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Entries in Colorado (21)

Thursday
Sep272012

CBC's School of Healing Seeing Fruit

Andrew ministers to a visitor at CBC's School of Healing during the first anniversary of the school's opening. (Click to enlarge)Earlier this year we posted a story about Charis Bible College's School of Healing. Since the time of that article, the weekly program, which trains and equips students in all things related to healing, has continued to grow and has brought forth tangible manifestations God's will to heal.

Over the past year, the staff at the School of Healing has trained more than 300 prayer ministers. To become part of the prayer ministry team, each person is required to attend weekly training sessions. These multi-faceted sessions include an eight hour course during which students learn not only how to minister healing, but about how to receive healing. Throughout the CBC staff member Carlie Terradez (SA) and Director, Daniel Amstutz keep things fun. (Click to enlarge) training, staff members monitor each student's academic work, and they also evaluate the character of each participant. It is only after the staff feels the student is comfortable and confident that they will recommend the student be allowed to minister one-on-one. The process produces effective ministers, bold in faith and confident in the Word of God, and as a result the prayer ministry teams see many miracles each week.

One example of the tangible fruit being produced at the school can be found in the story of one woman's healing. The woman's Nadine (white pants) lays hands on Jamie, and heat begins to flow.
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name is Jamie, and she visited one Thursday seeking relief from multiple issues stemming from several past accidents. She suffered from the after effects of a concussion, including difficulty reading; she also had pain in her back and jaw, and her right arm was cold and numb. Her minister, Nadine, listened carefully to what Jamie said, and then began to address the issues. First Nadine ministered the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which Jamie gladly received with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Then, the Lord showed Nadine that Jamie was suffering with condemnation as a result of her multiple accidents. Nadine shared scripture with her to free her from the condemnation (Romans 8:1), and as Nadine spoke she saw Jamie relax. Finally, Nadine, Jamie, after receiving her healing, holds up her testimony report. (Click to enlarge)led by the Lord put just her fingers on Jamie's neck, and she spoke to her body. Both Jamie and Nadine felt heat in the area Nadine's fingers touched. Jamie noticed a change in her body right away. She said, "I felt my arm warm up, numbness go away, and my body started getting warm—feeling good—now I am healed!" Nadine's ministry report about her time with Jamie reads, "No numbness, no pain, she could read, and she was feeling relaxed—Hallelujah!"

"God is blessing, we are growing, and people are sharing every week about how blessed they are to be a part of it! We are not only receiving practical teaching on various topics related to healing, but we are seeing the students growing in confidence as they minister the laying on of hands on a weekly basis," said Director, Daniel Amstutz.

Retired Air Force pilot, Glen came to receive healing for his foot. Prayer ministers addressed his issue, and spoke healing from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. The foot is getting better, but since the prayer his vision (top of his head) has cleared to 20/15 (better than he's ever had) and all signs of Diabetes have left his body (working down toward his feet)! Glen believes he is completely healed. (Click to enlarge)Staff member, Carlie Terradez said, "Due to the large number of students who want to help, we have prayer ministry teams and they each serve on a four-week rotation." She went on to say that many prayer ministers come each week, whether serving or not, just to take part.

The School of Healing averages between 60 and 70 outside visitors and 10-15 new people each week. Many of the new faces come from out of state or abroad; one family traveled from the UK just to attend. "Healing and miracles are happening, and the word is getting out. We have people who have come here for the Healing School, who are now enrolled in the college as a result. We have people coming from all over to have someone that really believes the Word of God minister to them, instead of what has become the accepted norm in many places of mostly unbelief with a bit of faith mixed in," said Daniel.

The school, which is free to all and open to the public, meets weekly on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the CBC campus auditorium on Elkton Drive. Each session opens with a time of worship, then testimonies of God's goodness are shared, followed by teaching. The program culminates with a team of students ministering healing to whoever comes forward to receive.LaDawn, was paralyzed when she came for prayer. Here, with the help of her husband, she stands. "I was moving my legs and could feel my muscles tightening!" she said excitedly. (Click to enlarge)

"Learning to walk in health is a big topic, especially in our culture today with all of the issues of medical care. We are being bombarded with all of the prescriptions that we just have to have to live a productive life, and people are really growing tired of it. They are realizing that just maybe God’s Word really did mean life more abundantly," said Daniel enthusiastically.

For more information about the School of Healing or to watch a session via live feed, be sure to visit charisbiblecollege.org.

Thursday
Mar012012

The Nakkulas: Ministering Through Media

CBC graduates and CBC School of Media Coordinators, Jeff and Autumn Nakkula stand with Andrew on the set of the Gospel Truth television program.
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Jeff and Autumn Nakkula met during their first year at Charis Bible College in Colorado. Each of them had learned about Andrew and CBC from the Gospel Truth television program, and were drawn to the message of God’s unconditional love and grace. Following a prompting by the Holy Spirit, both Jeff and Autumn took a step of faith and left their homes in order to seek God's plan for their lives. Neither one could have imagined the abundance He had in store for them.

