Peruse Sally Countess’ testimony of escaping life on the dark side into God’s everlasting light of redemption and a restoration call:

Restoration Call

My name is Sally Countess and I have a restoration call on my life. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the U.S.A. and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I am 22 years old and I have lived a very blessed by God life. He has held me close and protected me from so much harm in my rebellion. I was fortunate to have grown up in an amazing Christian family. I accepted Christ at a young age, but it was not until early 2018 that I began my daily walk with the Lord.

I spent a lot of time focused on my image. I also spent time with the wrong crowds getting involved with drugs and shoplifting. This escalated into robberies and assault. God saved my life this year in March when I was close to taking my own. My community was full of evil and negativity and I was taking it all in. I was a huge part of the negativity going on and did nothing to stop it. In March this year, I started going to church again on Sunday and living a double life every other day of the week. Days began running together and I was frustrated with where life was going. Part of me enjoyed my sin, and I needed rescuing from the darkness of depression and substance abuse. I was arrested for Aggravated Robbery on March 28th of this year and God found me right where I was. I began my daily walk with Him, and He poured His love over me and gave me a restoration call.

I recommitted my life to Christ on April 1st which was Easter Sunday. My daily walk with God was difficult at first, the Holy Spirit made me aware of many dependencies in my life that needed to go. It took a while to go through the list and practice life as a person who walks with Him daily. I spent three months in county jail.  During that time, my parents showed me the love of Christ every single day, and our relationship grew stronger each and every day. They saw a big change in me and chose to bond me out at the end of June. I am now living a life filled with God’s love and a restoration call. I still await punishment for my sins. But I rest in God’s peace knowing that He has forgiven me and gives me all that is good in life. I have been blessed with a second chance and I am choosing daily to walk in the light He provides for me. I am grateful for the work He has done and is doing in my life. I am committing to serve Him each and every day and lay it all at His feet.

I am grateful for the opportunity to gain a higher education at Christian Leaders Institute because I believe that God has plans to use me in the lives of others and the free training helps. I have a passion for people struggling with abuse and addiction, and I will strive to get the experience needed to help those who struggle with these things. The Lord has blessed me, and I pray His blessing over all those who are hurting. Thank you, CLI, for all you do in people’s lives! You are truly a blessing in every way!

Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

A Passion to Teach Children

My name is Venetia Frost and I have a passion to teach children. I am from Griffin, Georgia. I am married to Mike Frost. I have one son, Joshua Skirvin and 5 grandsons. My favorite childhood memories are when we lived far out of town in the country. We had 15 acres to roam freely on. There was a creek at the edge of our property. My 5 brothers and I spent a lot of time playing in the creek each summer. Often our cousins would come down for the summer and spend time with us. We had wild blackberry bushes, a horse, a pig, and a rooster. We often rode the horse, although at times the horse ran away. It was a typical childhood in many ways because we spent so much time playing outside. We weren’t poor, but we weren’t rich either. Being the only girl, I was often lonely. I did not play with dolls like most little girls. I preferred to climb a tree with a good book and read, or play in the creek. My parents were avid Christians. We were always in church. Until I was 15, it was just what we did. It didn’t really mean anything to me. I never gave God too much thought. Later, however, I was very grateful for a Christian upbringing. I’ve never questioned whether or not there is a God. So many young people are struggling with what once was a basic understanding.

When I was 15, a lot of things changed in my life. First, I was born again at camp. Six months later, my mother died. My perfect world began falling apart. My older 2 brothers were in the service. The two middle children (my brother and I) were sent to live with aunts, and my 2 youngest brothers stayed with our dad. It is interesting how God can turn a tragedy around and we can be better because of it. In later years, our aunts became pivotal in family gatherings. If we had not lived with them, there wouldn’t be the closeness there is today.

As a child, I always knew I was meant to teach children. The desire and gifting were evident. A peculiar thing happened in 6th grade Math. As strange as it may sound, it is actually true. My math teacher had to be away one day from class. He asked me to teach the class. Another teacher was there to supervise, but I taught the class. I remember being nervous. This was just not done! I never had the nerve to ask him why he did it. Not to be arrogant, but I was good at math. I suppose God directed him to see the gift of teaching in me. From then on, I wanted to teach. Perhaps that was the catalyst God used to spark the desire in me to teach children. However, God never intended me to teach in a school.

At the age of 27, after recommitting my life to God, I began teaching children’s Sunday School. I taught for 20 years. It really gave me joy. It kept me in the Word all the time. This is something I’ve come to truly appreciate because staying in the Word brought me through many trials. Another gifting that surfaced later was writing. Although I’ve retired from teaching children in Sunday School, I still teach as a backup Sunday School teacher at our church for the adult and children’s classes. We also have a home group where our family, friends, and church members gather monthly to dine, worship and have Bible studies. We’ve kept this group going for 25 years. It has really sustained our family through a lot of hard times.

My dream is connected to my passion, which still is to teach children. Although I’ve authored a book for adults, my dream is to provide Christian stories for children and faith-filled products for children to see and hear the Word as they grow up. There are so many demonic attacks on the minds and hearts of children today. What they believe growing up will direct the path they choose in life. I desire that what they see and hear are the Love, Faithfulness, and Forgiveness of God.

In my personal life, many events have brought me to the understanding that without God, I would not be alive. I would not have even made it to adulthood. I’ve been divorced twice. When life hits you hard, if you haven’t any foundation, you can crumble. God has always moved in my life to direct me, even when I wasn’t living for Him. He is a faithful God. Although I’ve taught the Word for many years, I have a hunger to know the Word better. So I appreciate this first course at CLI. I know God led me to Christian Leaders Institute to help me not only in fulfilling the dream for faith products for children; but also to know the Word better!

