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Thursday
May062010

A God-sized Adventure

Former CBC students, Mike and Pat Heiser, became missionaries to Meru, Kenya. (Click to enlarge)Thirty-eight years ago, on the very first day of their married life, Mike and Pat Heiser made a commitment to make Jesus the head of their family and to live their lives for Him. The Heisers knew from the beginning that God had more of an adventure in store for them than a routine corporate lifestyle. Even after the birth of their child, Tiona Sue, Mike maintained a certain level of reluctance toward settling down into a typical American lifestyle. His resistance to the norm kept the door open for the pending adventure he knew God had purposed.

In 1994, while the Heisers were living in Pat’s home-town of Kansas City helping to care for Pat’s ailing father, Mike took a job with a local newspaper publisher. While there, God blessed Mike and Pat abundantly through business opportunities Mike was exposed to through his corporate work. Their prosperity allowed them to follow their heart's desire and they gave liberally to missions around the world.

The Heiser's missionary journey has brought them to Meru, Kenya, located on the east coast of Africa, East of Uganda. Despite the demands of their busy lifestyle, and true to Mike's reluctance to settle down, the Heisers decided to enroll in Charis Bible College (CBC). They had been introduced to Andrew's teaching in the mid-1980s. Andrew had become a great influence in their lives and they were looking to further saturate their minds with the Word of God. Their time at CBC was fruitful, and ultimately led to an amazing opportunity; Mike and Pat were asked to teach at Grace Bible School in Meru, Kenya. Upon accepting the invitation to teach, they set out on their long awaited adventure and moved to Meru in November of 2002.

Many children are forced to survive on the streets of Meru. (Click to enlarge)The Heiser's hearts were immediately filled with love for the Kenyan people, with a special fondness for the children who were running wild on the streets. They recalled a recurring dream Mike had approximately 30 years before their adventure to Kenya, in which the couple was in a foreign land with many children living in a big house on a hill. And true to the dream, the first home they settled into in Kenya was a big house on a hill. Very soon after moving in, they opened their home to the unwanted and neglected children of Meru. In just a few days time, they were blessed with six children who needed parents, and the love
of Christ.

8-year-old Elijah is one of many children the Heisers have welcomed into their home.
(Click to enlarge)
Filled with compassion for children on the streets, Mike and Pat also began PATHWAYS, a ministry outreach to the children who are not ready to submit to the discipline of family life. For more than seven years, the Heisers have been loving, feeding and teaching street children
about Jesus.

13-year-old Claire Muthoni also lives with the Heisers.
(Click to enlarge)
With Christ's endless supply of love and compassion, Mike and Pat also began reaching out to the single mothers of Meru and the children they saw these women struggling to feed. One Sunday in February 2005, Pat served tea to six single mothers as she shared God’s unconditional love and grace with them. After discovering that these women felt rejected in their local churches because of their poverty, the Heisers began hosting the women in their home each Sunday morning to celebrate God’s love and faithfulness. This was the beginning of what God had already told Mike to do; plant a church. Today, Mike and Pat pastor not one, but two Heart of God Fellowship Churches, one in Meru, and one in Githongo. Each month the church goes into the surrounding neighborhoods and shares the Good News of the Gospel.

NEEMA (grace in Swahili) Bible College Graduation ceremony. (Click to enlarge)The Heisers, understanding the need to train other leaders to continue the work they have lovingly begun, founded a Bible college in January of 2007. NEEMA (grace in Swahili) Bible College uses much of the curriculum of Charis Bible College, emphasizing the unconditional love of Jesus. Opening the Bible college has created new opportunities for the Heisers to reach several surrounding villages.

Mike and Pat waited faithfully for God to reveal His plan, His adventure, for their lives. And now, living their destiny, they are touching the lives of the people in Meru and beyond with the love and grace of Jesus, and training them to do the same.

To find out more about Mike and Pat Heiser and their ministry visit the Kids in Kenya website.

Monday
May032010

Ministering the Gospel of Grace in Kenya

CBC Graduates, Tim and Cindy Myers are missionaries to Kisumu, Kenya. They are the founders of Gospel of Grace Ministries and Grace Bible College. (Click to enlarge)Tim and Cindy Myers can recall a time when they were being greatly impacted by stories of missionaries. Today, when they think back about how these stories touched them, they realize that God was actually sowing seeds in their hearts for the life to which He would call them—on the mission field.

