Life in the Son

Life in the Son

CLI student, Beth Stevenson, has realized her calling after running away from it for 15 years, Stevenson has started a ministry called Life in the Son.

Read her story below:

I am Beth Stevenson, I am from the United States, and I have lived here all of my life. I was the baby of six kids, in the small town of Alliance, Ohio. I attended church all my life but didn’t really come to know God, and have a relationship with Him, until 3 years ago.

My father’s death and a variety of other things, that God allowed to happen in 2013, lead me back to God and the plan He had for my life. Little did I know He had been calling me into ministry for approximately 15 years. God has a way of doing things in his own time.

God had given me a vision of what type of ministry I would be leading early on, but I ran from it. Finally, in 2015, I said yes to God and the plan He had for my life. Doing ministry, in Alliance, is such a great opportunity to reach the lost souls in the area. We are a free country and are truly blessed to be so. We understand that some countries aren’t as fortunate.

I opened up Life in the Son Ministries. Life in the Son is a coffee shop/soup kitchen that serves the less fortunate. We are a donation based ministry and run on the nickels and dimes that are put in our offering jar daily.
I am truly living my dream and I give God all the praise, honor, and glory for it. My title is Pastor. We don’t necessarily have a sanctuary in our building. The streets are our sanctuary. We believe in being the hands and feet of Jesus. We go wherever we’re called.

God has worked with me and has raised me up to be a conqueror and to be motivated to lead with compassion, but also with love. I’ve come through enough things that had the power to destroy me and the ministry, which has made me determined to do what God has called me to do, even if it hurts sometimes. When God calls you, He doesn’t let it rest.
I have unique challenges every day in the ministry I do. We work with a lot of less fortunate people by feeding them a meal, as well as the word of God. We deal with the mentally ill, the homeless, small families that struggle, veterans that fall through the cracks, and also city workers that need lunch and devotions.

February will be 2 years in ministry for us and we are just now getting support from our local church. I don’t get a lot of support from local congregations, being a woman in a pastoral position. I find myself trying to get the point across that we are ALL called, it doesn’t matter if we’re male or female. I do attend the local pastor’s meeting. At these meetings, I am respected for my position. I try to remember I’m not called to fit in.

My family has supported me greatly and I get a lot of respect for my ministering goals. My kids really love the ministry and have a heart for the clientele we serve. They have really taken part in serving in the ministry and that makes me happy. Our children have taken part in everything from painting, lettering windows, helping to serve meals, and even outreach events. It blesses me to see what God is doing in their lives, as we serve. The ministry has brought us together in so many ways. I thank God every day for the restoration he’s bringing. Someday, I can see us opening a second location and serving in another neighboring population.

CLI was literally a Godsend. I needed accountability in the area of studying and knowing God’s word. I was blessed to find the training offered here at CLI. I look forward to the doors that will be opening for me during and after my training is complete. God is so faithful to give the things we need, right when we need them. This scholarship is a big door that’s been opened and I thank CLI for everything. God Bless this ministry richly.

Please pray for strength while in ministry, as well as funding. Thank you.

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Church Planting in Liberia

Church Planting in Liberia

CLI student, Jerome Allison is seeking ministry training because he feels the call to church planting in Liberia. Allison hasn’t had it easy he was raised in a home with two conflicting religions but he chose salvation.

Read Allison’s story in his own words below:

I was born and raised in West Africa, Liberia. Currently, I’m living in Las Vegas, NV with my wife and five children. My wife is an African and also a chef.

I grew up in the midst of two tough families with an opposite belief. My parents and grandparents, especially my mother and her father are completely opposite to each other when it comes to religion. My mother is a very strong Christian and on the other hand, my grandfather is a traditional man. When I was two years old, my grandfather took me from my mother to be with him as his own son cause his only son, died before I was born. My grandfather’s purpose for my life was wholly different from that of my mother. However, I grew up learning about both Christianity and West Africa/Liberia’s traditional beliefs. As I grew up, I found it very difficult to decide what belief to follow. With my grandfather, I always had the spirit of not belonging. For this not belonging spirit, I decided to spend more time with my mother and my uncle who was a pastor for a Baptist Church. Even though, while I was with them, going to church was an act of obedience to them. After years of their encouragements, teachings, and prayers, I became a Christian. In the year 2000, at the age of 15, I finally accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior. After I was baptized, I became a member of the church (Effort Baptist) in the Ivory Coast which was pastored by my uncle. I also voluntarily became its janitor. Later, I was made Sunday school teacher for the church’s kids. I work for the church until relocating to the USA. The journey has not been smooth, but God is always there for me and my family.

My life has been truly inspired by CLI beyond my expectation when I started. The sound teachings help to shift my experience in so many areas of my life. My understanding of God’s word had greatly improved compared to when I first started with CLI and without a pressure of student-loan debt. There is no better way to really explain the experience with CLI but to just say thanks to God for CLI.

Been ordained is very important to my ministry calling. With this ordination, my family and local church will rejoice with me, knowing that I have responded to God calling by studying his word and by the confirmation of other pastors.

I love reading God’s world, it brings joy to my heart. I always desire to share this joy by teaching other people the word of God and helping them to understand how to live base on God’s word. I believe the first thing in my calling is to study God’s word. I believe Christian Leaders Institute Ordination as a pastor and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I can accomplish the work God calls me to do.

I am so grateful to CLI for this Ordination. Even though I teach sometime and after many studies with CLI, recently started preaching once in a while in my local church, with this ordination my preaching will now be regular in my local church preparing me for my mission calling to the world, starting with Africa.

My calling is church planting in Liberia. In my country, there are villages where the gospel has not been preached. The mission is to reach out into these villages and share the gospel of Christ and establish churches there. However, most of the people in these areas can’t read. Therefore, for the gospel to be effective, there must be some kind of Educational system in place to teach those that can read so they can teach other the gospel. The first challenge is how to establish this educational system. The second challenge is, no Internet connection can be found in most of these villages and the Internet café in the city can be expensive; therefore, I can’t get those that can read to be trained by CLI.