Learn about ordained minister study programs at Christian Leaders Alliance.

New Life Ministry Call

“Howdy, Y’all!” My name is Champ Claussen and I have a new life ministry call on my life from God. I live in the United States of America. God is great. God is greater than great. God is the greatest. I did not always believe that. I did not always believe in Him. I believed in what was a reality throughout my life. That reality was brokenness, confusion, hurt, anger, turmoil, anxiety, poverty, separation, divorce, abuse and a whole list of negative experiences and emotions that a person could experience. I was no different until God found me and I began a relationship with Him.

It really is quite the story now that I look at it. I had once thought that I worshiped God. What I really worshiped was my “knowledge” about God. I went to church. I even attended the camps. Every VBS, church service, Wednesday night youth group, rallies, and prayer vigils, I was there. I knew the lingo, I could look good and I knew what the Bible said about God. The issue is that knowledge about God is not a relationship with Him. After a period of time of hurting through words and actions at home, I rejected God. I walked away. That’s actually putting it lightly…I joined a cult.

After graduating from high school, I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, (a.k.a. Mormons) and went to college for a year. During that year I reached out to my biological father and attempted to have a relationship with him though I had not heard from him for almost 14 years. I moved to the state that he resided in hoping to develop a relationship with him. Coming from a broken home and being raised by a dad who was not my biological father had caused some identity and relationship crisis within me and I yearned for a healthy relationship with my biological father. That hope was quickly dashed, as was my heart, once again.

I was questioning my identity, reality, and life for many years before I received my new life ministry call. I was homeless, lived in poverty, broken, hurt, and suffered greatly through those years. I continually struggled with the identity of God. I began to ask several questions regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. Those questions, though logical, sincere and respectful got me chastened by some of the local leadership. Eventually, I left the LDS church and rejected God completely. I was respectful to those that believed in God but I could not accept the concept of a loving God when people that claim to follow Him were so cruel and unloving. I could not see the existence and work of God in my family life. I could not get to God in my studies and my good works. I could not believe in God because not only could He not be visible to me but His power could not be visible in the lives of those close to me that claimed to follow Him.

I got married, relocated to Kentucky and had a child. I decided to attend a Christian rock concert with an artist that I had listened to in my youth. I enjoyed his music and we decided to attend. It was there that I heard that God loved me and that what I was going through was not a coincidence but part of a designed plan. At first, I was offended. How in the world could a loving God design all the pain, anxiety, brokenness, separation, bullying and even the suicide attempts that I had made and use it for good? Then the artist said something that struck my soul. He said that I did not have to be defined by my past but could be defined by God who created and loved me. That means that I had a choice. I could be the product of circumstances and a painful past, or I could choose to walk in God’s love. I chose the latter and that changed me into my new life ministry call.

I vigorously studied the Bible, not to know about God but to draw near to Him. I did not wish to know about Him, I wanted to know Him. I wanted to know everything I could about my Abba Daddy. God even had a church pastor take notice and after a few years I was the Bible Fellowship Coordinator for the church and even preached and taught when the Pastor was away. I was truly blessed by God on my new life ministry call.

I wish I could state that after that it was easy but I cannot. I was married for thirteen years before my family was again torn apart by divorce. The family that included four children was torn apart. I became homeless. I discovered various complications that exist in the culture of poverty and homelessness that I really did not comprehend in my earlier experiences. I also discovered how much God loved me. I discovered that God WILL NOT abandon His children. He held me in the palm of His hand. It was when I was homeless that I understood that Jesus could relate to me and my circumstance and He loved me.

After a few years, God lifted me out of the homeless environment but not without changing me. God implanted in my life my new life ministry call with a desire to love and reach the lost, hurt, strained, stressed and broken. I had been asked to preach at a few churches and it was then that various leaders noted that I had a heart, a passion, a gift. I was remarried in 2018. God has brought my kids and me closer. The Lord has given me a passion and a purpose to reach the lost and a desire to plant a church in the small town in which I live. He has allowed me to take food and clothing to the homeless and help single mothers in various areas throughout the United States where He has shown the need. God has given me the dream to pastor those whom God loves so that they too can know the greatness of God and the love He has for them. He has even allowed me to become a professional wrestler so that I can bring the light into that arena. God has done more than I dared to dream and, yet, it is a reality!

At this time, I am learning from Christian Leaders Institute. There have been challenges. There have been great lessons. I enjoyed the ideas on devotions for the family that were presented. Coming from a broken family and experiencing much brokenness in my life and all around me, it’s necessary to continue learning and obtaining tools so that I can be used by God to help build what Satan has attempted to destroy. I do it with the knowledge that God is real and God is great. He is greater than the past. He is greater than the experience. He is the experience! He is the greatest!
“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” Galatians 6:14; NLT (copyright 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust)

Learn about local minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Woman Disciple

My name is Loretta Williams. I live in the United States and it can be challenging to do ministry here. However, the challenges here have no comparison to those in other countries. People are seeking and searching for a Savior. Often they find it in other things, people, or substances until someone shares the Love of Christ. I actually grew up in a home where both of my parents taught us about God and we attended church services regularly. My grandparents (who are pastors of their own church) kept us in church and we knew about building a relationship with the Lord. But I did not totally own being a woman disciple of Jesus Christ.

