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Thursday
Mar082012

Annette Gambill: Finally Free

Annette Gambill once suffered with depression and condemnation, but now, after getting a hold of Andrew's teaching and receiving a better revelation of Jesus, she is free. (Click to enlarge)At age 41, Annette Gambill began to experience a severe burning sensation in various parts of her body including her mouth, tongue, feet and mid-section. Out of desperation, Annette visited multiple medical institutions including Duke University Hospital, Mayo Clinic Florida, and University of North Carolina's School of Medicine. She tried, in vain, all sorts of treatment such as holistic doctors, chiropractic care, acupuncture, applied kinesiology, dermatology and physical therapy, to find the root cause and a cure for her symptoms.

Annette finally resorted to ice packs to relieve her symptoms. She carried these remedies around in plastic bags in a cooler. She would press the ice packs against the burning areas of her body day and night. Annette became so incapacitated that she could no longer fulfill her work duties for the business she and her husband co-own. “I remember being at home looking out a bedroom window and seeing a little boy riding his bike down the road. He looked so happy and I couldn't believe my life had turned out this way. I mourned my life. I felt I wasn't a mother to my two boys or a wife to my husband,” Annette said.

Eleven months after Annette’s pain began she got down on her face in her bedroom and laid there from eight in the morning until Noon. She cried out to God and told Him that she truly wanted to know Him. Annette with her husband Randy. During her battle the enemy would whisper to her, even through friend's comments, and she grew to filter everything through a simple phrase, "What does the Word say?" This kept her grounded and moving forward. (Click to enlarge)A short time later a woman crossed her path and brought her several teaching tapes, one of which was, Andrew's, What About Paul's Thorn in the Flesh. “I remember how that tape gave me so much peace. I called Andrew's ministry and began to order more tapes,” explained Annette, “I was on a roll.”

Although she was saved as a young girl, Annette realized that she had a very shallow relationship with God. She began to spend hours memorizing healing scriptures and reading and listening about God’s will to heal. Later, at a healing meeting in Tennessee, Annette was prayed for and a short time later she received her healing. The tangible love of God that Annette experienced filled her with so much excitement that she began to share her revelation with anyone who would listen.

Strangely, a little while after Annette received her healing, she began wrestling with contradictory thoughts. “I was hanging up clothes in my closet when I had a thought that God was not real. I couldn't believe I had this thought. I repented and felt so guilty,” she said. Despite her efforts, the thoughts persisted and Annette began to believe that she had blasphemed God and that He had turned against her. The enemy was having a field day. “My heart felt so much condemnation that I was paralyzed with fear. The Gambills met Andrew in Johnson City Tennessee in 2011. (Click to enlarge)I would try to read my Bible, but I had so much fear that I would actually have sweat from my forehead drip on the pages of the Bible,” explained Annette. For months, she went to many pastors and many people trying to make sense of what was happening. She couldn't smile and never laughed. She grew very quiet as the stronghold of condemnation ruled her heart. Eventually she turned to taking medication to cope with her depression.

Annette still attended church services, and almost every Sunday, she would respond to the altar call and beg God to save her. A man at her church noticed that she was going forth every Sunday, and he pulled her aside to explain that he thought she was under the attack of the enemy. With her eyes now open, Annette began to call the AWM prayer line. In addition to praying for her, AWM sent more of Andrew's teachings to her. One of the tapes that benefitted her was, Eternal Life. Annette and Randy are full of joy and free in Christ Jesus!(Click to enlarge)She began to realize that her religious background had taught Law and not Grace—a God of wrath instead of love. “Every other sentence Andrew says has scripture in it and the word of God was bringing truth and light to the lies the enemy had sold me. I listened to Andrew's tape series: Redemption; Harnessing Your Emotions; Spirit, Soul and Body; The True Nature of God; You've Already Got It; A Sure Foundation and The Believer's Authority,” Annette recalled. As she listened, Annette began to desire to speak in tongues. One day as she was listening to Andrew's Holy Spirit teaching while driving, she received her prayer language. She was thrilled, “If the Holy Spirit could have been worn out, I would have made him tired. I prayed in tongues every chance I could. I love the Holy Spirit!” exclaimed Annette.

Through Andrew’s teaching Annette learned to take every thought captive and that God’s love for her is great, and as a result, she now has her life back. “Today I am truly free. I take no prescription medicines. I haven't taken anti-depressants in over three years. During my last visit to the doctor he stated he had never seen anything like this before. I love and enjoy a close relationship with Jesus that words cannot explain!” Annette said.