In 2002 Andrew visited the church the Myers called home, Pastor Bob Yandian's Grace Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Andrew shared a powerful message called “Taking the Limits Off God.” Emboldened by Andrew's teaching, Tim and Cindy decided they would take a step of faith and enroll in Andrew's Bible school.

The Myers sold their fifteen-acre hobby farm and home and relocated to Colorado Springs to attend Charis Bible College (CBC). The summer after their first year at CBC, they took a short-term missions trip to Entebbe, Uganda. While on their trip they heard the Lord say, “This is the place I have chosen for you.” So after finishing their second year and graduating from CBC in 2004, the Myers prepared to return to Africa.

Most of the Grace Bible College student body for 2010. (Click to enlarge)After one year in Uganda, the ministry under which the Myers served left the country. Knowing they were called to Africa to disciple pastors and believers, they began seeking the Lord about their next step. The answer the received took them further east, to Kisumu, Kenya. There they launched their own ministry, Gospel of Grace Ministries, and they also opened their own school, Grace Bible College (GBC) for the purpose of training up leaders among the Kenyans to share the gospel of Jesus. In September 2007 Tim and Cindy held a graduation ceremony for the first twenty-nine students to graduate from their two-year program.

Cubby-hole library in the Myers' dining room used by second-year students. (Click to enlarge)Over the last few years, GBC has grown steadily. In fact, the school has out-grown their current tent, and Tim and Cindy have had to expand their space by using much of their home. The second year class meets in the Myers’ living room. Their dining room serves as the school library, while GBC offices occupy the master bedroom and guest bedroom. “Eventually we will have our own land and build a proper facility; however we are like the Apostle Paul who knew the secret of getting along with little or a lot. He could do all through Him (Jesus) who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13),” Tim explained.

Cindy praying for a student in one of the weekly prayer chapels at GBC.
(Click to enlarge)
The need for a proper facility does not necessarily top the list of things for which the Myers are believing. Tim and Cindy recognize the need for, and have been receiving requests for, a third year program to be added to GBC. Cindy feels the Lord has led her to write five or six new courses for the third year. "There are just not enough hours in first and second year to accommodate all the courses," Cindy said.

Although the desire is there to expand the program, the Myers' ability to teach, direct and administrate is presently at maximum capacity. As the school continues to grow, so too does their need for more teachers and administrative assistants. The Myers are thankful to have three additional teachers, Kenyan nationals, who are on staff, and are looking forward to at least one new teacher who will be apprenticing next year.

Cindy and GBC staff members Bishop George, and Pastor Daniel.
(Click to enlarge)
The Myers are excited about the overall growth of GBC. "This is our first year to have so many students in both first and second year classes, with seventeen enrolled in first year and sixteen attending second year. They have also started a part-time program for people who are unable to attend on a full-time basis.

Despite their growing pains, Tim and Cindy hold confidently to Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who is at work in you, to put into you the will to desire and the power to achieve what his purpose has planned for you.” The couple is confident that they will lay hold of the power to achieve the tasks before them, and they will continue to do what they have been called to do with joy and excellence.

For more information about Tim and Cindy Myers' ministry in Kisumu or Grace Bible College contact them by mail: Gospel of Grace Ministries, Int’l , P.O. Box 49272, Colorado Springs, CO 80949, or by email:gospelofgracem@aol.com.

Thursday
Apr292010

The Lord Directs Our Steps

CBC-UK Director, Paul Flanagan with his wife of 41 years Siew Fong. (Click to enlarge)As a young boy, Paul Flanagan came upon a sad and smelly man leaning against the exterior wall of the church Paul attended daily. He recalls sharing a nine-year-olds' version of the Gospel with the man and then going about his boyhood business. The next day he saw the same man inside the church; he was cleaned up and appeared to be refreshed. Through this experience Paul had unknowingly witnessed the power of God's word at work through him. He continued to go to Mass every morning, served as an altar boy, and attended a Catholic school, but he didn't have a true relationship with Jesus, and took no responsibility for his walk with the Lord.

