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Entries in CBC Extension Schools (39)

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
Apr152010

Are You Waiting on God?

Yvonne and Grady O'Brien, Directors of Charis Bible College Belfast, Ireland.
(Click to enlarge)
What do you get when you cross a restaurateur from South Bend, Indiana with a professional stylist from Dublin, Ireland? A grand opportunity to watch God's plan unfold...

Grady O'Brien, born in South Bend, was operating a restaurant in Dallas, Texas when he met Yvonne, who was working as an Art Director for Toni & Guy Salons in the same city. The two were married and began their family in the early nineties.

In November of 2000, friends of the O'Briens invited them to a church in Oak Cliff, a community in Dallas, to hear Andrew teach. After Andrew shared his message, the O'Briens had the opportunity to speak with him. During their conversation, Yvonne's Irish roots were mentioned and Andrew recalled seeing amazing signs and wonders during a visit to Dublin. The O'Briens went on to share that they had a desire to minister to the people of Ireland. Andrew's response to their statement radically changed the O'Brien's lives. Andrew looked at them and asked, "Are you waiting on God?" Grady replied, "Yes." Andrew said, "Maybe God is waiting on you." Grady described the moment as if an arrow had pierced his heart, and in that moment he knew that through Andrew's words, God was confirming to him a call to
the ministry.

CBC Belfast, one of Grady's classes (Click to enlarge) Over the course of the following year the family left Dallas, and by faith relocated to Colorado Springs, where the pair enrolled in Charis Bible College (CBC). Grady attended on a full-time basis, while Yvonne home-schooled their three children, and completed the CBC first year Correspondence curriculum.

After Grady completed the two year program the couple met with Andrew to discuss their next step. With the goal of ministering to the people of Ireland still in mind, Andrew suggested that they move to England where Grady could further prepare for his role as a minister by completing a third year apprenticeship through CBC in Coventry, England. Yvonne graduated from CBC and Grady completed his apprentice program in 2004. They were ready to impact
the world!

Part of the experience at any CBC is the required foreign missions trip. Here, Yvonne and several students pray for a woman in a market in Malinalco, Mexico.Intending to open a CBC extension school, the O'Briens, and their four children moved to Galway, located on the western coast of Ireland. They made the most of every ministry opportunity; however, after a year's time they had not seen the response they were looking for as they sought to position the school. Another move was eminent.

In the Spring of 2005 Andrew visited Ireland and held meetings in both Dublin and Belfast. After attending both, it was clear to the O'Briens, that Belfast would be a much better location from which to launch the college. While at the Belfast meeting, Andrew asked Grady and Yvonne if they were sure they wanted to launch a school. After assuring him of their commitment to do so, Andrew announced their intent to open the CBC extension. Two months later the O'Briens moved to Antrim, just north of Belfast and began holding classes. In 2006 they moved into the school's current location within the city limits of Belfast.

Yvonne and students minister to a young boy in Mexico. (Click to enlarge)Now, after answering the Lord's call to ministry, and five years after the launch of CBC Belfast, the O'Briens are beginning to see the fruits of their efforts multiplied. They recently performed their first ordination ceremonies for several of their past graduates (2 Timothy 2:2).

Understanding from first-hand experience how powerful the message of God's unconditional love is, it is exciting for Grady and Yvonne to see the school growing. The college is filling up with students of varying ages and backgrounds, all coming together with a hunger for God's word. There are 19 students currently enrolled in CBC Belfast, and the O'Briens are anticipating that number will double over the course of the coming months.

Not everyone is called to full-time ministry or to open a Bible college like the O'Briens did, but if you find yourself waiting on the Lord, it could be that HE is waiting on you.

To learn more about the O'Briens and their ministry to the people of Ireland, visit the Charis Bible College-Belfast website.

