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Entries in Charis Bible College (46)

Thursday
Nov032016

Shared Experience—It’s the Heart of Christmas

I was six years old the year I found a long, rectangular package with my name on it under the Christmas tree. The box was wrapped in candy cane-stamped, pine-green paper, and inside was a doll. She had caramel-colored hair, a white blouse, and a red, Scottish-plaid beanie and skirt. I named her Tammy.

After dinner and baths, I sat on the floor in pajamas with my little sister. My parents and older siblings were there too. The darkened room created a theater effect. The television played a movie about Heidi, her grandfather, and an ornery goat. Christmas lights twinkled off the surface of our shiny floor like stars reflecting on a lake. We passed around bowls of popcorn, and Tammy sat on my lap. Nothing can ever take away the sense of belonging I had in that moment. For me, family identity was formed on holidays, during our shared meals, or on game nights. Those shared experiences were embedded in me as a child, creating points of connection.

Last year I attended Charis Bible College’s original production The Heart of Christmas. My son and I went with several families from his school. Sitting shoulder to shoulder with my son, a familiar warmth rushed through my senses as soon as the lights fell.

The Heart of Christmas, an original play written by Adam Stone and Elizabeth and Robert Muren, focuses on a family who passes their Christmas traditions down through a book, as the world changes rapidly around each generation. The book is the story of a “fourth” wise man who becomes separated from the other three wise men. He spends his life looking for the Messiah, whom he missed the opportunity to honor as a babe in Bethlehem.

The stage of this multimedia play is divided into one set featuring a two-story house and one set that displays all the action that occurs outside of the home. The family’s living room takes on scenes from the past up to the present, while the main stage portrays scenes from the book. With stage changes, the main stage also becomes the historical site of world events. Background action and crowd scenes are projected onto large screens behind the set, giving the production a larger-than-life feel.

If you’re looking for a shared family experience, The Heart of Christmas will transport you and your loved ones to a magical moment where cherished memories are formed and holiday traditions are made. The early-bird price is $21 for adults, but be sure to order by November 9. After November 9, regular adult admission will be $25. Children from 5 to 11 years old are $15, and children under 5 (on an adult’s lap) are free.

Plan to come to Charis a little early that day to enjoy Christmas festivities, photo opportunities with a professional photographer, and Charis’s scenic mountain property, The Sanctuary. It’s a holiday experience you won’t want to miss.

Don’t forget: Early-bird prices will only last through November 9. Go to www.HeartOfChristmas.org and order your tickets today!

Thursday
Aug042016

Jim Omi—An Employee with a Charis Heart

Jim Omi believes that being a custodian at Charis Bible College includes more than just cleaning floors and straightening chairs. He cares for the people he serves and connects them to one another and to their community. Jim credits this influence, which he calls a kind of vision, to
his mother:

“She was an American, but because she was of Japanese heritage, during World War II, she was split up from her family in an internment camp. Her family’s property was taken from them, and they temporarily lived in horse stables. She was never bitter; neither was my father. My mom’s faith in the Lord was strong. I received patience from her and a love for people.”

Jim’s job description doesn’t limit him from reaching beyond the physical walls he cleans. It was almost from the start of his employment at Charis in 2014 that Jim approached his supervisor, Facilities manager Tom King, to propose an outreach to Woodland Park High School. Jim asked if he could bring physically and mentally disabled students to Charis to train them in janitorial work. So, Tom and his supervisor worked with Bob Piercefield of the Woodland Park School District to make it all happen. During the school year, Jim brings these students in for one hour, three days a week. He says he just keeps it simple:

“I teach them with a towel and cleaning solution. I teach them how to straighten chairs. They get exposure to people here. They love the music and the students…. Let me tell you about Octavius. When he started coming, he was slumped over in his wheelchair. Now he has been sitting up over time. That may not look like much. Although it’s quiet, it’s huge.”

It’s not just Woodland Park High School students who are being connected to Charis. Jim found out about two first-year Charis students who were talented at baseball, so Jim contacted the Woodland Park baseball coach, Mayor Neil Levy, and asked the coach if he could use a couple of “great guys from Charis” to help with their baseball team. Coach Levy was happy to have the help.

Then there is Adam Stone, coordinator of the Charis Creative Arts School, whom Jim was able to give a helpful connection to during the Christmas season. As Charis was preparing for The Heart of Christmas, Jim connected Adam with Sara Lee in the drama department at the high school.
Adam explains,

“We went to see their props department. They supplied us with so many props and costumes. The best was a wooden wheelchair for [the character of] President Roosevelt. We thought there was no chance they’d have one of those. But sure enough, they had the exact
[prop]—amazing!”

Jim is a man who benefits people wherever he goes. Though he’s not a graduate of or even a student at Charis, he has internalized what the school is all about, and it shows in the way that he fulfills Ephesians 4:16:

“He [Jesus] makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

New Living Translation, brackets added

“Jim exudes Charis,” says Tom King. “His heart is for students and for his job. It really shows in how he does his job and leads his team.” Jim is a great example of how no matter what your job title is, you can play an important role in God’s kingdom. One way you can discover your role is through seeking God at Charis! Click here to learn more. 