Immediately after my teenage years, I thought I’d try this life on my own terms instead of what I’d been taught (my foundation). Needless to say, my life spiraled downhill and out of control. I had kept in contact with all of my high school classmates, and it was a classmate that was a good friend of mine that continuously asked me if I wanted to attend a church service with her. She asked me so often that I finally replied: “Yes, I’ll go, but only if you stop asking me to go to church after I go one time with you.” Needless to say during that church service I gave my life back to Christ and never stopped attending church after that. My life was forever changed after that service. Things gradually shifted in the right direction, old bad habits and people who weren’t encouraging my walk with Christ began to leave me. It took my friend asking me every time we spoke if I wanted to attend a church service with her to bring me back to know the Lord and to become a woman disciple of Jesus.

My ministry dream is to go around the world speaking to women, single mothers in particular, about how to live this life with Christ and be women disciples of Jesus. I hope to cover everything from finances to parenting with God as your guide and partner.

This first class at CLI has strengthened my Bible connection and walk with God. It has given me a better understanding of the importance of really devoting myself to studying the Word of God. As I have learned in this course, it is the key element to building a closer relationship in my walk with God. This course has encouraged me to do even more research to get a better understanding of God’s Word and determine the practical application.

I identify with Small Group Leader the most. I believe that God is calling me to lead small groups of women around the world. For years I prayed to ask God to reveal to me what my calling and purpose was. And He did, it was something that I was already doing just not from a spiritual perspective. My local church supports me 100% in my ministry calling. Christian Leaders Institute is important to my ministry calling because CLI will help educate me in the areas that I do not know. CLI is stretching me to study and research what I’ve probably never considered studying before. CLI has already encouraged me to dive even deeper into God’s Word.

Learn about minister ordinations with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Read how Annabelle has been gracefully broken by betrayal, confusion, and ill-health into a Spirit-driven dream to become a Christian counselor, motivational speaker, outreach server, and author.

Gracefully Broken

Blessings, my name is Annabelle Ortiz, and I have been gracefully broken. I reside in New Hampshire where I am seeking to follow the call of God. I moved from Rhode Island a year ago, after being relocated due to domestic violence.

I came to the Lord in 2007 but did not fully understand what I was really seeking until 2009. Since childhood, I always felt drawn to seek God’s presence. I read the Bible and it would come to life in my mind. Every event and story became real. I was always praying and letting others know that I believed deeply in Jesus. I was not walking at all in the Spirit but felt this dependency and faith in Him. Even though I was in the world, God would always bring me to Himself.

I have endured many hardships and allowed the enemy to succeed in his attacks, but God’s grace and mercy always rescued and sustained me. I began going to church in Rhode Island where I was able to understand I have a calling and a purpose. I asked for a mentor and began serving in my calling as an outreach leader and server to our community. My purpose was presenting Jesus to those who are forgotten, such as the homeless, abused, and those from broken homes. I started “Alcance 911 “(Outreach Evangelist Ministry) through my church. It impacted many lives and God gave me this place where He wanted me to serve.

I then had a downfall health-wise and emotionally. I found myself in a spiritual warfare. I married an elder from the church that became my abuser. You can imagine the betrayal and confusion I felt. However, God has used this experience to equip me, strengthen me, and teach me discernment. He taught me that I must really seek His truth and choose to want to walk in righteousness and address the issues that separate us from His light. I then decided to educate myself spiritually and heal before I could be a leader within my calling.

I came to Christian Leaders Institute while asking God to show me how to grow in my walk. I started searching the internet and found CLI. I read it’s mission and purpose and understood that this was of God. Seeing that I could not afford to pay for school and still have complications from my tumor removal and being homeless, I embraced the challenge and promised myself to get started. Christian Leaders Institute has given me the opportunity to grow spiritually and have a better understanding of how to reach my spiritual dream to become a Christian counselor, motivational speaker, author, and outreach server.

My goal is to write books on how to be “gracefully broken” in the struggles and the conflict. I want to write and publish books about God’s grace and mercy. I also want to open a safe haven building for broken souls; a place where one can inject hope and restoration. A place to receive a breakthrough in order to have an opportunity to become who they were created to be!

Learn about ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Soul-centric Vision

My name is John R. Gork (“J.R.” is my nickname) and I have a soul-centric vision of service. I graduated from East Grand Rapids high school in Michigan and Wittenberg University with a degree in Art and Business. After some reflection, I decided against pursuing a career in Art and instead pursued a more practical career. I have worked in the financial services industry for 34 years. I am married to Martha and we have two children; each from our respective previous marriage. Our meeting is a great story for another day.

Early Life: God was in the shadows

I was born in 1961 and I am the 3rd child out of 6. I was raised in a Christian home; I am a cradle Episcopalian. We attended church weekly. However, the relatively affluent community where I was raised inadvertently marginalized the idea of having faith in God and letting Him direct your journey. Instead, it was more of an egocentric environment, where self-reliance was how you made it in life; pursuit of wealth is what would assure your future financial security, peace, and happiness. In my heart of hearts, this didn’t work for me. While I enjoyed the nice things and privileges, I sensed the emptiness of it. I craved a more soul-centric vision and environment. However, I found a peaceful place at my grandmother’s house. Her faith was strong and that made her a joy to be around. She taught me to play cribbage and this became a weekly routine. Our meaningful and faith-rooted conversations were very impactful and instructional to me. A seed had been planted.