I am grateful for my local church for their encouragement and support. My ordination service has been fully organized by my church members. The senior pastor who is also my mentor was always willing to answer me and explain to me in more detail where I had questions.

I am seeking for God’s protection, boldness and his direction in church planting in Liberia.

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Path of Salvation

Path of Salvation

CLI student Aquiles Pereyra has had a long journey in finding the path of salvation. He has faced many hardships along the way; he is fired up and ready to follow the path of salvation wholeheartedly.

Read his story below:

I was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Washington Heights (Manhattan, New York). My parents were raised Roman Catholic but later converted to Mormonism. They divorced when I was 3 and I was raised by my great grandmother. 

At the age of 7, I was sent to the Dominican Republic to live with grandparents because my great grandmother had a stroke. I was enrolled in boarding school. For the next 7 years, I was raised following the Roman Catholic religion. At the age of 12, I was baptized in the Catholic Church. At 14, I was sent to live with my mom in Miami, Fl. She remarried a Jewish man and I began to learn and follow the Jewish religion. At 16, I moved again to live with my dad in New York City. He still followed the Mormon religion and upon my arrival insisted I should be baptized and become a Mormon. To please my father, I was baptized and began to attend the Mormon church. At 17, I moved out because I did not get along with my father’s wife. A year later I decided that it was time to find God on my own. I was invited to a Pentecostal church by my girlfriend at the time (she later became my ex-wife), and instead of finding God and the love of Christ, I found criticism and rejection by the church members.

In December of 2001, I moved back to Florida and started to attend a non-denominational church. Still not being able to find and build my relationship with Jesus, I stopped attending church altogether. For the next 13 years, I lived with a woman who became the mother of my two precious children. In 2013, she was diagnosed with cancer. A year later, she found Jesus as her Savior (I wasn’t as convinced), and for the next three years, God would use her to prepare me for what was to come. It wasn’t until her death on July 25, 2016, that I broke and a week later walked into her church (my home church now, New Dawn Ministries) and truly gave my heart to Jesus, allowing God into my life, and a major transformation has been happening in my life ever since. 

I finally received Jesus as my Lord and savior. It has only been five months since her passing, but the Lord has given me peace in knowing that she was saved and left me in the path to salvation. I have felt him calling in my heart to become something greater than what I had become, and this is the reason I have decided to attend CLI.

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Learning to Minister

Learning to Minister

CLI Student Leaha Brisbois is learning to minister by taking CLI classes. She wants to bring the peace of God as she learns to minister to others.

My name is Leaha Brisbois. I live in the United States; Pacific Northwest area- specifically Washington State. Religious expression is a freedom that Americans are very fortunate to have so ministry can be easily shared. Ministry is simply the act of sharing God’s truth in hopes of leading someone to make an important life change for the best. We can share with anyone pretty much anywhere. Some might welcome it; some may not… but that’s o.k. because a seed has been planted.

I came to know the Lord in 1994 when I met my Husband Richard. He was well in love with the Lord and made it known to me during our very first phone conversation. He told me about how wonderful God is and even shared his own testimony. He always ended our phone conversations with a prayer. He also told me that God changes lives. One day, I said “o.k. God, let’s see what you will do with my life.” Our first date was on a Saturday at the state fair with our children. Our second “date” was the next day; He took us to church. I was attentive to the Pastor even though I didn’t always understand everything that he was talking about. Richard assured me that this was an amazing thing about sermons. Not everyone gets everything every time, but we get what God has for us that day. Within weeks, I was baptized.

My ministry dream is to use music and conversation to tell people about God. I love to sing, and I want to learn to play the guitar and keyboard. I imagine myself in living rooms, behind the pulpits or even around a campfire playing a guitar and singing about the Lord. I guess that I identify with the Evangelist most because they are the ones that create a spark in me that just lights God’s fire in me and the words of God get it roaring. I feel refreshed and revived every time I hear an evangelist.

This past year, I was in bible camp feeling empty. I knew I needed something, but I didn’t know what. In hind sight, my light had gone out. I remember going up to the alter and feeling heavy about my family, mainly my dad and my children. My dad doesn’t believe in Jesus, and my children’s focus is elsewhere (but they all know Jesus). At camp, A lady came to pray with and for me. We talked for a long time, and she taught me how to pray for my family in a way I’ve never done before. She told me not to worry about them because God has them in his hands. I felt so much better. I also knew that perhaps it was me that was supposed to tell my dad the truth about God even though he lives with a devout Catholic. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but God assured me that I can do anything, all I have to do is just do it. He told me that I could NOT fail – that if He is with me, I could do anything and it would not fail. All I have to do is just open my mouth and tell what I know – that’s it. How EASY is that? Truly!! How much easier could God make it? I realized it was fear keeping my mouth closed.

Geographically, there are not many challenges for me. The only challenge I see is that I live in the mountains; neighbors are far, and few and winters can be rough to travel in. I currently do not attend church. The nearest church is about 10 miles away, but we don’t attend there anymore due to some belief conflicts and a lack of “spiritual food.” Since leaving, my husband and I were determined to find spiritual food somehow. Perhaps on an online course of some sort that would fill us with God’s word in a manner that gave us joy, peace, and understanding. We wanted something that could truly educate us and would allow us to properly minister to others. Perhaps even start something in our local area. But for now, we are content with just learning.

I believe my family’s role is to simply accept my prayers for them and to listen when I tell them something that I’ve learned; this also helps me learn to minister to others. My husband’s role includes helping me understand things that I have questions about and to make sure I have my learning time.

Out of the many online bible courses I found, many were costly and didn’t seem truly God-centered. When I found CLI, I was so happy that instead of a brick building on the home page, I saw people asking questions that I’ve been asking. I even saw a place to click that said Bible study tools. They even offered church and a way to tithe, and it was all free. Pastor Reyenga talked about how Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings. This made sense to me and then I could not understand why anyone would charge someone to listen to them teach about God’s love. I really want to be part of this program. I can’t see that another program could be as good as this one, so I don’t want to look elsewhere. I would really appreciate the opportunity to be part of CLI and this scholarship is my ticket in.

