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Entries in CBC Extension Schools (39)

Thursday
Aug082013

Charis Bible College - Gold Coast

Charis Bible College graduates, Byron and Leesa Hamilton. The Directors of Andrew Wommack Ministries Australia and CBC-Gold Coast.
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Just three years ago, Byron and Leesa Hamilton were living in Springfield, Missouri, when Byron began to feel a stirring in his heart to serve Andrew Wommack, in whatever capacity Andrew and his ministry needed. The desire to take a leap of faith resonated with Leesa, so the two made the decision to move to Colorado Springs and attend Charis Bible College. Neither of the Hamiltons knew what God was calling them to, or that they would eventually be the answer to prayers being prayed on the other side of the world.

Both Byron and Leesa were raised in Christian homes. Byron was born in Queensland, Australia, and after completing a Bachelors degree in Education, he served with Operation Mobilization, an Evangelical Christian missionary training organization. He traveled and served with the organization in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East. After returning to Australia, Byron took a position as the principal of Bayside Christian Academy in Wynnum-Manly, Queensland. Two years later, he moved to the United States to continue his education. He The Hamiltons celebrating Leesa's graduation. L-R: Jamie and Andrew, Leesa, daughter Kelsey, son Joshua, Byron, and son Jeremie.
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graduated in 1989 with a Master's degree in Theology at the Assemblies of God Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.

Leesa grew up in Arlington, Texas, where she attended a Baptist church. She accepted Jesus as her Savior when she was nineteen, and she was radically transformed. After attending Arlington Baptist College and Dallas Theological Seminary, she acted in and helped produce two short films as a member of the Master-Vision Christian Artists, and then she studied acting at Casa Manana Playhouse in Ft. Worth.

After Byron and Leesa met and married, they spent two decades in Missouri, established several businesses in Springfield, CBC graduates: Jeremie, Byron and Kelsey with Andrew and Leesa.
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raised their children, and served in various capacities within their local church body. In 2010, however, the couple stepped out of their comfort zone to pursue the stirring in Byron's heart—unaware that Colorado was just the starting point for a new faith adventure, and how their move would affect their whole family. Because of the exciting changes that took place in Byron and Leesa's lives through their studies at Charis, three of their adult children, Jeremie, Joshua, and Kelsey, moved to Colorado Springs in 2011 to join them at CBC.

Three weeks before Byron and Leesa graduated from CBC-Colorado, in May of 2012, Leesa began to feel a desire in her Byron and Leesa visiting with AWM supporters in Melbourne, Australia (Click to enlarge)heart about a particular place. As she pondered what the stirring meant, she was reminded of something God had asked her back in 2006 and again in 2008. “If I called you to Australia would you go?” Both times Leesa’s response was, “If you equip me and enable me Lord—I will go.

It was that summer, following graduation from CBC, that God led the Hamiltons to visit Australia. When partners of Andrew Wommack Ministries found out that the Hamiltons were planning a visit to Australia, the couple received multiple invitations to speak and minister in places such as Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.

Byron teaching in Sydney, Australia.
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While in Australia, Byron and Leesa kept their eyes open for a good location for someone to plant a Bible college. When they made their way to Australia's Gold Coast, the Hamiltons became keenly aware of God’s presence and peace. It was in the Gold Coast that they met a man named Rod Smith. Rod, an administrator at a local church, invited the Hamiltons to his home, and there was an instant unity in spirit between Byron and Leesa and Rod and his wife, Lisa. The Hamiltons soon found out that Rod had been praying specifically for a Charis Bible College to be planted in the Gold Coast/Brisbane area.

Leesa sharing the Hamilton's vision for Australia with students at CBC-Florida. (Click to enlarge)Once they had returned to Colorado Springs, the Hamiltons came to the conclusion that they were the someones God was calling to Australia, and they were the answer to Rod’s prayer. Pieces of the Hamilton's faith puzzle, beginning with the stirring in their hearts to attend CBC, to the question God asked Leesa about Australia, finally fit together for the couple. The Hamiltons set up a Skype date with Rod to let him know of their plans to open a CBC campus in Australia. Rod was amazed. A week before Byron and Leesa called him, God told Rod his prayers for a CBC extension school in Australia had been answered. “When you question why God is leading you in ways you don’t understand—remember this story and know—understanding Andrew and CBC-Colorado Director, Gary Lueke, stand with AWM/CBC team heading to Australia. The Hamiltons will be joined by CBC-Colorado graduates, David Carter (far left) and Jessica Sharp (right). (Click to enlarge)will come one day. You are the answer to someone’s prayers!” Leesa said.