A second place where I found a real sense of peace was walking the dogs with my dad. I can’t say when this started, I can only say that it evolved into a nightly ritual that we both came to view as sacred. It was a time when any subject was fair game. For my Dad, it was often a reflection on some economic analysis or insightful reflection on a topic of the day. For me, I was seeking some relief from the struggles of growing up with four demanding sisters and an aloof younger brother; generally just surviving the struggles of adolescence. But it was also a time of philosophical reflection and a safe place to dream. My dad was relatively patient in these conversations, even though many of my topics were reoccurring themes. Nonetheless, I came to know well how my dad thought and how he approached problems. Little did I know that our nightly walks, full of spirited conversations, would prove to be invaluable; not only to me but to my siblings as well. My relationship with my dad was unique and very special.

I learned differently than most. As such, I struggled in school. Growing up in an environment where academic excellence was idolized, this was a source of anxiety. Thus, I would need to discover another way. Art was one area where I could feel successful. My drawing ability was discovered during elementary school. But, unfortunately, while art was an area that I excelled, felt successful, and at peace, it really didn’t generate a lasting impact. How do you make a living as an artist?

Younglife was introduced to me my Sophomore year of high school. It was a very impactful experience. I remember the counselor at Saranac Lake, a Younglife Camp in upstate New York, sharing the importance of reading the Bible and developing a regular prayer time. I heard that it is important to grow in my relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This idea resonated. The Trinity was the source of my strength and holding me together; I just didn’t realize it at the time.

Wittenberg University was a fresh start for me. I knew I had to succeed academically and would need to find a group to connect with. I was on a quest for a place of excellence, Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) fit the mold. College was an important part of my life. Many lessons were learned. There were many great friends and times of fellowship. Mostly good, but many humbling experiences too. But, unfortunately, it was not an environment that cultivated much growth in my faith in God and a soul-centric vision. That was yet to come.

In 1982, looking for something interesting to draw, I focused my attention on Fiji house. The drawing that I completed caught the attention of the chapter president and the drawing became the center of the 100th anniversary of Sigma Chapter in 1984. This resulted in prints being made of the fraternity, mugs, t-shirts…the drawing really struck a chord. Upon graduation, I gave the remaining prints to the fraternity with the idea that they would give them to the graduates upon graduation. 34 years later and three re-printings, that is still happening to this day. This experience is more evidence that my artistic talent should be further developed and be a more central part of my life. A soul-centric vision of how God works for me, in me, and through me.

Graduation from college was a time of obvious celebration, but it was also a time of inner anxiety. The education was complete, but now what? Should I go into art or business? So, I decided that I would plan a trip to see my uncle Bill Logan who was an artist and who had an art studio in New York City. I figured that Uncle Bill could offer some insight. It was a wonderful trip. A very memorable experience visiting their home in Wilton, Connecticut. Then we commuted to New York City the next day and had an adventurous midnight walk through Time Square as well. When it finally came time to review my artwork, Uncle Bill admitted that I was good enough to pursue a career in art. But, he would not suggest that I do that. Instead, he believed that I would be better served using my business degree to find a career that offered a wage that I could use to raise a family. He said that at some point in the future, when the kids are grown, then turn back to the art and pursue it with passion. So, this is the idea that I have pursued for 34 years. Now the creative desire continues to grow. How do I make the transition from the business world into the creative world? Uncle Bill, unfortunately, died several years ago. My sense is that this is more of a spiritual question than a career transition question. An answer found in prayer, Bible study, fellowship and simple faith in God.

Circuitous Journey to Faith

In the late 1980’s, I started attending Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Cincinnati. I was intrigued by the sermons of the Rector and scheduled a meeting with him. I had been struggling with the desire to truly serve people and not just sell products to those who could most afford them. We engaged in a very introspective conversation that resulted in him sharing with me that he believed that I had a genuine call to ministry. I was flattered by this and yet very fearful. What would this mean for my future financial security? As much as I struggled with the egocentric environment that I was stuck in, transitioning to a soul-centric vision for life was very much unchartered territory for me. I simply didn’t have the courage to make such a significant change. But, fundamental questions continued to loom; what is my real purpose in this life? How do I incorporate my creativity into the center of my life?

September 1st, 1989, the date of my dad’s sudden death at age 62, is the defining moment in my life. This was the day that I knew that I needed God at the center of my life. In a mere moment, I was transported from a budding young person, soul-searching in a very secular business culture of trailblazing and surviving. The mission now was much less self-centered; the focus was now helping my mother and siblings navigate through an emotionally turbulent and disruptive time.

The void left following my dad’s death was huge. It was going to take years for us to work through the grief; not having the opportunity to thank dad for all the blessings and continue to get much-needed advice was tough. But, the reality was that my dad was dead, and I was on my own. A week after his death, I needed to get back to work. I reached out to the pastor at the church for help. He understood what I was going through. He said a prayer and then shared a story:

“Imagine a rose bush and a gardener who is charged with caring for it. This plant has a beautiful rose in full bloom and many buds and various stages of blooming. As you know, a rose plant puts all its energy into the fully bloomed rose. Thus, the prudent gardener must carefully clip this beautiful rose and with pride display it in a special vase for all to admire its beauty. Now, the plant is shocked by this, but over time it adapts and redirects its energy on helping the emerging buds. That rose was your dad; God is the gardener; the buds are you and the rest of your family. I know that the gardener could use some help caring for this rose bush. Do you think that you could help?”

That story resonated; my conversations with my grandmother were resonating. I accepted the challenge that day to serve God by serving my family. Over the years, this call has extended to my work and community. The call to help people blossom continues to guide me to this day.

Soul-centric Vision for the Future

My vision is to combine my creative/ artistic side with my business/ practical side to help people live more purposefully, leading less egocentric and more soul-centric lives. To help, I have created a Blog: www.soul-centric.com where I intend to share weekly reflections on this journey. I also have begun taking classes here at Christian Leaders Institute. God continues to open doors and lead me every day.

