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Monday
Apr262010

Following the Lord's Lead

Tom and Cindy Boyd, Directors of Charis Bible College in Atlanta, Georgia. (Click to enlarge)Do you remember the first time you heard Andrew's unmistakable voice? Whether it was on television or radio or at a live event, for most, a definite memory marker is made when encountering Andrew's teaching for the first time. Tom and Cindy Boyd, Directors of Charis Bible College-Atlanta recall their introduction clearly.

In 1996 in the midst of life as a husband, a father and a business man very involved in his North Carolina community, Tom found he was hungry for more of the Word of God, and he began listening to Christian radio. "One day, riding down the road, I heard this guy on the radio talking with a peculiar accent, and he was teaching verse-by-verse through Romans," Tom remembers. Floored by what he heard, and with tears in his eyes, Tom pulled over to the side of the road. Faith had risen in his heart as he heard Andrew's message. Though Tom was already a believer, it was one of the first times he can recall hearing the Gospel so clearly.

Tom teaching during a chapel session at CBC-Atlanta. (Click to enlarge)Tom's interest in Andrew's teaching of the word soared, and he was excited to share his revelation with his wife Cindy and others. While Cindy was supportive of her husband's desire to pursue more of what he was learning, she was also focused on raising their children. Nevertheless, as the two continued to glean from Andrew together, they felt lead to attend the February 2002 Charis Bible College (CBC) Expand Your Vision Weekend in Colorado Springs. As the Boyd's prepared to travel to Colorado, they agreed beforehand that they would journal separately whatever the Lord shared with them throughout the weekend and then compare notes back at home. After arriving in Colorado Springs and prior to journaling a single word from the Lord, they looked at each other and said, "We are home." Tom and Cindy never wrote a word in their personal journals that weekend regarding whether or not to attend CBC. The Lord had spoken to their hearts at precisely the same moment and it was a given that they would be relocating to Colorado. They returned to North Carolina, put their house on the market, accepted the first offer, closed the deal in April and moved to Colorado that summer.

CBC-Atlanta's Russia Missions Team visits St. Petersburg. (Click to enlarge)Prior to that weekend neither of the Boyds had really considered leaving their hometown, but God had stirred new desires. Cindy recalls having some concerns about raising their children and being miserable in an unfamiliar place without the security of extended family and friends, but God gave her a supernatural peace about being in Colorado. The Lord was faithful to meet their every need and Cindy said it was worth the journey.

Tom graduated from CBC in 2004 and finished his apprenticeship in 2005; Cindy graduated the same year. During Cindy's second year mission trip, she had begun to feel like the Lord was leading them to Atlanta. When she returned from her trip, Cindy shared her thoughts with Tom. Although he was not initially receptive to the idea, Tom knew in his heart that she was on target. After further conversation with Cindy and close friends, they began looking at an Atlas for a place to live in Georgia. While Tom was considering the thought of heading back east, Linus LeFever, then the Director of CBC, called Tom into his office and said that the ministry wanted to start four new schools including one in Atlanta. Tom knew that he and Cindy had received a word from the Lord, and they began planning for the launch of CBC Atlanta.

Mark McCord ministering to CBC-Atlanta's full-time class 2010. (Click to enlarge)Over his initial reluctance and excited to be involved in the opportunity in Atlanta, the family relocated. It was Tom's revelation and understanding of God's unconditional love that allowed him to move to Georgia with a sense of peace. Prior to attending CBC, Tom was easily swayed by circumstance and emotion, but after three years immersed in the word in Colorado, he was able to see the path the Lord had laid before him and his family. God moved in their hearts and the Boyds now happily call Atlanta home.

Tom loves directing CBC-Atlanta. He considers the work a true joy knowing that the students are being fed the life-giving word that has the capacity to change their lives forever. "My heart is excited to see how many lives we get to change and influence with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what charges my battery, to see lives changed, as people see for themselves that God really is good, and only good, to them individually."

A happy day: Cindy and Tom at the 2009 CBC-Atlanta graduation ceremony.
(Click to enlarge)
Seventy-one students currently attend CBC-Atlanta, which is more than double the enrollment of the previous year. Also worthy of note is that as the Boyds wrap up their fifth year in Georgia, the school is already the same size as the Colorado school was the year they attended the Expand Your Vision Weekend.

Andrew's ministry is growing exponentially around the country and around the world. CBC extension schools like the one directed by the Boyds play a vital role in that expansion. As faithful CBC graduates continue to step out and share the Gospel truths they have learned with faithful men and women who will do the same, the heart of the ministry is perpetuated.

