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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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

God’s Gift of Grace

My name is Ann Trojan, and I live in New York State, USA. Because of our Veterans who have fought, and continue to fight, we are free to minister in our country.
I was raised Catholic and discontinued attending church many years ago. My husband was raised Baptist, and we attended church occasionally. We felt as though something was missing in our marriage and our daily lives. In early February of this year, my husband suggested we attend Love City Church in our hometown. I learned so much that day and gave myself to the Lord a couple of weeks later. I was baptised the following month!
In April, Our Heavenly Father called me to teach. While He hasn’t yet shown me in what capacity I will be teaching, I know in my heart of hearts that that is what He has chosen me to.
As a music teacher, I immediately identify with Pastor/Teacher. As I continue to learn from CLI and my pastors, I have a deep down desire to spread the truth; The Word. I am ministering, in the simplest of ways, to friends now who desire to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.
From the very moment I was baptised, I clearly remember feeling the Holy Spirit alive within me. Many of the witnesses told me I was glowing. The day is one that will forever be stuck in my mind and is the day I began to walk in God’s grace.
I live in an area of New York State that is poverty stricken and one where some have labelled our Church as a “cult”. When I tell people that I no longer practice Catholicism and have been baptised as a Christian, I receive some questioning looks. I explain to them the reasons behind my decision and the difference between Catholicism and being a Christian. Whether they are open to receive the Truth or not, I choose to love them.
There is now a Bible college at my church. When it began, my Pastors suggested I enrol. I informed them that I had already begun classes through CLI and they were thrilled that I had begun my ministry training. One of the Pastors is my mentor, and she invited me to audit the classes through our Church. She is very supportive and has guided me through some of the trials in my life. Many members of the Church are also aware that I am enrolled at CLI and inquire how my class(es) are going. Our Church is a very large family; a family who loves and supports each other either through casual conversation or prayer.
A scholarship to CLI will help me continue God’s calling for me. At the age of 44, I am still paying off college loans for my teaching degree and administrative degree. Therefore, it would be near impossible for me to pursue my calling in ministry.
I ask that you pray that God bestows on me the gifts of continued unwavering faith and knowledge, a committed walk with Him and continual support of my husband and few close friends. I ask that you pray for my Pastors and bless them with all that God has to bestow upon them.
Eph. 2:8 For by grace we are saved through faith; and that is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

I teach children about God – Julie Renne’ Johnson

Teach Children about God

Julie Renee’ Johnston, United States of America

I was born and raised in the United States of America where one might believe that ministry is easy and open. However, I have seen and heard so much negativity toward Christians and our beliefs among neighbors and even some claiming to be Christians. There are a lot of differences on who and what God is and if we need him. Responses to news headlines daily mock prayer and those who ask for us to pray for our leaders. While many have heard God’s word here, it does not penetrate their hearts.
I first came to know the Lord as a young child. My parents took my sister, and I took the Baptist Church each Sunday when we were very small. Then when we were old enough to decide if we wanted to go my mother would take us, or we would ride the church van to attend. Jesus moved my heart when I was seven years old. I accepted him as my Lord and Savior and was baptized.
Throughout my life, I have always had plenty of questions about Christianity, the Bible, and God. There have been those who were able to answer some of my questions and others that dismissed them. I have not always been confident about asking questions as I felt if might seem as if I were questioning God himself, rather than trying to learn and understand. Working with both toddlers and elementary age children in my church, I want to be able to answer their questions, guide them in the scripture to help them better understand God’s word and help them to develop their personal walk with God.

I want to be able to answer their questions, guide them in the scripture to help them better understand God’s word and help them to develop their personal walk with God.
Having been through my share of crises both worldly and spiritually, I believe that I could also help women who have struggled and strayed from God at times. To let them know that they are not alone and God does accept them back when they return to him. There were times that I felt very judged when I returned to God’s calling and already had one child and one on the way with my now husband. I want to help ensure that anyone God brings into our church or my life feels accepted and that they have a place and a person to confide in.
Small Group Leader would be a title I would identify with most since I teach children about God in small classes, and I am most comfortable in a small group or one-on-one with people. Large crowds have never been exciting for me. In fact, when doing various activities growing up, I was always so anxious about having people look at me, even if I wasn’t speaking. God has often tried to move me in these uncomfortable situations, but I never felt confident enough to answer. Having grown in experience and my personal walk with God, today I am more confident in my ability to stand and speak. Now, expanding my knowledge thanks to Christian Leaders Institute will help me be more confident in speaking confidently about God’s word.
While I have always been drawn to a calling in ministry, my heart was moved to fully pursue it after my children were born. I knew that aside from trying to raise my children with love for God and His word, I wanted to help other children to learn of God’s greatness and mercy. The innocence and inquisitiveness of children’s minds make teaching them about the gospel so wonderful and rewarding. I love to see as they ask questions and sing about God’s love for them.
There is a church on practically every street corner here and that allows people the opportunity to find the church that is best for them. Every denomination and non-denomination are represented throughout the region, and of course, each believes it is the best and only way to find Jesus Christ and Heaven. People have been known to scoff at others because they do not share their specific, individual belief system. When people should be rejoicing for one another in finding their path to accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are judging because it was not done ‘their way’ and is, therefore, wrong. We should be able to gather together as Christians and children of God and share in the delight of His grace instead of trying to pit each denomination against the next in attempts to get all the non-believers in our camp. I have found that often people who have an interest in learning about Jesus Christ and God are turned off of the pursuit because the ‘Christians’ they encountered were so negative toward others.
My church has been so supportive of my ministry calling by not only giving me a place to pursue it but giving me resources to expand my knowledge and mentors to answer questions or simply encourage me when I am unsure of myself or my ability. Even though I came into the church apart from God’s commandments, they saw in me the opportunity to grow myself and my family in Christ and the ability for me to share him with others. My mentors had encouraged me to participate and volunteer when I thought to have two young kids would make it impossible. They have loved me and prayed for me, that I might grow in Christ and do his work.
My family has been so impactful in my ministry calling since I didn’t now answer God’s call until after my children were born. My husband had never been to church until he started attending with me, and I want to be a good example to him of what a good Christian should be. Helping him to find God in his life is another reason I wanted to pursue ministry. Simply exposing him to God’s word each Sunday and Wednesday, and praying for him daily, I hope that through my calling I can help him to answer God’s call in his life as I gain knowledge and grow in my faith and walk with God.
Being an oilfield dependent household has strained our family financially, and we currently are just trying to survive paycheck to paycheck. A scholarship at Christian Leaders Institute would allow me the opportunity to pursue my calling to ministry and gain the knowledge necessary to adequately share God’s word with others. Without CLI I would have to continue trying to discern God’s word through my endeavors and understanding. Something that is possible to do, but would take much longer and leaves room for more mistakes and misunderstanding. A scholarship allows me the opportunity to get the necessary training and knowledge to adequately teach and minister to those who are in need of God’s word, His mercy, and grace.
We all need prayer, and prayer for my ministry calling is needed to help me stay the right path, listen to God always, and answer His calls. Prayer for God’s mercy and grace to help light my path and keep it straight is needed as I continue this journey to my calling and preparing myself to be the light for others to find Jesus Christ. Though there will be struggles along the way, as every person must encounter to grow, pray that I will be steadfast in God’s word and trust in Him always to provide me all I need to minister to others and bring them to God’s word so that they too may trust in Him.

