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Monday
Mar212011

God Rocked My World

CBC graduate, John Essy the founder of, John Essy Ministries in Central Pennsylvania.
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As a young man John Essy had an experience with God when one of his college professors led him in a prayer of salvation. But, having grown up in a non-Christian home, John had no one in his life to mentor or instruct him; he continued to live his life as he always had, even becoming a bit more rowdy as he grew older. “I believed Jesus was God and He died for my sins, but my outward life was not a reflection of the inward transformation that had taken place,” John explained.

In May of 1993 John was invited by a friend to a midweek church service. During the service John rededicated his life to the Lord and was radically changed in that moment. John and his wife Leslie.
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“God rocked my world! All I wanted to do after that was read my bible and go to church,” John said.

As John saturated himself with the Word, major changes began to manifest in his life. During this time he heard the Lord tell him to go to Bible College and prepare for ministry. In addition, the Lord also surrounded John with a group of wonderful spirit filled believers, through whom he was introduced to Andrew's ministry. John listened to one of Andrew’s tapes and was hooked. “I had not heard faith taught with such simplicity. Not only that, Andrew seemed so normal. He was just like me—normal,” John said. He listened to Andrew’s Life For Today—Romans Edition many times over and the verse by verse teaching on Romans facilitated tremendous revelation in his life and gave him a true understanding of grace and faith.

John has had the opportunity to minister outside the US as a missionary several times. Here is the view from the platform as he spoke in Zambia.
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In 1997, John and his wife, Leslie decided it was time to move their family, which included their three small children, to Colorado Springs so John could attend Charis Bible College (CBC). John gave up an excellent job working for a major airline, yet he and his wife felt confident that the Lord would provide; and provide He did. When John and his family were settled in Colorado Springs, he started a small hardwood flooring business to support his family. “We had some hardships early on, but we stayed faithful to the calling, kept focused on the Word, worked hard, and God did what He is so good at—He prospered us like crazy,” John shared.

Here John (far left) is part of a CBC missions team visiting Kyrgyzstan.
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After graduating in May of 1999, John and his wife felt called to begin their ministry on the east coast of the United States. Of course, before they could leave, there was the issue of how to handle their thriving small business. By August of 1999, God brought them a buyer. The Essys were soon on their way to Pennsylvania with enough proceeds to pay off all of their debt with enough left over for a substantial down payment on a new house, and a five-year stipend that brought in a monthly income to help support them in their new endeavor. Praise God!

Today John’s ministry is making a difference in peoples lives across Pennsylvania. John and his wife enjoy setting people free by sharing God’s unconditional love and grace with them. John ministering in Kyrgyzstan with the aide of an interpreter. (Click to enlarge) John is amazed by how many people he has encountered who have not yet heard the Gospel of grace. Through his ministry he has seen blind eyes opened, backs and knees healed, and babies with a terminal diagnosis made well. “What Jesus did is so complete that it is beyond human reasoning. If you convey that message to people clearly and concisely it is limitless what God will do in and through them. God’s unconditional love and grace is the Gospel.”

To learn more about John and to find his speaking schedule visit, John Essy Ministries.

Thursday
Mar172011

Tenacious Faith in Jesus

Andrew stands with Lori Lalonde during campus days at CBC Colorado. (Click to enlarge)Lori Lalonde is a busy part-time Charis Bible College student. She is currently balancing her class schedule and studies with full-time work at a walk-in medical clinic. Lori has been in the medical field for twenty-seven years, serving the last eleven as a nurse practitioner. Her position gives her the authority to diagnose and treat patients as well as prescribe the appropriate medication if required. So in early 2007, when Lori suddenly became ill, she was aware of exactly what her problem was—she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Lori struggled with intense pain and swelling throughout her body, particularly through her joints, and she also suffered from severe fatigue. "Really, all I could do was work. I was in bed if I was not working. After Lori was dignosed with RA she was prescribed 15 different drugs including steroids and an oral form of chemo. Side effects included hair loss and 75 lb. weight gain.
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My children shopped, cleaned the house, cooked and car pooled. They picked up the pieces," said Lori.

Her case was extreme and Lori quickly became a slave to fifteen different medications, many of which were prescribed to offset conflicting symptoms created by drug interaction. Her medications, which cost $3000 per month, included anti-seizure meds, anti-inflammatory, chemotherapy and high doses of steroids. The steroids caused rapid weight gain and Lori put on seventy-five pounds, and because of the chemo she lost two-thirds of her hair.