To learn more about the Boyd's and their work in Atlanta visit the Charis Bible College-Atlanta website.

Thursday
Apr222010

Greater Things Still to be Done

Karen and Darey Jolley, founders of Ambassadors to the Nations. (Click to enlarge)“Would you be willing to radically change your lives for the sake of
My people?”

That was the question the Lord asked Pastors Darey and Karen Jolley twenty years ago. The Jolleys were willing and agreed to follow God’s plan, and as a result, Ambassadors to the Nations (Ambassadors) was founded in 1992. Ambassadors is an international missions ministry based out of the Jolley's home church in Charlotte, North Carolina, Freedom Christian Center, Inc. The focus of their missionary work is on meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the poorest communities in Central America, North America and Cuba through short-term mission projects. The Jolleys have launched Bible colleges in Mexico and Nicaragua, and also established and continue to operate three pre-school/kindergarten programs as well as a first through twelfth grade school in Nicaragua. The ministry has also established churches, medical clinics and community stores in several nations.

All contributions to the Ambassoador's Child Sponsoprship Program are used to support the children's needs. None of the funds are used for administrative costs. (Click to enlarge)Early in their ministry Karen and Darey found sufficient support through fundraising efforts that Freedom Christian Center held on the Ambassadors' behalf. The couple also created a Child Sponsorship Program to help raise support and offset the costs of their missionary efforts. However, it soon became apparent that they would need a major increase in finances to continue meeting the needs of the ministry at the pace it was growing. “We were able to keep up with the costs initially,” explained Karen. “But once we started building new schools and adding new grades, it looked like our growth would out-pace our resources.”The need began to grow beyond the ministry's resources—but God had a plan. (Click to enlarge)

Our heavenly Father is faithful, and as always He had a plan in place to meet the Jolley's growing financial need. Andrew, who is a longtime friend of Freedom Christian Center, approached Darey and Karen at their church’s annual camp meeting, and expressed his desire to help them with their ministry. When it was his turn to speak at the meetings, he called the Jolleys forward to the platform and asked them to share about their missionary work in Central America. They did so and thanks to Andrew’s endorsement, they were able to secure the much needed support.

Darey and a missionary team member minister to school children.
(Click to enlarge)
“Andrew was able to gain more help and support for the kids in five minutes than we could do in a year!” said Darey.

In only a few short months after Andrew's endorsement, Ambassadors to the Nations tripled in size. Today, Andrew continues to speak about the Jolleys and Ambassadors to the Nations, always highlighting their Child Sponsorship Program . This is a program in which a ten dollar a month contribution is made in the name of a sponsored child. The funds help supply food, clothing, water, school supplies, medical needs, and more for the children to whom the
Jolleys minister.

During his 2009 visit to Nicaragua Andrew helped Ambasador's staff member, Pastor Daniel Ortega Reyes (far right) distribute food.
(Click to enlarge)
In addition to speaking on their behalf, Andrew has invited Darey and Karen to travel to his Gospel Truth Seminars and set up an Ambassadors ministry display table. The Jolley's ministry has gained tremendous exposure working with AWM, and Andrew has personally given them thousands of dollars to fuel the building of new schools, churches, and homes for those in Central America and Mexico.

The Jolleys were excited to share with their partners that 2009 was their biggest year in missions to date, “God has proven to us that nothing is impossible with Him,” the Jolleys said. “We declare that greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done.”

Ambassadors ministers more than humanitarian aid. Here Karen prays for an elderly woman. (Click to enlarge)The Jolleys are not limited by small thinking. They are currently believing God for: support for a state-side missions office building; new feeding and Bible school programs in Nicaragua; support for a medical clinic in Nicaragua; support to pay for gasoline for their school bus in Nicaragua; Bible College support for Nicaragua and Mexico; funds for a toy mission; support for a nursing home in Mexico; and support for more full-time missionaries.

 

In the video below, Andrew visits with the Jolleys in and explores their ministry efforts in Nicaragua. To learn more about Darey and Karen and the impact they are having, visit the Ambassadors to the Nations website.

