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Entries in England (13)

Saturday
May292010

Mission to England: Charis Bible College Graduation

Andrew congratulated each student during the ceremony. (Click to enlarge)“In just two weeks, I’ve attended CBC graduations in Colorado Springs, Chicago and England,” Andrew said, as he greeted the evening crowd of nearly 1500 at the Stoneleigh Park Family Camp. “In each city the students are completely different but I hear similar testimonies. Each class has become a family. The students have been transformed by the Word and they love and care for each other as never before. Do you know what that tells me? It’s not the school, it’s not the teachers, it’s not the students—it’s the message that is producing this good fruit. Praise God!”

Student celebrating with family
(Click to enlarge)
In all, 37 students graduated in a special mid-afternoon celebration in the Family Camp meeting hall. Hundreds of members of the student’s families came to share in
their joy.

Paul Flanagan, director of the England school agrees that this group has become a special family. “This particular class has more actual family members than any I have known since I graduated  years ago. Husbands and wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. Those family members added a special dimension to the feeling of togetherness at our graduation today.”

Student celebrating with family
(Click to enlarge)
Perhaps it is the “Hannah effect.” Four years ago Hannah Terradez’s healing at the Walsall CBC conference changed the lives of her parents and both sets of grandparents (see Hannah's Healing Testimony). They all left house and home to attend CBC and graduated as a result. Today Hannah’s mother and father, Carlie and Ashley Terradez, work at Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs. Barry and Carol Dupree, Carlie’s parents  are remaining in ministry with the school in Walsall, as are Daniel and Linda Terradez, Ashley’s parents. For whatever reason, more family members are involved in the Walsall school these days, and like Hannah’s extended family, their bonds are special.

A special family bond (Click to enlarge)The theme verse for the graduating class was, Psalm 127:1, “Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it…” This class is built on a solid foundation of relationship with God. That ties each of them into the greater family of God. Nothing can shake such a foundation.

We expect to hear great things from the graduating class of 2010.

Filed Saturday, May 29, 2010, 9:00pm, Stoneleigh Park time, AWMI Media Manager, Stephen Bransford

Saturday
May292010

Mission to England: A Secret Revealed

Opening night worship (Click to enlarge)The first meeting of the Grace and Faith Family Camp went late into the night.  Ministry partners, you have much to rejoice about! I’ll get to that in a minute, but first…

As I write, I have just finished an English style breakfast of baked beans, bacon, sausage, eggs, baked parmesan tomatoes, toast, and grapefruit. (Yes, I sampled the whole menu.) Eating at a table with ministry COO, David Hardesty, I noticed that he doesn’t do the English breakfast. He had a bowl of raisin bran flakes like a good American boy from Idaho. 

An English breakfast (Click to enlarge)Andrew passed our table and dropped an intriguing secret in my ear—a piece of ministry history, if-you-will. It happened in nearby Warwick Castle around 1990. Andrew and Jamie had come to England seeking to establish a first ministry headquarters. On that occasion, they gathered with Ian Stewart and his wife on the rubble mound of the original castle, destroyed in one of England’s medieval  wars, and prayed that God would establish the message of Grace and Faith in this land dominated by performance religion. Furthermore, Jamie revealed that she still has a videotape of that meeting at home. It was shot by Don Krow on VHS format! She promised to make it available for a special news post when we return. (We’ll have to update it for digital playback.)

Opening night crowd (Click to enlarge)Last night saw 800 in attendance. An unofficial poll found that the vast majority had come after seeing Andrew on TV, or on the internet. Andrew preached until 9:30pm, then began ministering. Hundreds came to receive Salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit—so many that Will Graham had to rush in more New You & Holy Spirit books from the back room. Many stayed until midnight as Andrew continued ministering to those seeking the Lord.

Andrew ministers into the night
(Click to enlarge)
This opening night crowd seemed to indicate that a new group of British citizens have been exposed to the Grace and Faith message through TV and the website. This is exciting news indeed and proof that the investment our partners make in this ministry is bearing great fruit around the world.

Filed Saturday, May 29, 2010, 9:40am, Stoneleigh Park time, AWMI Media Manager, Stephen Bransford

Friday
May282010

Mission To England: Arrival At Stoneleigh Park

Entrance to the auditorium (Click to enlarge)Traveling for nearly 18 hours by car, plane, and finally—missing turns on “roundabouts” while driving an automobile with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car—Andrew and Jamie, David and Gayle, and me, Stephen Bransford, arrived at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, England. We made the journey for The Grace and Faith Family Camp 2010.


Andrew & Will inspect the youth zone
(Click to enlarge)
The sunset was warm and colorful, and the temperature suitable for shirtsleeves. Even though weary from the road, Andrew was not too tired to take a quick tour of the facilities with European Director, Will Graham.  They viewed the main auditorium capable of seating several thousand adults, an adjacent building decorated as the Youth Zone for teens, and another called Messy Church, where younger children will receive ministry tailored to their specific needs.

Entrance to the youth zone (Click to enlarge)“This meeting is a revival of an event Will and I used to hold in the ‘90s,” Andrew said.

“That’s right,” Will added, “we started with about 600 people and grew those crowds to 2,500, even before you were on TV.”

“I remember. I’m hoping a lot of other people will remember and join again this year.”

Will Graham explained, “Think of the Grace and Faith meetings as similar to Colorado’s  Summer Family Bible Conference—only European style.”

Warwick Castle (Click to enlarge) And what a wonderful style that is! Stoneleigh Park  contains comfortable meeting halls, a hotel, camping for tents and campers, with nearby activities such as 4X4 riding, fishing, archery, skeet shooting, boating, kayaking, and a Top Gear British motoring museum. Stratford-Upon-Avon provides world class shopping and restaurants. This ancient village is the celebrated birthplace of William Shakespeare. Britain’s ultimate castle, Warwick Castle is a mere 6 miles distant. The local Stoneleigh Abbey is a great family destination, surrounded by 620 acres of parkland. Other sites include the Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the Butterfly Farm and many other attractions. Each destination is linked by picture-postcard English country roads, which many visitors consider a destination in themselves. Stoneleigh Park is truly a wonderful place to plan a vacation around the Word of God.  

The Grace and Faith meetings will begin Friday night with Andrew speaking at 7pm. We will continue to report on the progress of the meetings as they continue. Andrew will speak a total of five times through a final meeting, which ends on Monday at noon.

Then we will begin our journey to Africa.

Filed Friday, May 28, 2010, 5:45pm, Stoneleigh Park time, AWMI Media Manager, Stephen Bransford