CFNI – My Spiritual “Boot Camp”

By Peter Tsukahira

In the summer of 1974, I hitchhiked from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the campus of Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, to attend a session that was taught by the well-known Bible teacher, Derek Prince. I had heard that his teachings were powerful, but arrived there not knowing what to expect. The meeting hall was packed with hundreds of people, and Brother Derek, as he was called, was speaking with passion about “deliverance”—identifying demonic forces and casting them out.

Spring 1975 – Peter celebrating Passover with a seder (festive meal) with his fellow students

Clearly an Englishman, Derek Prince spoke with unusual conviction and authority. As a new believer, I had never heard anything like this before.  Soon I realized that I needed deliverance.  Some young people from the staff began to pray for me. Then I was taken into a carpeted room that was already full of people who were praying out loud. There was a sense of urgency and authority, as well as love and acceptance in the room.  The staff members put their hands on my head and prayed in bold voices, rebuking evil spirits and bondages that had formed in the years when I was immersed in the world of drugs and darkness. Soon, a deep sense of peace came over me.

After that experience, I knew I was supposed to attend CFNI. My wife and I said goodbye to our friends in Santa Fe and drove an old 1956 Volkswagen “Beetle” as far as Wichita Falls, Texas, where it died by the side of the road. We continued in a rented car that took the last of our cash. Friends had blessed us with a going away gift—a money order worth $250. However, soon after arriving to the school, it was accidentally put in the washing machine and destroyed. My two years at CFNI were not off to a good start!

The classes at the school were stimulating; I devoured the Bible-related studies and read chapters of the Bible every day. I knew that I was growing in faith, but it was a surprisingly difficult path. The main problem was inside of me. I felt like I was on a spiritual and emotional rollercoaster. Some of the time, I felt strong and capable of obeying the Lord. The rest of the time, I was failing. Although I was free of demonic control, my thoughts, will and emotions were still not yielded completely to God.

In addition to dealing with impure thoughts and ungodly cravings, I realized that the deeper, underlying motives of my heart were corrupt. I tried fasting to gain control over my inner life, but soon I found that even if I forced myself to stop eating, later I would sneak into the snack area and gorge myself on junk food. Things were going from bad to worse, and I wondered how long it would be before I gave up. I knew that leaving the school meant leaving the life God had for me. I was trapped and sinking.

Spring 1976 – CFNI graduation

At this very low point, two things helped me to persevere and survive spiritually. One was having believing friends and mentors, and the other was finding useful work. Dennis Lindsay, the son of CFNI’s founders, was one such friend. In spite of our hugely different backgrounds, he and his wife Ginger reached out to me. Their lives of faith, though not easy, seemed natural and unforced. They enjoyed doing fun activities in addition to their ministry work. Just being with them was an encouragement and a much needed “reality check.” I couldn’t understand how in my rough, unpolished state someone like Dennis could see anything valuable in me. One day, he told me that he let God choose his friends for him. I didn’t fully realize it then, but through our friendship, Dennis was passing on to me valuable truths about God’s Kingdom.

Another friend, a fellow student also named Dennis, helped me in quite another way. Since I had so little money, I was always looking for work. I tried selling Amway products from door to door, but quickly realized that I couldn’t succeed as a salesman. At that time Dennis came to me and said, “God told me to give you my job.” He was a commercial teller at the Guarantee Bank across from CFNI, and I was hired on the strength of his recommendation. I went to my classes in the morning and worked every afternoon. That work raised my self-esteem and helped me become more disciplined in my daily life.

John Garlock, who was CFNI’s Director at that time, heard that I had taught Japanese classes for beginners at my university and gave me an opportunity to teach Japanese to anyone interested at CFNI. A handful of students showed up, but one of them, a nineteen-year-old student named Bill Wood, showed unusual zeal. Later, he moved to Japan, married a Japanese woman, and today he is a respected teacher who has written numerous books in Japanese.

Peter with some of the African refugees that the ministry shelters

While teaching Japanese at CFNI, I began to experience a special kind of joy from the Lord. My spiritual gift of teaching was beginning to unfold; that gift continued to emerge in the years that followed. I realized that this is what I am called to do in Israel and many other nations around the world.

My two years at CFNI began the process of shaping me into the person I was created to be. It was like a spiritual “boot camp,” where I was not only learning the Bible, but also discipline and other difficult but valuable lessons in life. By the end of my time there, I felt that I was strong enough to walk out a lifestyle of faith on my own and help others in their journeys with the Lord.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

Responding to God’s call, Peter moved to Israel with his family in 1987. There he co-founded Kehilat HaCarmel, an Israeli Messianic congregation, and became the director of the Or HaCarmel Ministry Center, located on Mt. Carmel in northern Israel. The vision of this ministry is to build the local, indigenous believing community by reaching out to Jews and Arabs, serving the poor, giving refuge to women and children and helping to transform the lives of those with addictions.

Peter’s international teaching ministry has impacted many around the world with an understanding of God’s heart and purposes for Israel. He is the author of God’s Tsunami: Understanding Israel and End-time Prophecy, My Father’s Business: Guidelines for Ministry in the Marketplace and Culture of the Kingdom.

Peter overlooking the Jezreel Valley where Megiddo (Armageddon) is located

He says, “Be ready to do whatever the Lord says to you. Launch out when you are young and trust Him. If you are married, pray together about every major decision, and do not make your move until you both are in agreement with God. Your gift from God will make a way for you, and He will cause all things to work together for good when you love Him and respond in faith to His call and purpose.”

To learn more about Peter and his ministry, visit

carmelcongregation.org.il,

mountcarmelsom.com,

godstsunami.com

cultureofthekingdom.com.