Learn about minister ordinations with Christian Leaders Alliance.

This man’s pastor call journey from darkness “into God’s Hands” tells a compelling story:

My name is Robert Daniel Kelly and I have been on a pastor call journey. I live in the United States of America. I believed in Jesus Christ when I was just a child of about four. I remember Jesus as a loving and kind man. Jesus loves all the children, right? And I remember the song Jesus loves me from when I was a child too. I was not raised in the church, though. I remember going to church a few times. We didn’t really pray or read the Bible that I can remember.

I never knew my biological dad, and the man I called dad when I was small was my little brother’s father. He relapsed on drugs and stole my little brother away to Alaska, so my mom took the rest of us (my older brother, my twin brother and me) to Alaska to get him back. We got back together with him for a short time, then he left and it was my mom and us 4 boys. There were alcohol and drug usage in the home, but we older three brothers would go exploring and playing a lot and had a lot of fun and adventures. We really didn’t have any discipline in our lives and were left to ourselves most of the time, so we started getting into trouble. We got older and also got into drugs and more trouble. All 3 of us older boys were in juvenile detention and institutionalized. I was sent to a bunch of rehab places and institutionalized twice.

When I was 18, I was going the opposite way from seeking God. I was even reading a witchcraft book. Then the book said Jesus was just an adept wizard and I was offended. I think I even spoke out loud and said: “No, He wasn’t! He was the Son of God.” God heard that and started to change my life and start me on my pastor call journey. My twin brother said he talked to God on an acid trip and started reading the Bible some, so I opened it randomly to see what it had to say. I opened to Acts 1:9 and it was telling how Jesus was lifted up from the earth and hidden by a cloud. I actually went through the trailer we were living in telling people that Jesus is alive and He’s out there somewhere. I also started finding tracts about Jesus and salvation. So I know the reality can bear fruit.

Now I was a believer, not just in a loving and kind man from the Bible that was the Son of God, but also in the risen Lord. I still didn’t know how to live as a Christian and was still living in sin. I was doing drugs and going through some interesting things. When I was 19, I was reading the Bible and saw that it was telling me to be baptized. I still wasn’t going to church but God was teaching me to repent of my sins, and I wanted to obey what He was telling me to do. I made an agreement with God that I would go to the church that baptized me. When I went in and asked about it, instead of saying we can do that at some later time, I was baptized right then on a Thursday, January 23, and I went to that same church for about 3 years.

God changed my life from a rebellious and foolish young man to a Christian man that wants to do God’s will. I wish I could say that since I became a Christian I have been perfect ever since. Unfortunately, I have made many mistakes along the way. I’m 40 now and have worked a lot of different jobs.

Now I believe God wants me to preach and I want to preach. So I plan on getting my bachelor’s degree in ministry, and I hope that will help me to get a position as a preacher somewhere. I believe God is blessing me in this direction and I have a lot of support at the church here where I attend. I think being a minister in the USA will have challenges. There is a lot of worldly thinking. I think there are also a lot of Christians that still want to walk the fence. I’d like to help people to remember God in all the aspects of their lives.

This class at Christian Leaders Institute has had a lot of good stuff to teach me. One point is that this is a commitment and I’m not going to be able to get through it in one month. It is going to take a lot of time studying and taking quizzes. The mentor exercises were very helpful and encouraging. I wrote down those 13 questions and my mentor (the preacher here) was kind enough to write down 13 responses, they were encouraging and I can look back at that in the future. I learned a lot about leading too. I want to be a good follower of Jesus and I want to be able to lead others in a close walk with Jesus for themselves.

A pastor is probably the word/role I most identify with because I believe God has called me to preach. I know there is a lot more to pastoring a church and I would want to have good elders to help with that. I took counseling in college when I was younger and think that could be very helpful as well. I think the experience of being saved and brought into the light out of such horrible darkness and deception is the main reason I want to be a minister. I don’t want anyone to remain deceived and I want them to come to God’s love and marvelous light. A big part of my pastor call journey is that I love to preach God’s word. I love Psalms 119, which about how awesome and good God’s word is.

Where I am living, I don’t have internet, so the church gave me a key and let me set up a computer in a room at the church. Now I can drive over there and take classes with Christian Leaders Institute! What a blessing in my life! I believe God is working things out to make this possible for me. I have a great amount of support here. I am very blessed on my pastor call journey.

Learn about ordained minister study programs at Christian Leaders Alliance.

Ministering Vision

Read how CLI is helping Aariyana Green fulfill her ministering vision to be a vessel ready to be used by the Lord.

Greetings and Blessings To Everyone!

My name is Aariyana Green and I have a ministering vision of service for my Lord. I am a citizen of the United States. I grew up in a simple home where my parents worked to care for us. Growing up, I was exposed to the Lord at a very young age. Both sides of my family were Christian, so going to church was a given. However, I am grateful for the wisdom and knowledge I received as a child. I committed myself to the Lord, professed my soul salvation and was baptized at the tender age of 8.

From then on I loved going to church and singing my praises unto Him. The church was my comfort…until I stopped going. My parents started working more and none of my siblings were of age to drive, so we often stayed home on Sundays. I remember feeling so lost, sad, and deeply depressed by the age of 14. I felt so much conviction in my spirit because I thought I was neglecting God. I was battling loneliness and it seemed that anything the enemy spoke, I began to believe. I was in a dark place, but I thank God I didn’t get so lost that I couldn’t find my way back to Him.

