Here you can stay connected and read about new testimonies from CLI students from all over the world!
My name is Christine Johnson, and I am receiving further minister education at CLI. I was born on the beautiful island of Nassau, Bahamas. We here in the Bahamas say this is where God resides. I am the first of nine children born to my parents, Mr. Fredrick and Elder Cora Mcphee. At the tender age of thirteen, I committed my life to Christ at a revival service at our local assembly. Growing up in a Christian home played a pivotal role in my decision, as family devotions and scripture readings were routine.
As a teenager and a new convert, for a time, I became distracted. However, while attending a youth choir rehearsal, the closing song was, Set Me on Fire (once more so the world can watch me burn for you). I knew God had a calling on my life. I recommitted my life to the Lord right then and there. Was the journey always easy? No, it was not. It was through building a disciplined life of prayer and reading God’s word that helped me to mature in the things of God.
Since birth, I have worshipped in the same Baptist church. Therefore, I have had the joy and privilege to have served in each arm of the ministry. I married, and now along with my husband and children, we are at the same church. It will celebrate its 71st Anniversary this year.
I have always had a passion for working with young people and in the Youth Ministry. Sometimes, I wonder if this is because of my time of distraction as a new convert and a teenager. There is a saying, “Experience is the best teacher.” I want to assist as many young people as I can to stay focused on their Christian journey. With what I experienced on the new convert journey, I know it is but for the grace of God that I am walking with Him. The word of God states in Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you.” To this date, I serve as the Church’s Youth Minister.
My Senior Pastor saw God’s hand on my life, so I was ordained to the ministry as an Evangelist on July 27, 1997. Therefore, I have had the pleasure of traveling extensively throughout the family of Islands. I preach the gospel to fulfill the commission of Jesus Christ. There was an even higher calling upon my life. Therefore, I was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in July 2004 and as a Reverend in July 2016.
One day, I dream of becoming a Senior Pastor and shepherd for the people of God. To this end, I continually rely on my favorite Scripture Psalm 37: 23-24, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way, though he falls he would not utterly be cast down for the Lord upholds him in His righteous right hand.”
My academic journey began at the Naomi Blatch Primary School and further molding at S.C. Mcpherson Junior High, A.F. Adderley Senior High, Atlantic College (Nassau, Bahamas), and Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) respectively. I am a graduate of the Bahamas Baptist Bible Institute and Seminary. Also, I graduated from the School of Ministry of the Mt. Pleasant Greene Baptist Church with a certificate in Spiritual Warfare. Both are located in Nassau, Bahamas.
During the lockdown because of COVID 19, I felt in my heart God is doing something new. I sense there is going to be a great revival during and after this time of crisis. So I thought to use my lockdown time wisely by enrolling in some classes that will prepare me with further minister education. I thank you, Christian Leaders Institute (CLI), for your labor of love to provide free online ministry training. Many people have been laid off or lost their jobs during this time of COVID 19, but you have made the classes available online and affordable. May God forever bless and provide for your institution.
The training received thus far from CLI brought me new insight into some protocols in ministry. My husband, who is also an ordained minister, is my mentor while I study at CLI. Therefore, we can share my lessons learned. The journey thus far at CLI has been life-transforming.
I would like to especially thank Professor Henry Reyenga for covering me in prayer at the end of many of the videos. May God’s blessings forever rest upon him.
Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ! My name is Brian Navarro, and here is my story of learning to walk with God. I grew up in a small city in Fostoria, Ohio. I’m a single father of four beautiful children and a grandfather of two beautiful granddaughters. I’m retired military and currently work as a Public Safety Officer for a university. I have a passion for serving and protecting people. My only college experience was back in 2011 when I enrolled at Liberty University. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to study very long due to my deployment to Afghanistan.
The first church I can remember being a member of is Higher Ground Ministries, where I grew up. I also attended the school of ministry there in 2001. However, that was also cut short due to my deployment for the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy. I always felt that the closer I got to God, the more Satan would try and attack me and pull me away from ministry.
Currently, I live an hour away from where I grew up. Being a Christian leader here has its challenges. There are a lot of people that question religion, God, and anything to do with the Bible. People are so caught up in their own lives that they barely have time for God. Life is so fast-paced, and people are always in a hurry to get to where they are going.
I thank God that I don’t have to worry about being a Christian or proclaiming the Gospel. In other parts of the world, it’s not like that. I have been to those parts of the world and seen how different it is. It makes me really appreciate life and what I have here in the USA. I humbly pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ that have to hide their faith and relationship with God.
I grew up as a Christian and can remember my mom taking my siblings and me to church a lot. Most churches we attended were denominational. My grandmother has been a member of the Assembly of God Church as far back as I can remember. I also remember going to that church. I always enjoyed going to Sunday School, learning about God, singing songs, and reading about the stories from the Old Testament. My favorite was about Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:22). I also remember how hard it was to understand a lot of the Bible. I’ll never forget my mom telling us about God and how we should live our lives. One of my mom’s favorite sayings was, “You get what you say, so you better watch what you say.”
