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Entries in Colorado (21)

Thursday
Dec012016

God’s Servants to You

Have you ever heard the song “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”? From the time I was a toddler, my dad would sing this hymn to me any time he needed me to stand up—to help me get dressed, to get off the couch, to do a chore. He would sing, and I would pop up. It worked every time. Years later, those words still resonate in my spirit. That old hymn begins like this:

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross!
Lift high his royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.

We are Christian soldiers for King Jesus to fight against spiritual darkness. Likewise, God has set in place earthly checks and balances, like the police and military, to preserve and protect our communities and nations against wrongdoers. Romans 13:3-4 (Amplified Bible) lays out God’s purpose for law enforcement and what our relationship should be with them:

“For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation. [4] For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer.”

As a way to thank those who protect and serve the Colorado county where Charis Bible College’s main campus resides, Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis hosted an appreciation banquet and fundraiser for their local first responders this past September. Hundreds from the county participated in honoring their firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical technicians, and paramedics. All first responders and their guests ate for free. Each guest also had the option of paying for an individual ticket, sponsoring a table, or donating funds directly to a first responders’ fund. In total, the event raised $55,712, and the money was split evenly between the Ute Pass Regional Ambulance District and the Northeast Teller County (NETCO) Fire
Protection District.

After the fundraiser, a public response was issued from the NETCO board:

“We would like to say thank you to the citizens of Teller County, the sponsors and donors, along with Mayor Neil Levy and master-of-ceremonies Debbie Miller, but especially Andrew Wommack Ministries/Charis Bible College and staff for hosting the First Responder Banquet and Fundraiser. It was truly a wonderful evening and we are honored to have received such praise
and appreciation.”

Through the nonprofit organization Shield616, AWM also provided upgraded armor to local police departments. Sixteen body armor kits were purchased and donated by AWM, enabling God’s servants to stand strong and
be protected.

As I think about the results of this generous gift to a group so underappreciated, I can hear my dad’s voice:

Put on the Gospel armour,
Each piece put on with prayer;
When duty calls or danger
Be never wanting there.

Remember the first responders in your community this Christmas. If you’re not in a position to give to them financially, at least pray for their safety. John 15:13 (AMP) says, “No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends.” As God’s agents, first responders are demonstrating a great love—Jesus’ love—to the community through their service. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can be a blessing to them this Christmas season. Serve each other in love as your heavenly Dad sings over you:

To him that overcometh,
A crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory
Shall reign eternally.

Post a comment below if this has blessed you.

 

Join Andrew Wommack in Phoenix, Arizona! Make plans to come out January 5-7, 2017, for the Phoenix Gospel Truth Seminar. (Special room rate available until December 5.) For more information and to register, visit this page.

Monday
Jun082015

Beauty from Ashes

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me… [3] [to] provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the L ORD for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1a and 3, New International Version

Teresa Tuten grew up in the confusion of a broken household of different faiths. With an absentee mother and a workaholic father, she relied on the love and security of her grandmother. Unfortunately, her religious upbringing painted a picture of an angry God in her little heart and fed a cycle of despair that eventually turned her life into a pile of ashes.

“After my parents divorced, I lived with my father and grandmother in Savannah, Georgia,” Teresa shared during a recent interview. “When I was in sixth grade, my dad called a family meeting and told my grandmother and me that he was getting remarried. Neither of us knew he was even dating, but within a week, I had a new family.”

Life changed dramatically for Teresa after that. “My grandmother felt like an outsider with this new family and, within a few months, was asked to leave.” Soon after, two of Teresa’s stepbrothers moved into the bedroom next door and began molesting Teresa. “I was very naive. My stepbrother began complimenting me and then adding touch to his compliments. And every time, he went a little further. I didn’t know what to do. My father was so busy working and trying to please his new family; I didn’t think he would listen to me. My grandmother was gone, and I hadn’t seen my mother in years. I blamed myself for what was happening.”

Church where Teresa gave her testimonyFinally, Teresa mustered up the courage to leave. “I went to live with my mother, but by that time, I was a teenager. Since we didn’t have a relationship, we fought a lot. Her favorite response was, ‘I’m going to put you in a juvenile home.’ After I ran away for the second time, she did.”

Little more than a baby herself, Teresa discovered she was pregnant and was disowned by both of her parents. With nowhere to go and no one to help her, she married her boyfriend. “I didn’t realize it, but he was both physically and emotionally abusive. But by now, I was good at hiding my feelings, and no one ever knew.” Ten years later, Teresa signed divorce papers. “When the divorce was finalized, I felt a tiny flicker of hope for the first time in my life. My daughter and I got an apartment. I found a good job and took some time to breathe. When my ex-husband began stalking us, I knew God had to hate me for my inadequacies and failures.”