By age 18, I was in high school and stumbled across an organization known as FCS (Fellowship of Christian Students). I joined and had a deep joy that something like that existed in a public school. We would meet to pray during lunch, have weekly testimonies, and even reserved a day during the month for praise and worship. I became back in tune with the Lord and more intentional in my pursuit of Him, overcoming the darkness that had once overtaken me. I knew what the Lord wanted me to do and through the training at Christian Leaders Institute, I am one step closer to bringing that ministering vision into existence!

Thank you for sharing in my ministering vision journey! Pray that the Lord will equip me with the knowledge, meekness, and faith to fulfill the divine calling He has placed on life.

Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Cynaria Reynolds shares her testimony with us about her Christian education pursuit at Christian Leaders Institute.

Christian Education Pursuit of Wisdom and Understanding

Hello, my name is Cynaria Reynolds, and I am on a Christian education pursuit with Christian Leaders Institute. I reside in the United States. Ever since I was about seven years old, I knew that God had a calling on my life, but I didn’t know to what extent He was going to use me. As a little girl, I soon realized that God had blessed me with the gift of singing. I enjoyed it so much I joined the music ministry at my church. I would also soon become one of the choir leaders. As I sing, I remember all of the smiles on the faces of the people in the audience. It was as if my voice encouraged them to hold on a little while longer. That made me feel that God was proud of me using the gift that He had given me.

While going off to college to pursue my degree in Business Marketing, I was blessed to be able to continue to use my gift of singing and to receive a music scholarship along with it. Since college, I have really grown to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have begun to grow and understand His great love for me. I am now the worship leader at the ministry I attend. Being the worship leader has allowed me to see how important it is for me to take the love that God has shown me and use it to pour back into His people to draw them even closer to Him.

As the worship leader, I come across so many people who are broken inside. They want to know more about God’s love for them so that they too can grow even stronger. I also come across people who don’t know God but want to know Him. To be able to minister His word through song and share with those people how important it is to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is a great blessing. My desire is that they will be able to get into a place of worship with Him, so that He may begin to show Himself in their lives.

Since I have taken CLI’s introductory class, it has allowed me to identify even greater with who I am in Christ and the order and structure that leaders need for the ministry to run smoothly. In the Christian Ministry that I attend, my pastor has always encouraged me to go further in the ministry through a Christian education pursuit and ministry training. My pastor also encourages me by providing me with additional material that will help me in my studies. The scholarship to Christian Leaders Institute is important to me because I am doing something that I am passionate about, and that is learning the word of God and how to minister. It will help me pursue my goal of receiving ministry certification or a degree while not having to worry financially about how I will pay for it. Proverbs 23:23 says “Buy the Truth and sell it not, get wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” This scholarship will help me to receive even more wisdom, instruction, and understanding that comes along with this opportunity to study here at CLI.

Learn about local ecuministry ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Lifetime Ministry Journey

My name is Ron Turner and I am on a lifetime ministry journey. I am blessed to live in the United States of America. I did not grow up in a Christian household, however, my parents and my 3 brothers all found their way to the Lord. Although we all took a slightly different path we all managed to have the hand of God guide us along the pathway to salvation. Someday, I look forward to being reunited and spending time with my relatives who have proceeded me in death.

As part of our lifetime ministry journey, my wife and I run a small ministry in Zephyrhills, Florida. The ministry is designed to minister to the homeless and disadvantaged in our community. We currently rent space at a church that closed it’s doors a few years ago. The Lord has greatly blessed our ministry. We look forward to a day when we will have our own facility, possibly the one we currently run the ministry out of. The Lord will need to provide a great financial blessing for that to happen, but we are open to His leading whatever the direction. We are both about 4 1/2 years from retirement, and we look forward to having more time to spend in the Ministry.

The past year with Christian Leaders Institute has been really great on my lifetime ministry journey. I have learned a lot and grown greatly in my walk and the ministry the Lord has allowed me to be involved with. I have been blessed to be able to baptize several people, including my wife and son, as well as some dear people we consider family. It is funny because you start out in Ministry wanting to be a blessing to others, and it turns out that by ministering to others, they become a blessing to you. I look forward to continuing my courses with CLI and look forward to many years of Ministering with and for my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Learn about minister ordinations with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Spiritual Ministry Journey

I am Katrina Lounette Zupan and I have been on a spiritual ministry journey with God. I was born in Oak Ridge, TN, the third child of a loving family who was committed to the Lord through service and love. My parents baptized me in the Episcopal Church at 3 months old. I am sure I remember this, but, since that is not possible, I accredit this memory to the loving story my mother told me with a few b&w photos from 1961.

At the age of 3, I recall vividly, accepting the love of Jesus. This is not a story anyone told me, it’s the story I hold in my heart every day. I remember my parents picking me up from Sunday School and they asked what I learned, and I started to sing “Jesus loves me, this I know, cause the Bible tells me so.” I know I was sealed with the Holy Spirit. When I was 13, a revival came through our church and our family all went to the river and got water baptized.

I recall the moment I accepted the idea that I was not “good enough”. I doubted my faith, I studied other churches and religions, I asked a lot of questions. I prayed a lot. God was my only friend. I journaled and was in continuous conversation with Him for most of my school years. God is good, always.

My life was not without past trauma issues which played out in our family. Drugs and alcohol were introduced to me by my peers at about the age of 14. I lived this way of life until I was 29. Meanwhile, I lost my husband to a bad lifestyle and had a fiance who took me to a worse lifestyle. I asked God to help me, crying in agony. Soon after, I started to get a warming and yearning in my heart on my spiritual ministry journey. I knew I would find relief and comfort in the church. It was hard to bring myself, a whacked-out junkie, to go, but I did. No one rebuked me. I went again, not telling anyone my story.