Jeff recalls a class assignment, early in the year at CBC. The class was told to pray in the spirit and listen to the Lord and write down what they thought He was speaking to them. During this activity, God showed Jeff a film strip of events that would happen in his life. Jeff and Autumn traveled in the same circle of friends while attending CBC. (Click to enlarge)Among the things Jeff saw and heard was that Autumn would become his wife. This was a challenging word for Jeff because he hadn’t enrolled at CBC to find a wife, nor did he think that Autumn would be interested in this information, so he kept it to himself.

Later in the year, Jeff heard another clear word from God. He was serving alongside friend and fellow CBC student, David Forgoston, and Jeff heard God say, “You’ll be helping this man. You’ll be a part of what he is doing.”

Autumn operating the camera on the set of Andrew's Gospel Truth television program. (Click to enlarge)Meanwhile, Autumn was hearing from God as well. During class one morning, Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford, asked for some volunteers willing to be trained with cameras to help out with CBC’s video needs. Autumn felt a strong leading to volunteer. Before long she was asked to film a praise and worship event, and as she prepared for the project Autumn heard God tell her that she would be assisting with fundraising for missionaries and ministries world-wide, through media. This word from God gave Autumn peace and purpose and she continued to learn all she could about media.

In 2007, Jeff and Autumn graduated from CBC, and Jeff recalls that there wasn’t even a hint that Autumn was interested in him. Jeff working on a dude ranch shortly after graduating from CBC. (Click to enlarge)He went to work on a dude ranch in Colorado, and Autumn stayed and worked in the television department at AWM, continuing to glean media experience.

Autumn remembers being pleased with the direction her life was going while working at AWM; she was content with her part of reaching people around the world. However, a short time later, the Lord began prompting her to pray in the spirit. Autumn found that the more she prayed in the spirit, the more she began feeling a holy dissatisfaction with her life, so she began preparing herself for change.

While talking with friends and fellow CBC graduates, missionaries, David and Judith Forgoston, David told Autumn that God had someone for her, someone who was going to love her unconditionally. When Autumn heard what David said, she knew right away that the person God had for her was Jeff. Frustrated and confused, Autumn surrendered everything to God and asked Him to lead her in the direction she should go. Within one week, Autumn knew she would soon marry Jeff Jeff and Autumn became Mr. and Mrs. Nakkula. (Click to enlarge)and also that she would be going to India to help the Forgostons.

Autumn immediately began helping David and Judith with their ministry newsletters and also began spending time with Jeff. The two built a relationship and were soon engaged to be married. After Jeff proposed at the Hungry Bear restaurant in Woodland Park, he shared with Autumn about how God had told him that she would be his wife during their first year at CBC. Autumn was overwhelmed with Jeff’s faithfulness, and Jeff was encouraged to know that he did indeed hear God’s voice.

On the streets in India.
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While the newlyweds were on their honeymoon they felt that they needed to visit India and decided to buy their tickets immediately. The reality of the mission field was a bit different than they expected. India was dirty and the two were overwhelmed with the amount trash that could be seen in heaps all over the city. It was truly a rude awakening; however, upon their return to the United States, the call to India continued to grow stronger.

Jeff and Autumn began trusting God for the finances to get back to India and it was a short time later that they had enough to buy one-way tickets. When they arrived, the Forgostons were Jeff films as Autumn interviews David Forgoston about the launch of CBC-Chennai, India. (Click to enlarge) busy setting up the CBC extension school in Chennai; Jeff and Autumn helped out where needed. One of the pieces of equipment that the Forgostons had purchased was a video camera, and Autumn decided to teach Jeff how to use it. The Nakkulas bought a computer and went to work creating a promotional video for the Forgostons. When they finished the short video, it became a hit. Partners started calling and emailing to let David and Judith know how much they appreciated actually seeing what was going on in India and their support base grew.

Many exciting changes occurred while the Nakkulas were on the mission field. (Click to enlarge)Around Christmas time the Nakkulas learned that Autumn was pregnant. Another exciting change was in the works. In addition to having a child on the way, the couple’s visa was running out, and it was time for them to return to America. Between selling their equipment and an unexpected financial gift, Jeff and Autumn were able to purchase their tickets to fly home to Colorado Springs.

Finding a job once they returned proved to be quite challenging at first, however God’s faithfulness put Jeff in the right place at the right time and he was able to find work. The job sustained them while they re-established their lives in the Springs and had their son Isaac.