After wrestling with the symptoms and medication of a medically incurable disease for nearly a year-and-a-half, Lori sought the Lord for His direction. She had been born again when she was six years old, and had been involved in religious circles and movements all of her life. Lori had even spent time in Tulsa, Oklahoma sitting under Kenneth Hagin's teaching. Lori underwent surgery nine months after receiving her healing from RA to repair severe damage to her abdominal wall caused by the medications. (Click to enlarge) Yet for all of her Christian exposure, her religion had held no answers when it came to health issues. Still, she felt drawn to the word. It was then that her eyes fell on Romans 8:11, and she asked the Lord how she could tap into the Spirit within her, so she could be healed.

At this time, a new friend, who had been ministering to her, introduced her to Andrew's teaching. "I didn't want to die from a lack of knowledge, so when my friend told me about Andrew, and that he had a website where I could download all his teachings for free, I went nuts. I started with Spirit, Soul and Body and that opened the dam so I could pour in the rest," Lori said, "Andrew's teachings opened my eyes to the love of God."

As Lori listened, she became empowered, and after six weeks of constant hearing, she asked the Lord to show her how to walk in divine health. She wasn't interested in a fast healing miracle at the hands of a man; Lori, her son Hunter and her daughter Alison just before the start of Lori's first year at CBC. (Click to enlarge)she wanted the health she could see that God had already provided. Lori knew that once she learned to walk it out she would never be sick again.

One day while working in her clinic, Lori prayed for a reprieve from seeing patients so she could focus on her own healing. She began to speak to the pain in her body. As she did, she would feel temporary relief, but the pain would resurface in another part of her body. Frustrated, she prayed with more determination and commanded all pain, swelling and fatigue to leave in Jesus' name. Lori left work, pain and symptom free. "That day I became more tenacious than my disease, I went home pain free, no redness or swelling, and feeling energized. I was determined to take my authority and never look back," said Lori.

Lori in class at CBC.
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The next day Lori had strange new symptoms, things she had not struggled with before. She asked the Lord what was going on and He showed her that her body was healed and now her medications were causing problems. Lori knew what she had to do, but her medical training and experience gave her pause. "I knew I was to stop taking my meds, but I had seen people die as a result of quitting this many drugs all at once," said Lori.

Lori stopped taking her meds that day, but she kept it to herself. Because Lori knew in her spirit that she was healed, she trusted that she would be okay, but she didn't feel she was strong enough to combat the doubts of the people and medical professionals around her. For the next two weeks she continued to stand against any symptom that arose, and she held her ground (James 4:7). Miraculously, Lori did not suffer from a single symptom of withdrawal.

Lori and her family sharing some down time. (Click to enlarge)In September of 2008, Lori attended her first Gospel Truth Seminar. At the end of the first meeting the friend, who had introduced her to Andrew's teaching, asked if she was going to go forward to receive prayer, and Lori shared her secret. She said, "I don't need to, I am healed."

Lori has been back to see her physician several times and collected the medical documentation to back up her claim that she is healed. At one time Lori's Rheumatoid Factor number, which is measured through blood testing, was so high that her doctors simply expected Lori to die. Her current results indicate that her blood is testing in the normal range—Lori no longer has a positive Rheumatoid Factor. She has also lost fifty-five of the seventy-five pounds that she had gained. Walking in divine health is a wonderful thing.

Monday
Mar142011

The Lord's Pursuit

Andrew and Jamie with Larry Romero at Andrew's Minister's Conference. Larry is a CBC graduate and the founder of Foundations of Faith Fellowship in Greenville, SC. (Click to enlarge)Larry Romero is a Charis Bible College graduate and the founding pastor of Foundations of Faith fellowship in Greenville, South Carolina. He is a man full of the word with a strong relationship with the Lord and an apostolic view of the church, but he has not always been this way.

Larry was raised in a family of five in Port Arthur, TX, the son of a military man who struggled with life after WWII. His father turned to alcohol after the war and became an abusive drunk. Larry grew up attending the Catholic Church and he can recall knowing God was real, but he was always afraid of Him. Because of the trauma and terror in his home life, Larry would pray for help for his family, but over time as things grew worse, he began to feel abandoned by God. Larry was scarred emotionally both by his dad and by what he perceived to be God's lack of response to his prayers; as a result he became untrusting of God and of people.