Monday
Jan252010

Faithful Discipleship: A Look at Forgoston International Ministries

CBC graduates and missionaries to India, the Forgoston family (L-R) David, Judith, Russ and Hannah.
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Three Charis Bible College (CBC) graduates founded Forgoston International Ministries, located in Chennai, India. Russ Forgoston, his son David, and David's wife Judith began ministering to the people of India two and half years ago. Since then, the missionary trio has implemented three main programs in Chennai, which have been quite fruitful and have seen exponential growth.

One program that the Forgoston's launched is called Grace Discipleship Training. Their program is based on the 48 lesson curriculum Andrew co-authored with Don Krow, called Discipleship Evangelism. Upon witnessing a noticeable lack of biblical foundation in local church leadership, the Forgoston's felt led to start the program in order to reach out to area pastors to give them a better understanding of the Word. The program has helped many leaders come to know God more intimately and as a result, the Forgoston's are receiving reports that some Indian churches are growing and thriving like never before. At the end of 2009, 350 pastors and church leaders had completed the training program.

The Forgoston's discipleship training program has touched the lives of many in Chennai. (Click to enlarge)In order to accommodate growing interest in the Grace Discipleship Training program, David explained that they have decided to video the teachings and dub-in various language translations. This will allow more pastors access to the materials and lessons, enabling them to view them as often as they choose. Although the Forgoston's have only just begun this process, many have expressed interest in these products.

Another program the Forgoston's set into motion is called the Jeevan Bank project, which is a micro-loan program, and so much more. Russ explained that they wanted to offer something that would help the poor. Through the Jeevan Bank, those with an entrepreneurial heart can obtain small loans to start their own businesses. This loan program goes beyond traditional banking practices in that the loan recipients are taught how to manage their money, how to promote their businesses and how to make wise decisions as their businesses grow. The program has been largely successful. A total of 162 micro-loans were given to India's poor in 2009. The Forgoston's have seen many lives transformed through the opportunities this program has offered to the people of India.

David and a local boy having fun.
(Click to enlarge)
"I am continually amazed when I think about the favor that God is pouring out on our mission. We are walking through doors that I never imagined would be opened for us. Things are being set up and plans are going into motion that are absolutely extraordinary," David said.

In 2009 the trio also opened the doors of Charis Bible College, India. The Forgoston's enrolled 60 first year students during their inaugural school year. They currently offer full and part-time programs and correspondence courses are also available. David, Judith and Russ each teach at the school, and use DVD curriculum as well. Students also experience live praise and worship three times a week. The Forgoston's goal is to share the Gospel truth with the people of India through the courses at CBC.

Judith enjoys building relationships with people of Chennai. (Click to enlarge)Reflecting on the opening of the school Judith commented, "Teaching at CBC India and building relationships with the students here has truly been one of the best experiences of my life."

Years ago the Lord placed 2 Timothy 2:2 on Andrew's heart, which became his vision for CBC. In that verse, which is a picture of discipleship, Paul explains to Timothy that he should take what he had learned from Paul and commit the same lessons to faithful men around him who would be able to teach others as well. Like Andrew, the Forgoston's are doing just that; continuing the line of discipleship by being faithful to share with others what they have learned.

"Being a missionary in India for the past couple of years has really stretched me," said Russ. "I believe that my relationship with God has become deeper and stronger and the reason for that is directly linked to me following His call and letting Him fulfill the plan that He has for my life."

Ministries working together to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Catalyst MI founders Jeff and Autumn Nakkula stand and serve together with the Forgoston family in Chennai. (Click to enlarge)The Forgoston's ministry endeavors are captured in the short video posted below. Interestingly, the husband and wife video production team of Jeff and Autumn Nakkula are also CBC graduates and missionaries. Jeff and Autumn founded Catalyst Ministries International, a helps ministry organization that comes along side others already doing the work of the ministry. They utilize their media and TV production skills to help document and promote ministries such as the Forgoston's as they minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jeff and Autumn are also missionaries in India at this time.

To Learn more about the Forgoston's growing ministry visit Forgoston International Ministries. For a more in-depth look at the Forgoston family's call to ministry, watch The Forgoston's Destiny Story and read the article Like Father, Like Son.

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