Praise the Lord! He did it! Charis Bible College (CBC) will move into The Barn this month and begin classes on January 6, 2014! Thank You, Jesus! Over the last three and a half years, we have received an additional $31 million on top of our normal operating costs. We have less than $1 million to go. This is a BIG DEAL!
The Lord spoke to me in early 2009 that I needed to start planning to accommodate the growth that was coming to CBC. I prayed about this and sought counsel from some of the mighty men the Lord has put in my life. This led to us purchasing 157 acres in Woodland Park, Colorado, in September of 2009, which Jamie was inspired to name The Sanctuary. At the height of a worldwide financial crisis, we purchased the property at around twenty-five cents on the dollar. It was a supernatural provision.
The journey had only just begun. As we began planning for the construction of our new CBC campus, we had no money for this. I waited until the spring of 2010, when we had preliminary figures for construction, before I even presented this project to you, our supporters. We faced delays, one after another, and didn't start construction until September 2012.
The first building, which I call The Barn, was approximately $20 million. But all of the architectural fees, permits, infrastructure, earth work, and utilities for both phases, which had to be done in the beginning, brought the cost of this first phase of construction up to $32 million. This amount of money had to come in over and above our normal operating expenses.
This all looked impossible in the natural, especially when you consider the "Great Recession" as many have called it. However, I felt confident that the Lord directed me to do this and decided to believe Him to get this done debt free.
Here we are, just a little over four years after this process started, and CBC is ready to move in next month. We are so close to completing this DEBT FREE! At the time of this writing, we still have $976,675 left to pay. I'm believing it's all coming in. Please pray and see if the Lord would have you to contribute a little extra this month to make sure we meet the goal.
All the glory goes to God. This is the house that He has built. Thank You, Jesus. Although I give the Lord all the glory, I want to say a very special thank-you to all of you who contributed to this. I know the Lord uses people, and He has used tens of thousands of you to make this a reality. Many people gave sacrificially, and often. Only eternity will reveal the full impact of your giving.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE BUILDINGS; IT'S ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE IMPACTED IN THESE BUILDINGS.
One of our CBC staff was given a word from the Lord based on the scriptures in 2 Kings 4. This word said, "Get vessel; not just a few; and I will fill them. The vessels are people, our CBC students. The Lord is wanting to pour out of His Spirit, into these people, the Gospel truths that have so radically changed my life and the lives of all our instructors. We are making room to fill lots of vessels. I believe this is going to change the world. It has already begun.
We now have nearly 2,000 CBC graduates scattered all across the globe. They are ministering to orphans and widows. They are reaching out to addicts and prostitutes. They are sharing the Good-News Gospel with people who only know God as an angry God. And they are seeing people saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and healed by the thousands.
Our first day of classes in the new facility will be January 6, 2014. This will be a red-letter day. It was nineteen years ago that we first opened our doors to thirty students. Counting our thirty-nine extension schools, in-church schools, online and correspondence students, and Colorado campus, we now have over 2,500 current students. We also have one more extension school starting up soon, in Australia. In many ways, we are just getting started.
We are planning a special Grand Opening day of dedication and celebration on Saturday evening, March 22, 2014. It'll be held immediately after our annual Campus Days meetings (March 20-22). I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to come and join with us for this special day. This will also be the eve of the forty-sixth anniversary of my miraculous encounter with the Lord in 1968. I am amazed at all the Lord has done since then. I want to give Him thanks and would love to have you there. We have some very special things planned. You need to come and see what the Lord has done. If the Lord has placed a desire in your heart to learn more about the Bible College, then join us a few days early for Campus Days.
After The Barn is finished and paid for, Phase II of this new Bible college campus will be the construction of a 2,500 seat auditorium. It will also have room for over a hundred prayer ministers in our Phone Centre, an office complex for all our CBC staff, and will include a break area for around 2,000 students.
Although this second building will be 1.4 times bigger than The Barn, it will cost less because much of the expense for this was paid in Phase I. So, this second building will only cost $20 million to complete.
The start time of the auditorium's construction is still to be determined. The actual construction time will take one year. The earliest it could start would be in May 2014, and that would allow us to have the building completed in time for the start of the 2015-16 school year. But in order to do this, I would have to have a large increase in the money coming in designated for The Sanctuary.
In 2013, we averaged $834,000 per month coming into our building program. This included some large single gifts, two of which were $1,000,000 each. Excluding these large single gifts, we averaged $500,000 per month in 2013. I would have to average $1,111,111 per month for the next eighteen months to have this completed by August 2015. If I wait until May of 2015 to start Phase II, I would have to average $670,000 per month for the next twenty-nine months. Again, I plan on doing this DEBT FREE.
So, I'm in the process of praying about this and seeking the Lord's direction on what He wants me to do. I would appreciate your agreement for His direction. I'm not going to limit God, but I need to use wisdom too. Our Barn can accommodate CBC's needs for a short time; therefore, the practical thing would be to wait a year to build up our reserves. But is that what the Lord wants me to do? I'm praying about it. I will hear from the Lord.
On January 31, 2014, it will be just a short twelve years since the Lord told me I was limiting what He could do through me because of my small thinking. He told me to take the limits off Him, and I did. Our 2013 income was sixteen times more than we received in 2001 and now, we're ready to move into a new beautiful facility to accommodate all the growth God is giving us. Only He knows what the future holds.
I am convinced that the Lord has raised up this ministry to impact the world and it's happening. One life at a time, we are changing the world.
This month on television, I'm teaching on one of my favourite subjects, The War Is Over. The foundation of this teaching is Luke 2:14, which says, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men". You will love the Lord even more as you get more revelation on the great price that was paid to redeem you. These are some of the most impactful messages I have ever given on what Jesus has done for you and how you are to respond. I know this will change your life. If you haven't got the book, study guide, CDs, or DVDs of this teaching, I encourage you to do so. Even if you do have them, get some more and share them with others. This would make a great Christmas gift. To get these materials, please go online: www.awme.net, call our Helpline: +44(0)1922 473300, or complete and return the enclosed form.
Thanks for being a part of all the Lord is doing through this ministry. Jamie and I couldn't do it without you. You are helping us with the greatest endeavour on earth. Great is your reward.
Andrew and Jamie