Teaching God's word and seeing others come alive in Jesus is one of Annette’s favorite pastimes today. “When I see someone in bondage I love to tell them my story and see their eyes start shining with hope,” Annette explained. She currently hosts Bible studies every Tuesday evening and Friday morning. Annette and her husband both enjoy an intimate relationship with their Savior and are inexpressibly thankful for His love, mercy and grace.

Monday
Mar052012

CBC Students Minister in Santiago

CBC Instructor and mission team leader, Lawson Perdue (left) stands with team hosts Tim, Trena and Darren Johnson on the mission field in Santiago, Dominican Republic. (Click to enlarge)In early 2012, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent a team of students on to the mission field in the Dominican Republic. This was the second team, from the soon to graduate class of 2012, to minister in the city of Santiago. The students, led by CBC Instructor and local Colorado Springs pastor, Lawson Perdue, were hosted by CBC friends and full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at their Casa Grande Centro de Misiones Internacional mission compound.

Never short on options for outreach to their local communities, the Johnsons provided the students with many first-time opportunities to share the love of God with the people of Santiago. For one CBC student, Cindy Suess, that meant having the chance to lead Cindy Suess (left, light colored skirt and shirt) had the opportunity to lead a person to Lord while in Santiago—it was a first for both Cindy and the person to whom she ministered. (Click to enlarge) another person to receive Jesus as their Savior. Cindy said, "Prior to this trip, I had not personally led anyone to Christ. It was wonderful to be a part of the teaching and the altar call, where men and women came up to receive Christ. Wow! What an honor to participate in what God is doing!" Cindy is moved to tears when she recalls her experience.

Cindy's classmate, Joy Cousineau, learned several things during the trip; foremost was her realization that she was uncomfortable with public speaking. Over the course of the trip she did find freedom and was able to pray for the people who came forward with expectant hearts. Joy said, "Learning to pray for people, when there were not very many translators, built up my faith. At first it was intimidating not Out of her comfort zone, Joy Cousineau (right, colorful skirt) participates in open-air ministry in a local park.
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knowing how to pray exactly for what they needed, but after a few times, God revealed to me that He knows, and that is all that matters."

Although Joy found it a struggle to get up in front of people, it was evident to her by the end of the trip that the Lord was calling her to missions work. "Ever since I was in high school, I have felt like I was supposed to go onto the mission field. This trip has confirmed my love for people over seas and wanting to help them. I have also learned that evangelism might not be where God is calling me, but He is calling me to a form of missions... I am the type of person who would rather hang out in the background and help others minister to people," said Joy.CBC student, Joseph Nelson, poses with some new friends. (Click to enlarge)

Sometimes the ministry that is shared on the CBC mission trips extends beyond the expected opportunities to impact the lost souls of a particular region. Sometimes the people most deeply touched are the faithful ministers living in the areas of need. This seemed to be the case at one particular rehabilitation center the team visited. The facility primarily handles men with drug and alcohol addiction. According to CBC student, Dana Marsden, many of the center's patients were in such rough shape, they were unable be a part of the meeting. What struck Dana though, was that the pastor and his family really seemed to, in his words, "need" the team's visit. "They were so encouraged by us; it struck a chord in my heart. We could see the way the pastor was just teeming with joy that we had come; for me, that was a precious time," said Dana.

Thursday
Mar012012

The Nakkulas: Ministering Through Media

CBC graduates and CBC School of Media Coordinators, Jeff and Autumn Nakkula stand with Andrew on the set of the Gospel Truth television program.
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Jeff and Autumn Nakkula met during their first year at Charis Bible College in Colorado. Each of them had learned about Andrew and CBC from the Gospel Truth television program, and were drawn to the message of God’s unconditional love and grace. Following a prompting by the Holy Spirit, both Jeff and Autumn took a step of faith and left their homes in order to seek God's plan for their lives. Neither one could have imagined the abundance He had in store for them.

Jeff recalls a class assignment, early in the year at CBC. The class was told to pray in the spirit and listen to the Lord and write down what they thought He was speaking to them. During this activity, God showed Jeff a film strip of events that would happen in his life. Jeff and Autumn traveled in the same circle of friends while attending CBC. (Click to enlarge)Among the things Jeff saw and heard was that Autumn would become his wife. This was a challenging word for Jeff because he hadn’t enrolled at CBC to find a wife, nor did he think that Autumn would be interested in this information, so he kept it to himself.

Later in the year, Jeff heard another clear word from God. He was serving alongside friend and fellow CBC student, David Forgoston, and Jeff heard God say, “You’ll be helping this man. You’ll be a part of what he is doing.”

