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Tuesday
May312011

Europe Trip 2011: Chips or Crisps?

A lunch to make Gordon Ramsay proud.
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“Would you like crisps, Sir?”

“Uh, I uhhh… yes, thank you.”

Crisps”— that’s the word they use here in England for good old potato chips. These were real hand cooked, sea salt potato chips — er, crisps — to be exact. I was standing at a lunch counter. The sandwich was Gammon Ham with Irish mature cheddar and pickle. (I guess I’m glad they didn’t pick “immature” cheddar — but I’m not sure I would know the difference). And they put some kind of vegetable jelly spread on it instead of mustard and mayo, but that’s not a complaint. It was tasty. You know you’re not in Colorado anymore with a lunch menu like that, right?

As I boarded the flight in Denver, Chef Gordon Ramsay boarded right next to me. Maybe that’s why I’m paying attention to food and flavors today. Who wants something cooked-up in “Hell’s Kitchen?

Aaron Roach, Rory Kyle, John Maunder and Adrian Hills. (Click to enlarge)Anyway, Andrew, Jamie, their grand-daughter Rhiannon, David and Gayle Hardesty and myself (Media Manager, Stephen Bransford), have recently arrived at Stoneleigh Park where we are preparing another Grace and Faith Family Camp. It hardly seems a year has passed since we were last here.

Our European director, Will Graham, and his staff, along with Charis Bible College helpers, have put together another top notch event. Andrew and Jamie continue to express so much gratitude for the many staff and volunteers who work behind the scenes to make this happen. We just couldn’t be reaching out with the almost-too-good-to-be-true news without every one of them.

Rory with John, a representative from the Electro Voice manufacturing plant, inspect the Grace and Faith Family Camp audio setup. (Click to enlarge)Tonight and every night we will be streaming the conference live on www.awme.net, our European website. I’d like to say thank you to some “unsung Heros” who are helping to make this possible. First, Aaron Roach, our European IT director. He is assisted by John Maunder, and a new member of our team, who is a Charis Bible College UK first year student, Rory Kyle. Rory works for Sky TV, the Discovery and History Channels. He has won worldwide recognition and awards for sound design. We are so blessed that he and his wife felt lead to attend Charis Bible College. Now he lends his expertise to this event.

Filed Friday, May 27, 2011 from England by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.

Thursday
May262011

Luke Brownell: Faith Factory

Andrew with CBC graduates, Luke and Angela Brownell. Luke pastors the Faith Factory, the children's ministry at Tree of Life Church in New Braunfels, Texas.
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Luke Brownell received Christ when he was just a child, and realized at an early age that the Lord had called him to be a minister. Although he remembers a time in his late teens when Andrew was a guest speaker at his church in New Mexico, it was not until years later that Andrew's teaching truly impacted his life. Luke, now a Charis Bible College graduate, serves the body of Christ as the Pastor of the Faith Factory, the children's ministry at Tree of Life Church in New Braunfels, Texas.

Luke's high school youth pastor felt led to leave New Mexico to plant a new church in Denver, Colorado. When his pastor announced he would be leaving, Luke sensed that he would be moving to Colorado as well. He informed his pastor of his decision and joined him as part of his launch team. His pastor welcomed Luke's help, but made a life changing suggestion to him. "During the months leading up to the move, Pastor, Luke Brownell.
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my pastor emailed me, and said if I was going to be helping him in ministry, he thought it would be a good idea for me to go to Bible college," said Luke. The email included an attachment; Luke's pastor had sent Andrew's personal testimony about leaving school to pursue God's call.

Luke received the information and applied to Charis Bible College-Colorado without hesitation. In an instant, he turned his back on the future he had aligned for himself; his perceived occupation as an Emergency Medical Technician, a full scholarship to the University of New Mexico, his family and his home. Luke essentially gave up everything in his life to be a part of his youth pastor's church plant. With that end in mind Luke began attending CBC in 2000.

Several things changed over the two years Luke attended CBC. Aside from having his life and relationship with the Lord transformed by the teaching at Angela and Luke met and were married while attending CBC.
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CBC, he also met and married his wife, Angela, and his ministry leading changed. Although in his mind Luke initially believed he had moved north to be a part of his pastor's church in Denver, he began to realize that the main purpose for his journey to Colorado was to be equipped for his call to pastoral ministry. Six months after graduating from CBC, the Lord began to turn Luke's attention to Tree of Life Church in Texas. While there wasn't a specific position available, Luke and Angela felt as though this was their next step and they made the decision to move. "I actually stayed with the church [in Denver] longer than I should have because I lacked the discernment to recognize why God actually moved me up there," said Luke.

The young couple stayed in Colorado while their house was being built in central Texas. Halfway through the construction of their new home, the Luke (in red) at the Faith Factory, feeding the children big truths in small bites. (Click to enlarge)director of the children's ministry at Tree of Life, whom Luke had never met, called and offered him a paid internship position at the church, which he gladly accepted. Eventually, he was welcomed on to the staff as the full-time elementary children's pastor.

Luke has spent the past seven-and-a-half years with Tree of Life, putting into practice the lessons he learned while at CBC. He has been able to share the ideas behind the teachings that impacted him such as Spirit, Soul and Body, The True Nature of God and The Believer's Authority, with approximately one hundred children every Sunday. "We teach them big truths in small bites because if we can establish them young, I am confident they will stand strong, said Luke.