CLI prayer warriors can pray (for me) that I can find peace and joy outside of my comfort zone and that my comfort zone gets bigger over time. Please pray that I reach people the way God intends for me to do and that God’s light will shine brightly within me. I have a forgetful mind, so please pray that my memory will be strong so that I can better remember things I’ve read. Also, please pray that I can learn to sing without fear.

Join other CLI students learning to minister by liking the CLI Facebook page.

Answering God’s Call

Answering God’s Call

CLI student Rebecca Glenn is highly motivated to serve God despite challenges of being legally blind in her right eye. She is answering God’s call in her life by getting formal ministry training at CLI.

Hi, my name is Rebecca Glenn. I live in a small city in Montgomery Alabama. I was born in New York. I am legally blind in the right eye. I have been married for 32-years. I do not have children. My mother is living and is 82-years old when I write this profile. She is still in her own house and does her own cooking and cleaning. She is a strong woman of God. I have three brothers and five sisters. Currently, I do work so I guess I am bi-vocational. 

Being legally blind in the right eye, I had to adjust as a child because my right eye tends to deviate to the right pretty badly and the vision cannot be assessed. The Lord blessed me; however, as I have been able to continue my educational journey, obtaining a Doctorate Degree. I began my faith in Christ Jesus at an early age attending Sunday school, church and church activities. Church was a required activity. You knew that Monday-Friday was school, Saturday family activities/housework, and play time. But, on Sunday we were in church beginning with Sunday school, participating in choir, Easter programs, Christmas programs and other church activities.

During my childhood, my grandmother lived with our family. She was very wise, and she participated in many church functions. Often, I would be passing by her bedroom, and she would have the Bible. She would call me “Becky!” come in and read this passage. The first time I retorted “Gram you must not have your glasses on”’ she, then stated, “I did not say anything about my glasses, I told you to come in and read to me.” This became a habit; I do not know if she liked the way that I read or if she did not want to read it for herself or what. However, I do know that this planted a seed deep in me. I started to get to know our Lord and Savior in a deeper way. It was like He leaped off of the pages and was standing in my grandmother’s bedroom whenever I came in to read for her. My mother and grandmother did not believe in being baptized unless you knew Jesus for yourself. In other words, I had to have my own relationship. They gave us the ability to say that we believed in Christ and accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. I was baptized in a tiny creek with fish swimming around my feet at the age of 16; I will never forget it. At the age of 29, I began teaching Sunday school at children’s church. It was at this time that I received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! I thank God for His power and anointing. God’s calling continued strongly in my life. In work, I have always believed in service to others. Through me, I want others to see Christ in my life. I always tell people that the only inheritance and legacy that you leave is that of a heartfelt relationship with Jesus Christ. If someone else sees Christ through me, then I am fulfilling my call and my ministry.

I currently, teach Sunday school; however, I have felt the need to perform formal evangelistic ministry. I would like to work as a Christian Counselor. I find that someone is always calling on me for knowledge and advice. My training would begin the journey towards a goal of ministering to people who believe that they have no hope. My goal is to obtain either an Associate or Bachelor’s degree. This would not necessarily make me competent to spread the Gospel as God has called us all to His ministry; however, it would assist with obtaining leadership positions with a strong foundation. A foundation of support lends credibility with those that you are ministering to; it also equips me with knowledge of the Bible, church, congregants, the community, and growth for the Kingdom. I have always felt drawn by God’s Word, but, did not know how He would have me to apply it further. I have always believed in working if as unto God, so, I always worked in service related professional fields. Now, I want to focus my life on ministry with the passion God has given me. I feel like the chains have been broken and I must focus on His will for my life. The world is turned topsy-turvy; we must look to the Savior to bring change individually and collectively. I pray that I receive this scholarship and I ask that CLI pray for my endurance in the completion of this program so that I may show myself approved to His will.

Currently, I am working on-line as an educator. I am very familiar with distance learning and cyberspace classrooms and course work. When I first saw this program, I could not believe that God had answered my prayers, but knew that if I waited long enough, He would answer my prayers. I know that He is calling me to this ministry as I reviewed other colleges and universities and low and behold like five loaves and two fish, there was Christian Leaders Institute. This scholarship was God sent and was meant for me. A scholarship would enable me the ability to pursue this endeavor. I am determined to go all the way and completely submit myself to Christ, but, I know that it will not be easy, I have dealt with adversity, and through them, all God has strengthened me to be a powerful ambassador of His Word. One final word, ministering to others on a formal basis is something that I have done my entire career as a nurse educator. It requires more than knowing scripture; it requires a personal relationship with our ruler and maker. There is a call on my life, and I am answering God’s call on it.

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Youthful Passion for Christ

Youthful Passion for Christ

CLI student, Sydney Simao, has been raised in the faith and at only 17 she is writing and public speaking about Christ. She has such youthful passion for Christ that you can feel by reading her testimony.

Read her story below:

My name is Sydney Simao and I’m a 17-year-old Christian writer and public speaker. I live in the United States in Washington with my Dad, who is a Pastor and Entrepreneur, Mom, who has home-schooled all of us kids, me and seven younger siblings.

I don’t remember the day that I came to know the Lord, but my Mom tells me that she remembers the first time I appeared to have a clear understanding of the Gospel. I was two years old, and running around the house carrying a small gift. When she asked what I was doing, I told her that I wanted to give a gift to Jesus. She knelt down and told me that Jesus wanted to give a gift to me and shared the Gospel. I prayed and asked Jesus to save me from my sins, and ever since then, I have been striving to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. I was baptized when I was 7 years old.

I desire to continue speaking and writing for God’s glory, and pointing others to the truth of His word by sharing the Gospel, defending the faith, and helping others learn about the central and sometimes difficult doctrines of the Christian faith.

I have always had a passion for understanding what I believe and why I believe it. When I was little, I desired to be a missionary in a foreign country. That desire to share and defend the Truth has not changed, but now I am planning to do this by helping those all around me through writing and speaking. That is why I am pursuing a degree in Biblical Studies, and I hope to get my Masters in Theology/Writing when I graduate.