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God’s Plans Are Bigger

(the story of Manami Braga da Silva)

By Maria Erokhina

Manami (Mana) was born and raised in the beautiful Japanese city of Toyama. Growing up in a pastor’s home, she faced the challenges of the environment where Christians (who constitute less than 1 percent of the population) are criticized and deal with strong spiritual opposition. These family and societal pressures often cause believers to refrain from consistent involvement in church and ministry. Mana, her parents and four sisters know what it’s like to be faithful to the Lord in a culture bound by traditions, consumed by materialism and lacking a moral compass.

Mana heard about Jesus from her parents, but she never experienced the true joy of having a relationship with Him. Her heart still carried the pain from the trials she had gone through. After high school, she worked for three years in order to save money to study at Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, becoming a CFNI student in 2012.

Talking about her CFNI experience, she says, “My time at the school was just incredible. The Lord touched me deeply there. I can’t imagine what my life would have been without CFNI. For me, it was the beginning of everything.”

Mana and her CFNI friends

At CFNI Mana met wonderful friends who supported and encouraged her, but most importantly, she received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and her heart began to heal. Her family and the people around her noticed the changes God had made in her during her season at CFNI. She graduated from the Global Missions and Children and Family majors in 2014.

After CFNI, Mana joined the staff of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries in Tokyo, Japan. She worked with American missionaries, held Bible studies at different university campuses, helped with translation, and organized parties and events for students to have fellowship together. Every summer, they would host several short-term missionary teams who served at different churches and shared the Gospel with Japanese youth. During her time in Tokyo, Mana also taught English, both in a language school and as a private tutor.

Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, Tokyo, Japan

The transition from Dallas to Tokyo was not easy for Mana; it was difficult to come back to an atmosphere so shockingly different from the friendly Christian environment at CFNI. There were many obstacles that she had to face. She was struggling with loneliness and asking the Lord to bless her with a man that she would spend her life with. “To be honest, waiting was quite challenging for me,” she confesses, “Sometimes, I thought that I would never meet my husband. In Japan, where the percentage of Christians is very low, many Christian ladies end up getting married to unbelievers. I didn’t want to compromise; therefore, I was praying for a miracle.”

In August 2015, while visiting her family in Toyama, Mana asked her father: “I need God’s special blessing for marriage. Not a regular blessing, but a special one. Will you pray for me?” After his prayer, Mana’s heart started to race, and she knew in her spirit that she would meet her future husband soon. In response to Mana’s faith, God sent her the answer from the opposite side of the world.

Tiago Braga da Silva, a young man from Portugal, had always been fascinated by Japan and its culture and was looking for an opportunity to serve there. He arrived in Tokyo nine days after Mana’s father prayed for a special blessing on her. He was there to help build a community center in a city that had been severely affected by the tsunami of 2011. When Mana met him, she knew in her spirit that he would be her future husband. They became really good friends, started a serious relationship and then Tiago proposed to her in January of the next year. She said yes to the miracle that God had sent her. The couple was married on May 14, 2016 in Portugal, where Mana has moved and currently resides. Mana says, “I’m so happy that I patiently waited for the best man that God was preparing for me.”

Tiago and Mana’s wedding

Tiago and Mana are enjoying their marriage and serve in their local international church. “Portugal is a beautiful and peaceful country, with good weather and great food. I am still adjusting to the new environment, language and culture. With the support of my husband and our families, I am getting used to my new life. Every day, I want to count God’s blessings as I am reminded of this scripture: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,’” she says (Jeremiah 29:11).

Tiago and Mana trust God with their future and choose to be thankful for each day. Mana says, “I give thanks to our Lord, who is the loving Director of our lives. Sometimes make our plans, but God’s plans are beyond our expectations. Praying and waiting are some of the hardest things we can do, but it’s so worth it.”

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God Still Changes Lives

By Stephen Samuel

Is there a place on Earth that fosters the presence of God? Is there a place where Jesus still appears? Is there a summer camp that can change the heart of a troubled youth? At Christ For The Nations, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “YES!” In this article, Stephen Samuel shares his testimony of an encounter with Jesus at Youth For The Nations summer camp (YFN), showing the impact of providing a place for God to move and transform lives.

A Family Crisis

My family moved to the USA from South India in the 1980s. My brother and I learned English quickly, but it took us years to adapt to a drastically different culture. That reality hit me sharply while attending public school. I was the poorest, shortest and shyest kid in my class, so I quickly became an object of ridicule, and most of my classmates avoided me as if I had a communicable disease.

At that time, my little sister Peace was born. She suffered from many health problems and fought hard for her life. We enjoyed her laughs, her cute smile and celebrated her victories in many medical battles. However, the doctors’ predictions were not promising, and our only hope was God healing her.

One day, when I was eight years old, my mother ’s piercing scream woke me up early in the morning. I jolted out of my bunk bed, and my brother and I rushed into her room. We found her wailing with grief as Dad hung up the phone. Trembling, we heard the devastating news that our 3-year-old little sister had died a few moments earlier. The four of us knelt around my parents’ bed and did the only thing we knew to do. We prayed. We pleaded. We cried. Then we hurriedly dressed and rushed to the hospital.

When I walked into the hospital room, I saw Peace. I tried to convince myself that she was only asleep. I placed my little fingers on her cold forehead and was struck with the realization that she was gone. I cried all the tears that I had on the two-hour drive back home; the wells of sorrow erupted deep within me. I prayed to the only One Who could save my sister ’s life, but He did not answer.

A week later, I was back in school. I walked up the long stairway toward my class. I didn’t dare lift up my head; it seemed like everybody was staring at me. The teacher met me at the door. She put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m so sorry, Stephen.” That simple act of kindness was too much for me. I turned and rushed down the hallway into the boy’s bathroom. Crouched in the corner, I cried bitterly, asking the questions that come with every tragedy: “What kind of God would allow this to happen to me? Wasn’t He supposed to keep us from evil?”