Leesa completed a third year of ministry training in preparation to direct CBC-Gold Coast, which is set to open in February of 2014. Byron will be taking on the task of launching Andrew Wommack Ministries Australia. The Australia team, Byron and Leesa, along with CBC grads, David Carter and Jessica Sharp, left America for the Gold Coast at the beginning of August and they are filled with anticipation for what God has in store for Australia. The team looks forward to hosting the Gold Coast Gospel Truth Seminar with Andrew Wommack on October 31– November 2, 2013.

To learn more about the Hamilton's upcoming events, to follow their progress, and to sign up for their newsletter, visit their ministry page, Grace and Faith Ministries and follow them on Facebook.

Thursday
Aug012013

Victor Immanuel's Desire to Help & Heal

Victor and Natasha Immanuel, the Directors of Charis Bible College Naberezhyne Chelny, Russia. (Click to enlarge)Victor Immanuel was born and raised in Vellore, Tamilnadu in India. In 2001, he moved to Russia to study medicine and become a doctor. While studying to help and heal people in St. Petersburg, he had an encounter with the Gospel and met the true Healer, Jesus.

Victor was raised in a home with mixed religious beliefs; his mother was a Christian, while his father preferred to follow Hindu practices. As a teenager, Victor leaned more toward his father's belief in an acceptance of all gods. This leaning changed however, when at the age of 17 he came across a dead dog wasting away in the street. The sight of the dog's rotting carcass prompted Victor to ask himself deep questions: Would he end up like the dog in the street? What was after death? Why was he alive at all? These questions and many others troubled Victor, to the point that he sought the council of local religious leaders. Hindu leaders told him that after death he would go to God or to hell or come back as an animal, depending upon how he lived his life prior to death. They gave him a list of rules and regulations to follow to get to God. When Victor asked if they could guarantee (with one hundred Victor and his family. Victor was born and raised in Vellore, Tamilnadu in India. (Click to enlarge)percent certainty) that he would go to God if he followed all the rules, they said, no. Frightened by the Hindu leaders' lack of security, Victor asked Muslim friends the same questions. Their rule and regulation-rich answers were delivered with similar uncertainty.

Finally, Victor turned to Christian friends for answers; these friends brought Victor to their pastor. The pastor shared the gospel with Victor. Doubting the simplicity of believing in Christ's finished work for salvation, Victor asked the pastor for a one hundred percent guarantee. The pastor's reply startled Victor, "Not 100%...200%! I am sure you will be with God, if you trust in Jesus." Victor Victor ministering during his first mission trip to Chelny (Click to enlarge)received Jesus after his conversation with the pastor.

A short time later, as Victor was seeking the Lord about His plan for his life, he sensed the Lord leading him to Russia. "He said he had a ministry for me in Russia," said Victor. He kept the Lord's words in his heart, and he moved to Russia with the intent to study medicine.

Upon settling in St. Petersburg, Victor became involved with a local church. During one service, it was announced that Carrie Pickett, a Charis Bible College graduate and missionary from Colorado, was going to host bible school classes in the evenings. Victor was excited by the thought of studying medicine during the day and studying the Bible at night.

Victor sitting with mentor, teacher and friend, Mike Pickett, Co-director of CBTC and AWM-Russia, watching Andrew speak during his visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, (Click to enlarge)It was through his evening studies with Carrie that Victor was introduced to Andrew's ministry. Although he frequently heard Carrie mention Andrew by name, he was not terribly interested in him because he had never seen Andrew in person. In 2008, Victor's perspective about Andrew and Christianity was radically transformed when Andrew visited St. Petersburg. Victor said, "Andrew spoke on Spirit, Soul & Body and Believer's Authority, and this totally changed my life... I got the understanding of who I am in the spirit, what kind of power is living inside me, and how to use the [believer's] authority. [Andrew] demonstrated this by healing people. I found what I had been seeking. I went to Andrew's website and downloaded all the teachings. Every day, for four hours, I listened to him, and I got a very good grip on the word of God."