My local Church, family, and friends have certainly supported my desires to minister to others and my Dad has the blessing of a large library, study tools, and resources which I have access to and have been enjoying using on a daily basis.

A scholarship to CLI is important to me because it seems an accessible and solid way to pursue gaining an education and foundation in Scripture so that I can share that truth with others.

Please pray that God would use me for His glory and that He would give me the compassion to see the need of others, the courage to help them, the wisdom to understand His truth and share it, and the strength that can only come from dependence on the constant grace of God.

If God is calling you into ministry it doesn’t matter your background, age or gender. Like Sydney, you can have youthful passion about the gospel whatever your circumstances.

Read other CLI student stories on the CLI Facebook page.

Inspiration for Ladies

Inspiration for Ladies

CLI student, Shay, has known what its like to be bullied for her faith but she overcame the doubters and now wants to become an inspiration for ladies everywhere.

Shay shares her story below:

Hello! My name is Shay. I am a newly married and I am really enjoying being married to my best friend. We reside in the Deep South of the United States, a place that I am still becoming familiar to. I grew up on the West Coast where I was born. As a very young girl, I would catch the neighborhood Sunday School Church bus all by myself. Attending church service and learning about Jesus amazed me. I love reading the bible and coming home to tell my mother what I learned. By the time I was in 5th grade, my church attendance was low. We moved and I simply stopped going.

In high school, my aunt invited me to her church. I loved it! I loved it so much that at age 16, I was baptized in the Apostolic church. I remember wearing all white and being dunked in the pool in front of my family. I felt so new. I had a need to feel new. I harbored a secret of shame. I had been sexually abused and I wanted God to make me new. I started wearing my church clothes to school because I was a new person, but my attire was met with taunts. I was teased. I was made fun of. High school just wasn’t the place for me.

My mom noticed a change in my behavior, so I finally explained to her what was going. How I had been abused. How I had been teased at school. She told me to toughen up, but if I needed to go speak to a counselor she would take me. I told her no because God is my counselor. I had learned to tell him everything. Things at home became unpleasant and as, a teen I just wanted to run away.

At the age of 20, I ran from home I wanted to see what I could do on my very own. I worked three jobs at one time to keep a roof over my head. I wanted to show my family that I could make it on my own. I kept getting sick from working too much and had no choice but to move home. This really made me depressed. I moved back home and started partying with my new friends. We would have drinks and play loud music every weekend. After all, I did work and I was grown. I felt I could do what I wanted to do; I was grown.

My 30s came and I must say, those days were no better. All of the loneliness I felt inside, finally caught up with me. I prayed. I prayed to God for a real friend and true direction. I wanted to get back on the right path. One day later, my prayer was answered. He sent me a friend! A girlfriend that I could talk to in addition to him. Someone positive that I could spend some time with after we worked. A Christian friend who believed the same things I did. There was no more need for extensive drinking parties and loud music. I finally had a friend.

I began reading a lot of Christian based literature. God’s Word started to change me. It shaped me so much that I packed my house up and moved down South to be closer to my sister and her family. The best decision I have ever made was leaving.

Life in the South is way different than California. People here are more family orientated and they have no problem telling people about God. Something that I love about the value system here is the traditional roles of husband and wife. Life is slower here, but peaceful in our little town. I believe God sent me here so, I could become closer to him and guess what? My relationship with God deepened. My spiritual growth allowed me to see things that I would not have noticed like, a Godly man pursuing me. I was mature enough to have an adult relationship. We courted shortly then married.

I have enjoyed visiting a few churches, but I still haven’t found one that I really just love. Most churches here are Baptist, different from how I was raised. This has lead me to not attending church regularly. I watch television or YouTube sermons. I do not drive and my husband works weekends so, I do not go. I got to thinking, how many other women are embracing the Word this way? Women that live in rural areas or have no transportation that want to fellowship and have bible study in a woman’s group, but don’t have the means of getting to the building. My dream is to join the other women who teach God’s Word online. I just do not know where to begin.

Then I got to thinking about how I always wanted to assist ladies who have been victims of sexual and verbal abuse. Young women who are teased just for being themselves. Women who say forget what society says, this is what God says I am and I’m going to live this way. These very factors are the reason I am starting my Ministry blog.

My goal is to be an inspiration for ladies to be the woman that God says they are, not who society says they have to be. I want to cheer them on as they realize the wonderful life God has for them to live. The beauty of the blog is my personal testimony—Evangelist. How God is changing me through His Word. I still have so much to learn that is why it is important that I receive a scholarship to Christian Leaders Institute. I do not have the money to afford “traditional” ministry training. I want to encourage women, but I really do not have the proper training to lead them. This is why free training is important to me. It will allow me to effectively be an inspiration for ladies everywhere.

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Youth Pastoring – God had a plan!

Youth Pastoring

My name is Adam Mack, and I live in Pennsylvania, the USA with a buddy and his family who are all a wonderful, loving Christian family who have helped me with my walk with God.

I grew up living a secular lifestyle because my family were not believers. I have early memories of going to church a few times, but we all stopped going, and I was never brought up on biblical principles. I went to public school and played soccer and basketball and had the typical secular mindset growing up. My parents got divorced when I was in 8th grade, and that took a toll on me even though I didn’t think so for the longest time.

I ended up resorting to partying, and doing /taking drugs, and all the other bad things that come with the territory of a teenager who just wants attention and to be cool. Through the years of partying and bouncing from house to house, I found myself staring down the barrel of a gun due to a drug deal went wrong. Though I survived it, I began drinking to the point where I would throw up in my sleep. My parents were disappointed in me, my friends were disappointed in me, and I was disappointed in me as well as scared that I would never amount to anything.

I had a Christian friend that attended Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA and I called him up one day and made plans to visit him for five days in which I did a few days later. Through the whole experience of just getting away and meeting new people and experiencing the Christian culture and feeling the Holy Spirit working on me, I declared that Jesus was my Lord and Savior in November 2012. My partying did not stop there, but I did end up attending Baptist Bible College in August of 2013 for one full academic year. Through that experience, I met a lot of great people, played soccer for them which was Division 3 NCAA, and learned a lot about Jesus, and how to study God’s Word.

