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Entries in Russia (23)


CBC-Chicago Ministers Globally

Second-year CBC Chicago students traveled the world in March. They ministered in Nicaragua, Uganda and Russia where they had the privilege of sharing the power and goodness of God. (Click to enlarge)Over the course of the past academic year, the second-year students at Charis Bible College in Chicago, Illinois prepared for their mission trips abroad. The students took mission prep classes, in which they received practical training in how to effectively minister the almost-to-good-to-be-true-news, in word and power, to the people in foreign nations. "Mission trips are the highlight of students’ experience at CBC. It is the time when everything they’ve trained for comes to the forefront and they operate as who they really are—citizens of heaven and Jesus in the earth," said CBC-Chicago Director, Cindy Quarles.

In March, the school sent three teams on three separate trips across the globe with stops in Nicaragua, Uganda and Russia. As each team returned, their hearts and mouths were full of praise and reports of God's amazing love displayed through the students on the field. Lives were changed as a result of each trip.


The first team sent out from Chicago ministered in Nicaragua, where they experienced the blessings of street and prison ministry. The Chicago team worked closely with students from CBC-Gardner, Massachusetts, CBC-Indiana and CBC-Colorado, all hosted by Darey and Karen Jolley of Ambassadors to the Nations.

Ministry through provision. Here a CBC student put a new pair of shoes on a little boy. (Click to enlarge)After providing packages with necessities, this Chicago student shares a hug. (Click to enlarge)


CBC-Chicago's Russia team shared the love of God with the people of St. Petersburg. Hosted by Mike and Carrie Pickett, the directors of Charis Bible Training Center, the students ministered in half-way houses to people who have come out of a lifestyle of drugs and alcoholism. The team was able to bring hope and encouragement to the residents by sharing their personal testimonies, the Word, fellowship and love.

Chicago students ministered in a local church setting in St. Petersburg. (Click to enlarge)The Chicago team gathered with the CBTC staff and students after a church service. (Click to enlarge)


Chicago's Uganda mission team traveled to the country's capitol city of Kampala where they were hosted by CBC-Uganda director, Leland Shores and his wife Carole. During one outreach, the Chicago students teamed up with the Ugandan students and they traveled an hour north of Kampala to pray for the sick in Nakaseke hospital. Forty-eight people, in the predominantly Muslim area, were born again as a result of this outreach, and 117 of the 150 people prayed for were discharged from the hospital after receiving their healings! Cindy commented, "They pretty much emptied out the hospital! "God is Awesome!"

Here a Chicago student lays hands on a sick child in the Nagaseke hospital. (Click to enlarge) The students saw 117 people discharged after receiving their healing. (Click to enlarge)

Cindy expressed her thanks to all who contributed and supported the CBC-Chicago teams in any way. "Your gifts and prayers have eternal significance. People are the treasure," said Cindy.


CBC Colorado Visits Russia

Student-missionaries from CBC-Colorado journeyed to St. Petersburg, Russia to gain experience teaching and ministering on foreign soil. (Click to enlarge)A Charis Bible College (CBC) student mission team recently returned from the mission field in Russia. Team leader and CBC instructor, Dr. Delron Shirley, led the twelve member team to St. Petersburg where they connected with missionaries Mike and Carrie Pickett, co-directors of the CBC extension school in St. Petersburg, Charis Bible Training Center (CBTC). The purpose of the trip was for the students to gain experience teaching the Word of God on foreign soil. The group spent twelve days touring and ministering in a variety of venues in the former USSR.

Dr. Delron Shirley and his interpreter teaching the Charis Bible Training Center students. (Click to enlarge)The Colorado students used CBTC as their base and began their mission experience sharing testimonies and teachings with the CBTC students. This was a great cultural opportunity in itself, as the CBTC student body is made up of more international students than Russians. Many Africans and Indians attend a local university where they study medicine and engineering during the day, and then attend Bible college in the evenings.

The team from Colorado also had the opportunity to minister to recovering addicts in a St. Petersburg drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. The CBC team and those they ministered to in the St. Petersburg Rehab. (Click to enlarge) In addition to sharing the Word, several of the students gave personal testimonies of deliverance from alcohol related problems. The meeting closed with a powerful time of prayer ministry, during which at least one man was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The Colorado team, and a team from CBTC, traveled together by bus to a village five hours northwest of St. Petersburg, where they visited a local church and spent three days ministering to believers in the community. The teams had to register with the Russian authorities to be allowed access to this particular village because it was home to a Russian military base. Co-Director of Charis Bible Training Center and AWM-Russia, Mike Pickett ministering at a small village church. (Click to enlarge)The students did not have any trouble passing through the military check points because they had filed the appropriate documents prior to their arrival; however, the pastor of the church was interrogated at length, as to the nature of the team's visit to his church. The questioning was due in part to heightened security after the suicide bombing that took place in Moscow's Domodedovo airporton the day the Colorado team arrived in the country.

Security aside, the students were able to minister in the village church Friday evening, all day Saturday and on Sunday morning. Students gathered to pray for those with need in the village church.
(Click to enlarge)
The church sanctuary also served as the students lodging while in the village.