Slowly, time muted the anguish, but my wound grew deeper and evolved from grief to anger. There was a deep rage seething inside of me toward one person — God. I was broken and feared relationships. I was afraid to be hurt again and resolved never to open my heart. My solitude consumed me for years. I dressed in dark colors and spoke very little. I struggled at school; I felt like I didn’t measure up to my classmates.

The harshness of racism in our community only affirmed the pain in my heart. We would often find our front yard littered with trash — beer bottles, fast food remnants, dirty diapers and other filthy things. I had no idea why people would do that to us. Then a neighbor told me, “It’s because ya’ll ain’t white.” I also saw church people do malicious things to my parents, who were pastors. Church splits, betrayals, blatant manipulation . . . time after time these incidents were killing the little hope I had of happiness.

My dad was a hard worker, and from an early age my brother and I were buried in work. From studying to cutting grass, to menial chores around the house or church, I worked hard to keep my mind busy. In my free time, I would find a dark corner in my room and simply sit there pondering the great sorrow within me. Suicide became a common thought. My parents, themselves burdened with the loss of a child and feeling the weight of poverty and the responsibility of running a church, noticed that something was wrong and tried to help me as much as they could. But it wasn’t enough. None of us knew what to do.

The Week That Changed Everything

In 1994, I turned 16. That summer, a small youth group invited me to a camp called Youth For The Nations. There were cute girls in that youth group, and that was the only reason I agreed to join them, never realizing that this one week would transform my life.

After arriving on the campus of Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, the first activity was the evening worship service. The speaker that night was Greg Johnson, a man I had never heard of before, but I was pretty sure he was going to preach one of a thousand sermons that I had already heard. So I proceeded to do what I normally did during church — daydream, count the squares on the tiled ceiling, and ask myself, “Why am I here?”

Then Greg said something that captured my attention: “Listen to me, some of you have been fighting suicide, you have fought God, and you are angry with Him.” He went on to fully describe the depression and anger in my soul. I gazed at him critically, resisting his words. I thought, “He doesn’t know what I have gone through!”

“But God sees you,” Greg replied as if reading my mind. Then he called everyone who wanted to “surrender to Jesus” to come forward. I had heard that call a hundred times before. I didn’t move. Greg extended the call again. Not really understanding what I was doing or why, I slowly made my way to the front. When I reached the platform, I called out for the first time in years, “Jesus, if You really want me, I have nothing to give to You.”

With that confession, I knelt down under a heavy weight of dark oppression. That moment, I felt my heart’s pain intensifying. The loss, the betrayal, the wounds . . . all those negative feelings were overpowering. Then, suddenly, a powerful sensation of heat, like a blanket, fell on my back. The weight of the darkness dissipated under an unfamiliar healing touch, and I slowly lifted my head to find that I was bowing at the feet of Jesus.

“Stephen,” He said, “Before you were formed in your mother ’s womb, I called you and ordained you a prophet to the nation. Follow Me.” In that moment, He dispelled every shadow of fear. My body began to tremble, and tears poured down my face for what seemed like hours. I realized that the Jesus standing in front of me was not the distant, indifferent god that I had so bitterly accused in my thoughts. When I saw Him, I knew that He was everything I’d ever needed. When I rose up from that place of prayer, I felt alive again, as if I had awakened from years of hopelessness. The horrible season of pain and fear ended, and a new journey began as I stepped out of the darkness and into His light.

Where Is He Now?

Stephen has a heart for missions that was planted in him at YFN. In addition to leading numerous mission trips overseas, he serves as a Campus Pastor with Chi Alpha Ministries at Lamar University and is the Missions Director at Cathedral Church in Beaumont, Texas. Over the years, he has brought many teens to YFN to experience the same life-changing presence of God that transformed him.

To  learn more  about CFNI’s summer youth camps, go to youthforthenations.com.

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Permission To Dream

(the story of Lazarus Razaily)

by Maria Erokhina

This is the story of a man who decided to choose the important over the convenient and the calling of God over the plans of people.

Big Dreams, Big Challenges

Lazarus was born into an orthodox Hindu family that was deeply involved in witchcraft and suffered grinding poverty. At a certain point, his father became very ill and was dying. A Christian neighbor told his wife about Jesus the Healer and prayed for her husband. At that time, Lazarus’ parents didn’t know anything about Christianity, but they agreed to receive the Lord in hopes that it would make the father well. A miracle happened indeed – his health was restored.

food
The joy of sharing food and Jesus with the people of Nepal

After their salvation, the life of the family started to improve. Nevertheless, severe need compelled the parents to send their children to the orphanage. Fortunately, it was a Christian orphanage, where the children heard about Jesus on a daily basis.

From a very young age Lazarus wanted to become a musician. He had many other dreams, too, but the economic situation in the country and other challenges were steadily choking those dreams to death. Despair was growing in his heart.

In 2001, Lazarus got connected with a group of people who were passionate about the Lord and found the place where he belonged. He testifies that his real experience of salvation happened at that time. Although the circumstances around him didn’t change, hope started to rise in his heart.

A Step of Faith Leads to Breakthrough

Lazarus was serving with a ministry that provided food for homeless children on the dirty street of Kathmandu when he found two boys who “were different from the others.” Lazarus and his brother adopted these children while they themselves struggled financially. “Right after these kids came home, God abundantly blessed us; His favor opened many doors. Our life was changed after that,” says Lazarus. Now these boys have become young men who study at university.

fam2
Lazarus, Sajana and their daughters, Avani and Subani

In 2008, Lazarus married Sajana and they began to overcome life’s challenges together. His ministry was growing quickly. He was invited to lead worship in many different places and served in the leadership of several churches. Still, he felt that there was more to life. He always wanted to become a worship pastor and start a worship school that would equip worship leaders. He was surfing the internet, looking for a school where he could get trained for that vision, and came across Christ For The Nations Institute. He applied to CFNI and was granted an international scholarship that enabled him to attend.