If Jim’s story blessed you, share a comment below!

Monday
Mar072016

The Charis Campus Days Experience

Greg MohrGreg Mohr, the new director of Charis Bible College, sat down with Eileen Quinn, a content assistant in the AWM Publications Department, to discuss Charis’s upcoming Campus Days event. Eileen, now a Third-Year Ministry Track Student, made a decision to come to Charis Colorado after hearing God’s call at Campus Days 2013.

Eileen Quinn: Hi, Pastor Greg. I’d like to thank you for giving us your time for this interview.

Greg Mohr: Oh, you’re welcome, Eileen. I’m happy to do it.

EQ: Let’s begin with some details about the event so that readers know when it is. When is the event, and who are the speakers?

GM: The event’s on April 6-8, and the main speakers are myself, Carrie Picket, Lawson Perdue, Wendell Parr, Barry Bennett, and Andrew.

EQ: This newsletter will go out to our friends and partners, many of whom have not yet become students. We would like to tell them why this event is unique. Can you speak to that?

GM: Well, the unique thing to Campus Days is that guests get to meet and learn about several of our key instructors, adjunct instructors, and staff here at Charis. We are trying to give the participants a view into what a day at Charis looks like or what they can expect from different instructors—as well as from Andrew. They are already familiar with him, so we want to give them a taste of what they could expect when they come here as students.

EQ: You often hear Andrew and others talk about the “Charis Experience.” What elements of the “Charis Experience” would you say that people experience at Campus Days?

GM: What we describe as the “Charis Experience” is exactly what we try to incorporate into Campus Days. That would be fellowship with other current and prospective students, awesome worship that brings people into the presence of God, [and] teaching from the Word that comes from both revelation and experience. All of our instructors are experienced in their field. Students will also experience what they take away from this environment—a sense of empowerment to go out and do the things they received while here. So, that would include healing, all types of ministry…that’s unique to Charis. People come and get to know God better, but then they leave empowered to take it and apply it in their world, their business, their ministry, and so on. People experience that from three days of concentrated fellowship, ministry, and worship at Campus Days.

EQ: You know, that’s so true! That’s why I came. When Andrew was teaching that year, he taught on the Emmaus road (Luke 24), which is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. I thought I would just come and go back home and do the online program. But while I was here, God made it so clear that I was to relocate and go to school here.

GM: Yes, now some people come and know they are supposed to start school at an extension school near them, start Distance Learning, or that they are—like you—to relocate and come to Charis Colorado. You know, we only want people to come here who are actually called to come here. That’s why you can take Charis courses many different ways. We want the Holy Spirit to speak to people and for people to hear for themselves what they are supposed to do. Hearing that call as to where you are supposed to be is what will give you what I like to call “finishing power.”

EQ: So, the journey to Colorado for Campus Days, is it a foreshadowing of what it would be like for them to come here for school?

GM: Yes, we want to give them a realistic picture of what campus life is. I meant to mention that earlier, but when people come here and see the beautiful landscape and environment of Colorado that God’s given us, and this beautiful facility, they realize that this is a culture of love, transparency, and training. Really, it’s a culture of excellence. It’s not perfection. What I mean by excellence is that it’s a culture where we do our best and give our all because the stakes are eternal.

EQ: Is the day structured to make prospective students feel like they are being given an educational tour of the ministry, not just a physical tour?

GM: Yes, first our guests will be greeted with fellowship and refreshments. Then we will have worship, and then each day they will receive powerful teaching from different instructors. And we will have times for people to gather around information tables and ask questions. At that time, instructors will mingle with people and answer their questions. Some of their answers will come from current students who will be present. Then they will learn about practical relocation information: housing, jobs, and various opportunities. So, if they do need that, they will have the information they need. We will have booths set up for that. But, really, the focus of Campus Days is we want to connect with people where they are, we want to connect people more deeply with their relationship with God, and we want people to know that God has a good plan for their lives. And when they discover that plan, it will—as we like to say here—make their “baby leap,” like the baby leapt in Elizabeth’s womb [Luke 1:41]. This journey through Charis will help students discover that plan that God has for them and then enable them to go out and live that plan that God has for their lives. It often starts with Campus Days, where they get the desire to discover that plan.

EQ: Would you say that coming to Campus Days puts flesh and bone on the “Charis Experience”?

GM: God can speak to you from your home, while you’re driving, while you’re in your own walk of life about some aspect of His calling, but it’s another thing for you to “walk on the land.” God told Joshua to walk on the land—spy out the land. There’s another dimension of discovery that you get once you’re here, and that will confirm that call on your life.

People come here for a lot of reasons: They want to know God better, they want to develop a deeper relationship with God, or they want to hear God’s voice. People come here to discover their purpose. We want those whom God draws here, who want to be changed and then trained up to change their world. Campus Days helps prospective students not decide but discover who they are and God’s plan for their lives.