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You and I are in the midst of a modern-day miracle!
This is not something that happened a long time ago in the Bible. This is taking place today, right before our eyes. If the Lord tarries, I believe history will judge this as a significant move of God in the twenty-first century.
I'm talking about what the Lord is doing at and through Charis Bible College. It has been miraculous from its inception.
The Lord spoke to me very clearly on June 23, 1993, while I was ministering in England, to start a Bible college. I never wanted a Bible college. It was the furthest thing from my mind. But in moments, the Lord downloaded to me a vision of a new way of doing Bible college that would not only impart knowledge but also mentor and give the practical experience lacking in most Bible colleges.
Unknown to me, on that very day - on the other side of the world - a man named Gilbert Jackson had been miraculously born again, just two weeks before he died. He was repentant for all the time he had wasted, and he dedicated 157 acres of property in Woodland Park, Colorado, to Christian education. He envisioned buildings with glass walls where people could see the beauty of Pikes Peak as they learned about the Lord. It would be sixteen years later before I found out the Lord had chosen that piece of property for the home of Charis Bible College. We acquired what we now call The Sanctuary in 2009 and completed our first building on this beautiful mountain property in January 2014. We are now into the second phase of construction, building our 152,000-square-foot auditorium with an attached parking garage.
But Charis isn't about buildings; it's about changed lives. And this is the miracle I'm speaking about. Something is happening at Charis that I've never seen in my forty-seven years of ministry. Lives are being changed in a way and to a depth that I've not experienced before.
Here are some Charis Bible College student testimonies:
Karolina rushed into her daughter Lilia's bedroom after hearing a loud thump. Her six-year-old had fallen headfirst off her bunk bed to the floor, resulting in a cracked skull. At the hospital, Lilia could not keep herself from throwing up, but Karolina knew who she was in Christ and took authority over it. As a third-year student at Charis Bible College Switzerland, she was equipped to exercise the healing power of God and was able to bring her daughter home safely. This story may have ended very differently if Karolina hadn't been trained through Charis.
-Karolina, graduate of Charis Switzerland
High school student Tim Spadino had become a casual user of drugs and alcohol. Though he had been brought up in a Christian home, he had given up on trying to please God and decided to experiment with what the world had to offer. Later he came across Andrew's Effortless Change teaching, which intrigued him to learn more; that's when he discovered Charis Bible College. Tim used to feel that he had to earn everything in his walk with God - that he had to make himself worthy. Now he follows the Lord not because he has to but because he wants to. He has been transformed!
-Tim Spadino, graduate of Charis Colorado
There is such an anointing here that we've had people healed when they drive on the property. Lives are being changed and, in turn, are changing others. On November 4, 2014, the Lord woke me up out of a deep sleep with the message, "I have raised you up to change people's opinion of Me. As their opinion of Me changes, their lives will change and they, in turn, will change the world." That's my calling, and that's literally happening at Charis.
We just had a missions trip to Ecuador where one of our students heard a bloodcurdling cry behind her hotel. She ran to the sound and found that a one-year-old child had fallen from a balcony and landed on his head on concrete. The baby was dead. But this student was determined that his mother would not experience the grief she had gone through. This student's daughter had been murdered, and she wasn't going to let this woman go through that same pain if she could help it.
She prayed for a few minutes, and the child's eyes blinked. She continued praying, and the child came back to life. They took the boy to the hospital, but the doctors said there was nothing wrong. They released him the same day. Revival broke out. Eight members of the hotel staff were born again, along with many others.
This is not an isolated instance. We've seen many people raised from the dead through our students. But the greatest miracle is the change that takes place in the hearts of people who have been transformed by the Word of God.
I don't have the words to express this. It's hard to describe. I just call it "the Charis Experience" - it's fantastic. People leave differently than they came.
The Lord has shown me that He is doing something much bigger than what I originally thought. The vision keeps expanding. I didn't see all of this. I just obeyed what the Lord told me to do, and He is multiplying our efforts beyond what we could ask or think. This is evident in the people the Lord has brought to us and the expertise they bring to Charis.
Our Business School is a good example. We have been given the core curriculum of the Harvard Business School to use as our own. We have entrepreneurs leading our Business School whom I never could have imagined. Paul Milligan, who runs our Business School and is also the new COO of AWM, has multiple businesses, with over 1,200 employees. Billy Epperhart is a millionaire real-estate investor who has adopted Charis as his own. Dr. Dean Radtke took Avon and The Limited to multibillion-dollar companies. Only God could have brought these men to Charis.
Our Ministry School has seasoned ministers such as Happy Caldwell, Duane Sheriff, and Bob Yandian, who have lived what they are teaching. Many Bible colleges have professors with no practical experience, but these men bring over 100 years of combined ministry experience to the table. That is invaluable!
