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Monday
May102010

Bottle Fed to Spirit Led

Tina and Craig Rumbley, Directors of CBI-Belize and founders of First Fruits Ministries International.
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During the mid-1990s Craig and Tina Rumbley found themselves hungry for more of God's Word. Tired of being bottle-fed by their pastor Sunday after Sunday they began studying the Bible for themselves. As the Rumbleys attempted to feed their insatiable hunger for more understanding, they came across Andrew's Gospel Truth radio program. They remember agreeing with most of Andrew's teaching, but their denominational background prevented them from fully receiving from his messages. Their studies coupled with Andrew's teachings only raised questions; questions to which their pastor could not provide
scriptural answers.

Instead of giving up, the Rumbley's unquenchable desire for a closer relationship with Jesus only grew stronger, and they pulled away from their denominational background and church. After two years of searching, they finally found another church to call home, New Life Family Fellowship in North Carolina. At New Life, Craig and Tina were discipled and set free from the bondage of legalism, and both received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.

CBI-Belize is located in Belize City, Belize in Central America.
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Through their new church fellowship they began to attend a Bible study hosted by friends, Tom and Cindy Boyd. The Boyd's used some of Andrew's materials as the basis for their group study. Thanks to their new found freedom, the Rumbleys were able to fully receive from Andrew's teaching.

The Rumbley family became active in their church and their community; however Craig and Tina still felt limited in their effectiveness. Although they continued to study the Word on their own, and were in church up to five times per week, they realized that their appetites for the Word were not being fulfilled.

The Rumbley family, missionaries to Belize (Click to enlarge)After attending a Gospel Truth Seminar in Atlanta, Craig and Tina sensed the Lord leading them to go to Bible college, but neither shared the idea with the other. God continued to speak to them until one day Tina told Craig she thought they were supposed to go school. To her surprise Craig agreed. The couple flew to Colorado Springs to attend the Charis Bible College (CBC) Expand Your Vision weekend, a weekend tailor made for those contemplating attending the school. Their weekend experience confirmed the desire in their hearts and led them to pack up their their five children, and move to Colorado. To lighten the load for the relocation of seven people, the Rumbleys sold or gave away the majority of their belongings before crossing the country.

Tina leading a Discipleship Evangelism class in a rural church.
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After their first year at CBC the Rumbley family was asked to spend the summer in the Dominican Republic (DR) running a mission team house for some friends who needed to return to the States. While in the DR, they served the needs of visiting short-term missionary teams. The Rumbleys learned a tremendous amount about life on the mission field from several seasoned, long-term missionary families. It was during this time that the entire Rumbley family realized they were called to foreign missions.

Craig teaching in a church in Belize. (Click to enlarge)Craig and Tina sat down with their children to discuss their thoughts, and found that they only had two requests: First, they wanted to be in an English speaking country so they would not be hindered in their relationship building. And second, they did not want to serve in Africa because they felt it was too far away from their home and their extended family. Keeping these requests in mind, the Rumbleys began seeking God about where they would serve after graduation from CBC.

Craig ministering to a man convinced the he would go to heaven because he is honest and doesn't steal.
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In 2008, after graduating from the two-year CBC program, the Rumbleys agreed to serve as part of an eight member missionary team being sent to open a new CBC extension school Charis Bible Institute (CBI), in Belize, a country that fit both of the Rumbley children's requests. Seven months after their arrival, the CBC staff in Colorado asked if the Rumbleys would be willing to take over as the Directors of CBI-Belize, the Rumbleys gladly accepted.

"There is such a hunger for the grace message here. Many have brought religion to Belize and many can quote entire chapters of the Bible, but very few people understand what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We are blessed to have the privilege of not only living in a relationship with Jesus, but to share His mercy and His grace here in Belize," Tina said.

Baptism in the Siburn River.
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Craig, who prior to attending CBC, worked long hours with his father in the family's custom automotive upholstery shop, had this to say about his new life in ministry, "We go and share the love of God with confidence now. We can reach out to folks and trust that we have an understanding of the Word of God that will allow us to minister to anyone that God puts in our path. We know the voice of our Shepherd, He speaks clearly, and we share what He says."

Craig and Tina's pursuit of intimacy with Jesus led them to freedom from the grip of legalistic religion. They sought for themselves the Kingdom, and the Lord has been faithful to guide them each step of the way.

For more information about CBI-Belize contact Craig and Tina via email: charis.belize@yahoo.com.

To keep up with the Rumbley's ministry visit their blog Belize for Jesus.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.