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Entries in Financial Testimonies (12)

Monday
Mar122012

All The Right Moves: The Pudlo Story

Mitzi and Rick Pudlo, owners of Pro Cargo, a global freight forwarding company, study the Scriptures together. (Click to enlarge)Rick and Mitzi Pudlo met in the summer of 1975, and were married in the fall of 1976 at a local county courthouse. They remember the judge pointing his finger at them and saying, “If you put Jesus at the center of your marriage, you’ll never have any problems.” At that moment, Rick had a vision of he and Mitzi, merging into one person; the two of them becoming one flesh (Ephesians 5:31). Although Rick was not saved at the time, his experience at the courthouse made a significant impact on him and left him with a decision to make; would he acknowledge God’s presence in his life, or continue on a path of destruction?

The Pudlos spent a good portion of their first two years together high on drugs.
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Although neither were living God’s plan for their lives when they were married, Mitzi had received Jesus as her Savior when she was eleven, and Rick had been raised in church. Rick had gotten into drugs in his latter teens, and for two years following their marriage, Rick and Mitzi continued to live a life involving drugs, all the while knowing God was trying to reach them. The first Easter the Pudlo’s were married, they attended a small Baptist church in rural Kentucky. When the invitation was given to receive Jesus, Rick audibly heard God speak to him, “Rick, come.” Needless to say, Rick was shocked. “It was like someone had bellowed through a megaphone,” Rick explained. Despite this experience, Rick still resisted.

Mitzi and Rick lived rebellious lives, but the Lord was working on their hearts. (Click to enlarge)Although the Pudlo's continued their rebellious lifestyle, Rick soon came to the realization that he needed to change his course or he was going to end up in jail, or worse—dead. Rick got up one Sunday in July of 1978 and went to a Baptist church thinking that the Baptists never fail to give an altar call. He waited for the invitation, but it never came. Rick figured if they didn’t give an altar call, he couldn’t get saved. Later that same week, Rick went outside into his garden in the early morning hours, fell on his knees and looked toward heaven. “I didn’t say the sinner’s prayer or anything, no words came from my mouth, but the cry from my heart was one of help to the Lord. The moon and the stars are my witnesses that God touched my life and changed me on the spot. I got up out of the dirt a different person,” Rick said.

Rick standing next to the couple's car, on their journey West. (Click to enlarge)Mitzi acknowledges that Rick was indeed a “completely changed man” and within two weeks, the couple had sold nearly everything they owned, loaded up their Volkswagen and left town, throwing drugs out the car window as they drove. They had no idea where they were going, but figured God would direct them. Ten thousand miles and six weeks later, the two landed in Boulder, Colorado where Rick ended up getting a very good paying job. Things were looking up for the couple.

One day, while riding in his work truck, Rick heard Andrew on the radio. He liked what he heard and he and Mitzi decided to attend one of Andrew’s meetings in Denver a few days later. After several years working a variety of jobs, Rick (right) longed to start his own freight forwarding company. The Lord opened the doors for Pudlos to start their company, Pro Cargo. (Click to enlarge)It was at that meeting that Rick and Mitzi learned about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Rick was baptized at the meeting and Mitzi followed a week later. For the Pudlos, the Baptism in the Holy Ghost opened up a new level of intimacy with the Lord, and Andrew's steady teaching continued to minister to the couple.

Over the next several years, Rick and Mitzi committed to do exactly what God led them to do. The couple moved from Boulder to Knoxville, Tennessee and then to Houston, Texas, where Rick landed a job at the Houston airport with a freight forwarding company. “I didn’t even know what a freight forwarder was or that there was such a business,” Rick said. He and Mitzi remember sleeping in their car at a gas station when they first arrived in Houston, trying to save money so they could As the Pudlos sought the Lord for wisdom, He brought them from a humble start-up in their home, to international status.
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rent an apartment. Rick’s boss happened to ask him about his living situation during his first day of work. After Rick explained their situation, his boss gave him enough money for first and last month's rent. For four years Rick stayed with the company, during which time the Pudlos had two children; a daughter, Jordan and a son, Asher.

In January, 1985 Rick left his freight forwarding company at the Houston airport to work for an oil well completion company. Rick’s job was to transport the necessary tools, which included explosives to the company's job sites. Although he enjoyed his job, Rick could not stop thinking about owning his own freight forwarding company. After much prayer and consideration with Mitzi, Rick decided to take another step of faith. “I told my boss my intentions and he and I drove Today, Pro Cargo offices in Houston, New York, Toronto and Dubai. (Click to enlarge)to headquarters to talk to the president of our division. I told him I liked my job, but if I didn’t do this, I’d grow old wondering if I would have made it,” recalled Rick. To his amazement, the president responded, “I know exactly what you mean.” Not only did the president of the company support Rick’s new business venture, he offered him a safety net. He told Rick that if things didn’t work out, he could have his job back.

In 1988, the Pudlos started Pro Cargo. From humble beginnings, Pro Cargo now has four locations around the world. Today, the Pudlos enjoy sowing seed and giving back to the Kingdom. Rick and Mitzi Pudlo. (Click to enlarge)“One of Andrew's teachings that ministered to us early in our walk with the Lord was on giving. No matter how lean the times were, we knew that giving was something we were called to do. It's always been a joy to give, and it's true—you can’t out-give God!” said Mitzi.

Be sure to watch the video below for more insight into the Lord's work in Rick and Mitzi's lives during their journey to prosperity.