Recently, the Lord brought us two couples from overseas with amazing talents. They have such hearts for this ministry that they moved here and are starting a performing arts track in our Worship School. This has huge potential. This will allow us to reach out to segments of our society we've not touched before.
Many people won't listen to a sermon in words, but they will receive through music and theatrical performances. Sometimes the Gospel can be conveyed through these forms even more effectively than words.
I've also had a desire to affect the political process. Jesus didn't come to change governments, but individual lives. Yet it is a fact that His disciples radically affected the ungodly cultures in which they lived. Jesus' disciples reshaped the world's politics in a relatively short period of time. I want to see that happen too.
David Barton, of WallBuilders, and I recently teamed up with well-known senators, retired generals, and other experts to develop a third-year program at Charis to train leaders in how to impact our culture through the political process. I am really excited about this. This could possibly change the course of our nation. Again, God is the One bringing all of this to pass. I couldn't do this. This is a testament to the miracle we call Charis.
I was privileged to be in Oral Roberts' home, along with some other ministers, just a few months before he died in 2009. Another preacher there asked Oral how we could change a nation. I was blessed by his answer. He said we can't change a nation. Only God can do that. We can only do what He leads us to do, and then God has to do the rest.
In that spirit, I don't know what the ultimate fruit of Charis will be. I believe the potential is huge. But that's up to God. I can only do what He leads me to do, and I know He is leading me to make Charis a major player in His end-time plans.
I couldn't orchestrate all of this. Until just a few years ago, I was pretty much isolated. I only had a few ministry friends, and few of them were well known. But that has all changed. God has connected me with some of the most influential people in the body of Christ. And they are as passionate about what the Lord is doing at Charis as I am.
The Lord spoke to me that I need to take Charis to the next level. I need to minister to the student's total person - spirit, soul, and body. I need
to expand. Parents who call Charis frequently ask if we have student housing. They are concerned about their children getting out on their own with no supervision, as well as all the effort involved in setting up house. Often when they find out we don't provide housing, they go elsewhere. I understand that.
The Charis experience could be greatly enhanced by providing student housing. It would remove hurdles that many people are just not willing to jump over. And I believe it would bring in more young people. They are our future. We must disciple the next generation. It's been estimated that up to 90 percent of Christian youth lose their faith after one year in secular college. Even if someone needs the secular education to pursue their calling, we believe every Christian young person needs to attend at least one year at Charis to establish their Christian foundation before they are thrown to the wolves. This could bring large numbers of youth into Charis.
So, I've already started developing student housing for our Charis students. To stay with the excellence and pristine surroundings the Lord has given us, I've decided to build lodges that each house around thirty single students and cabins to house families. These will be tucked back in the woods to create a beautiful campus that will only enhance the Charis experience.
And of course, we will need facilities to feed these students and provide for their other needs. We have preliminary artist renderings of what this will look like. The actual construction will probably vary as we get further into this, but I know where the Lord is leading me. Our Bible college facilities will be on par with universities, and that will allow us to minister to our students in ways we haven't before.
All of this is huge. It is definitely beyond me. But as I've prayed about this, the Lord has assured me that this is His vision and that He will bring it to pass.
The Lord told me that more than enough people have been touched through this ministry to make this happen. He reminded me we reach a potential 3.2 billion people each day through our television broadcasts aired on 285 individual stations and all the major networks in 171 countries of the world. If only one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of this potential were impacted, that would be 3.2 million people. The Lord said, "This could be done with pocket change if we do it together."
The Lord challenged me to trust Him for 100,000 people to partner with me for $1 per day. That's not much. Most of us get that in change each day. You can't buy a cup of coffee or a bottle of water for a dollar anymore. But $1 each day from enough people could fund the development of a campus that will raise up thousands of leaders who, in turn, will change the world.
Our first graduating class in '96 had 30 people in it. This year, over 1,200 people graduated from the Charis system of sixty-seven schools. In twenty years, Charis has graduated nearly 2,000 world changers. Only God knows what the next twenty years hold. But the Lord has lead me to take the limits off and think big. I ask you to join me.
Will you be one of the 100,000 who joins me in a dollar-a-day commitment to change lives who, in turn, will change the world?
Together we can make a difference that God can use for His glory. The best is yet to come!
This month, I'm offering a new package called Taking the Limits Off. It will include Don't Limit God; How to Find, Follow, and Fulfil God's Will; and The Believer's Authority. You can get this in a book, CD or DVD, or study guide package. I believe that through these materials, you will not only discover God's purpose for you, but they'll help you identify and remove any hindrances to you fulfilling His will for your life! You'll be blessed. To order, go to our website: www.awme.net, call our Helpline: +44 (0)1922 473 300, or complete the enclosed form and return it.