Monday
Apr192010

Called to the Mission Field

Sean and Lisa Michaud founders of Kingdom Equippers Ministries International. (Click to enlarge)Sean and Lisa met at a church in Mobile, Alabama. During their very first conversation, they shared with each other their individual calls to the mission field. The two quickly realized that the Lord had a plan for their lives—together. Before stepping into missionary work however, they both sensed God leading them to saturate themselves in His Word. Not knowing what to do next, they made an appointment with their pastor to inquire about how best to prepare for the ministry. Their pastor mentioned a new school that his friend, Andrew Wommack, was starting in Colorado Springs. Despite the fact that neither Sean nor Lisa had ever been to the Springs, or heard of Andrew, excitement stirred in their spirits about attending Bible college, and they knew that this was God’s plan. The first time Sean and Lisa heard Andrew minister was at the opening rally the day before school started, and both were blessed.

Sean and Lisa became Mr. and Mrs. Michaud in 1996, while attending Colorado Bible College (later renamed Charis Bible College). After graduation in 1997, the Michauds, now united in marriage and preparation, answered the call to the mission field—in Russia. A pastor in Ufa, Russia had contacted CBC because he wanted to have a Bible college in his city. CBC-Ufa was opened a short time later, and over 100 students graduated from first year classes the following Spring.

Sean and Lisa opened CBC-Ufa in 1999, and more than 100 students graduated from first year classes the following Spring. (Click to enlarge)Since the establishment of the school in Ufa, the Michauds have moved around ministering in various countries including Lisa's former home, the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. There they helped Lisa’s parents pastor a church for several years. In 2005, Sean and Lisa returned to Russia and not only directed CBC-Ufa, but also began taking students on missionary trips to other Russian villages and cities. Some of these places were without a single church or pastor, so their outreach to other Russian communities was particularly vital. It was during this time that the Michauds founded Kingdom Equippers Ministries International, a ministry whose goal is to train laborers throughout the world to carry out the Great Commission.

Sean (above right) leads a discipleship class in Venezuela. (Click to enlarge)Unfortunately, in 2008, Russia changed their visa laws. Regulations now stipulate that visitors may only stay in Russia for three months at a time, and then they must leave for three months—without exception. Sean and Lisa’s three children, Rachel, Abigail and Jeremiah, were attending Russian schools, and uprooting them every three months would have been very difficult for them. The Michauds knew it was time to leave. Sean recalled asking God to show Him where they would go next. “I sensed the Lord say, 'Africa,'”
Sean said.

However, Africa wasn’t in the Michaud’s immediate future. They returned to Colorado in 2008 for the annual CBC Director’s Meeting. Sean explained to Andrew about having to leave Russia, which led to two opportunities. Andrew suggested that Sean and Lisa move back to the Springs and work for Andrew Wommack Ministries World Outreach and teach at CBC. Andrew also extended an invitation to Sean to travel with him to South Africa in July. After this trip with Andrew, Sean decided it wasn’t yet time to move to Africa, so he took the position with AWM World Outreach and CBC.

Durban, South Africa (above right) is located on the eastern side of the the southern tip of Africa. (Click to enlarge)Again in the summer of 2009, Sean and Lisa traveled with Andrew to Africa where they connected with some ministers from Durban. Sean and Lisa sensed that Durban might be exactly where God was calling them, and one more visit in November confirmed it. “I was able to travel to Durban in November 2009 and was able to minister in quite a few churches. Upon returning to the United States, Lisa and I knew that the Lord was directing us to Durban,” Sean explained.

With their family now settled in Durban, the Michauds have begun leading a Discipleship Evangelism class, and plans are in motion to possibly open a Bible school in June of 2010. As Sean and Lisa faithfully respond to God’s leading, He continues to use them to bring His good news to the world.

The Michaud family, Sean, Lisa, Rachel, Abigail and Jeremiah, missionaries to Durban, South Africa. (Click to enlarge)The Michaud’s have seen God work in amazing and miraculous ways over the years; however, they have also faced many challenges as missionaries. Sean encourages others being called to the mission field with this, “Fear of the unknown causes many people to do nothing. 'Where's the money going to come from?' 'Where am I going to live?' 'How are things going to pan out?' Abraham went out not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8). Abraham went even though he had many unanswered questions. The answers to many questions are on the other side of obedience. We have discovered that God never leads by fear. We had to make the decision not to camp out on our fears and unanswered questions, but camp out on who God is, His faithfulness and what He's put in our heart.”

Ministry pioneers Sean and Lisa Michaud were called to the mission field, and He who calls is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Visit the Kingdom Equippers Ministries International website to learn more about the impact the Michaud's ministry is having in Durban, South Africa.