I could not attend the following year due to how expensive the tuition was at school. Though I’ve had my ups and downs since then, I have always tried and stayed on the path of Lord. I have always felt that God has wanted me to do something with the youth as well as sports, but also to be a church planter and a Christian leader of some sort, but I just could not identify where God is leading me. So my ministry dream I believe is to start a sports ministry, but as well as be a Pastor and or be a Christian Leader/Speaker. Sports was a big part of my life growing up. I can interact with the youth and the constant telling from my peers that I should do something with youth ministry. God has laid youth pastoring on my heart.  The challenges I face here is that I am in the mountains of the Poconos and everything is just too far to walk too, so it makes it hard for people to just show up to an event of any sort, or to do anything.
The church I attend currently, Community Church, I have just started going to, so I don’t know many people yet, but they are encouraging in me becoming very active. The church also does not have any sport ministry or anything to do with sports, which for me is a good thing, because it opens a door for a possibility for someone, meaning me, to try and start something up at this church. The possibilities seem endless here!

This scholarship is so important for me, because I have tried over and over again to try and attend school not only just to get an education, but to learn ministry, and God’s calling for me, but I have not been able to do so, because I just have no financial backing to actually attend school.

Ministries, churches, and organizations want to see that you have some experience and degree to back you before they put any trust and responsibility on you, so that is also another reason why I want the CLI scholarship. Learning more about God’s Word and how to minister to others is something I’ve wanted to harness ever since I became friends with Jesus.

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Free Ministry Degree – Pursuing God’s purpose

Free Ministry Degree

My name is Anthony Dempsey I am from Michigan u.s.a, am 30 years old a husband and father of 3. My country is very involved with the worldly way of life and is sucked into the growing paganism views taking over, there is a great need to minister, and many are becoming more open as they see how much pain and suffering follows living an ungodly life.

I was raised in a Christian home and was taught the word of God from a young age; I faced many tragedies throughout the rest of my childhood and early adult hood which ultimately built a strong foundation and a trust and faith in Christ Jesus that now leads my life and my leading of my family.

I would love to be apart of a world wide effort to spread God’s kingdom to all nations so each and every person can have a chance to turn to God and know of his love, his kingdom and his teachings as well as bringing my family to experience and be involved.
As an evangelist, I would like to take all the tools I have gained through my life and God’s word to try and convert as many as possible and being able to relate to younger people on the way to talk with them about Christ where they wouldn’t feel comfortable otherwise.

Having children and amazing God fearing wife has been the key experience and driving force In wanting me to take the lead and to teach my family and to take my experience and put it to work in God’s ministry.

There are unique challenges in my area as there is many different ethnicities and many Christians or religious people who are lost in their faith or have been taught what is not aligned with the Bible, so there is a lot if work to be done.

My local church has supported by always having resources available when needing extra insight or knowledge or prayer and encouragement

I look forward to being able to serve God while having my family beside me all of the way learning and growing as well.

A free ministry degree through CLI is something I am looking forward to having as a door opener, knowledge grower and faith builder.

I ask that you may pray for my family and me to be protected and guided by God’s holy spirit and to have his blessings over all of our work.

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Youth Pastor School – Pursue Free Formal Education

Youth Pastor School

My name is Jessica Brown and I am an Ambassador of Christ, a wife, a mother and a Youth Pastor. I was born prematurely with a hole in my heart and doctor’s believed I would have a severe mental disability. With a blood transfusion and too many stitches to count, I made it through and defied the odds. Beginning in middle school, I started suffering from seizures, shaking then blacking out. After years of tests, I was diagnosed Benign Peripheral Vertigo and Hypoglycemic. During that time, I discovered a lot of things were different than they seemed. I was told if my mother had the option, she would have terminated me, my father was not dead, but in prison with a life sentence and the family I knew my mother was adopted into. My mother let me know how much she didn’t like children and shared with me how unattractive she believed my features were. I felt alone and ugly. Rejected by my mother’s adopted family after being beaten up by her boyfriend and sexually assaulted by my uncle, I became homeless just out of high school. I didn’t feel valued. I didn’t understand love. I didn’t have self-worth and I didn’t feel beautiful. Afraid of men, unable to trust and with a scarred heart, I was broken.

BUT GOD! I found Him under a bridge. I found Him bartering for food. I found Him when I had lost everything else. While homeless, I found a home in Him. Made whole in God, He was my Mother and Father and He taught me love and removed the fear. He gave me dance to talk to Him and He healed me from Vertigo and Hypoglycemia, after 14 years, through food. He showed me my beauty and value. He has allowed for me to be resilient.

I learned to love me and met my husband through ministry, became a mother of two beautiful boys, a co-founder of a nonprofit (5A Elite Youth Empowerment) and a Youth Pastor for Central Baptist. Our church has trusted what God has said about us and has allowed us to pastor their young people. We are able to come along side seasoned leaders in the ministry to glean from and we are covered with wise counsel. Our church is a blessing because they believe in family and welcomed both my husband and I as pastors. God provided us the word of Priscilla and Aquila and God confirmed for us where to be through our head pastor’s decision for us to co-pastor the youth.

Praising God and giving Him all the Glory. preaching the Kingdom and teaching the things of Jesus Christ. God showed me the importance of empowering the youth. I help them address their trauma and encourage them so they can see who they are in Christ. What God brought me out of is to be used to help others. They aren’t too young to be used and Jesus’ ministry was entrusted to people so young they didn’t have to pay the temple tax, how much should we be removing the young people from the “kiddy table” and providing them meat. Christian Leaders Institute is a youth pastor school that is an answer to prayer. Unable to go to a brick and mortar with my young children and unable to afford the costs associated with Christian education, CLI is wonderful. Outside of the convenience, CLI provides quality curriculum and allows me to be further equipped for my service for God! It is wonderful to study and learn with so many believers with different backgrounds and experiences. I would request prayer for the youth in the Pennsylvania area to be drawn to the Lord and to be active for His Kingdom.