A Year of Change

At CFNI, God blew on the cooling ambers of Lazarus’ dreams. He felt that God gave him the permission to dream big. God also told him, “If I am with you, it doesn’t matter where you are – in the USA, Canada or Nepal – I will take care of you.”

During his one year at the school, Lazarus found direction for his life. Among many other wonderful things that happened, he received a prophetic word that he would be a church planter in Nepal.

In Dallas, he got connected and served with a Nepali Church that offered Lazarus the opportunity to become a pastor and promised to help bring his family to the USA.

dsc08183
Ministry outreach to a Nepali village

“The dream of every person in Nepal is move to America and break free from devastating poverty and endless hopelessness,” admits Lazarus. Although staying in America (and leading a church!) was a great opportunity, he knew that God wanted him to go back to his homeland. He had to make a difficult decision.

“I knew that I was coming back to a life of struggle. I had nothing, I was going empty-handed. I had to start from scratch with no support,” he says. In the midst of the storm brewing inside of Lazarus’ mind, God assured him, “Trust Me and I’ll show you the next step. I will open doors for you.”

He decided to follow the Lord’s call, taking the road of hardship rather than convenience.

A New Start

When Lazarus came back to Nepal, he found three families that were in a critical condition. The children had lost their fathers and their mothers were struggling to make the ends meet. Lazarus used the money that the Nepali American church gave him and sent all nine children to school. This act of kindness gave each of them a start in life.

The joy that Lazarus shared with these families was his own, too. He even prayed, “If this is what You want me to do in life, I’ll be the happiest person.” When people heard about what he’d done, they started sending their support, and now they are collectively providing for 35 unprivileged children.

Despite the delight of seeing these children taking steps toward a good future, some of Lazarus’ expectations blew up in his face. The church in Kathmandu that he had served with before coming to CFNI refused to receive him back as a leader. His desperate attempts to be heard by the church leadership and serve under their authority were not successful. It was a challenging time for him.

earthquake
Alleviating the suffering of the 2015 earthquake victims

At that time, Lazarus opened his journal and found the prophetic word he had received at CFNI: “You will be a church planter in Nepal.” He got encouraged. “This is why my church is not allowing me to serve with them! I am supposed to plant new churches!” he thought. He went to tell his pastor about this vision. In spite of the perplexity of the situation, the pastor prayed over him and released him with a blessing.

Lazarus’ family, including his parents, supported him. They began to meet on a daily basis, praying, fasting, studying the Bible and seeking the Lord. “From the very beginning, our vision has been to be a church that is worshipping, Spirit-filled and grounded in the Word,” says Lazarus. After six months, God started adding new people to their congregation, Levites Church, and many were saved, healed and delivered.

In March 2014, Levites Church moved from Lazarus’ house to a bigger building. They also planted a daughter church in the neighboring town of Makwanpur and played an active role in alleviating the suffering of the 2015 earthquake victims.

Igniting the Heart of Worship

dsc07834
Bringing God’s presence to the uttermost parts of the world

For two years, Lazarus diligently served the people God entrusted him with. He wanted to be a faithful steward of that most valuable treasure, but the dream of igniting the heart of worship in Nepal was still burning in his heart. In 2016, God said to him, “You’ve been faithful with what I’ve entrusted you, now I want to respect your desire. Do what you have in your heart.”

From then on, Lazarus’ worship and music ministry launched quickly. God started sending him musicians, musical instruments and other necessary equipment. Now his team of 15 dedicated people travels to different parts of Nepal and India, leading worship and teaching about worship. Lately, God has been opening some amazing opportunities for them to serve and glorify Him.

It’s About Him

“My life is given to me by God to praise Him, and all that I am doing is not about me, but about Him. It’s His business, and He is more concerned about it than I am,” says Lazarus. “God’s love is what keeps me moving forward. I get my inspiration, motivation, energy, anointing and resources from Him alone. Challenges will always be there, but we have to be more focused on God rather than the problems.”

Levites Ministry’s motto is simply “Nepal needs Jesus.”

Because of people with dedicated hearts like Lazarus, Nepal has hope. If would like to connect with Levites Ministry and be part of what God is doing in this part of the world, email Lazarus at lazrusraj@yahoo.com.

 

 

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For Freedom He Was Set Free

By Mike and Lori Westlund

pic-2
At 8 years old, Raj’s mother was forced into temple prostitution by her own mother.

Raj Mugalkhod was born on the streets of the red light district in Kamathipura, Mumbai, India. His mother, only a teenager when he was born, was a seventh-generation temple prostitute. She had been given to the goddess Yellamma, so she would never be allowed to marry a mortal. Even though she maintained a relationship with her four sons’ father for short periods of time, Raj’s mother had to continue her life as a temple prostitute and struggled to care for her four boys, as well as her four orphaned nieces.

While his mother was doing the best she could, like many children born into severe poverty, Raj had to fend for himself from a very young age. He often had to resort to begging when he could find no work. Hunger was a fact of life, as were serious illnesses including hepatitis, malaria and typhoid fever. Just to survive, he joined a gang, engaging in criminal behavior. This bothered his sensitive conscience, which then led him to alcohol addiction, and the cycle of misery continued.