Then one day, a friend where I worked asked if I wanted to stay at her house. I could share a room with her 1 yr and 10 yr old boys. I agreed. I needed to get out of the situation I was in. In a late night fight with my fiance in the middle of the week, I told him I couldn’t live like that anymore. I got out of the vehicle, in a very bad neighborhood, gave him his ring and walked away. I still don’t know how or where I went, but I know God was with me. I got off of crack/cocaine without any adverse effects from that moment. Done. I walked away.

Very soon after, I met my present husband, set up by a friend on a blind date. We fell in love and eventually got married. We both had good jobs and found a church we loved.

I went to a women’s retreat. I realized I had a very polluted heart with much resentment and un-forgiveness. On the retreat, I got a toothache and became ill. My friend dropped me off at my house on Sunday. When Monday came I was in so much pain I called the dentist. They said there was nothing wrong and suggested a sinus doctor. So I went there on an emergency call. I don’t remember, but maybe I had a sinus infection. I know I went home in so much pain and agony crying out to God.

God came and showed me a vision of Him on a mountain watching over me while I sinned and He had tears in his eyes. I literally fell with my face to the ground sobbing. I was sobbing because I deliberately took actions that I knew He did not approve of, and it was like judgment day. I sobbed and told him I was sorry, and God forgave me. This took days, in my pain and crying to God. He continued to show me what I needed to ask Him to forgive me for and He forgave me all.

As I came out of the illness, I could see the light of God, but there was still darkness inside my heart. There was unforgiveness I was not willing to let go of. But God said, “You need to forgive others, just as I forgave you.” I felt so selfish and said, “YES, of course, I have to forgive.” So I started the process on my spiritual ministry journey. Some happened instantly, some took years. I still today actively work to forgive others daily.

I’ve been married now for more than 25 years to the man God brought into my life. We have had a good life, good careers, and a good relationship with God. I am now ready to work for God on this spiritual ministry journey with Him. He has been good to me and has led me to Christian Leaders Institute. I have the opportunity to learn more at CLI. On my spiritual ministry journey, I want to spend the rest of my life seeking a way to fulfill the purpose for which He created me.

Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Pastor Mission

My name is Charity Sanchez and I have a pastor mission calling. I was born in 1980 in Minnesota, USA. My parents moved to Texas when I was 4 years old. I am now a mother to 3 wonderful boys and a wife to a loving, God-fearing, wonderful man.

The day before my 6th birthday my father abandoned our family, so he could live an alternative lifestyle. I was raised by my mother in a single parent home. We grew up very poor so by the time I was 13 I was working full time to help my mom. There were times we would dumpster dive just to be able to have dinner that night. My mother became involved with my stepfather who began to molest me and did so for more than 10 years. I became angry with my mother and God. I was angry that this could happen to me.

When I turned 14, I started dabbling in alcohol, drugs, sex and everything else I could do to rebel. I knew there was a pastor mission calling on my life, but I chose to run away and live in the world. I would go back and forth and when I was in trouble I would run back to God. But as soon as the dust cleared, I was back out running the streets as if He never existed. I ran this hamster wheel until 2007 when God brought me to the end of myself. During the next 2 years, Christ showed me who He is. He began a healing and His love for me became very real. He was faithful and the sacrifice He made for me penetrated the wall I had around my heart. I let Him in, so He could love me. I began to understand His grace and mercy and who I am in Him.

Since then I have tried to walk out my calling in ministry. I am currently involved in our “Celebrate Recovery Ministry” at my home church in Michigan. Recently, after much prayer, I made the decision to enroll in Christian Leaders Institute to receive my Bachelor’s Degree. My pastor mission calling is to become a pastor and a traveling missionary. God has placed a hunger for a closer relationship with Him and a passion to see unbelievers saved. I pray His name is glorified through my walk and that my testimony is a comfort and encouragement to others.

Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Spiritual Growth Journey

My name is Cindy Bingaman and I have been on a spiritual growth journey. I currently live in Harrogate, Tennessee, USA. I have lived in 9 states and 2 countries.

I am the youngest of 3 children and the only daughter. We were raised in a Christian home and sent to Christian schools. We were there every time the church doors opened. I received Christ as my Savior early on but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I really started to gain a deeper understanding. It’s only been within the last 2 years that I have come to understand God’s amazing grace on my spiritual growth journey. Grace was not taught nor practiced in my family. My own mother and father disinherited me 3 times.

In my late thirties, I went through a horrible divorce and I was spiraling out of control. I lived in an area with no family for support, 2 beautiful children to raise, and an ex-husband that would not help in any financial way. At 41, I was at the end of myself. I begged God to be Lord of my life on my spiritual growth journey.

Shortly thereafter, God brought me to my husband, Les. We went through middle school and high school together. He had gone through a horrible marriage too. He was in Germany, I was in North Carolina. God worked in and through us both in healing emotional scars. Jesus Christ has been the center of our relationship. We have been married for 8 years.

We live in a small rural town. It was not our intention to be here. God just brought us here. My husband is a retired military disabled veteran. God knew what Les needed, peace and quiet.
Our area, although it’s in the “Bible Belt” meaning there is a church on nearly every corner, is 85% unchurched or have left the church. The church we are attending is reaching out to the 85%. It is only 3 years into the ministry. We are growing. My pastor asked if I would lead a women’s Bible study. In the past, I would have said no. Les and I were starting to study Jonah prior to his asking, so I did not say no. I spent days in prayer. I kept coming back to the excuse of not being equipped.