My parents divorced when I was two, believe it or not; I still remember parts of it. I remember my dad going out to our city pool, and the police were called. He ended up fighting them and going to jail. I’m 44 now and can still remember it. Overall, I had a pretty normal childhood, even though we were lower income. My mom always made it work for us. We didn’t have much and didn’t go to many places that most families go. I can’t remember a single vacation that we went on as a family. However, we had our faith in God, and that was all we needed.
My mom is the reason I came to know the Lord. Our upbringing and her faith in God kept us all in the reach of God. I’ve had my struggles and my ins and outs of ministry over the years. However, God never gave up on me. He was always there when I needed Him.
There were times over the years as an adult that I felt like I was lost. Especially when the devil would attack me and pull me in every direction, but towards God, I can’t thank my family and friends enough for praying for me over the years. Prayer is powerful and works. It’s all in God’s timing, and that was something I had to learn. We have to learn to be patient and believe in God’s perfect timing.
My spiritual dream is to get as many of God’s people to the Kingdom of Heaven as possible. To pray, rebuke, and bind the devil in everything I do. I had a rough life as an adult and went through many trials and tribulations. I’ve had a lot of spiritual dreams, some amazing and some not. I truly felt God was showing me both sides of it so I could prepare myself for what was going to happen in the future. For some reason, I’ve had a lot of Spiritual Warfare in my life. It seems to be one of my strong points now. I love praying, stepping out in faith, and kicking the devil any chance I get. Satan is a liar and a deceiver.
I faced many obstacles in my walk with God during my almost 21 years in the army. As a single father to my oldest daughter during most of my deployments, it was one of the hardest things to leave her behind. She was three years old the first time I had to leave her. It tore me up inside, and it took a very long time to heal from that. I asked God why He would take me away from her.
However, something happened during that time that I didn’t expect. I grew closer to God as I entrusted my daughter and myself to His hands. I asked Him to lead me in whatever direction I was to go. One day, I read my Bible during my shift at a battle point in a two-person booth we sat in to watch our area. My battle buddy and I took turns watching our area. During this particular time, my battle buddy took a picture of me reading my Bible. To my surprise, when I got the film developed, an image of a fish appeared on my pant leg. I had no clue how it got there or what it meant. My mom said that it means I’m a fisher of men (Matt 4:19).
I have that picture as a remembrance of when God became real to me during that time and year. That year (2001), I gave my life to God and received baptism. It was also the first time I had to leave my daughter. My oldest brother Frank always talked to me about God. Frank and I would go fishing a lot together. He always spoke to me about God during those times. He is my mentor and part of the reason I came to God.
I hope and pray that during my time here at the Christian Leaders Institute, I can grow with God every day. I want to learn as much about God as I possibly can. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). I hope to preach the word of God to anyone that is lost or needs to hear. With the training at CLI, I hope to be able to answer questions that people ask me about God without hesitation or lack of knowledge. God guides and directs me in everything I do, not only in life but here at CLI.
CLI is a blessing to so many people around the world. I don’t know anyone else that offers the quality of ministry training that’s here at CLI. There are so many people, including myself, that can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars to attend a Christian college. I was searching the internet for quality ministry training at an affordable price and found both here at Christian Leaders Institute. Please pray for me during this time at CLI and on my walk with God. Thank you!
My name is Mary Warkaske, but everyone calls me Marcy. I am studying to become a Restored Life Minister through the free courses at Christian Leaders Institute. I live in North Prairie, WI, USA. Currently, I am on leave from my job due to the pandemic. I have been working in a law office for the past ten years. My bachelor’s degree is in English from U.W.-Milwaukee.
I can’t remember a time that I didn’t know God or believe that He was there. I received Jesus as my Savior in grade school and tried very hard to follow Him. My family was Catholic, and I even thought of becoming a nun. Unfortunately, when I got to high school, I decided to walk away from God. My home life was very chaotic, and I just wanted to have fun. I was 13 years old. That began an 18-year span of time in which I went my own way.
The story is all too common. I drank, partied, and dated until I met my future husband, Mike. Then we drank and partied together. I managed to get through college and be reasonably successful at work. We got married and bought a home. But, after many years of trying, I discovered I could not have children. This discovery was a huge turning point for me, as I realized I was not in control.
After a time of wrestling with myself, I was driving to work one morning and feeling very hopeless and empty inside. Looking up, I said to the Lord, “Okay, I give up. I can’t do this on my own. I need You and surrender to You.” My heart felt lighter. When I got to the office, my boss fired me. However, God sent me to a new job shortly after that. On my first day, my new boss invited me to a nondenominational church. My new boss and a coworker mentored and discipled me for the next several years. After that time, Mike and I were able to adopt a little girl.
I have stayed close to the Lord for the last 25 years and currently attend a Pentecostal church. After the heartache of having a family member in jail, my desire is to be trained for prison ministry someday. Having witnessed firsthand the devastation of incarceration on individuals and families, God has filled me with compassion and a desire to help if I can. Restored life ministry is something I never imagined I would want to do. But God, who never wastes anything, has been calling me. I hope to complete the Restored Life Minister courses at CLI and see where He leads me. I’m so grateful to have the time and opportunity!