Raj grew up in a brothel, and in this unsafe environment he was sexually abused many times from the age of eight. He also saw others abused and trafficked, and this caused him to despair. At the age of 16, he had seen enough and attempted to escape his miserable existence by taking poison. For seven days, he lay in a coma with the doctors giving his mother little hope of his survival. She was not one to give up easily, and she contacted a Christian pastor, who fasted and prayed for Raj’s life.

pic-3
Raj’s mother holding him as a baby.

While lying in a coma, Raj remembers being pulled down toward Hell by demons, only to have Jesus appear. Jesus reached out His hand and pulled Raj out of Hell. After that near death experience, Raj was never the same. For the next 20 years, he invested his life in full-time Christian service, rescuing the victims of human trafficking in the district where he grew up. He rescued over 100 women and girls, often using his own money to purchase their freedom.

In April 2009, Raj married a beautiful Christian woman named Mansi, and shortly after they became pregnant. At the time, Raj was involved with the production of a groundbreaking documentary on human trafficking, The Cage. As was customary in India, Mansi returned to her parent’s home for the delivery. Unfortunately, Raj only got to see Mansi and their new son Mark for one day, and then he had to return to work on the project. He was soon notified that Mansi had complications and caught a train to be with her. Tragically, Mansi passed away early the next morning, only 15 days after bringing Mark into the world.

pic-4
As a child, Raj lived in brothels, sleeping under the beds of young girls while they were forced to have sex.

Raj struggled with survivor’s guilt; he was devastated and temporarily lost the use of his legs, probably due to severe shock and grief. He had to take a break from work to recover both physically and emotionally while his mother, who had become a Christian after seeing Raj’s deliverance, graciously stepped up to care for his new son. At this point Raj had no interest in remarrying, but he threw himself into the work of rescuing victims of trafficking. Since he had very little formal education, God gave him a desire to study and prepare for the high school equivalency test. Even though he had to teach himself, he miraculously passed. He attended South Asia Bible School for a year, which also couldn’t have happened without Divine assistance.

After faithfully serving with Teen Challenge for many years, God put a vision in Raj’s heart to further his education at Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. CFNI gave Raj a Full-work Scholarship, enabling him to pursue this vision. The April before Raj embarked on this epic venture, he was advised by spiritual mentors, Samuel and Shalini Daniel, that he needed a wife for himself and a mother for Mark. Raj contacted Anita, his deceased wife’s sister, with a proposal of marriage. Anita had kept her faith secret because her parents were devout Hindus and blamed both Raj and his God for the death of their daughter. At the time, she had already been proposed to by a Google engineer who could offer her all the material things Raj could not. There was one very important thing he lacked: faith in Jesus Christ. After three days of praying and fasting, Anita accepted Raj’s proposal, and they were married one week later. Anita’s parents told her that she was no longer their daughter. She had to leave home with nothing but her faith in God and her new husband and son. (Anita is continuing to believe for her parents’ salvation and loves them dearly.)

pic-10
On the street of the red light district.

Seeing the call of God on his life, Raj’s friends rallied around his dream and gave him the money to travel to America to attend CFNI. The miracles of provision continued as soon as Raj and Anita arrived in America. When they arrived at the airport, they only had one dollar, and no one would let them use their cell phone or give them change for a dollar to call someone for a ride to CFNI. In desperation, Anita bowed her head and prayed to God for help. When she looked up, she saw a dark-skinned man walking up to her, and before she could ask him for change, he emptied out his wallet into her hands — $235! She looked down in amazement at all the money, and when she looked up, he was gone. To this day, the couple cannot explain this miracle, other than to say it was an angelic visitation. Anita and Raj kept the dollar bill they arrived with as a memorial of God’s faithfulness.

Raj and Anita have both paid a huge price to follow the path that God has set for their lives. Still, their heart burns to see the captives set free. They continue to see miracles as Raj finishes his second year of preparation at CFNI (after receiving another one year scholarship), gaining the training he needs to return and bring freedom to their home country of India.

 

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Don’t Stop Living

By Susan Bozarth

My husband, Randy, was the Vice President of Christ for the Nations. He travelled the world, and he loved what he did. So when things began to change and he became irritable or argumentative, I thought he just needed a break or a vacation. It wasn’t until he started to not recognize our close friends that I knew we had a problem. Today, and for quite awhile now, he’s been totally dependent on me, having been diagnosed with a form of dementia/Alzheimer’s.

I didn’t want to accept it; I still pray and believe for his healing. But as God has ministered to me, I have found a certain amount of contentment in my reality. As I walked through this, I began to blog. The word that kept coming to me was “I can’t stop living.” These blogs have been compiled into my book, Don’t Stop Living. Here is an excerpt from it.

FROM A MESS TO A MOVEMENT

It does not take too long, when you’re in conversation with anyone these days, before the “woe is me” and “life is tough right now” topic comes to the forefront of the conversation. I was driving the other day, pondering those various issues that we, as a society, are dealing with — terrorism, financial challenges, dysfunctional families, lukewarm Christians, dishonest politicians, on and on, until I finally just sighed and said to myself, “What a mess!” It was at that moment that I “heard” this statement, “Out of messes, movements are born!”

My mind raced, and suddenly, I was flooded with images from the 60s — the Vietnam War, unbridled drug use, burning the American flag, sit-ins and love-ins, rebellion, chaos in the streets and hopelessness… what a mess! But in the midst of that mess, the Jesus movement was born. I then reflected on other times and seasons of unrest, and yet again, movements were formed that impacted the world. I thought of the beginnings of the Church itself — the chaos of that time from pagan worship to religious leaders, who were more like white-washed sepulchers (tombs) than men of God. Yet, the Savior was born, the Church was birthed and a movement was released that would change the world.

