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Entries in Holland (3)

Thursday
Aug112011

CBC Nederland's, Mark Becking

Director of Charis Bible College-Nederland, Mark Becking.
(Click to enlarge)
Mark Becking is the director of Charis Bible College-Nederland, the newest campus in CBC's international extension school line-up. Mark, a native of Holland, has had a desire to know and understand God since he was a young boy. After decades as a psychologist, he left his profession to share the almost-too-good-to-be-true news of the gospel.

Although Mark was raised in a non-Christian home, his desire to know God led him to attend Sunday school at the age of ten. By twelve Mark's search had driven him to explore meetings of a local Theosophist group, a group rooted in a religious philosophy about the soul, and based on mystical insight into the nature of God. Mark's spiritual hunger eventually led to his involvement with kabbalah, an esoteric group and with various forms of mysticism. While his desire to know God was genuine, Mark's pursuits led him astray and left him unfulfilled.

Mark sharing his revelation of Grace with the CBC-NL students.
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Mark was always aware of the difference between the spirit and the soulish realm, and was interested in how the two differed and influenced each other. He studied psychology in the seventies, and eventually established his own practice. As a psychologist, he was intrigued by behavioral disorders and the challenge treating the disorders presented. The longer he was in the field however, the more dissatisfied he became with psychology's solutions to the problems people faced. In an effort to more fully address patient's issues he began to incorporate meditation training into his practice. "My searching in meditation was an unconscious attempt to attain better solutions by supernatural methods. Looking back, I thank God that he reached out to me and gave me Jesus," said Mark.

Mark's years as a psychologist help him discern unresolved heart issues, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit he is able to minister to the student's needs supernaturally. (Click to enlarge)After a decade, Mark opened a consulting firm and began hosting leadership training seminars for profit and non-profit organizations. He spent the next ten years working as a consultant and was very successful in his endeavors. During this time he met and married his wife Alice, and the couple adopted two little girls. Due to fluctuations in the Beckings' work schedules, they found they needed a nanny. The woman they hired happened to be a Christian, and she invited the Beckings to her church. While at a service, Mark was touched by the presence of God, and decided to attend the church regularly. Within three months the Beckings were born again and baptized; Mark sensed God had taken his life in His hands.

Student-led Worship at CBC-NL.
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Turned on by a book he read shortly after his conversion, Mark left consultancy to become a Christian psychologist. He adapted his counseling methods to include a more Biblical perspective. In a short time, he found a niche within the church, helping burned out pastors and serving as a mediator in leadership conflicts within churches. This opened doors for Mark to host leadership training seminars in the churches as well.

In 2004, Mark felt led to contact an old church acquaintance. During their visit the friend mentioned that he had just discovered Andrew's Gospel Truth program on GOD TV. Students gather to pray during a break between classes. (Click to enlarge)Mark and Alice began watching the program also, and Andrew's message Spirit, Soul and Body made a tremendous impact on Mark. In 2006, the couple attended Andrew's annual Grace and Faith Conference in the U.K. The two were transformed by Andrew's message and immediately enrolled in Charis Bible College's correspondence program. The couple returned to the annual conference in 2007, where they sensed the Lord leading them to dedicate two years of their lives to attend CBC on a full-time basis.

Mark and Andrew chatting during Andrew's visit to the school in June 2011. (Click to enlarge)Mark also made the choice to step away from his involvement with ministry and psychology in general. "I had to stop ministering in churches because God had clearly spoken that I didn't have a sure foundation in the Word of God—deep inside I knew it was true. So after almost 30 years of being a psychologist, I stopped everything," Mark said.

Mark's two years in England were life-changing as he immersed himself in God's Word and established a relationship with the one true God he had desired to know for so long. While it was a painful struggle for him to let go of his carnal identity as a psychologist, he found that as he did, he was better able to receive revelation from the Lord.

The home of CBC-Nederland.
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Immediately following their graduation in 2009, the Beckings were approached by several Dutch people who asked if they would launch a CBC campus in Holland. Although he was hesitant to open a school, the Holy Spirit gradually urged him to take steps of faith. Mark and Alice acted in faith and held an informational meeting. Mark said, "To our surprise eighty people showed up! From these, there were fifty people who wanted to become part-time students. So we started with a part-time school in September of 2009."

In January 2010, God gave Mark the green light to start a full-time school. In preparation for the opening he sought a suitable location, and in September, CBC-Nederland opened with twenty-two full-time first-year students.