Jeff, Autumn and AWM's Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford. (Click to enlarge)Shortly after their son was born, Stephen Bransford called the couple and told them about the new CBC School of Media and asked them if they would be interested in being assistant directors. Jeff and Autumn were thrilled to accept the new position and began developing the courses immediately.

The Nakkulas serve as coaches to the CBC students while training them to help ministries raise support and communicate through a variety of media. “Looking back at what God spoke to me right at the beginning of the first year of bible college, there are a couple of things from that film strip that I’ve seen come to pass already, but there is still a lot more to come. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, God opens up a new door and does amazing things,” said Jeff.

Thrilled with the initial success of the Media School, Jeff and Autumn love giving back to CBC. “I’m able to take everything I’ve learned and share it with students at Charis Bible College. It’s just amazing to see how I’m able to take the things that they’ve poured into me, and pour into them,” said Autumn of the Media School students.

For more information about the Nakkulas, be sure to watch the video below.

Monday
Feb132012

The Dowlings: Off the Streets by the Grace of God

CBC graduates, Kevin and Rachel Dowling, operate In Jesus Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Click to enlarge)Kevin Dowling and his wife, Rachel, lay huddled together in a cardboard box to stay warm. It was a chilly spring night in New York, but not cold enough for nearby shelters to open their doors to overnight homeless guests. The Dowlings would have to remain in their box for the night, pushed up against a rundown alleyway building. Too tired, too cold, and too high on drugs to worry about it at the moment, they would resume their quest for food in the morning.

Kevin and Rachel first met in Grand Central Station in the heart of New York City. After a quick, casual conversation, Rachel boarded one train and Kevin another. But, as fate—or God—would have it, they met up again that same night in a different part of the city. They have been together ever since.

Kevin and Rachel soon married, but the honeymoon was short-lived. Trapped in the tentacles of drug addiction, the couple found themselves living on the streets without a dime to their name: “Every penny we were able to hustle, steal, or con someone out of went straight to the dope man,” recalls Kevin. “Drugs were absolutely an idol in our lives.”

At one time, Kevin and Rachel slept on the streets of New York City.
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“We wandered the streets hungry,” adds Rachel. “The first time we ate out of a dumpster was when we saw a pizza box sitting right on top of the garbage heap. Most of the pizza was still in the box, so that was our dinner.”

Aside from dumpster diving for their meals, the Dowlings also ate at soup kitchens, churches, or homeless shelters—anywhere they could scavenge free food. Then they heard about a Lutheran church that provided breakfast for the homeless on Sundays. “You didn’t have to go to the services,” explains Kevin. “They just let you come and eat. We started eating there every Sunday.”

Little did Kevin and Rachel know that their newfound breakfast spot would soon change their lives. After a while, the Dowlings began hanging around after breakfast to help the church staff clean and put tables and chairs away. They also took time to chat with some of the church people.

Kevin and Rachel have been together since the day they met in Gand Central Station, New York City.
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It wasn’t long before they began attending the services as well. “Although we were going to the church, we were also still living on the streets and getting high. We never told anyone what our lives were really like,” says Kevin. He and Rachel were certain that those at the church would not approve of their lifestyle.

But at least one lady in the church didn’t care. “We met a lady named Pat, and even though she knew we were homeless and had nothing to give back, she invited us into her home,” says Rachel, still amazed at her generosity.

Kevin continues the story: “Pat sat me down at her kitchen table, looked me right in the eyes, and with such compassion, she told me that God loved me no matter what I was like or what I was going through.” At that moment, Kevin felt something move deep within his heart—something he had never before experienced.

Pat continued sharing God’s love with Kevin and, when she felt he was ready, asked him if he wanted to give his life to the Lord. He did, and he received Jesus right there at Pat’s kitchen table.Kevin distributing food at Charis Bible College. (Click to enlarge)

“I was so excited…so joyful,” recalls Kevin. “I told Rachel that I had gotten saved, and I asked her to do the same.”

“I remember saying to Kevin, ‘But I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve Jesus,’” says Rachel.

The very next day, Rachel had her own conversation with Pat: “Pat told me, just like she told Kevin, that God loved me very much—no matter what. I’d never heard that before. I didn’t know God could love someone like me.” Rachel also gave her life to Jesus, and she and her husband experienced an immediate infilling of God’s unconditional love and grace.

Although they were completely transformed on the inside, the Dowlings’ circumstances were still dire. Their drug habit was so ingrained, they knew they wouldn’t be able to get free on their own. They checked themselves into a Christian rehab center that took in married couples. Kevin and Rachel and their ministry, In Jesus Ministries, supplies bread to shelters and individuals from Colorado Springs to Woodland Park, CO.
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While Rachel was able to stay in the program, Kevin had to first clear up past issues with the courts due to his probation. After his year of probation was up, he informed his probation officer that his only hope of staying out of trouble was to get out of New York City.