I have to tell you, I was encouraged by the imagery. We can even take it to a more personal level… out of our personal “mess” God will birth something new… a movement, if you will. God’s like that, you know. He takes dead things and makes them alive. He takes broken things and mends them, and He takes our mess, and if we allow Him, He will turn it into a personal revival or movement.

Psalm 30:5 says, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” During these times of change, we need to stay focused and strong in His promises to us. Pray, “Oh, God, I give you the ‘mess’ of my life, and I trust You to birth a movement that will impact many.” In the end, God “is” going to get some glory out of the messes in our lives.

Susan Bozarth is an adjunct instructor at CFNI. Her years of ministry experience and life of faith in the face of difficult circumstances make her classes one of the highlights of CFNI. For more about the programs and majors available at CFNI, go to cfni.org.

To purchase Susan Bozarth’s encouraging book Don’t Stop Living, click here.

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An Orphan No Longer

By Maria Erokhina

“My mother was only 13 years old when I was born,” Jordan shared. She was adopted on the eighth day of her life, a gift and a promise to her new parents. They named her Jordan, after the river that the Israelites had to cross to enter the Promise Land. Her name became a reminder of God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Jordan, an African-American girl, grew up in a good Christian home in a Caucasian family in a small town in Louisiana. She was the only child, and her parents poured out all their affection on her. Despite their unconditional love, she struggled with feelings of emptiness and rejection. She often asked herself, “Why did my mother give me up? Am I worthy to be loved? Do I belong here? After all, who am I?” She felt out of place, like a tiny piece of a giant puzzle that she couldn’t figure out.

For years, these thoughts were brewing inside of her, leading to rebellion in her teenage years. Jordan couldn’t wait to gain independence from her parents, and when she turned 17, she seized the opportunity to leave home and go to college. The worship band in her home church used to play songs from Christ For The Nations, and she had also heard many good things about their summer camp, Youth For The Nations. She ended up choosing to attend CFNI, and looking back she sees this was God’s direction, although she didn’t realize it at the time. As a confirmation of God’s involvement, Jordan was given the rare chance to receive an Urban Leader Scholarship that helped her to pay for CFNI.

In the fall of 2014, Jordan moved to CFNI, and a new chapter began in her life. God set her free from the orphan mentality and revealed to her who she was in Christ. She traces this revelation to the moment one of her teachers, Michael Massa, described the power of the blood of Christ. To illustrate how His blood covers us, he asked four students to hold the corners of a large red piece of fabric and to walk down the aisles of the classroom, so that the cloth hovered over the students sitting at desks between the aisles. That picture was etched in Jordan’s heart. “It became clear to me that it’s Jesus’ blood that makes me a child of God. I was astounded by that. I couldn’t get over it. I became fully aware that I am not an orphan anymore. I am a daughter of God!”

This was just the beginning. There was another Divine encounter waiting for Jordan at CFNI. Adam McCain, another CFNI teacher, spent time getting to know her. As he did, he realized that he had been the youth pastor in the church where her biological mother grew up. He remembered praying and speaking destiny over Jordan when she was still in her mother’s womb. The two were so amazed at how God had Divinely orchestrated their meeting, almost 20 years later, that they couldn’t hold back their tears. That moment God whispered to Jordan’s heart, “You are a promise from Me. And you will see all of My promises come to pass.” Suddenly, Jordan had a moment of clarity. Her life wasn’t an accident. Her conception, adoption and the family she grew up with were sovereignly ordained by God.

“You are a promise from Me. And you will see all of My promises come to pass.”

Then, last summer, her life came full circle. Jordan was able to meet her biological mother for the first time. “I’d been waiting for that moment my whole life, and it felt surreal, but it was like nothing I expected,” she said. Jordan was surprised to discover how much she had in common with her mother, and yet how different their lives were. She says, “I love my biological mom, but our meeting opened my eyes to appreciate the life God has given me and the family that raised me.”

It has been quite a journey of healing that God has taken Jordan on. He put the pieces of her life-puzzle together, giving Jordan assurance that He’d been there in every moment of her life. Jordan is graduating from CFNI in the spring of 2017. She dreams of going to the mission fi eld with her parents and plans to pursue further education. She also wants to reach youth, especially young girls, with the message of sexual purity and how valuable each person is to God. Jordan knows what it feels like to be an orphan, and through God’s Divine connections and healing truth, she is prepared to take the message of adoption to others throughout the world.

“If you are struggling with your identity as a child of God, I pray that you understand that you have been adopted into God’s family through the blood of Jesus Christ. No matter what you have done, nothing can hinder the Father’s love for you, no matter what you’ve gone through — His love remains constant.”

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Something More Than Healing

THE POWER OF PSALM 91

By Gordon Lindsay

Few chapters can surpass the power and charm of Psalm 91. It, with Psalm 23, is memorized more than any other portion of the Old Testament. But how few claim its treasury of promises! Read it and read it again. But remember, with every promise there is a condition. The condition preceding fulfillment of the promises of Psalm 91 is given in the very first verse: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

It is a secret place, and therefore, few know about it, but the promises are glorious to those who enter in. No wavering— there must be complete consecration to God and His Will forever. Let us notice the rewards to those who count the promise true:

  • Saved from traps.
  • Immune from pestilence.
  • Safe from the terrors of night.
  • Protected from weapons of man.
  • Saved from catastrophes.
  • Protection from accidents.
  • Family protection against plagues.
  • Dominion over Satan.
  • Deliverance from trouble.
  • Promise of long life.

What a legacy! Yet, it is available to the humblest believer who chooses to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.

No one has suggested that the New Testament Christian discard Psalm 91. Its glorious promises are for all who claim them. New Testament Christianity lives in the spirit and power of the promises. Jesus Christ was the perfect example of a man who was never sick. Foul disease has no place in the holy Body of Christ, and each believer is a member of that Body! Disease, then, should have no part in its members.

