown much love growing up, and I believe God specifically sent me to Russia to spend time with her, love on her, embrace her, and show her the tangible side of God’s love," Sharayah said.

When the group was departing, Galya found an interpreter to share her thoughts with Sharayah. Galya told Sharayah that she loved her. During the emotional moments that followed, they shared one last embrace, and Sharayah said she loved her too.

Sharayah spent the ride home meditating on her experience. She said, "He sent one person around the Sharayah, caught a glimpse of God's love for each of us, and it was overwhelming. (Click to enlarge)world just to show one of His children that He loves them. God filled me with a taste of the love He has for everyone. I was overwhelmed by even that small fraction; unable to fully comprehend the capacity of love God has for us and wants us to show others."

For Sharayah Russia was a life-changing, life-directing experience. She has seen how much God desires for others to know His love, and He revealed to her that He has gifted her and called her to be a missionary— to spread His love to others abroad.