Search
Follow Us Online
Previous News Topics
Thursday
Jul102014

Heather Hunter's Hermanito

Heather Hunter from Charis Bible College in Colorado and her "hermanito" (Spanish for, little brother) Nicaraguan native, Jose Luis. (Click to enlarge)Heather Hunter is a recent graduate of Charis Bible College in Colorado. Shortly before she graduated, she took part in a CBC second-year mission trip to Nicaragua. Even before finding out she had been chosen to be part of a team headed to the Central American nation, Heather knew in her heart that she belonged in Nicaragua. As she prepared for her journey, people prayed for and spoke many encouraging words over her. Among the things people shared with Heather, were that God was going to show her a different aspect of His love on the trip, and that God had a specific, divine appointment waiting for her there, and that she would be aware of exactly when she had the encounter.

During Heather's first day in Nicaragua, her team ministered in a place called Las Maderas. There they worked closely with Andrew's good friends Darey and Karen Jolley and their ministry, Ambassadors to the Nations. While visiting a school, and preparing for her role in a team skit, the Lord brought a young man to Heather's attention. She immediately sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to her about him. Their initial encounter was only long enough to exchange greetings before they were interrupted by the performance.

In the skit titled, Set Me Free, Heather played a person far from God, tangled and entrapped in all sorts of sin. In the end, Jesus redeemed Heather's character, and she embraced Him. Jesus wrapped her in a white robe of righteousness, and the two danced, rejoicing in her deliverance. After the skit, Heather shared some of her personal testimony. Among other details, Heather shared that she used to cut herself.

Immediately following her testimony, the young man she had met before the skit, Jose Luis, came and grabbed her by the hands and asked (in Spanish) to speak to her alone. After the two went outside, Jose revealed lines and scars on his arms—he was a cutter also. Realizing that he was struggling, Heather explained to him that the change he was seeking would come effortlessly, as a by-product of a relationship with God. Heather could see relief flood Jose Luis' face when he realized freedom was not on his shoulders.

By the third day, Heather and Jose Luis had gotten better acquainted. Heather had learned a lot about Jose Luis' past and his current life at home. "He told me his dad never said he loved him, and I told him I had experienced the same in the past," Heather said. "I honestly don’t think anyone had ever told him that they genuinely love him, and I don’t think he had ever been able to say it to anyone," Heather continued.

On a ferry returning from team outreach efforts on the island of Ometepe, Heather felt it was time to tell Jose Luis how the Lord brought them together. Heather said, "I told him about knowing I belonged in Nicaragua, about the divine appointment that I was told I would have, and how I would know the appointment when it happened. Then I told him that he was the divine appointment."

Jose Luis and Heather (right) with other CBC-Colorado students.
(Click to enlarge)
As Heather continued to speak to Jose Luis, she told him of the deep sadness she sensed he had in his heart. She said, "You feel that no one knows, and that no one cares, and you feel alone. But you have to see how God sent me, someone from across the world, to intercede for you.”

Jose Luis acknowledged what Heather shared and said, “Yes, I felt that way, but after meeting you, I do not anymore because I know there is someone who does care.” Wanting to impress upon Jose Luis just how valuable he is to the Father, she replied, “Yes, but you have to see that it is not just me who cares, it is really God."

Heather began to see the Love of God opening up in Jose Luis, the way a flower opens to the sunlight. "The look on his face was unforgettable. I told him, 'You know what? God loves you, and the way God loves you, I love you also. God never wants His kids to hurt, and He loves you so much that He sent me from across the world, just to tell you.”

Jose Luis looked at Heather, and told her he loved her the same way.

Heather said that in those moments, the Lord showed her that Jose Luis was responding to more than her sisterly love; he was literally responding to God's love poured out through her.

For the rest of the trip, the two were inseparable, referring to each other as hermana (big sister) and hermanito (little brother). The Lord continued to use Heather to reveal Himself to Jose Luis, and through the experience, to reveal more of His love to Heather as well.

Understanding that the bond the Lord had forged between Heather and Jose Luis was meant to be maintained, Heather struggled with how to stay in touch with her little brother after the CBC team left Nicaragua. After all, Jose Luis didn't have the modern conveniences (e.g. cell phone and internet) we enjoy in more developed nations. Back in the United States, as Heather pondered the communication gap, she prayed and asked God to make a way for their friendship to flourish.