When God created mankind, He commissioned them to have authority over the Earth and the living things that dwelt therein. The boundaries of that dominion must also include the diabolical forms of life that Satan has thrust upon the human body to destroy it. Let us rise in the Name of Jesus and claim our inheritance. It is for us.

By being well and strong, we glorify God and fulfill His will. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Just as you reject the suggestion of evil, which comes from Satan, so reject the symptoms of sickness, which are also Satan’s evil suggestions. Cast evil from you, and by faith take His Life and identify your life with His. It will no longer be your life, but Christ Who dwells within you.

As you have consecrated your soul to the Lord, now consecrate your body. Shall we not claim the promise that John the Apostle gave us when he wrote: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).

Excerpt from The Voice of Healing October 1948.

VOICE OF HEALING CONFERENCE 2015

Christ For The Nations was birthed out of one of the greatest healing movements. CFN continues the healing legacy of our founders, Gordon and Freda Lindsay. This past September, we truly experienced Deuteronomy 30:19, as we pursued life and blessings at the Voice of Healing Conference 2015. We are still overwhelmed by the testimonies of healing and miracles that happened. The full broadcast will be on Daystar soon (check our social media for updates) and on GodTV in January 2016. Prayer and ministry are available on campus at The Healing Place. For more information, visit our website healing.cfn.org. To register for the next Voice of Healing Conference visit cfni.org/vohc.

annessaAnnessa Myricks had a chronic case of fibromyalgia. For almost one year, she could barely walk and couldn’t open her hands without severe pain. She was in and out of the hospital five times in just the last four months. After prayer and ministry at the VOHC, she is completely healed and has no pain at all!

 

samuelSamuel Then, CFNI student, had severe asthma since he was 2 months old. He couldn’t do anything physical, and at least twice a year he was hospitalized due to breathing problems. When he moved to Dallas, he had to use a nebulizer four times per day. After a word of knowledge was given by Heidi Baker at the VOHC, he was completely healed and can breathe without trouble, even during three hours of sports activities.

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An Unlikely Candidate

Giving God a Voice in the Government

By Maddy Hunt

How important is our “yes” to God? Can it change lives and impact nations? Carolanne Bassett didn’t know the impact of her “yes.” She viewed herself as an unlikely candidate, both for political office and to be used for God’s glory to affect her nation. But when the 2014 CFNI graduate said “yes” to God’s call, it led to her becoming Senator and the President of the Senate for her country, Bermuda.

Carolanne’s first “yes” to God occurred when she was only 8 years old at the altar during a Billy Graham crusade. Her relationship with God faded through her teen years, and as an adult she was in and out of church. While going through difficult times, she still achieved success in her professional career, including her promotion as a senior executive in her company. Yet, she could feel that something was missing.

It took some time for her to come back to the church, but in the midst of that gray area she still felt Jesus’ peace. One Sunday morning, she woke up at 7 a.m. and heard a voice telling her, “Go to church.” Carolanne shares, “I found something when I walked in that building. I found that the Holy Spirit was waiting for me, and He started to minister to me. That’s been 12 years ago, and I’ve kept the course ever since.”

WRONG NUMBER?

In 2003, 49-year-old Carolanne had plans to travel and settle down with her already-retired husband, Roddy, when she got an unexpected call from the Governor of Bermuda’s secretary saying, “The Governor would like to invite you to serve as an independent senator.” Carolanne’s immediate reply was, “I think you have the wrong person.”

carolanneAt that time there was another woman named Carol Bassett, and they had occasionally received each other’s phone calls; Carolanne was sure this had happened again. Much to her surprise, the secretary assured her that this was no identity crisis. Arriving for her appointment at the Government House, Carolanne said that it took her 30 minutes to work up the courage to go inside. “During that half-hour I thought about every reason why I shouldn’t do it, because I really had not been interested in politics.” When she finally made it to her appointment, Carolanne politely but firmly turned the opportunity down. Her stated reason was simple. “I’m in the midst of some family issues, and I don’t want to open up the newspaper one day and see my family issues spread out in the newspaper.” The governor replied, “Senator Bassett, that’s exactly why I’m asking you — because you’ve been where a lot of families are.”

In the middle of telling the Governor “no,” Carolanne heard the Holy Spirit speak to her heart. He reminded her that she had just promised Him that she would do whatever He wanted her to do. Convicted, she agreed as an act of obedience. She has now been a senator for over 10 years.

In 2008, the President of the Senate retired and to Carolanne’s shock and surprise, she was nominated for the position. She agreed and was voted in. “I knew in an instant that like no other time in my life, I was exactly in the will of God, and His hand was on my life.” She has been President of the Senate since 2008, the first female Senate President in Bermuda and is in her second term as the Senate President.

POLITICS AS MINISTRY

Though walking in God’s will is rewarding, saying “yes” doesn’t come without its challenges. Even as the plan of God protects us, and we delight in walking out our purpose, we are often stretched by the circumstances that our “yes” puts us in.

Carolanne had not pursued a career in politics. As the President of the Senate, she found herself in a position of power and authority without knowing quite how to fulfill all that was required. The temptation to let arguments and disrespect slide into the senate meetings came as a challenge to her leadership. She found that when she didn’t address these issues, they escalated and changed the entire atmosphere of the Senate. However, taking her place of authority also changed the atmosphere, positively.