Thursday
Feb232012

Words: The Soldiers that Created the Abello's Destiny

 CBC graduates and owners of Abello's Roofing in Colorado Springs, Tim and Nikki Abello.
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One weekend in July of 2007, Tim Abello and his family were exploring a small Christian bookstore in Oklahoma. While there, Tim found Andrew's book, You've Already Got It. When he read the back cover he found the book's description a bit humorous as it was a reflection of Tim's own life and walk with Christ. Tim purchased the book and spent the rest of the weekend reading it—he couldn't put it down.

In search of more teaching, Tim visited Andrew's website and downloaded 250 hours of free audio messages and loaded them onto his MP3 player. At the time, Tim worked in sales and as he drove from appointment to appointment he would listen to the teachings—sometimes four hours a day. Andrew's teaching and revelation of Jesus began to transform Tim's life.

Tim downloaded all of Andrew's teachings onto his MP3 player and listened to the messages for several hours each day. (Click to enlarge)Tim began to share Andrew's messages with his wife, Nikki, and their children, and the word began to impact the whole family. He also began to implement the teaching in several small groups that he led at the time.

In the summer of 2008, Tim shared with Nikki that he felt that the Lord was leading him to attend Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs. While there were many reasons why this seemed impossible; the Abellos owned a business, had five children, and they had recently moved into their dream home in Oklahoma, Tim was almost certain they were supposed to go.

As he considered the prospect of moving his family, Tim had a conversation with the Lord. He remembers saying, "God, if I obey you and move to Colorado and you don't come through, I'm going to sink like a rock in a pond. God spoke to my spirit so clearly and said, The Abello family in 2007.
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'Tim, if you stay here and I don't come through for you, you're going to sink like a rock in a pond. Wouldn't it be better to just go ahead and obey me?'" At that point, things became clear for Tim.

With a new found peace, Tim and Nikki agreed they would move. As he shared the Abello's plans with people outside the family, they began to give him reasons why he should wait; these included the fact that the Abellos owned a home that was not selling as well as a commercial building, but Tim believed when God says go—you go. Tim began confessing, with a strong conviction that some way, somehow, he and his family were going to prosper more by accident in Colorado than they ever had on purpose in Oklahoma.

The Abellos in Colorado, the day before Andrew's Summer Family Bible Conference in 2008. (Click to enlarge)The family attended the 2008 Summer Family Bible Conference and fell in love with the area and the people, and as a result moved forward with their plans to attend CBC. Tim assured his family that they weren't moving to Colorado to suffer for Jesus. He was confident that the Lord would provide for them the way they were accustomed to living, even though Tim would be working less due to his class schedule.

Tim, Nikki and their two youngest daughters traveled to the Springs in November of 2008. Tim and Nikki started first-year classes even before they had found a place for the family to live. Each day after class, they would go and look at rental houses. Full of faith, Tim went ahead and booked a moving truck for the following weekend. At the end of the first week in Colorado, they still hadn't secured a house, and they headed back to Oklahoma to pack up their belongings for the move. God blessed the Abellos as they moved forward with their plans, and over the weekend, Tim The Abellos in 2009. While waiting on the Lord, they kept their circumstances to themselves. (Click to enlarge)solidified a place for his family to call home in Colorado Springs. Tim praised God.

Once the Abellos returned to Colorado, nothing went according to plan, and that included their finances. For the first year and a half, the Abellos, a family of seven, relied on credit cards to survive. They quickly found themselves more than $60,000 in debt on the cards alone. They also fell eight months behind on their mortgage for their home in Oklahoma and three months behind on their tuition payments— they plunged into debt like a rock sinks in a pond.

In the face of negative circumstances, God continued to speak to the Abellos, and with a voice of assurance He said, "Peace be still. Rest." Through the struggle, Tim held tight to his confession of prosperity, and Nikki held tight to Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt The Help Wanted ad Tim posted on the CBC student bulletin board.
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keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."

Tim eventually landed a part-time job in sales, working for a roofing company. The Lord's favor was upon him as he performed his job, but as time went on, he found his employers to be handling his customers with less than the highest integrity. After prayerfully considering what he should do, Tim decided to start his own roofing business. He and Nikki prayed and took another step of faith.

While getting the business off the ground, Tim gave God praise. As he was thanking God, the Lord spoke to him and said something that caught him off-guard. In his spirit he heard God say, "Tim, you're fixin' to step into a level of prosperity that you have never imagined. The only thing that will keep you from stepping into it is you're Tim and his Executive Supervisor, David Petrali, on the job.
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inability to imagine it." From that moment forward, the Abellos have purposed to stretch their imaginations because as Tim says, "God can never take me beyond the place that I believe He can take me."

Over the first ten months in business, Abello's Roofing did more than 2 million dollars in business, more than enough to clear their debt and to begin blessing others. In the Abello's second full year of business they saw an increase over their previous year's earnings. Tim heard the Lord ask him, "Do you know why this happened for you? The reason this worked is because of your confession. When you spoke those words two years ago for the first time...those words went out like little soldiers to perform and create and the destiny that you spoke into existence."

As the blessings continue to overtake the Abello family, they have come to realize that it hasn't been through their effort that they have prospered; it has been through rest in Jesus finished work. Tim said, "We've come to the point where we know we have a contract, we have a covenant, with the living God and it's written in Christ's blood. When you speak the Word of God, it will go forth and accomplish what's been set forth to do. It will produce hope, it will produce peace, it'll produce joy, it'll produce finances, it'll produce health, it'll produce food— it'll produce everything that you need. The Word of God always produces tangible results—we're proof of that."

Be sure to watch the video below for more detail about the Abello's story and how their trust in God's faithfulness has payed off.

 

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.

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