God moved on his probation officer to stand in for Kevin before the judge so he wouldn’t have to appear in court and run the risk of having to stay in New York. She only made Kevin promise to call her as soon as he and Rachel arrived in Chicago. He did, and he and Rachel began with a clean and sober slate in the Windy City, where they lived for five years. Afterward, they decided to move to Pennsylvania. It was there that they heard God calling them into the next chapter of their lives:

“When we were in Pennsylvania, I stumbled across Gospel Truth on television. I was hooked,” says Kevin. “We started watching Andrew every day and ordering his books and CDs.”

Kevin opening the trailer in a local parking lot to distribute food.
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Once, when Kevin was tuned in to the program, he heard about Charis Bible College(CBC). He mentioned CBC to Rachel, but neither gave it much thought initially. Meanwhile, the couple was trying to purchase a home in Pennsylvania, but every time they thought they had an open door for a place of their own, that door would slam shut.

Kevin recalls, “It was funny how every avenue we tried for a home suddenly became closed off to us. About this same time, God started bringing the thought of CBC alive in my heart. One night, I came home from work and woke Rachel up. I said, ‘Why don’t we just move to Colorado and go to the Bible college?’”

“I just looked at him and said, ‘I’ve been waiting for you to say that.’”

As soon as the Dowlings made their decision to attend Charis, they received a phone call informing them that they were owed money that they never even knew about! Although it wasn’t a large sum, The Dowlings distribute more than baked goods to the homeless and needy. (Click to enlarge)it was enough to pay off their car and help them save for their move out West. Kevin and Rachel enrolled in CBC in 2008 and have never looked back from this new beginning God gave them.

“Sitting under the teachers at CBC has totally changed our lives,” says Kevin. “We’ve learned that we don’t have to earn anything from God; He just loves us and gives us His gift of salvation absolutely free.”

One of the biggest changes Kevin has experienced is how God’s grace has transformed him into a brand-new person: “Simply by studying God’s Word and staying focused on His love, I’ve realized that God has changed things in my life and inside my heart that I didn’t even try to change. Over time, I’ve just become a very different person.”

Kevin and Rachel knew they weren’t going to just sit in classrooms and listen to lectures every day. This was a hands-on school Kevin and Rachel have become members of a Christian motorcycle group called the Black Sheep. Kevin is the Assistant Chaplain of the organization. (Click to enlarge)that equips the students to be world changers. And that was fine with them. God had given them more than they could ever repay, but they wanted to do something to serve Him by serving others.

One of the ministries the school offers was a perfect fit for the Dowlings: an outreach to the homeless. Kevin and Rachel jumped at the chance to be involved in this food ministry and led it throughout their entire second year at Charis. Now they’ve graduated, but they continue serving in the ministry by bringing food to CBC students at the school three times a week and providing ministries and churches within Colorado Springs and surrounding areas with all the food they need.

Kevin and Rachel stand amazed at how God has grown this ministry. “We receive thousands upon thousands of loaves of bread every week, plus meat, canned goods, and dry goods,” says Kevin. “Each Saturday, I pick up a trailer full of food, and people from all around come and take whatever they want. We had no idea it would turn into something this big.”

Kevin leading prayer for the Black Sheep. (Click to enlarge)When they started leading the food ministry, they made a promise to God to never turn anyone away. God has helped them honor that vow by consistently providing for their every need so that they always have enough to bless others.

But God hasn’t limited Himself to only meeting the Dowlings’ needs; He has also given them the desires of their hearts. Kevin explains, “For many years, I’ve always wanted a brand-new Harley. And, once I became a Christian, I wanted to be part of a Christian motorcycle group.”

Not only did God provide Kevin with his Harley and lead him to a Christian motorcycle group, but Kevin is now an assistant chaplain with one! The group is called Black Sheep because their goal is to be different. While a lot of motorcycle groups are on the streets looking for trouble, Black Sheep riders are out looking for ways to serve.Rachel and kevin are happy in the Lord. (Click to enlarge)

“This group loves to serve and give in any capacity,” says Rachel. “God has brought us into this group because it’s an extension of our passion.”

Whether it’s feeding the homeless or ministering to the hopeless, Kevin and Rachel never want anyone to feel that they’re useless or worthless just because they’re going through hard times. They’ve been there themselves, and now they want to be able to see people through God’s eyes: “We want to treat people like kings and queens,” says Kevin, “because when you love God first, then love your neighbor as yourself, everything else falls into place.”

For more insight into the Dowling's heart to share the love of God, be sure to watch the video below.

For more information about the Dowlings and their food ministry, In Jesus Ministries, contact them by calling 719-393-5581.

Story reprinted from the 2011 Fall/Winter edition of the ministry's Gospel Truth Magazine.