Paul moved through life aware of God but not walking with Him. After spending fifteen years in the military, he settled into the life of a successful international businessman. Paul was living in Malaysia and was prospering in the U.S. Real Estate markets. Over the course of time he married his wife Siew Fong and they began their family.

Paul and Andrew played a round of golf at The Cavendish in Buxton where Paul is a member.
(Click to enlarge)
Part of Paul's morning routine included driving his son to school. Rather than sit in rush-hour traffic after dropping his son off, Paul would attend daily Mass at a local monastery. He found favor in the Church and became friendly with the Abbot, a man named Jonathan. Jonathan was the head of the Charismatic Renewal Movement at the time, and as such continued to impress upon Paul the need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. One day Paul gave in to Jonathan's persistence and received the baptism. Paul recalls the moment as being a time when "the lights came on" and "all things became clear" for him.

The Holy Spirit produced a noticeable transformation in Paul and caused a drastic shift in his life. His demeanor changed for the better, and the gifts of the Spirit were prevalent in him. The ability to share the Gospel in simple understandable ways, much like he had with the man outside the church as a boy, was awakened in him. So much so, that strangers would ask him deep theological questions, the kind that many Christians shy away from, and he would find the answer flowing out of his lips supernaturally. It was as if the Holy Spirit in him was answering the questions of their hearts, through him.

Paul comissioning Carolyne Kotze as Director of CBC South Africa.
(Click to enlarge)
Shortly after his baptism experience the enemy came to steal from Paul (John 10:10). Within a small amount of time his mother died, his business went under when the Malaysian government malaysianized the company, froze all his assets, and kicked him out of the country. He and his family returned to England with five suitcases and a meager amount of cash. After their arrival in England, Siew Fong's father died, a month later her brother died, and Paul was diagnosed with cancer. Bang, bang, bang, just like that. However, even with the walls of his life crashing in upon him he had peace, joy and comfort in his spirit, to the point where he felt irresponsible for not being the least bit distressed. Secure in the Lord's love for him he managed to escape the depression that one might expect in his situation. Then the physical pain of Paul's cancer became a reality and he started to suffer. Not having a full revelation of God's plan for his own wellness, Paul underwent surgery and began treatments.

Although he struggled with his own health, he would lay hands on other people in the waiting room of the hospital and see them healed. During one particular week-long stay in the hospital he emptied the ward of other patients. Paul thought to himself, "What’s wrong with this picture?" The Lord spoke to him and asked what he was doing there. After a brief conversation with the Lord about His will for Paul to be well, he checked himself out of the hospital and hit the road running. Paul never looked back and that was twenty-four years ago. Praise God!

Paul ministering with Phil Smythe, pastor of Langeberg Christian Fellowship in Heidelberg, South Africa, the home of CBC South Africa. (Click to enlarge)Every hammer blow that the enemy had sent to drive him away from God and away from the calling on his life to minister the Word with simplicity, only served to drive Paul closer to the Lord. God has continued to reveal himself to Paul and the two share
a strong union. "I am in Him and He is in me, and we are in the Father for eternity. Everywhere we go, we go together,"
Paul said.

In 1990 Andrew ministered at the Flanagan's church in Coventry, England and the Flanagans have been supporters of AWM since. After a decade supporting Andrew from afar, the Lord spoke to Paul to attend Charis Bible College (CBC). He enrolled in CBC-Coventry in 2001. On the first day of school a man paid Paul's tuition for the first year and turned and prophesied over him, saying Paul would be the next director of the Bible College. Paul did not discuss with anyone the words the man had shared, he just trusted the Lord. He went on to graduate from the two year program, and then stayed on for a third year to apprentice under CBC Director at the time, Tom Decker. In 2006, Paul was appointed by Andrew as the Assistant Director of CBC. True to the prophesy six years earlier, Paul took over as Director of CBC- England in 2007.

Since his childhood the Lord has used Paul to deliver His Word to those in need. Now, on a regular basis he is able to minister to the hungry students at CBC. He considers it a joy to interact with them as they progress in their walks with the Lord. Paul especially enjoys watching the Word transform them in the same way it transformed him.

Visit the CBC-UK website for more information about Paul, and Charis Bible College.