"It was almost twenty years ago that I was in Russia last," said Delron. "At that time, the Communist Block was just beginning to break up and the people were just beginning to wake from the seventy-two-year-long nightmare of totalitarian rule to the dream of freedom. Leningrad had not yet returned to its original name of St. Petersburg, and the few believers in the city were still meeting in secret underground churches. While in St. Petersburg, the men from the CBC team had a short walk along the bustling streets to catch the Metro. (Click to enlarge)The economy was devastated to the point that the people had to stand in long bread lines just to get enough food to supply their daily needs. The Russia I found on this trip was a completely new world with bustling streets filled with prosperous citizens moving freely and enjoying life. But most of all, I found a vibrant and growing Christian community freely living and sharing their faith."

Third year CBC intern and co-leader Mark Dykstra echoed Delron's sentiment about the Russian people when he said, "The people were very warm and receptive to the Gospel message."


1000 New Bible Schools in Russia

AWM-Russia and Charis Bible Training Center directors, Mike and Carrie Pickett with their daughter. (Click to enlarge)Many have heard Andrew's series Don't Limit God, a teaching based on Psalm 78:41, through which Andrew shares how taking our limits off God allows Him to do greater things through our lives. Mike and Carrie Pickett, directors of Charis Bible Training Center (CBTC) in St. Petersburg, Russia, know that there are no limits for our God, and they are believing for huge increase over the next five years; specifically the launching of one thousand bible schools throughout Russia.

This is not a pie-in-the-sky, random goal for the Picketts; momentum toward this vision actually began building several years ago when Carrie was introduced to Pastor Svetlana Holina from Izhevsk, Russia at an annual pastor's conference in St. Petersburg. Since their introduction, CBTC has had a standing invitation to bring students to Izhevsk. The Lord led the Picketts to accept the invitation two years ago, and the timing as it turned out was divine. The area, nearly 2000 miles southeast of St. Petersburg, is home to more than 120 churches, and at the time was full of hurting people. A prominent church Bishop had been removed from his position, and the people were suffering through the associated fallout. During their mission trip the CBTC team ministered to those hurting people in Izhevsk and the surrounding villages, and successfully developed relationships with local pastors, leaders and other missionaries. Mike and Carrie also met the newly appointed leader, Pastor Vitaley, and developed a strong connection with him right away.

A map of Russia illustrating the distance between St. Petersburg and Izhevsk. (Click to enlarge)On their first visit to Izhevsk the CBTC team gave away twenty-five packets of Andrew’s teaching materials and books, translated in Russian. These teachings included Spirit Soul & Body, Identity in Christ, The Believer's Authority, Christian Philosophy, Integrity of God’s Word, and True Nature of God. The team was happy to leave the materials and considered them spiritual seeds.

A few months later at another pastor's conference, Mike and Carrie learned that the materials they had left behind were put to good use, and had begun to yield fruit within the Izhevsk church community. Pastor Svetlana showed her appreciation at the conference by greeting Carrie with an enthusiastic hug. She told Mike and Carrie that the materials were transforming lives, and that they needed more. Thankfully, the Picketts had prepared additional materials to give to Svetlana. Mike and Carrie also made arrangements for a second trip to Izhevsk with another CBTC team.

A group of 45 pastors and church leaders participated in the Leadership School.
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During their second trip to Izhevsk in March 2010, the pastors and leaders which the team met with explained that while they were tremendously blessed by the materials, they did not know how to minister the message of grace and faith effectively. They asked the Picketts for more instruction and oversight.

Mike and Carrie sought God for wisdom on how best to equip these pastors. Over time the two were led to the conclusion that the best way to prepare them would be to teach an intense version of their CBTC Leadership School curriculum. When Carrie called and presented the idea to Pastor Svetlana, she was overjoyed. Earlier the same day, Pastor Svetlana and other church leaders held a meeting with the Bishop expressing their needs. The group had prayed together, and an hour later, Carrie called to offer the idea of the Leadership School; another divine moment.

Pastor Sergey (seated) and his church distributed 1000 copies of Andrew's Spirit, Soul & Body teaching.
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Mike and Carrie explained that the vision for the new Leadership School is to help encourage and train the pastors, leaders and missionaries who desire to grow deeper in grace and faith. The school is focused on retraining the leaders first, and will then move on to the "how-to" of teaching grace and faith to their congregations. There will also be training on how to start, lead and operate Bible schools in their churches.

The first installment of the Leadership School took place in October 2010. Forty-five pastors attended, and the Picketts covered an extensive amount of foundational material. The pair also gave the students an assignment; prepare hour-long individual messages on Spirit, Soul and Body in time for their next meeting in February 2011. Future trips include February, May and September.

Mike and Carrie continued to hear testimonies of how lives are being transformed during their time in Izhevsk this past October. Pastor Sergey, a student of the Leadership School shared how he had been so impacted by Andrew’s Spirit, Soul and Body DVD course that he and his church decided to raise funds to reproduce Andrew's material. They raised enough money to make 1000 copies of the course, packaging and all, and they distributed them in surrounding cities and villages free of charge. They anticipate hearing great things as a result of their outreach.

Multiplication is the word that comes to mind when one considers the impact the Gospel is presently having in Russia (2 Timothy 2:2). And that is why one thousand bible colleges within the next five years is a goal within reach of our limitless God.