Church Planter Education – My Story as a Church Planter

Church Planter Education

A church planter education is usually something that costs a lot of money. Christian Leaders Institute has made this formal training free of charch. Here is Andrew Elliott’s story and how he found CLI.

Andrew Elliott – United States
I live in the Bend OR a mountain resort city in the western United States. There are a lot of church in my city, but there is also a high suicide rate. I believe this is because so many people move here to get away from their old lives and they don’t have family or friends in the area. This creates a lot of loneliness and isolation. Which is a key reason for the high suicide rate?

I grew up in the church but walked away fro God in my late teenage years. I became a heavy alcoholic and became ensnared in a deep addiction to pornography. I had one child, and my wife was getting ready to leave me. It was at this time that my friend took me, passed out drunk, in the back of his car to a pastors house for help. During one of our meetings the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I finally saw the damage I had created in my life and the life of others. I wept for 40 minutes and gave my life to Jesus. I received a new heart that day but did not know how to live the life God was calling me to. I didn’t even know how to be a good husband or father. Thankfully I was blessed to have mentors come around me and teach me how to live.

I own two furniture stores in my city and am the Associate Pastor at our church. In my many years of business training, I’ve seen the value of investing in building a quality team of leaders to increase our opportunity for growth. What I love about CLI is the vision of creating leaders and mentors all over the world. It is my dream to see people freed from the slavery of sin and then to go beyond freedom by being activated in the amazing calling and life of adventure God has for their life.

Church Planter. As an entrepreneur, it’s my passion to break up the ground, build a foundation and create a space for opportunity. I believe churches are the greatest place for an opportunity in this life and I want to be God’s partner in starting more.

My salvation. What I have experienced through Jesus must be shared with others.

Surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers, this is a true nature’s paradise with many people moving here to “get away” from life, explore nature and pursue their pleasure. We also have nearly 20 alcohol breweries and many marijuana dispensaries in this small city. It is truly a place where people seek their pleasure. It is difficult to get people to gather together for worship and Bible study on a regular basis.

The Senior Pastor of our church is the one who mentored me out of my addictions 17 years ago. Because of his investment in my life, I moved with him to Bend in 2012 to start the church where I currently operate as his Associate Pastor.

When I first started giving myself to ministry, I saw my family as an obstacle. They required time and energy which pulled me away from my passion to build the church. Over the last several years the Holy Spirit has taught me that my family is my first ministry. Being their father and pastor is my first joy. I love to have them participate with me in ministry, but I also love to take time out to just enjoy them and allow them to enjoy me. I’ve found they are God’s instrument to refresh me and keep me energized for the long game of ministry.

As a small business owner and volunteer pastor, I have found that finances have played a key role in keeping me from pursuing formal ministry education. The opportunity to enrol with CLI for church planter education is a huge blessing for our family and me. I also see it as a huge blessing to our church, our city and to future church plants I work with. They will be true beneficiaries of the training I receive.

As a vision-driven leader, I can get to focused on the work at hand and forget about the basics. Please pray that my personal walk with God stays at the center of my life and ministry. Pray that I can always share from what I am living rather than what I have learned.

CLI offers a complete curriculum for both house church planter education and church planter education all free and online.

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A Woman Ordained for Ministry

A Woman Ordained for Ministry

My name is Robin Hood, and I live in the United States of America. In the United States, often, ministry is not done anywhere, in schools, some buildings, and offices, God isn’t allowed. There is a lot of debate, arguments, and hatred towards Christians. To me, ministry should be done everywhere. Everywhere, can consist of at work, at home, in your school, or even where there are no four walls. Being a Christian isn’t the most popular choice here in the United States, though there is freedom of speech, some are still persecuted, and bullied even for being a Christian. Some are willing to be a Christian when they hear of the love of God found in His Son Jesus who died for our sins, while others aren’t.

I came to know the Lord as my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when I was 14 years old. It was a moment in my life I will never forget. This took place within the four walls of Cherith Baptist Church in Carson, Ms.

My ministry dream is to carry the gospel, and the love of Christ to all that are broken, hurting or lost. To live as Christ outside of these four walls, so that others will see Him, and want to know Him. I have a passion to help others, to see their lives changed, and for them to experience this wonderful life Jesus gives us, without fear or loneliness plaguing them, or causing them to hurt themselves or others. I long to be everything He wants me to be for someone else. I am truly just a servant for Christ, I want to be His hands and feet, and whatever that looks like, that is what my dream looks like.

I currently help at the Life-House here in Winfield, Alabama, founded by Bro. Jeff Norris. My husband, Dale is the Men’s house director, and side by side with him, I help in whatever I can. Sometimes this just looks like me standing in agreement with one of our brothers or sisters in Christ, or being an ear to listen to them, or even to pray with them, especially to pray for and with them.
I don’t know exactly when the moment I wanted to pursue ministry. I do know that all my life I have longed to be something. I didn’t think it would ever be a public speaker or a women’s leader. I never thought it would involve other people. I believe when I was younger it was to be either a teacher or a veterinarian. I believe all of us have a calling to ministry, it all depends on whether we are attentive to the voice of God or not.

In 2013, I messed my life up a good bit, and I had felt for once in my life like I would never be able to go back to the person I once was. It seemed as if everyone hated me, and I was all alone. But, I knew Jesus was there, and I knew that He would help me. He sent me new friends, a new church family, another chance, and a new life. I remember talking to these broken women, who had spent so much of their lives in drug addictions, and no my testimony wasn’t the same as theirs, but I realized they needed the same love that set me free.

I remember working one day, and talking to my boss about this dream God had placed in my heart for women, broken, and abused, to help them. I didn’t realize that God had just given me a dream, and I was living it. No, I’m not the “director”, but I get to partner with her, and all these other amazing people and help the ones that God so graciously puts in our lives. So, I believe in a way, all of this was God’s dream for me. I want Him to dream for me. God knew my heart from the beginning, and He knew how quiet and closed in I am, and He knew that if He directly spoke this to me, that I probably would run for the hills!