Mark expects the 2011 academic year to start with twenty first-year and twenty second-year students, with three additional part-time groups as well. In anticipation of the exponential growth, Mark engaged his landlord for more space in the current building. As he negotiated the lease terms, the building's owner, not a Christian, was so moved by Mark's mission that he gave him the desired space, the whole ground floor, rent-free for the first year! "The money we saved is exactly the amount we spent to renovate the ground floor," said Mark excitedly.

Now that Mark has established a firm foundation in God's Word, he is enthusiastically sharing what he has learned with the faithful men and woman of the Netherlands (2 Timothy 2:2).

Wednesday
Jun082011

Europe Trip 2011: Changed Hearts in Holland

One of Holland’s national treasures.
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Only a mile from our hotel at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, we saw an old thatched windmill standing above the trees. David Hardesty and I visited and took pictures, learning that many years ago, the Dutch reclaimed land from the sea by building dykes, pumping seawater out, and using the land for farming, housing, roads, airports, cities and all other productive uses. Fully one-third of Dutch real estate is land stolen from the sea. Our hotel and meeting site were a dozen feet below sea level. The old windmill used to create the ground we walked on, had been preserved as a historical reminder.

There is a saying that goes, “God created the earth but the Dutch created Holland.” This idea contains a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing that Dutch engineers have learned to harness and control water so well. It can also lead to the kind of pride that elevates human achievement to the status reserved only for God, People at Andrew’s book table in Holland. (Click to enarge)and that kind of self sufficiency is a spiritual curse.

Indeed, we noticed that Holland appeared more industrious and prosperous than its neighbors. The countryside was manicured and groomed to look like a well-maintained park. We wondered how the message of dependency upon God—the ingredient for activating God’s life within us—would be received among these industrious folks.

Dutch people crowd the front seeking new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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Our meetings answered the question. The power of the Gospel operating by the Spirit, changes hearts, whether in America, UK, China, Africa, or Holland. Our crowds had already embraced Andrew’s teaching through television and books, and they came ready to receive even more. Dozens came forward to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many were released from religious bondage, experienced healings, and renewed their freedom in Christ.

Pictures courtesy of David Hardesty and John Elshaw

View the video below for a behind the scenes look at Stephen Bransford working in Holland. It was recorded by CBC Netherlands Student Kees Pos during Andrew’s visit to the country.

Filed Monday, June 6, 2011 from Amsterdam by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.

Tuesday
Jun072011

Europe Trip 2011: Amsterdam Surprise

Mark Becking with Andrew (Click to enlarge)His name is Mark Becking. A few years ago he was a successful psychologist who specialized in training leaders in Holland. After immersing himself in Andrew’s teaching, his life radically changed. As happens to so many, he felt a need to go to Charis Bible College for a complete baptism in the grace and faith teaching.

He took a huge risk, putting his practice on hold and moving his wife and daughter to Walsall, England. By the time he graduated, CBC director, Paul Flanagan and others had seen his leadership skills. Andrew addresses students of Charis Bible College Amsterdam. (Click to enlarge)They asked if he would consider returning to Holland to start an extension school.

It was a daunting idea. There was no facility, no translated teaching materials, no student body and no way to support his family while leading a school. A series of miracles and provisions accompanied his efforts, including a businessman who offered to pay his salary so that he wouldn’t have to return to his private practice.

The results are our Amsterdam surprise: Andrew enjoys informal discussion with CBC world changers in Amsterdam. (Click to enlarge)At the end of his first year, Mark leads one of the most successful Charis Bible Colleges in the extension school system. He has supervised 20,000 hours of translations of first year curriculum, he has recruited 90 full and part time students into the school, and projected enrollment is pushing him beyond the walls of his current facility for next year.

Andrew fully enjoyed the special meeting he had with the student body. The academic year has already ended and promotions have been celebrated, so not all of the students were able to return for this meeting. But those who came really impressed Andrew, Wendell Parr promises to provide the full attention of his office to the future of the Amsterdam School. (Click to enlarge)David, and Wendell with their dedication and focus on the almost-too-good-to-be-true Gospel.

“I think the quality of the leader is reflected in the quality of these students,” Andrew concluded. “Mark Becking is bearing very good fruit.”

Pictures in this post supplied by CBC Amsterdam students, Kees Pos, and Kjell Schipper.

Visit CBC-Nederland for more information about the school.

Filed Saturday, June 4, 2011 from Amsterdam by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.