Victor visits with men from a drug rehab. He has seen many healings in this facility. (Click to enlarge)Victor continued his studies enrolling in classes at Charis Bible Training Center. As he grew in the Word, he desired to see the power of God manifest through him; he was looking for an opportunity to see people healed and raised from the dead. In August of 2009, he came across a woman lying in the street. The woman was motionless, and her mother stood nearby crying. Victor stopped to help, and as he supported the woman's head, he prayed in tongues. He heard Holy Spirit instruct him to lay his hand on her heart. Victor spoke and said, "Heart work in the name of Jesus." Immediately, she started breathing, stood up and began walking around."I was so excited to see this happen, to see the word of God accomplished its work; I was so happy," recalled Victor.

Victor's second mission trip to Chelny. He prayed for this boys deaf ears to hear, and they were opened.
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Victor's experience set his ministry in motion. He has seen many other manifestations of God's power since that day. Following his encounters with God, Victor's desire to be a doctor began to wane. He knew he had the power of God on the inside of him—the power to heal and help others, and although he was still in medical school, he turned his full attention to ministry.

One other person had a significant impact on Victor's life as well, CBTC graduate, Natasha Starikova. At first, Victor knew of Natasha only by name, through the church he attended in St. Petersburg. After her CBTC graduation, Natasha became a missionary, and the church often prayed for her as she traveled to foreign countries. Victor put a face with her name in 2010, when she returned to CBTC to Victor and Natasha were married in 2010. (Click to enlarge)teach several leadership classes. The two finally met during Victor's mission trip to Naberezhnye Chelny late in 2010. Victor and Natasha witnessed many miracles on the trip, and had the opportunity to discuss their stories and the desires of their hearts—sharing their passions for Christ. The two had an instant connection, and within days they knew they were to be partners for life. They were married on November 27, 2010.

Eventually, Victor's practice of placing a higher priority on his call to ministry than his medical studies cost him his medical degree, and that is fine with him. Today Victor and Natasha run a CBC extension school in Naberezhnye Chelny and Victor pastors a church called, God's Love, which he planted there two years ago. With regard to his pursuit of ministry Victor said, "Basically I found my ministry place, my wife, provision—everything—just because I chose to follow my heart. I lost my Victor speaking during the commencement ceremony for CBC-Naberezhnye Chelny's first graduating class. (L-R: Victor, Natasha, Andrew, his translator, Vladimir Tcys, Carrie and Mike Pickett).
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medical degree, but I [gained] the most valuable persons and things in my life. I never feel sorry for myself because I don`t have a medical degree. I produce better results as a son of God than as a medical doctor! I've seen a lady raised from the dead. I've seen HIV patients healed, blind eyes and deaf ears opened, coma patients raised up, broken legs healed, tuberculosis and hepatitis C healed, allergies healed, and many, many more. I've produced better results using God's word than using medical knowledge. I am not against medical doctors, but I am not called to be one!"

Thursday
Jul252013

Charis Bible College Continues to Expand in India

Lance and Gerri Weldgen, Directors of Andrew Wommack Ministries India, Charis Bible College India and founders of Son Ministries International.
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"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2).

This verse sparked Andrew's vision for the expansion of Charis Bible College. This applies to the expansion of the main campus in Colorado, as well as to the growing network of extension campuses crisscrossing the globe. While many of the extensions make their home in the United States, there are an increasing number of offerings abroad too. An example of this growth can be seen in India, which is now home to three CBC-campuses.

