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Monday
Jul112011

CBC-Colorado Plants Seeds in Germany

Charis Bible College students performing a Jesus-centered drama in downtown Berlin, on a recent mission trip. (Click to enlarge)In recent weeks we have posted several articles about the overseas endeavors of Charis Bible College mission teams. These reports are full of testimonies of the signs and wonders that flow freely when the seed of the Word is preached in materially impoverished nations. But what happens when the CBC teams go to more prosperous nations and cities like Berlin, Germany?

For the second time in April, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent a missionary team to the capital city of Germany. Their mission was to evangelize Berlin and to share the unconditional love and grace of God with a culture in spiritual need. The nineteen member team, led by CBC Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, worked with representatives from several Many spectators gathered to watch the performances—lots of seeds were planted. (Click to enlarge)Germany-based ministries including the team's hosts, European Initiative.

Jeff Serio, co-founder of European Initiative, took the students many places across the city to give them a feel for the culture and spiritual climate of Berlin, a city where only one percent of the 3.4 million people claims to be Christian. His tour helped the team gain an understanding of the mindset of the city and generated within the students a Christ-like compassion for its people.

The team fervently ministered in the streets and public squares throughout Berlin, sharing the Gospel through open-air performances of Jesus-centered dramas, music ministry and one-on-one discussion and prayer. The students used every moment and opportunity, whether on the street, in a local church Berlin's Maury Park, where thousands of teens and young adults gather each weekend to drink and entertain each other. (Click to enlarge)or traveling by train, to minister to the people with whom they made contact.

As they shared the gospel of Christ, many on the team were astonished by the number of people who had never heard of Jesus. Michelle shed tears over the people in Berlin saying, "Their spiritual poverty is greater than the material poverty in the third world countries." CBC student, Abby Feldhacker, echoed Michelle's sentiments and said, "Even though Berlin may not be in poverty like some third world countries, their spiritual poverty was heartbreaking."

While the overall sentiment was one of heartbreak, the team members did plant seeds and were encouraged by the few who listened to what they were saying. The team sang spontaneously around the city and on the trains. Some Berliners would participate. Lots of 1-on-1 ministry took place on the trains. (Click to enlarge)Michelle had the opportunity to minister to two fifteen-year-old girls who had never before heard of Jesus. They did listen intently, and although they did not receive Jesus at that moment, Michelle assured the young ladies that if they asked God to reveal Himself to them, He would.

Students, Bruce and Joyce Ball, were seated together on a train one evening when a young woman sat down next to them and pulled out her Bible. Bruce saw her Bible and asked if she was a believer. The young woman said no, and explained that she was just reading it because she was curious. Bruce and his wife spent the rest of the ride ministering to her, explaining the Scriptures to her while she too listened intently.

A group shot of the CBC team.
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"I can’t really say that we saw any salvations or healings like when we go to third world countries, but I believe we did plant seeds. I feel that our presence there in the city made a difference," said Michelle.

So what happens when the CBC mission teams go to places like Berlin? The answer is, God's love is shared, seeds are planted and miracles are expected. After all, farmers don't see immediate results after planting their seeds either.

Thursday
Jul072011

Daniel Amstutz: CBC's Way to Worship

Daniel Amstutz, the Director of Charis Bible College's School of Worship and the School of Healing. (Click to enlarge)Charis Bible College of Colorado continues to expand its third-year Ministry Training program. The third year has been specifically developed to further equip those students who have been called to an office in full-time ministry (Ephesians 4). Among the available course offerings, or tracks as they are called, are the School of Ministry, School of Worship and School of Media. Each of these tracks is led by a well-seasoned minister or team of ministers. As the third year offerings increase, the Lord continues to bring quality leaders to oversee each department. In the case of the School of Worship, CBC has been blessed to welcome to its staff, music ministry veteran, Daniel Amstutz, whom some refer to as a "Father of Modern Worship."

Daniel was raised in a Christian home as one of five children, and the son of a Baptist minister. He remembers the day he was born again when he was five years old. Daniel speaking in Greely, Colorado in 1978. (Click to enlarge)"I prayed with my Mom in the kitchen of our home in Montana, and received Christ at that time," recalled Daniel.

He knew from a young age that the Lord had called him to a life of ministry, but it wasn't until Daniel's latter college years that he realized his call to music ministry. As a young man, Daniel developed his musical skills to the extent that he was accepted to audition for several prestigious positions and collegiate-level scholarships across the country. Among these auditions were one for the Fisk Memorial Scholarship at the University of Colorado (CU), and one for a position at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. After auditioning for both, he was awarded a full scholarship to CU, Here Comes the Son, Daniel's first album release. (Click to enlarge)which he and his parents viewed as a confirmation from the Lord of His provision. Daniel graduated from CU with a degree in Vocal Performance.

In the mid 1970s, after graduating from CU, Daniel began writing and publishing music while he was leading worship for his dad's church in Alamosa, Colorado. He then recorded his first album while working as a music minister with Faith Ministries Fellowship in Greeley, Colorado. "My first solo project was called Here Comes The Son, recorded in 1981, and it was all original songs—most of which I wrote during the sermons, and would sing at the end of the service as a part of the altar call," Daniel and Praise & Worship artist, Don Moen, at CBC's Better Way to Worship Conference June 2011.
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said Daniel.

Over the years since his first release, Daniel has recorded several other projects, including his second solo effort called, Inside Out. In 1983, while Daniel was the worship leader for Bob Yandian's church, Grace Fellowship in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he and his worship team recorded Heart to Heart, the first of five live recordings he was a part of at the church. "At that time we were one of the first churches to record live praise and worship," Daniel said.