Autumn operating the camera on the set of Andrew's Gospel Truth television program. (Click to enlarge)Meanwhile, Autumn was hearing from God as well. During class one morning, Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford, asked for some volunteers willing to be trained with cameras to help out with CBC’s video needs. Autumn felt a strong leading to volunteer. Before long she was asked to film a praise and worship event, and as she prepared for the project Autumn heard God tell her that she would be assisting with fundraising for missionaries and ministries world-wide, through media. This word from God gave Autumn peace and purpose and she continued to learn all she could about media.

In 2007, Jeff and Autumn graduated from CBC, and Jeff recalls that there wasn’t even a hint that Autumn was interested in him. Jeff working on a dude ranch shortly after graduating from CBC. (Click to enlarge)He went to work on a dude ranch in Colorado, and Autumn stayed and worked in the television department at AWM, continuing to glean media experience.

Autumn remembers being pleased with the direction her life was going while working at AWM; she was content with her part of reaching people around the world. However, a short time later, the Lord began prompting her to pray in the spirit. Autumn found that the more she prayed in the spirit, the more she began feeling a holy dissatisfaction with her life, so she began preparing herself for change.

While talking with friends and fellow CBC graduates, missionaries, David and Judith Forgoston, David told Autumn that God had someone for her, someone who was going to love her unconditionally. When Autumn heard what David said, she knew right away that the person God had for her was Jeff. Frustrated and confused, Autumn surrendered everything to God and asked Him to lead her in the direction she should go. Within one week, Autumn knew she would soon marry Jeff Jeff and Autumn became Mr. and Mrs. Nakkula. (Click to enlarge)and also that she would be going to India to help the Forgostons.

Autumn immediately began helping David and Judith with their ministry newsletters and also began spending time with Jeff. The two built a relationship and were soon engaged to be married. After Jeff proposed at the Hungry Bear restaurant in Woodland Park, he shared with Autumn about how God had told him that she would be his wife during their first year at CBC. Autumn was overwhelmed with Jeff’s faithfulness, and Jeff was encouraged to know that he did indeed hear God’s voice.

On the streets in India.
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While the newlyweds were on their honeymoon they felt that they needed to visit India and decided to buy their tickets immediately. The reality of the mission field was a bit different than they expected. India was dirty and the two were overwhelmed with the amount trash that could be seen in heaps all over the city. It was truly a rude awakening; however, upon their return to the United States, the call to India continued to grow stronger.

Jeff and Autumn began trusting God for the finances to get back to India and it was a short time later that they had enough to buy one-way tickets. When they arrived, the Forgostons were Jeff films as Autumn interviews David Forgoston about the launch of CBC-Chennai, India. (Click to enlarge) busy setting up the CBC extension school in Chennai; Jeff and Autumn helped out where needed. One of the pieces of equipment that the Forgostons had purchased was a video camera, and Autumn decided to teach Jeff how to use it. The Nakkulas bought a computer and went to work creating a promotional video for the Forgostons. When they finished the short video, it became a hit. Partners started calling and emailing to let David and Judith know how much they appreciated actually seeing what was going on in India and their support base grew.

Many exciting changes occurred while the Nakkulas were on the mission field. (Click to enlarge)Around Christmas time the Nakkulas learned that Autumn was pregnant. Another exciting change was in the works. In addition to having a child on the way, the couple’s visa was running out, and it was time for them to return to America. Between selling their equipment and an unexpected financial gift, Jeff and Autumn were able to purchase their tickets to fly home to Colorado Springs.

Finding a job once they returned proved to be quite challenging at first, however God’s faithfulness put Jeff in the right place at the right time and he was able to find work. The job sustained them while they re-established their lives in the Springs and had their son Isaac.

Jeff, Autumn and AWM's Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford. (Click to enlarge)Shortly after their son was born, Stephen Bransford called the couple and told them about the new CBC School of Media and asked them if they would be interested in being assistant directors. Jeff and Autumn were thrilled to accept the new position and began developing the courses immediately.

The Nakkulas serve as coaches to the CBC students while training them to help ministries raise support and communicate through a variety of media. “Looking back at what God spoke to me right at the beginning of the first year of bible college, there are a couple of things from that film strip that I’ve seen come to pass already, but there is still a lot more to come. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, God opens up a new door and does amazing things,” said Jeff.

Thrilled with the initial success of the Media School, Jeff and Autumn love giving back to CBC. “I’m able to take everything I’ve learned and share it with students at Charis Bible College. It’s just amazing to see how I’m able to take the things that they’ve poured into me, and pour into them,” said Autumn of the Media School students.

For more information about the Nakkulas, be sure to watch the video below.