Heather's happy little brother, Jose Luis. (Click to enlarge)A few hours later, Heather received a message from Jose Luis on Facebook; he had just purchased a phone and downloaded the free app. Now the two can communicate any time, any place. In Heather's reply, she shared what she had prayed earlier in the day, and pointed out how God had faithfully answered her prayer. Nothing is impossible with God.

Second year mission trips provide real-life opportunities for CBC students to put what they've learned in the classroom, into action. For many, like Heather, these trips are life changing. To learn more about Charis Bible College and how you can change your life and your world, visit: charisbiblecollege.org.

Monday
Jul072014

Observing All Things

How much does the Bible get in the way of what you believe? If you're like most Christians, you believe in Jesus, but you've compartmentalized your faith so that your Bible beliefs have only a little influence over other areas of your life. For many, the Bible doesn't influence what they believe one iota! As long as they claim to believe on Jesus, they think they can believe whatever they want about issues in life and society. That is absolutely wrong! All that this means is they have not been taught to observe all things Jesus commanded:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20a] teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20a, New King James Version

You see, a disciple is a person who observes all things Jesus commanded. By and large, the church has not been making disciples. Their goal has basically been "Let's just get people born again and make sure they're headed to heaven. Everything else will work out." This has caused problems. Because the church isn't teaching people to observe all things Jesus commanded, there's a void in society where Christians ought to be taking a stand. When it comes to social, moral issues, a lot of Christians are silent or they oppose what the Bible says. They've professed faith in the Lord, but they aren't disciples. That might sound shocking to you, but look at how Jesus responded to people who only put faith in Him:

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. John 8:31

It's not enough just to get saved so you won't go to hell. It's not about an insurance policy. You have to continue in Jesus' words if you're going to be His disciple. This ought to be the goal of every single Christian. Yet it's amazing how many don't get this. They think the Bible shouldn't influence what they think about economics, racial issues, marriage, or health. When it comes to hot topics like homosexuality, abortion, and evolution, the church is divided. Most would say, "See, now you've gone to meddling. You just need to stick to preaching the Word and stop getting into politics and social issues." But I am preaching the Word! It's not me who is invading the social, political arena; these things are encroaching on what the Bible has to say. The Word of God has instruction for every one of these areas.

The Word of God has a lot to say about the issues we're facing in society today. If we stay silent, the unbelievers-who don't have a biblical worldview-are going to be the ones establishing all of the policies, determining what we can and can't say, and what we can do and can't do. This is already happening, and many Christians have just accepted this. They've moved away from the words of Jesus. They don't know what the Word of God has to say on all of these things...

To continue reading more of Andrew's thoughts on today's hot-button issues, be sure to check out his latest article, Observing All Things. To make sure you never miss an article in the future, sign up for Andrew's monthly newsletter.

Thursday
Jul032014

A Peek at This Year's Bible Conference

Andrew looks forward to this conference each summer, and is especially excited to be hosting the event at the new Charis Bible College Campus in Woodland Park, for the first time this year. (Click to enlarge)The Summer Family Bible Conference kicked off on June 30 with more than 1000 people, from across the country and around the world, gathering at The Sanctuary in picturesque Woodland Park. Each year families look forward to this special, weeklong event, filled with powerful worship and anointed Biblical teaching. Adults and kids alike enjoy the fun and fellowship with like-minded believers, while growing deeper in the revelation of God’s love. If you were not able to make it to Woodland Park for the conference this year, you can still join us online. At the time of this post, we are still live streaming each session. If you are reading this post after the conference has concluded, on July fourth, you can find the conference sessions archived here.

(Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge)

Everyone loves praise and worship! Jamie Wommack, Charlie & Jill LeBlanc, and Daniel Amstutz and the Charis Bible College Worship Team are providing fantastic praise and worship music this year.

(Click to enlarge)Andrew with Charis Bible College Director, Gary Luecke. The two share information about CBC's two year Bible training program. Andrew and Gary will host a Q & A session on Thursday, July 3 at 10 a.m., which will also be live-streamed.

(Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge)The kids gather in their own space, and enjoy their own worship, teaching and fellowship. Later in the week, parents will enjoy a special children’s presentation.

There is something for everyone at the Summer Family Bible Conference; even the young adults have their own space to worship and congregate.

(Click to enlarge)(Click to enlarge)