Then, God brought me to Christian Leaders Institute. As I poured over the website, I thought I would love to go through the entrepreneur track. Still, more prayer and God said you will do women’s ministry track. I started the getting started class. Now I am hungry for more. So much prayer has been poured into “God show me where you want me”. I had thought about going back to school, but there is no Bible Seminary and I am my husband’s caregiver. He has so many doctors appointments and the VA hospital is a 2-hour drive. Attending a school would not be possible.

My pastor has agreed to be one of my mentors. He is very excited about this. We talked about ordination which he also thinks is great. He is encouraging me to get a Chaplain certificate as that would open even more doors of opportunity. I am so excited, it is as if scales have fallen from my eyes on this spiritual growth journey. I’m seeing the possibilities for where God can use me. All of this because of God’s amazing grace!! Thank you, CLI, for making this possible!

Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Revival Hope

I am Doug Berryhill. I have the privilege to tell you about God’s incredible role in healing me from my past and giving me revival hope.

My life was great in the beginning. But things soon started downhill: my mother had depression problems. She depended on sleeping pills for help. When the depression became overwhelming she committed suicide. It was a month before my sixth birthday. I was crushed. I was alone. I saw myself as a victim – a pawn in some awful experiment. I withdrew and became a loner – I was socially clumsy and not popular at all. I was the kid that everyone else made fun of. By the 4th grade or so, I would have been voted The Most Likely To Fail.

But my Dad was a major presence in my life. He was my link to the reality of love, caring and belonging. I did poorly in school and I wasn’t much of an athlete, but my Dad loved me. We spent a lot of time together, my Dad and I. It was because he loved me.

But in my mid-teens, my Dad began to change. Over time, he became convinced that he needed to raise some money. So he purchased a life insurance policy on my life with himself as the beneficiary and made some calculations. The back of that policy still has the handwriting that is my Dad’s. It has the words: “If he does not die before about” … and something about 2 days … and a place where he calculated how much he could get from the policy and for my car if I was no longer around. Then he called me into the house, explained that he needed to raise some money and that to do so, he was going to have me killed.

My last, best hope was gone. Abandoned again. Deep, deep pain again. Alone AGAIN.

But my God was watching out for me! While I was in college, I met someone at the Wesley Foundation who I could hold onto. I met a wonderful young lady named Shirley. We’ve been married for 48 years.

Yet, there was still a great emptiness inside me. My mother abandoned me by destroying herself; my Dad abandoned me by trying to destroy me. Was there nothing or no one that I could trust completely? Was there no one that I could belong to that was absolutely secure and that couldn’t be wiped out by death, suicide or a change in perspective?

The great undercurrent of my life has been focused on answering a complex three-part question:
• who can I trust absolutely?
• who won’t abandon me?
• who will heal my memories?

Some 25 years ago, I participated in a psychological examination that is renowned for its accuracy and thoroughness. It said that I had deep, deep wounds and that I was greatly at risk in 2 or 3 significant categories. Psychologically I was in very serious trouble. You know what they can’t figure out? They can’t explain why I’m not in jail or a psychiatric ward somewhere… or worse. They can’t explain it because the survey doesn’t take into account the healing and rebuilding power of our great God who gives me revival hope!

You know, the great thing is that God didn’t have to do a lot with me – just convince me of the Truth, that’s all. I can’t explain how God did it. But the conduit for that healing was the Bible and learning about His character and plan which brought me revival hope in Him.

In studying the Bible over the years, I learned:
• it’s His great desire that I belong to Him.
• He’s in the business of calling the people of His creation into His eternal family.
• that as much as I want to belong to Him, He wants me even more.
• that in Jesus Christ He provided everything I need – the perfect way of Belonging.

Being a part of God’s eternal family has replaced my aloneness with an incredible sense of Belonging and revival hope. So I am at peace… I’ve been made whole and I’m not afraid anymore! I am filled with joy! It’s because I have a Home and because I belong to the eternal God of all Creation. Nothing can take that away from me, after all, my Daddy, my Abba Father, loves me!

Now I have this opportunity to study and learn more about our great God at Christian Leaders Institute. I am happy to continue to grow in Him and follow where He leads me in revival hope!

Learn about minister ordinations with Christian Leaders Alliance

Ministry Dreams

Read about the ministry dreams of Shawn O’Donnell and his wife. After a miraculous healing, they feel God calling them to minister.

My name is Shawn O’Donnell, and my wife and I have ministry dreams of service for the Lord. My spiritual journey has had its ups and downs like many others. I grew up mainly in Southern California. But after my parents moved to Maryland, they divorced when I was 14. I struggled with drugs, and when I was 17, I moved to Colorado to restart my life and to change some things I wanted to do differently. Unfortunately, I fell into the same routines. I struggled with alcohol and searching for women to fill my void, but it could not be filled by that.

At the age of 33, I found myself back in Southern California but wanted restoration for me and my family I ran away from. I moved back and met my wife. Now we have a daughter who is three years old. In December of 2016, my wife was diagnosed with Cancer (Stage 3) and had a very strong chemotherapy regimen. Through God’s grace, He restored her and healed her of cancer. The doctors were dumbfounded. When they removed her tumor, they found no cancer in it whatsoever. The cure for us was trust.

After that, we felt God calling us to ministry. I feel called to minister to broken men, and my wife feels called to minister to abuse victims of sex trafficking. We found Christian Leaders Institute when searching for free online ministry training to respond to our ministry dreams. We are eager to see where this training will take us and to see where God leads us to serve in His kingdom. Stay tuned for what God does next!

Learn about ordained minister study programs and local ecuministry ordinations with Christian Leaders Alliance.