Lance and Gerri present CBC-Chennai graduate, Lawrence with his diploma. CBC-Chennai Administrator, Aubrey Bastian (right). (Click to enlarge)Lance Weldgen, the Director of both Andrew Wommack Ministries of India and CBC-India, indicated that there is a recognizable hunger for truth and a pursuit of God prevalent among the nation of India, but that the religious people of the region are predominantly caught up in Hindu and Muslim practices. It is the Indian people's hunger that has made room for CBC's growth in the region.

Since Lance and his wife, Gerri, took the helm of CBC-India in Chennai, in 2012, the school has blossomed to include two new campuses, one in Mumbai, Maharashtra and another in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. In a perfect example of 2 Timothy 2:2 in motion, Lance said that Map highlighting CBC-India's three campus locations.
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in each case of expansion, the visionaries (CBC-India graduates called to these specific locations) led the way.

"Gerri and I came to India to share the unconditional love and grace of Jesus Christ with the Indian people. We came with what we had learned from CBC-Colorado, plus my healing testimony, plus the call of God and not much else. We quickly learned that the people here have a major Truth shortage that they really do want resolved. And the Word of God is their solution. As soon as we share about healing and God’s love, we have a captive audience," said Lance.

Before the Weldgen's arrival in India, they made connections with CBC-India graduates, Ashish Shinde and Victor Ashish Shinde and his wife, Sarah (top row, center) lead the campus in Mumbai. (Click to enlarge)Gnanaraj. Lance and Gerri shared their hopes and vision for the spread of the Gospel Truth throughout India. Both men responded with passion and a desire to be a part of spreading the good news, Ashish in Mumbai and Victor in Hyderabad. Once on the ground in India, Lance discerned Ashish and Victor's hearts for God and ministry, and he knew CBC’s were to be planted in each location. Both of these satellite schools are doing very well.

CBC-Mumbai operates as a part-time satellite school and will do so for one more year before transitioning into a full-time, two year college. Classes meet once per week on Saturdays for six and a half hours. The curriculum consists of all the college's required first-year teachings by Andrew Wommack, Wendell Parr, Greg Victor Gnanaraj and his wife Varsh (center) lead the school in Hyderabad. (Click to enlarge)Mohr, Barry Bennett, Lawson Purdue, Delron Shirley and Arthur Meintjes. Approximately one third of the classes feature live teaching. The campus in Hyderabad has run along the same lines and has moved into full-time extension school status.

These new schools are the result of more than just the plans stirred in the hearts of men; they are the answers to many prayers. Aside from Andrew's prayers, and those of his World Outreach team and Lance and Gerri's own prayers, the Indian people were also praying. Lance said, "After hearing the testimonies of all the Lance teaching in Hyderabad.
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students at each school, we learned that it was not just our prayers that prayed these schools into existence; it was the prayers of the students." Over and over, the Weldgens have heard testimonies of people who had watched the Gospel Truth program on TV and dreamed of going to CBC, in the US or in Chennai, but they were unable to leave their families or jobs to leave Mumbai and Hyderabad. So, they prayed for God to make a way. They spoke to the Lord about a CBC coming to their cities, long before the ministry ever announced expansion plans. The prayers of the faithful were answered.

The fruit of the answered prayers goes beyond the opening of each campus. While it is outstanding that each new school Gerri ministering to the students in Mumbai. (Click to enlarge)in India opened with more than 25 students, what's more impressive is the students' eagerness to receive the fullness of what the Lord has provided. They have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with gladness, and that has opened them up to see miracles and demonstrations of God's great love.

One of the reported miracles came from a Hyderabad student, Daniel Jaya Kumar, who had been getting filled with the Word through Andrew’s teachings. Daniel shared that his daughter, who had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for many years, had died. The good news however, is that she was raised from the dead! And, the rheumatoid arthritis was completely gone! Daniel's Lance and Gerri ministering to the students in Mumbai. (Click to enlarge)daughter lives a normal life today.

"The passion for teaching others the great truths that Andrew has passed on to us, including the Administrators of each CBC, makes the mission an unstoppable one! There is nothing that will impede the expansion of God’s Kingdom throughout India," Lance declared with the authority of heaven.

Visit the CBC-India website for more information about the three campuses. To find out more about the Weldgens and how you can help support their work in India, please visit: Son Ministries International.