Luke (upper right) leading by example, worshiping with the children.
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It's important to Luke that the children learn that God is a healer—today; that God does not bring or allow for any reason, destruction, disaster, sickness, etc; that God is good and the devil is bad, and that God loves them and has good for them every day. Most importantly, Luke and his team of twenty-five volunteers, teach the kids how to access the finished work of grace—effortlessly by faith.

"We create an environment that kids can't resist so they'll come grow in the Word and with each other," said Luke, "I have heard parents say that their kids wake them up to go to church. I can see while I teach that they are soaking up the Word and believing God for big things."

"CBC was the first step toward God's call on my life. I believe if I had not taken that step I would not be in ministry. Andrew's teaching laid the foundation for the core beliefs I stand on today that have brought me confidence to stand and believe for big results."

Monday
May232011

A Mission of Healing

Recently, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent a team to the mission field in Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)God touched many lives through outstanding demonstrations of His healing power during a recent Charis Bible College (CBC) mission trip to Ecuador. Under the direction of Dr. Delron and Peggy Shirley and missionary to Central America, Mickey Cartagena, the CBC students learned that flexibility and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit are of utmost importance when on the mission field.

After nearly twenty-four hours of travel, the CBC team arrived at their hotel in Ecuador at four in the morning. Due to their travel schedule the team had planned to enjoy a slowly-paced first day. They visited a local botanical garden where they jumped into ministry mode and gave an impromptu presentation of a Gospel-centered skit to a group of senior citizens, also visiting the garden. Three CBC students, Pharisee Bendolph, Greg Bramblett and Dracian Coroian, stand around an Ecuadorian man and his wife. The students prayed for the man's eyesight. He was blind, but now he can see! (Click to enlarge)Soon, what could be described as a revival meeting broke out as nearly every senior citizen was prayed for by the CBC team members. Many instant healings were witnessed including the restoration of hearing and vision. "The schedule that I had prepared was one that would give the students many opportunities for ministry and fellowship with the people of Ecuador, but the student's enthusiasm and fervor created even more opportunities," said Mickey, the trip coordinator.

The experience with the senior citizen group set the tone for the rest of the trip as the team ministered in various cities including Machala, Huaquillas, Puerto Bolivar, Salinas and Pasaje. The students served as the hands and feet of Jesus, and continued to witness the healing power of God at work everywhere they went. Long lines of people, hungry for a touch from God, formed at each service.

The team gathered to pray for people who had come forward to receive Jesus and to be baptized in the Holy Ghost. (Click to enlarge)People came forward for salvation, baptism in the Holy Spirit, and especially for healing during the meetings. In addition to the many physical ailments that were healed, there were numerous emotional healings and deliverances. "The team wore buttons that said, 'Jesus valora tu vida,' meaning 'Jesus values your life.' This message flowed forth from the students' testimonies, their teachings, their mannerism, their actions, and from their hearts to each and every person they came in contact with, and it was life changing for many," said Mickey.

One woman named Martha grieved the loss of her mother, father and brother. Martha also harbored feelings of anger because she thought her sister had wanted her brother to die so that she would receive more inheritance. These emotional burdens made Martha easy prey for demonic oppression. Mickey Cartagena, trip coordinator and co-founder of Alpha and Omega International Ministries, translating for CBC student Joann Rye.
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As she came forward for prayer, the demon which was tormenting her began to manifest and put Martha into a trance-like state. CBC students took authority over the spirit, and Martha became conscious again. The team then prayed with her to be able to forgive her sister, and to receive emotional healing. It was impossible to miss the huge smile of freedom on Martha’s face following prayer.

Another woman, Tiffany, had been suffering from epileptic seizures for eighteen years, often suffering as many as five per day. Her mother and sister brought her to one of the CBC meetings held in a high school auditorium in the town of Pasaje. While at the meeting Tiffany had a seizure. Her mother explained that being in large crowds triggered her seizures. The students, and other local believers spent an hour praying over her, but she never regained consciousness. Even though her family knew the crowds could trigger her to have another severe seizure, the family brought Tiffany back for another meeting in Machala. The CBC team ministered to young and old alike. Here they pray for a young boy. (Click to enlarge)When they arrived a group of students met Tiffany and her family outside the church, and her mother reported that Tiffany had only experienced one mild seizure that day, which was a significant improvement. Since Tiffany was alert, the team could easily minister to her. Since the family was not completely sure of whether or not they were truly born-again, the prayer team prayed with Tiffany’s family for salvation first. The team then continued ministering to Tiffany for healing and deliverance. After a short time, Tiffany announced she wanted to go inside the church. Since she was able to go into the crowded church without experiencing a seizure, the team took it as evidence that she had received her healing.

CBC student, Fancine Van Bromell, with two little girls. The team made special note of the how children at each meeting were drawn to Fancine.
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During the last night at the church in Marchala, fifteen-year-old Yaniel came forward for prayer. He was completely deaf. As prayer began and the healing power of God was released upon him, Yaniel fell to the floor grasping his head in tremendous pain. Eventually, he was able to explain to his mother why he was in pain. Yaniel’s mother told the CBC students that he was hearing for the first time and the unfamiliar sensation was overwhelming due to the complete silence he had experienced for fifteen years.

As people were touched by the power of God, they couldn’t help but share their testimonies, and the excitement became contagious and irresistible. Entire families received salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit. One man, after being filled with the Holy Spirit shared that he could feel, “fire inside his heart.”

The entire mission trip was truly a healing journey. In addition to the many lives that were touched, healed and delivered throughout the trip, the CBC team also left Spanish translations of many of Andrew’s books behind; these are sure to continue to bless the people of Ecuador.