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Entries in Florida (11)


Andrew's Response to the Florida School Shooting

Again, we are mourning the loss of innocent lives as the result of a violent school shooting. I join with you in praying for all those injured and those who have lost sons and daughters. I pray that the Lord would comfort and draw them to Himself for the strength only He can give. He is our only hope.

I’ve heard total despair from a number of people today as to how we solve this problem. They feel that this is the new norm that we just have to get used to. I don’t believe this is so. I didn’t grow up with this as the norm, and the young people of today don’t have to either.

Although there isn’t a quick fix and many things need to be done, I believe the root of the problem is simple. There is evil in this world that our nation has systematically been releasing by our departure from morality and the fear of God. Disrespect for God, authority, and life in general is being promoted in multiple ways, and this is the consequence.

Psalm 36:1 says, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.”

The lack of fear or reverence for God has removed the restraints on the devil, and this is the result. The answer to this isn’t easy, but it’s simple: we need to return to God as a nation. That’s where we believers come in. We must speak out and let our light and salt be the preserving influence God ordained.

As we pray for those affected, let’s also renew our commitment to sharing the good news of the Gospel, which is the only thing that will change the hearts of people and stop this carnage. Most will look for things in the natural that need to be done, and while we don’t deny the natural, the only cure for this is spiritual, not physical.

Father, use us to counter this evil in our culture. Give us boldness to speak out and get involved. Give us Your wisdom about how to address this, and we pray Your comfort and strength to everyone affected. In Jesus’s name, amen!


There's a New CBC Campus in Florida

The O'Briens at the beach... Yvonne and Grady (center, right) are the Directors of CBC-Miami. (Click to enlarge)In 2010, we posted the story of how the Lord brought CBC graduates, Grady and Yvonne O'Brien together and how they successfully launched a Charis Bible College extension school in Northern Ireland. Since that time, the O'Briens have raised up a new leader for the school in the United Kingdom and followed the Lord's leading to establish a second school, this time in the United States—southern Florida to be exact.

Allan Bruce, the Director of CBC-Belfast. (Click to enlarge)After spending six years pioneering and establishing the CBC campus on the eastern side of Belfast, the O'Briens and their children knew their time on the emerald isle was drawing to a close. This was evidenced by the fact that they all had a growing desire to return to the U.S. As their time in Northern Ireland came to an end, Grady and Yvonne began the transitioning leadership to CBC-Belfast graduate, Allan Bruce, and the school continues on in his capable hands.

When the transition in Belfast was complete, the O'Brien's headed west. Although uncertain of their final destination in the U.S., their eldest son, Liam, had already moved to the States to attend CBC-Colorado, so the family chose to join him in Colorado Springs. Grady and Yvonne were happy to reconnect with their son, old friends and their ministry family at CBC and AWM.

CBC-Colorado graduate, Liam O'Brien, ministering at a youth camp. (Click to enlarge)The O'Briens spent their first year back in America working with friend and mentor, Wendell Parr, the Director of AWM's World Outreach. They assisted his staff, interviewing potential directors for future CBC extension schools, knowing in their hearts the position was temporary. During their time with Wendell and AWM, they remained open to the Lord, patiently waiting for His leading. Yvonne said, "There were several ministry opportunities offered to us, and as good as they all sounded, we just did not have peace about them (Colossians 3:15).

The O'Briens did some traveling and visited with their good friends and fellow CBC graduates, Tom and Cindy Boyd, the Directors of CBC in Atlanta, and Danon and Amanda Winter, the Directors of CBC-Florida, both of whom encouraged them to take their time before making a decision regarding their family's next step in ministry.

Grady with AWM World Outreach Director, Wendell Parr.
(Click to enlarge)
With their east coast trip behind them, the O'Briens were at a loss. For the first time, the family lacked unity in their desired direction. "We came to a place where we knew what we did not want to do but had no idea what we did want to do. Our children wanted to stay in the U.S., they were enjoying being home, and Grady and I had desires to check out South and Central America. It just looked like we all wanted to go in different directions. This was a first for us as a family," Yvonne commented candidly.

One common thread in the family's next destination debate was that they had all thoroughly enjoyed their previous visit to Florida. The family decided to seek the Lord with focused attention on the Sunshine State. As the Lord would have it... the O'Briens were promptly offered a place to stay in Jacksonville.

Yvonne with friend and CBC graduate, Amanda Winter, from CBC-Florida in Jacksonville. (Click to enlarge)As much as the O'Briens enjoyed their time visiting the northern part of the state, and the time they were given to minister at the CBC campus in Jacksonville, there was a stirring in their hearts to go further south. Although both Grady and Yvonne shared the same desire to investigate the southern part of the state, neither had mentioned it to the other. Finally, the two discussed the idea and were in agreement that they should check it out. Just after agreeing to head south, the O'Briens received a phone call asking if they would be interested in directing a new CBC campus in the Miami area.

"We both laughed," said Yvonne with a chuckle, "It seems that our desires are His desires also. So here's the fun part... We live in the USA, and we are ministering to people from all over the world (as South Florida is such a melting pot of so many nations). We got the desires of our heart, and so did our children. Only God could do that!"

Yvonne and Grady, Directors of CBC-Miami. (Click to enlarge)In April, Andrew hosted a well attended, one night Gospel Truth Rally in the Miami area, and the announcement of the O'Briens plans for a new campus received a great response. Grady and Yvonne made the necessary preparations to start the school, and in September the new campus opened its doors in Pompano Beach, the northern edge of the Miami Metropolitan Area.