Kathy and Larry Romero recently celebrated 36 years of marriage. Kathy and Larry's family stayed in Greenville, while he attended CBC in Colorado. (Click to enlarge)After high school, the Viet Nam War was in full swing and Larry enlisted in the Air Force. While he was blessed to remain State-side, a childhood friend from church was sent overseas. While his friend was away, he was born again, and began to witness to Larry about Jesus. Larry had closed his heart toward God and was not interested in his friend's salvation. Larry replied bitterly, "I'm not interested in a Jesus that lived 2000 years ago, and I'm not interested in a Jesus that's coming back in the sweet by and by. If you can show me a Jesus that is relevant to my life now, we can talk. If not, get out of my face."

Then, at the age of twenty-three, Larry came across Billy Graham on television. What he heard sounded similar to what his friend had shared and he was intrigued. Larry knelt down and earnestly asked God if what Graham had said was true. As he continued to kneel, he heard the words, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Larry sitting outside the home of Foundations of Faith.
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Larry didn't know what it meant, or that it was from the Bible, but he held on to that word. That day, Larry was born again. Several months later, as he read his Bible, he came across Romans 10:17 and he realized that the Lord had indeed spoken this verse to him.

In his mid-twenties, as part of the Catholic Charismatic Movement of the day, Larry sought to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He had read Acts chapter two, but because of his limited understanding of text he expected that he would see physical tongues of fire. Not witnessing the expected manifestation, he again felt rejected by God. After a consoling discussion with his priest, he gained understanding and was able to receive the baptism by faith with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

After Larry was discharged from the military, he returned to his hometown where he entered the workforce as an engineering consultant. At the age of twenty-seven he married his wife Kathy and they began their family. Sunday morning service. The camera, visible in the background, is one of four recently donated to the church by a local TV station. All the services are recorded and posted on the Foundations of Faith website. (Click to enlarge)The couple left the Catholic Church and became part of a charismatic fellowship that taught and operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. As he established his relationship with the Lord, Larry began to flow in the gifts of the Spirit and he sensed a call to ministry. Although he had turned back to God, he still struggled with feelings of bitterness and abandonment.

Through prayer and prophetic words, God began to lead the Romeros to South Carolina, and he and his family eventually moved to Greenville. The Romeros searched for a church home for years; unfortunately they were consistently met with legalism. Frustrated, they stopped attending church all together. Larry continued to spend time with the Lord and began to have a revelation of God's grace, but because of the wounds of his youth, he still didn't understand God's love.

After eleven years the Romeros finally found a church. During an initial visit to their home, their new pastor spent several hours with Larry. Larry guest speaking at CBC Atlanta. (Click to enlarge)After their meeting the pastor prayed prophetically over Larry and Kathy. When he left, the couple sat soaking in the accuracy of the good words that had been spoken. Larry remembers sensing the Lord's presence in the room and he heard the Lord say, "I never left you. I have always been here. I have never abandoned you." Larry was overwhelmed. For the first time, he experienced the unconditional love of God, and he was set free from the wounds of his youth.

In 2001, Larry found Andrew on television and he realized that Andrew was teaching many of the things the Lord had been showing him over the previous decade. Surprised, Larry told Kathy, "You gotta listen to this Wommack fella; he's got both feet on the ground. There's no religion in him."

As Larry continued to watch Andrew's Gospel Truth, he began to sense a change coming. Ministers, Cecil and Lisa Paxton with Larry at Andrew's Minister's Conference. Larry and the Paxtons have teamed up to film some local television programming. (Click to enlarge)Every time Andrew mentioned CBC, Larry felt a quiet excitement in his spirit, but in his heart he thought he was too old to go to back to school. One day as Andrew was teaching, he stopped and said, This hasn't happened to me in twenty years of broadcasting, but there's a man out there, and God's telling you to come to this Bible college. You come and every need you have will be met."

"When he said that, it was like there was an explosion on the inside of me," said Larry. "I stood up and said, "Okay God, I'm going."

Larry spent the next two years immersed in the teaching at CBC in Colorado, solidifying his relationship with the Lord, gaining a deeper revelation of God's grace and preparing for full-time ministry. Today he is approaching his seventh year as the pastor of a fruitful and growing fellowship in Greenville, and he's just getting started.

Larry's story is a testimony to the Lord's pursuit of each one of us. To learn more about Larry's ministry visit the Foundations of Faith website.