The unique challenges of this area that come to mind are the church experiences. These church experiences that many of us hear about aren’t good experiences. Some have felt judged when they enter a church, maybe not by people that know them, but just by their appearance they don’t feel like they fit in. Also, there are a lot of addictions here, and I know this isn’t just here but everywhere, and a lot of the ones that come here find it hard to stay on the right path. This leads into what they would call “so-called church members” turn their backs on them, instead of reaching out and helping them. I understand that most don’t want the help, but Jesus wouldn’t give up so how can we?

My local church is amazing. I am surrounded by a group of men and women that have been in this so long, but still, they are forever learning something new. They long to see me succeed and to grow in the Lord more and more. There are times when they won’t let me stay in my shell. They have truly been my backbone through all of this. They are constantly reminding me to rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and not to lean on my understanding.

My family has been another backbone for me. They are very supportive and believe in me. My husband is constantly telling me not to give up to keep pushing forward to be a woman ordained for ministry in our community. He believes in the calling and in the dream that God has placed in my heart. On November 30, 2016, my father went to be with the Lord. In so many ways he and my mom have played a crucial part in my walk. I can always remember my mother, who is still living, reading the Bible and praying to God. My daddy went to college and received an Associate’s Degree in Ministry, and when I asked him why he did it, his response was because he wanted to help people. It was told at his funeral, that even in the condition he was in, when in the nursing home, that he would always have a smile on his face. The ones he left behind, were so touched by his friendship and life, they mourned him so when he was gone. But there’s one thing they could all say, and that was that he lived each day trusting in the Lord.
This mantle has fallen to me, and I have picked it up. I want to help people. Often, God does things in mysterious and unpredictable ways.

I remember reading the story of Elijah and Elisha and crying my eyes out because this was the story of my dad and I. God doesn’t look at the outer appearance or gender of a person, but He focuses on the heart of a person. I have a brother, who yes, he could get into ministry and I pray someday he will, but believing in Jesus and standing for truth is what God has been working on him with for a long time now. God chose me for such a time as this…. And He is constantly using my dad’s life to remind me that I have to continue. Daddy had a sweet entrance into heaven, and he fought such a hard fight, but if you asked him right now if he was alone, he would tell you, no. He has finally entered Beulah Land, the land in which he has longed for as long as I have known him.
God has used the distance between my family and me for such good things (1) showing me how faithful He is and how He keeps His promise (2) helping me to depend on Him through everything as a family that we have faced.

I have accomplished so much during my seeking ordination through CLI, and though there have been so many trials and struggles, God has just been so much bigger.

Pray for more of God, and continuing lessening of self. I long for more, and I know there must be so much more that we have yet to see in our lives, as well as our ministry. Wherever this ordination takes me, and to whomever I meet, pray for this journey to be everything God wants it to be. I know this is truly one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I am so appreciative to CLI, for all the professors, and teachers, and for everything this college has put forth to help those like me to pursue the dream God has for them. Whatever this becomes, to God alone be the glory.

-Robin Hood

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Pastor Ministry Dream – Michael Warren

Pastor Ministry Dream

My name is Michael Warren, I was raised in Orlando, Florida, and have never been outside the U.S. I remember clearly a story my pastor once told me about his preconversion days as a high school teacher. He had a foreign exchange student, a Christian missionary from a third world country, in one of his classes for over a semester. Towards the end of the young missionary’s visit, my pastor asked the young man what he was going to tell his folks back home about America, expecting him to say something great about our country. The young man told him, “I’m going to tell them that the people of America are persecuted with prosperity.” He thought, “Oh this kid, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” The missionary continued, “I’ve been with Christian families on Thanksgiving; meal on the table, and nobody asks a blessing before everyone starts eating. I’ve been in a Christian home on Christmas and watched kids fly down the stairs and tare into presents… where I come from, if we even get a gift, I promise you, there’ll be a prayer first.” This is a large part of America’s spiritual decline: material luxury to the point that we are living better than kings did in past centuries. With so much ease and comfort in life, harsh realities are not faced as often. This is compounded by false teachings about the origin of life and the belief that everything can be explained with science. There are still patches of blessed people and places, but much of America is stiff-necked and spiritually barren.

Being raised in a Christian home is no guarantee that one will grow up to be a settled Christian: “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are AGED they will not depart from it.” The Proverb implies there may very well be a period in which the child does not follow the path they were taught. This was my case. Even though our church building was about 45 minutes away, it was almost considered a sin if we missed a Sunday morning or Wednesday evening service for any reason. Despite having confessed my faith in Christ and being baptized into the church at 11 years old, I was following the group or going through the motions instead of being genuine. Over the next few years, the emotionally tumultuous years known as “pre-teens” and early teens took a toll on me: we moved to a different part of Florida away from everything I knew, the church was much smaller, and I got my heart broken. After having been depressed for half a year and feeling no purpose in life, at the age of 15 I almost took my life. When no one was home, I slit my wrist with a steak knife: I do not remember any pain, only the crushing realization that I still had family, both blood and in Christ near and far, that loved me and had no idea what I was going through. I realized that life is not all about me. I quickly cleaned myself up as best I could. A few months later, I was at a church campground with a whole lot of church family. Long story short, one evening I was compelled to get alone with the Lord. I went down to an isolated pavilion, cried, and prayed for three hours begging for forgiveness, mercy, and grace. I felt the Lord’s presence at that time and in the following few days like never before; I felt assurance and peace. Since then, moments that I feel that close to the Lord are far and few even though I am pressing toward the goal as best I can, but He makes all the trials and pain worth the wait!

My pastor ministry dream is to lead a church that loves the Lord Jesus and seeks to please Him in all that they do. I also often feel compelled to write my lessons from the Bible, and hope someday to publish them in a book, or multiple books. Pastors, among other things, are tasked with guarding their flock, an occupation which I am taking seriously now before I am ordained. Pastors are also to do the work of an evangelist (2Ti. 4:5), which is also an occupation I take seriously at work with coworkers and among friends.