Daniel leading worship at CBC. (Click to enlarge)After the initial recording at Grace, Daniel began hosting an international worship gathering called, The Local Church Music Seminar, which drew hundreds of attendees. "People came from all over to receive teaching and mentoring in what was the beginning of the contemporary worship movement—although at the time we didn’t know that's what it was," said Daniel. It was then that many people, including his peers, began referring to Daniel by the nickname, Father of Modern Worship. "I was just trying to hear from God and obey," stated Daniel humbly.

Since the late 1970's, Andrew and Daniel had occasion to minister in the same places, and each became aware of the other's ministry. Over the years since their initial meeting at The Rocky Mountain Faith Minister's Conference held in Daniel and his wife, Tracy (green shirt) ministering together at CBC's Better Way to Worship Conference.
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Greely, Colorado, the two have maintained a friendship. Looking back Daniel said, "Every time I heard Andrew minister, it was so full of revelation and yet somehow so practical. He really ministered to me. I really could not be doing what I’m doing, and teaching what I’m teaching, without what I have received from Andrew."

When the suggestion to include a School of Worship as part of CBC's third-year program came forth and began to take hold, Daniel ministers to a couple. (Click to enlarge)there was some question as to who would lead. As roles were being considered last fall, Andrew recalled Daniel's influence in the music ministry, and called him to ask if he would consider being a part of leading CBC worship once a week or so. "That developed into more of the 'or so' and pretty soon I was asked if I would like to teach in the night school—and then the day school—and then when they found out that I had already written much of the worship school curriculum at Grace Fellowship in Tulsa, they asked me to put together a proposal to lead the CBC program." In January 2011 CBC welcomed Daniel to his new full-time position as Director of the School of Worship.

Daniel makes his point with contagious exuberance at a recent meeting.
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Daniel has ministered through his music in many places and in many capacities through the years, and now he has found his home at CBC. Just as Andrew has found A Better Way to Pray, Daniel has found a better way to worship. His revelation of what it means to praise and worship the Lord from a New Covenant position in Christ is being well received, and is sure to stir up the world of music ministry—again.

"It's a real blessing to have Daniel as part of the school. I think it's a Godsend. It's just awesome. He's got such great vision," Andrew said.

Monday
Jul042011

CBC Students Minister in Nicaragua 

CBC-Colorado students, leaders and representatives, Darey and Karen Jolley, from the Ambassadors to the Nations had a heaven of a good time ministering in Nicaragua. (Click to enlarge)Recently, twenty-three Charis Bible College (CBC) students from the Colorado campus went on a mission trip to Nicaragua. The team, led by CBC instructor, Dr. Delron Shirley, was the third from Colorado to visit the impoverished nation this year. The team had the opportunity to serve alongside missionaries Karen and Darey Jolley, founders of Ambassadors to the Nations, These young ladies hold up their new and much-needed dresses.
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a ministry which serves in some of the poorest countries in Central America. Much of the students' time was focused on ministering to the children of Nicaragua.

The Ambassadors' Sponsor a Child program allows participants to support an individual child, or an entire family, on a monthly basis. All money received through this program is used for food, clothes, water, medical and schooling needs. Some of the CBC students had the opportunity to personally meet the children whom they have been sponsoring through the program. It was a joy for them to have hands-on involvement in distributing the needed supplies to the children and families they have been supporting from a distance.

A small but life changing moment.
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The student missionaries also went into the local schools and presented Gospel-centered dramas and puppet shows, and then blessed the children with coloring books as well as new shoes. As part of the shoe distribution, the CBC students imitated Jesus' selfless act of washing His disciples' feet (John 13:4-17). The team washed the children's feet and prayed over each child before placing the new shoes on them. It was a small blessing for the children, but the act had a life-changing impact on the students.

The CBC team also held open-air meetings as part of their outreach efforts to the villages throughout the area. One such meeting was held on an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. People came from neighboring islands in canoes and rowboats to see the puppet ministry, and hear the Gospel. People came from neighboring islands in canoes and rowboats. (Click to enlarge)At other meetings, people filled the streets and crowded around the ministry teams. At several locations where the students ministered they also offered free medical clinics. Prior to seeing the doctor, however, each patient received prayer from a CBC student, and many students reported instant healings. Students were overjoyed by the miracles they witnessed while operating in the power of God.

When the crowds became too large at some of the outreaches, it was impossible to minister to each person individually, so the prayer team formed a line and had the people seeking prayer walk past; the team called it a prayer tunnel. The students laid hands on and prayed a blessing over each person as they walked through. The team used what they called a "prayer tunnel" to accommodate the large number of people seeking ministry. (Click to enlarge)Delron and the team believed that their prayer tunnel had the same anointing that Peter’s shadow had as he passed by people in the book of Acts.

Ambassadors to the Nations help to improve the living conditions through the building of suitable housing for the people to whom they minister. CBC students were able to visit several housing projects where new homes had been built. The new houses, which were constructed with sturdy cement brick, and were complete with electricity and plumbing, replaced old shelters built with scrap metal, random pieces of wood and sheets of plastic. One home that had just been completed was given to a teacher from one of the schools. An example of the crowds that gathered to see the missionaries from CBC. (Click to enlarge)Before moving into her new residence, the teacher lived in a “home” with a tarp roof and had to walk a village block to use a bathroom.

Delron estimated that the CBC team touched at least four thousand lives through the supplies distribution, medical clinics and open-air ministry; however, the impact on the students lives was just as great, as they witnessed so many responding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.