Free Ministry Training at CLI in Lockdown
Greetings from Seattle, Washington. My name is Mark Donaldson, and I’m getting free ministry training in the lockdown at CLI. I grew up surrounded by the majestic mountains of the great northwest part of the United States. It’s a gorgeous place to live that desperately needs Jesus.
As a 1989 graduate of Azusa Pacific University, and someone who has walked with Jesus since 7th grade, I always knew God had a calling on my life. I survived too much self-destructive behavior not to know this.
Encounters With God
My first real encounter with God was as a child running down the hallway one night when suddenly, out of nowhere, a bright light appeared before me in the darkness of the stairwell. I was so scared I froze, even rubbing my eyes to double-check. Somehow, I began to sense it was something peaceful that had come to visit me. Still frozen at the moment, I just stared and watched when suddenly, it disappeared as fast as it had appeared.
That encounter changed me, and I began a curious journey toward God. Several divine appointments crossed my path, revealing different aspects of Christianity. A few years later, I finally made the connection. I became a Christian when my new neighbors shared the salvation of Jesus on the basketball court between our houses! Standing there with the Peace of God surrounding me, I knew in my heart, an angel of the Lord had visited me that one night, drawing me to Jesus!
As the youngest of three brothers who always flew by the seat of his pants, I often got myself into precarious situations growing up. A daredevil, full of adrenaline, I was the extreme before there were extreme sports. I wrecked, crashed, and smashed my way through childhood. I was the one who usually took the risk before really thinking about the consequences. Somewhere along the way, my lifestyle caught up to me, and I knew something was wrong with my neck. Was it the 30-foot tree I fell out of as a small boy? Who knows.
As an independent contractor skilled in all phases of construction management, I have served in several church ministries through the years. I sang in a youth outreach choir traveling the United States, led church youth groups, been involved in different community outreach programs, and most notably participating in Plumb Line, a ministry birthed out of YWAM. This three-day intensive program was designed for small groups of 20 people from a congregation. They get exposed to the building blocks of God’s designed purposes for living in pure truth and pure love. They also get exposed to the consequences when they swing out of that plumb line either towards rejection or rebellion. This teaching led to time for ministry, where each person individually revealed anything the Lord brought up to be prayed over in their life.
Now, two surgeries later and a steel plate and wires holding my neck together, I’ve had a life check; a moment when my eyes opened to what really matters. In Matthew 22: 37-39, Jesus replied: “‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” I’ve always loved God and loved those he has surrounded me with, but not like that. This condition rocked my worldview and took me to a deeper level of faith, hope, and trust in Him. Zachariah 4:6 (NIV) says, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit; says the LORD Almighty.”
Study at CLI
Being at a crossroads, I sense a renewed call and a renewed desire to train for what’s next. I found free ministry training at CLI in the lockdown. I hope to dive in deep to the Christian Leaders Institute, pursuing ministry in a whole new light. Gifted in love, encouragement, faith, craftsmanship, and joy, I hope to bring a deep passion to my ministry call. All the while, blessing people into a marriage covenant, speaking life, and wisdom while ushering in the Holy Spirit for an empowered life together.