What started my desire to minister was the efforts of my former pastor, who nudged me in the right direction. He introduced me to theology as a discipline, and the effort it takes to preach on a regular basis. Though he is now pastoring another church right now, he and I still keep in touch.

Where I currently live and plan to stay, Lord willing, there are many churches in this area. In trying to evangelize to those who are not church-goers, finding reasons to share why people should attend/visit your church over others is difficult, especially when the church down the road has a bigger building, more people, and a coffee store inside the church building.

I have my parents to thank for “training me up in the way I should go.” I will never forget the times my mom led some simple Bible studies with my sister and I, or the time I was looking for my dad, he was in his closet praying, and I eavesdropped for a few moments to hear those most reverential and tearful words of prayer.

My denomination does not consider Bible degrees or seminary training to be necessary for ministry. All focus is on the apprenticeship model of ministry training (2Ti. 2:2), the student’s own efforts to walk with God and know His Word, and the congregation’s approval. However, I believe earning a CLI Diploma can only serve to pastor ministry dream and further my ministry and deepen my knowledge of God’s Word.

Lately I stand in much need of prayer to be strong and joyful. It seems like I have been doing far more sowing than I have reaping. Add to that my tendency to feel defeated and become discouraged, all of my strength and joy is gone. Lord knows I have studied and do know how to fend off Satan’s attacks on my mind and heart, but he tweaks his strategy just enough so that it feels like each attack is different when in reality they are not. I have recently started communication with a dear friend and brother in Christ to be accountability partners especially for being strong and letting God’s joy rule our hearts. Also, a very dear friend of mine who has been the source of much of my motivation to keep pressing toward the goal has been diagnosed with cancer, and is in need of prayer. I know the Glory awaiting her with the Lord is far greater, but her family needs the stability she brings. Please pray for Jody’s healing.

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Affordable Bible School Training – Pastoral/Evangelism.

Affordable Bible School Training

When leaders are  called into ministry, they often do not pursue it because they cannot find an Affordable Bible School Training option. Christian Leaders Insitute has been supplying this option for over a decade. Here is another story…

Hello, my name is Micha Rider I am 38 years old married 10+ years and have one son. I was born and raised most my life in southern Louisiana. My father was a Baptist preacher for 30+ years and later became a missionary to the 10-40 window. I was raised in a Godly home, I attended and graduated from a Christian School and later went off to Bible college which sadly I did not complete.

As a preacher’s kid, of course, I was in Church every time the doors swung open, and I was saved at a younger age, so I was told by my parents. At the age of 19 years old sitting in a revival service the Lord begin to tug at my heart regarding salvation, it was at that point that I realised that my getting “saved” was just merely just going through the motions rather than a heart decision. I made my way down to the alter that night and with my heart accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior not because it was the thing to do but because I realized that I need Him and without Him, I was lost and on my way to hell. Later on, the Lord started dealing with me about the calling he had on my life, and I surrender my life to Him to preach.

Through the years I got off track got out of Church and like Jonah I began to run from God but nowhere I went no matter what I did I could never find true happiness or peace nor was I successful in anything I did at least not for long. Finally, I had enough of running and told God I was ready and willing to do His will for my life. His answer to me was still plain and simple, and that was to preach. I struggled with the unknown of how I’d get the training I needed, how I’d receive affordable Bible School training it etc and then somebody told me about Christian Leaders Institue, and it’s exactly what I was needing. There’s no way I could have gotten the training I needed without CLI. It’s my goal to get the training I need get ordained and go where the Lord sees fit to plant myself and my family and serve Him in all aspects of my life. I’m not sure if His will is for me to pastor a Church or to travel as an evangelist. I ask that you pray that God gives me the wisdom, knowledge, and discernment as I purpose His calling for my life.

Study the Bible – CLI Allows You to Learn for Free!

Study the Bible

My name is Saris Hovaguimian. I was born in 1962 in Aleppo, Syria. I lived in Lebanon until the age of 14, and I have been a resident of California since 1978.

I was brought up in a religious family, attending the Armenia Apostolic Cathedral. During my elementary school years, I attended an all-boys Catholic school. In my 20’s, I served in the Armenian Cathedral Choir for 15 years and helped raise funds to build a youth center . My family is very religious, God fearing, and relying on the tradition in the Church. I still see my mother and father reading the bible together. That is how they start their day.

During the time I was serving on the Church choir, I was attending law school and graduated with my Juris Doctor degree in 1987. During this time, I became distant from our Church, due to everyday Church politics, where as a young man, I walked away. As I moved further and further from my religion.

In 2112, when my career was at its top, I fell ill and I was diagnosed with congesting heart failure when my lungs were retaining fluids and I could not even walk five feet. It was so bad that I had to resign. I had to resign my position of Assistant Dean of Students at a private four-year college; I could not even leave the house. Thinking back, I believe it was God demanding my attention, when for ten years, nothing worked. After one year of doctors, and testing, I underwent a quadruple bypass. During the one year of home confinement, I started to follow Dr. Charles Stanley and his broadcasts, on a daily basis, and I started to study the bible myself. Something I had never done.

On July 18, 2014 at 5:30am as they were wheeling me into the operating room, I said “God, Your Will be done in my life. I thank you for your Grace that saved me through faith. I knew it was God’s plan, asking for my attention for obedience. That was the day where my life as a religious person ended and my relationship with God began. From that day on, my daily devotion in the mornings includes my daily reading, a conversation with the Lord, and in occasions, on my way to work, the presence of the Holy Spirit is so powerful, that the broadcasts on the radio are directed to me. I have learned to Trust God, Obey God and Leave all the consequences to HIM.

I was saved by His Grace, and by good works, it is my intention to live and walk with him, praising him, glorifying him on every turn on the road to salvation.

This is my sincere belief that I can make a difference in at least one person’s life, where they can see such a tremendous change, where I know, I have His Mercy and Grace, and that I was important enough where Jesus Christ, shed his blood, for my salvation.

Sarkis Hovaguimian, M.Ed., J.D
Corona, CA