Hawaii Ministry Training

Hawaii Ministry Training

Aloha, my name is Elijah Kala McShane, and I am a 22-year-old Native Hawaiian living on the beautiful island of O’ahu in the magnificent Islands of Hawaii. I grew up in a family with two amazingly hard working and loving parents and three siblings, having two sisters and one brother. My entire life, I have fortunately attended private schooling at Catholic/Christian schools here on O’ahu. I have always believed in God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but never pursued a true relationship with a deep connection and clearer understanding. It was not until earlier this year that I began focusing on building that relationship with God through attending a Baptist Church and also a Four Square Church here in Hawaii called Inspire Church.

God has blessed me with many things in my life including a beautiful future wife, Cheyenne; that has had my heart since 15 years old, an amazing family, and a vision for my life that can only be realized through God. This year, I began living my life according to Christ, spent time devoting worship and prayer to Him but as an “every other day Christian.”(not fully committed)

It was on a rainy night here in Hawaii when I was blessed with the vision to become a Pastor and Evangelist. I talked it over with my girlfriend, parents, and friends to gather some advice and input on the vision that God had placed in my heart. With asking these important people in my life, I received some advice that caused me to think things through thoroughly once again. I then came to a conclusion that “I don’t have to be in ministry to serve God.” So I launched my speaking and personal development business called “Elevate 2 Motivate” which was based on a topic that I am beyond passionate about; and that is helping people to Discover their Gifts, Pursue their Purpose, and Fulfill their Potential. This mission was birthed by having a revelation from God that helped me to identify my true gifting and purpose on earth. This purpose was to serve others with my gifts of speaking, connecting, loving, inspiring and motivating people by spreading Aloha (love). Something wasn’t clicking. Although the dream was in my heart, and the purpose of contribution was alive and well, I could still sense that my pursuit was coming from a place of status and prestige. This left me lost and confused on where to go next.

After closing down a business, having major financial difficulties, and encountering other valleys of life. I was working as hard a man could work to make my dream of being a personal development expert become a reality. God then spoke to me and told me “Your gifts will only be maximized, your purpose will only be fulfilled, and your potential will only be reached if it is in my Kingdom.” From that moment, I made a commitment to the plan that God has for me, and that is becoming a Pastor/Evangelist, and to change the world with all of the giftings that He has placed in my heart. I immediately began seeking guidance from God and His Word, and also from my Pastors from both churches. I recently enrolled in CLI and planned to go on to receive my Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in Divinity. God has offered me clarity and opportunities to build my ministry dream of becoming a Leader of the Church Community, Kingdom of God, and to become a servant to people across the entire globe.

My ministry vision is to become the Senior Pastor of Waipahu Baptist Church and lead people in Hawaii and the world to live a better life found in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I want to build a strong church by inspiring people to be all that God is calling them be. I have the vision to build a worship team, connect groups, leadership training, business training, health classes, and spiritual development courses in my church to serve the community and the world. Personally, I aspire to become a multiple best selling author, and world changer by inspiring one person at a time.

Hawaii is definitely in need of a spiritual revival. We need more leaders who are building people through the One and Only Truth, the Word of God. Our economic issues, relationship issues, culture and career problems, and life obstacles can all be solved by developing ourselves through the Word and an intimate relationship with God. Becoming the Senior Pastor for a Church will give me the divine opportunity to provide all of those solutions.

A scholarship here at CLI will be everything I need and much more to gain the wisdom and insight to make an eternal mark in the Kingdom of God. My purpose can be fulfilled by gaining the abundant amount of wisdom through the education that CLI has to offer. Everything that God has placed in my heart has been placed in their for the pure reason of manifestation. The manifestation will come through working my purpose through Him and also sharpening my edge in every way possible. I believe CLI is a dream come true to all ministry leaders who are being called to revolutionize the way human beings live on this planet. God has equipped Rev. Henry Reyenga with all the gifting to serve the world and to make a lasting contribution. It would be an honor to serve next to such mighty men and women of God.

Aloha and God bless,
Elijah Kala McShane