Then one day, Teresa came across a television program called the Gospel Truth. Although she didn’t care for Andrew Wommack’s style and often changed the channel, Teresa began to catch enough of the Gospel to whet her appetite for more. “I remember hearing Andrew and thinking, This guy is real, and what he says makes sense. Before long, I became interested in Charis Bible College, but I was too scared to leave everything and go to Colorado. So, I compromised and went to Texas.”

Teresa was discontent in Texas, but she continued listening to Andrew. One day, what he said stopped her dead in her tracks. “‘God’s not mad at you,’ he said. I couldn’t believe it! All my life, I lived under that assumption. Really? I thought. God’s not mad at me? With a burning desire to know more, Teresa applied to Charis the next day.

As part of her training at Charis, Teresa went on a missions trip to Belize, where 80 percent of women are raped or molested. While there, she shared her story for the first time and watched in awe as women swarmed the altar for prayer. “I needed a lot of healing, and Charis helped me. The teaching I received there gave me the foundation I needed to rebuild my life in Christ. I’ve grown so much in the last couple of years. I hardly recognize myself! Charis changed my life—and God created beauty from my ashes.”

Monday
Sep222014

Charis's 20th Birthday Celebration

Wendell Parr (left) and Andrew Wommack recount stories from the past as new students listen on in amazement (Click to enlarge) Anticipation and excitement filled every seat as 1,300 students, teachers—former and current, and visitors gathered in The Barn for the 20th anniversary celebration of Charis Bible College. Wow, what a great time of remembrance! The excitement in the room was contagious as we came together in a building that was once only seen through faith. I usually have to tell people when I’m excited, but I was very excited to be standing in a room full of so many world changers. The fruit that we’ve seen from this school is incredible, and I am overjoyed that the Lord has used Charis to transform the lives of so many through His love and grace.

It was such an honor to have some of the original instructors—including Linus and Kay LeFever, Don Krow, Wendell Parr, and Leon Matheney—share stories and recount the journey that has made possible all we are accomplishing today. It was wonderful to have old friends be able to come to our new facility and witness for themselves what God has done. Linus and Kay LeFever stand together as they relate their journey with CBC to the massive crowd before them
(Click to enlarge)
The looks on their faces as they surveyed a campus that accommodates over 600 students, was absolutely priceless. They were really blessed, knowing that they were the ones who helped make this possible. They saw the school in its humble beginnings, and their trailblazing has paid off. The reach of Charis, with its correspondence program, online courses, and over forty international and stateside extension schools is ever growing!

Throughout the celebration, roars of laughter were met by moments of awe-inspired silence as the former instructors went up and shared how this had impacted them. New students listened intently to stories of the faithful men and women who made it possible for them to be sitting in the room that day.

Kay LeFever related how she struggled to leave their dream home after being on the mission field in Russia for many years and coming to start a fledgling school with no guarantee of success. Their first grandbaby was on the way, and they left it all. Her husband, Linus, rehearsed memories of those early days and some of the challenges we faced preparing our first world changers. It gave a perspective of Charis that our current students would not have gotten without these eye-witness accounts.

Don Krow telling the hilarious tales of their fearless leader, Andrew Wommack (Click to enlarge)Wendell Parr, who started the journey with me, shared about how his family left a secure and growing church to be a part of this mission. He continues with me today as one of our venerable instructors. Don Krow, a former instructor, took a different approach, amusing the crowd with stories of me falling off the stage in one of our previous facilities. They’ll probably be laughing about that for weeks.

However, no one captured the hearts of everyone there like Leon Matheney. As he spoke, every eye and every ear tuned in as this seasoned minister of over eighty years old opened up his heart with words of love and encouragement. Trying to hold back tears and remembering the days when he spoke in front of a class of thirty, Leon imparted powerful and memorable words to what was now a sea of students. You can view the whole morning's events online here and here.

Several of our international directors Leon Matheney addressing the largest student body he's ever seen before at Charis (Click to enlarge)came to the celebration with their own news of growth and expansion from all over the world. One was Carrie Pickett, the director of our school in St. Petersburg, Russia: “I graduated with the fourth class in 1999,” she remarks, “so seeing how much it’s grown and the fruit that’s happening is truly an inspiration. It’s been so exciting to see all of my old teachers and the people they’ve ministered to, now ministering to other people. The excitement in the room is overwhelming, and I feel encouraged to go back to Russia and let what’s happening here in Colorado be the inspiration for what we do overseas.”

I am confident that this celebration was more than just a special event. People’s lives were being touched as we took time to remember the things God has done. But the best is still yet to come! If the celebration taught us anything, it’s that the future of Charis is so bright, you have to squint to look at it.

New students capture the moments as they listen to the stories of CBC, most for the first time
(Click to enlarge)
The first twenty years have been amazing, to say the least, but the job of Charis is far from over. We are just getting started on our God-given mandate to make disciples of all nations. If the Lord is speaking to you about Bible college, I encourage you to request an information packet today by emailing info@charisbiblecollege.org. Or, to apply, simply visit www.charisbiblecollege.org. You won’t regret it!