Carolanne has learned to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice and not allow the fear of men to influence her actions. Instead of an atmosphere of self-promotion and contention, Carolanne uses her authority to set an atmosphere of respect and honor in the Senate, making a lasting contribution to the leadership of her nation. She believes that to be the most effective leader, you have to spend time in the presence of God. “We can get so busy doing that we lose the connection to the Holy Spirit. Those are the times I would go home or go to my church, lay on the altar and just weep because I felt like I had let Him down, and that I had not stood for righteousness.” This desire to do what God wants her to do has allowed God’s influence to pervade the Bermuda Senate and broaden her influence in her country. Her obedience has given God a powerful voice in her country’s government.

YES TO CFNI

Saying “yes” to an unexpected career in politics didn’t keep Carolanne from growing in her ministry and more fully understanding her calling. After learning about CFNI through a missions team that ministered in her church, Carolanne visited the Dallas school for herself. She was “blown away by feeling the Holy Spirit in the classes” and knew she wanted to be a part of what God was doing at CFNI.

As a young woman, Carolanne had laid aside her desire for higher education to shoulder the responsibility for her family. So, studying at CFNI was the culmination of a longtime dream. Though it wasn’t easy to balance being a Senator and a student in two different nations, Carolanne says she felt God’s grace and saw His hand in her situation. Amazingly, unusually long breaks between Senate sessions allowed her time to fly between home and her classes at CFNI in Dallas for the three years she attended.

Now an alumna of CFNI, Carolanne has solidified her understanding of her calling. Instead of waiting for God to give her a ministry, she understands that God has created a place for her to be an influence for His glory. As long as the opportunity to represent God’s voice in Bermuda still stands, Carolanne will serve in the Senate and be a shining light of how obedience — an unconditional “yes” — can change your world.

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Updates From CFNI Partner Schools

By Celeste Groomer

40 YEARS OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

June 12-14, 2015, the 40th anniversary of Glaubenszentrum was held under the theme “Meeting— Remembering—Networking.” More than 600 alumni, staff members and guests from other nations celebrated, describing the various ways that God’s kindness and faithfulness have been seen on its campus.

God’s Heart For Germany

More than 43 years ago, God delivered Bob Humburg from alcohol and gambling, and set him and his wife, Emma, on a new course. They left New York City to attend Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, and while at CFNI they received a call from God to begin ministry. Their daughters, Kay and Lynn, and a friend had also attended CFNI, and upon graduation they traveled to Germany. God had stirred these girls’ hearts for Germany, and they prayed for revival to come to that land.

After much prayer and intercession, Kay and Lynn called Bob and encouraged him and Emma to travel to Germany and begin a Bible school. They felt the girls’ request resonate within their spirits, and they answered the call to impact and influence the next generation of Germans. It was from this humble beginning that Glaubenszentrum became one of CFNI’s associated Bible schools.

Glaubenszentrum (CFNI Germany)

Glaubenszentrum has been located in a couple of different places. The current location has had the greatest impact on the school’s worship and prayer ministries. The buildings and property that house Glaubenszentrum were built by Adolph Hitler and were formerly used to train Nazi officers. Because Hitler chose a high hill in the city of Bad Gandersheim, Germany, to build his army barracks, there was a dark spiritual oppression over the region.

Glaubenszentrum Campus
Glaubenszentrum Campus

Glaubenszentrum took over the former Nazi training camp and began to lift extraordinary praises to God, as well as do battle in intercession for the region. This led to a shift in the atmosphere for righteousness. Now, Glaubenszentrum brings hundreds of people in for Bible conferences and exceptional nights of worship to the Lord. What the enemy meant for evil, God has arrested and turned for His glory!

In Only 40 Years

As the school celebrates an amazing 40 years since its formation, Glaubenszentrum is becoming stronger. It has schools in discipleship training, church ministry, worship and missions. The graduates have gone on to impact many nations with the Gospel. Glaubenszentrum continues to influence their region, the nation and the world.They train and equip the youth of Germany, as the school stands as a city on a hill, letting its light shine.

In the cornerstone of the main office building, Hitler buried a copy of his famous book and manifesto Mein Kampf. Because it was buried in the foundation of the building, they were unable to remove it. So, each day when the leaders and students pass by that corner of the stairwell, witnessing the date the building was completed, they rejoice as they declare that in Christ there is victory over even the most heinous enemy.
In the cornerstone of the main office building, Hitler buried a copy of his famous book and manifesto Mein Kampf. Because it was buried in the foundation of the building, they were unable to remove it. So, each day when the leaders and students pass by that corner of the stairwell, witnessing the date the building was completed, they rejoice as they declare that in Christ there is victory over even the most heinous enemy.

Dr. Dennis Lindsay, President of Christ For The Nations, Dallas, Texas, spoke at the 40th anniversary celebration, bringing congratulations and support from CFNI in Dallas. The event was filled with thankfulness towards God and awareness that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and foundation of Glaubenszentrum.

A LIFE WELL-LIVED

Christ For The Nations lost a friend, missionary and pioneer on May 6, 2015. Dave Brunk passed away after a 10-year battle with cancer, leaving behind his wife and partner in ministry, Janis Brunk, and his four children — daughters Jennifer and Angeline and sons Joel and Joshua.

Dave and Janis attended CFNI together, graduating in 1991. They then moved to Belarus to find out how to meet the needs they saw there. In 1994, they opened Christ For The Nations Belarus (CFNB), which is now the largest Bible school in the country. They launched annual praise and worship symposiums that gathered thousands of worshippers from Russian-speaking countries and set up a professional recording studio so they could produce contemporary worship music.

brunksThey also committed to help meet physical needs by partnering with overseas humanitarian organizations and local governments. The Brunk’s investment in Belarus continues as CFNB still trains worldchangers despite their being driven out of the country in 2008 by threats of arrest from the KGB. Many consider CFNB the first step toward having a Christian University in the former Soviet Union. The impact Dave has had there is incalculable.

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