The O'Briens journey between Northern Ireland and southern Florida was one of prayer and patience, and they are thankful for the support and encouragement they received from their CBC and AWM family. Now settled in their new surroundings, the couple has high hopes for their ministry to the people of the Miami area. They can't wait to reveal to each student, their true identity in Christ and who He is in each one of them.

To learn more about the school, visit the CBC-Miami website. For more information about Grady and Yvonne's family's adventures in ministry, visit the O'Brien Ministries webpage.

The O'Briens began holding classes at CBC-Miami in September. (Click to enlarge)


CBC-Florida's Clermont Campus

CBC-Colorado graduate and director of CBC-Florida's Clermont campus, Terry Hull and his wife Melanie. (Click to enlarge)Twelve years ago, Terry and Melanie Hull were living, working, and raising their family in Colorado Springs. Terry worked for the insurance industry performing crawlspace inspections, and Melanie was at home raising their three children. Their growing family was happily maintaining their status quo, until an injury changed the course of the Hull's lives forever.

Terry's job required that he work in tight spaces, often while carrying and maneuvering heavy equipment in those cramped quarters. In 2001, Terry suffered a herniated disk in his lower back, which led to an excruciating case of sciatica. The pain in Terry's back became so uncomfortable that standing and sitting were unbearable. Even doctor prescribed pain medications would not alleviate Terry's discomfort. At the time, the only place Terry was able to find relief was flat on his back on the floor.

Approximately six months after Terry was injured, Melanie's mother, Eva Coldiron, gave her one of Andrew's teachings, You've Already Got It. Eva had just seen Andrew minister at a church in Colorado Springs, and she felt impressed to share his teaching with Terry.

Andrew prays over the Hulls, including their sixth child, Kate Evelyn, whom the enemy tried to steal during the pregnancy. Melanie suffered miscarriage-like symptoms, and doctors repeatedly made claims of abnormalities including Kate having the markers for Down syndrome. The Hull's chose to believe God, and did not share the negative reports. The baby was born without Downs and remains perfectly healthy. (Click to enlarge) Melanie was vaguely aware of Andrew's presence on TV (she recalled changing the channel any time she saw him) but because of Terry's situation, she was happy to share the teaching with her husband. Terry had not heard of Andrew, but began listening to the tape from his mother-in-law. He played the message, not once, but over and over again. As he listened, Terry began to realize that he didn't have to wait any longer for God to answer his prayers for healing—he needed to receive what Jesus had already provided.

After listening to You've Already Got It about 50 times, Terry had a new revelation, and the gospel finally made sense to him. Within two months of receiving the teaching from Eva, Terry's back was totally healed. Because of the impact of Andrew's message, and because he wanted to know more, Terry enrolled in classes at Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs in the fall of 2001.

The message of God's grace and healing lit a fire inside Terry, and he would come home from classes excited to share what he had learned with Melanie. Over the course of Terry's two years at CBC, the Hull's lives were radically transformed, even down to the way they spoke to and interacted with their children. They had known that God Andrew, Jamie and the Hull's enjoy conversation outside the school in Jacksonville. (Click to enlarge)loved them, but they had never had their eyes opened to all that Jesus had purchased for them. This revelation of God's goodness changed their lives.

As Terry's graduation neared, the Lord began to lead the Hulls in a new direction—southeast—to Florida. God used Genesis 31:3, to lead Terry back to his homeland. Although they weren’t sure why they were to return to Florida, they knew that they knew God said He would be with them. Content in that promise, they made arrangements to relocate to Terry's hometown, after graduation, with the simple plan of living, continuing to raise their family, and getting involved in a local church.

Several years after their move, the director of CBC-Florida, Danon Winter, opened a secondary extension school in Orlando, and things became clearer for the Hulls. They realized that part of the reason they had been led to Florida was to be in a position to help with Classes at CBC-Clermont are currently offered on a part-time basis on Monday and Thursday evenings. The Hulls plan to offer full-time classes in the near future. Here, Terry (foreground) facilitates a DVD class.
(Click to enlarge)
CBC-Florida's Orlando campus and the future expansion of CBC-Florida.

In an effort to be prepared to participate in CBC-Florida's continued growth, Melanie, now a mother of six, enrolled in first-year classes via the correspondence program, a program she hopes to complete this summer. As Melanie continues her studies, she and Terry have been part of the launch of another campus in Florida, about an hour south and west of CBC-Orlando. "We felt the Lord was leading us to start a school here in Clermont to make CBC classes more accessible to the west Orlando areas. After speaking with Danon and our pastor, the doors were literally flung open and we began our first year in September 2012. We have a church that is totally behind this, with the pastor attending all the classes as a student," said Melanie.

Melanie said that she and Terry would not trade the knowledge of the Word and the understanding of the peace of God that they now know for anything they had before attending CBC. "God used CBC to be the greenhouse of our spiritual growth. Before Andrew and CBC, we hoped God may heal us. Now we know that healing is ours. Andrew and Jamie stand with the Hulls and CBC-Clermont's first-year students. (Click to enlarge)We have seen sicknesses leave our children instantly by the Word. We have had miraculous provision in times of need. Now we walk in the blessings of God more than ever before and have the privilege of pouring these blessings out to others," she said.

As director and facilitator, the Hulls share the administrative duties of the school. Terry coordinates the schedule, and teaches live sessions, and Melanie helps facilitate DVD classes. As the current academic year draws to a close, the Hulls are looking forward to next year when, for the first time, they will accommodate both first and second-year students. They see a great opportunity to share the grace and faith message with the people of Clermont and the surrounding area.

CBC-Clermont currently offers classes on a part-time basis. Classes are held on Monday and Thursday nights. For more information visit the CBC-Florida website or Like Charis Bible College Clermont on facebook.