Here you can stay connected and read about new testimonies from CLI students from all over the world!
I am Sitanun Chatjirarut from Thailand, and I am excited about the free ministry training opportunity at CLI. Born to a Christian family, I was a stubborn kid. I never wanted to do what my parents told me to do. I believed that I had my way, my own life, and also my faith. God is my parent’s faith, not mine. However, I can’t go against my parents in everything, so I had to go to church every Sunday since I was young with a closed heart. I never read the Bible or listened to the sermon. But, I don’t know why sometimes I felt that God exists and he is with me and takes care of me.
When I wanted something, deep down, my heart told me to pray and ask God. So, I always prayed to God. Same as with everyone’s prayers, sometimes God said yes, sometimes nope, sometimes wait. I never realized his other answers, only yes. Many times, I blamed Him and lost my hope in Him over and over again because I didn’t understand.
One day at school, it was Buddhism Camping, and everyone needed to be involved. I was part of it, and somehow, I was touched by the monk’s teachings. I decided to turn myself to Buddhism and studied about Buddha’s teachings since I wanted to be a monk at that time. My mom was angry and stopped me on time.
Bad things kept going on in my life. I realized that Buddhism was not what I wanted and couldn’t fulfill my heart. I was still empty and broken as always. However, I didn’t open my heart to Jesus straight away. I just started going to church again, even though my life was up and down.
I got bullied at the schools and university. I got beaten up and cheated on by my boyfriends. My last year at the university, my Grandfather passed away one month before I finished. A year later, my father passed away the day after I started the first job in my life. So, I missed my last chance to talk to him four hours before he passed away. Then, a year later, my grandmother passed away too.
I was exhausted with my life, and I wanted to give up many times. Eventually, I had a depression disorder and needed to go to a doctor every month. I asked God, “If you exist, why me? Why did all of this happen to me? Did you abandon me like this? Why leave me slowly dying?”
Shortly after, I got to work with my friend. Her parent was a Korean missionary in my city when we were young. When we grew up, we worked together as Korean-Thai translators. So one day, we received some work from an English ministry in Korea to translate the sermon to Thai every week for a whole year! That was the first time I could focus on God’s word. I realized that God was speaking to me in every single word I translated. He was calling me to the mission at the same time. My heart was opened wide to accept Jesus into my life.
From that time, my life started changing a tiny bit every day. But my faith still was not stable, and I still lacked understanding of the Christian life. Therefore, my faith was still up and down because I didn’t surrender my life to Jesus.
Also, my depression was still going on. So, one day, everything became too much to handle for me anymore. I decided to commit suicide by taking pills. My mom found me and sent me to the hospital. I woke up in the ICU with all kinds of tubes in my nose, in my stomach, and my arms. It was too painful to breathe. I would rather die than handle this painfulness. The two nights in ICU was long-lasting. But, I felt God at that time and knew that he saved my life.
So from that, I was born again in Christ and gave up my life to him. Because I was dead and God gave me life again; it’s not my life anymore. I decided to live for him and to go out for a mission after that.
Almost a year later, I joined a ship’s ministry with OM International. I served on board Logos Hope for a year. I traveled with LH through 13 countries. I’ve been learning and growing so much in my relationship with God and also learning more about myself. I finished my commitment to the ship’s ministry after eight months.
I’m still seeking God’s direction in my life. I want to continue on the mission to help people in need. I want to share the love of God to unreachable humanity, especially to children in the Middle East area. The free ministry training opportunity at Christian Leaders Institute will help me to grow in Him and discover where God wants me.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.
I am Rev. J. Patrick Bowman from the U.S.A. My calling in the Body of Christ has grown into that of an apostolic teacher in itinerant ministry. Over the past ten years, my wife, Janice, and I have been involved in planting a number of ministries within and outside the church. This included a college/career ministry, a mobile prayer chapel, a home church, as well as me writing several books. We have ministered in both mainline denominational churches and Pentecostal/charismatic churches as well as para-church groups. My wife spends a lot of her time counseling women in ministry and interceding for the church and world.
Currently, we are waiting on the Lord for further direction. He is refining our vision for an itinerant ministry. We have gone through an intense year of spiritual warfare and are taking some time to regroup. We want to prepare for whatever God has for us in the years to come. We are spending time praying for the vision and exercising faith in what we need to do on our end to see it happen.
The greatest ministry challenge I currently face is developing ways to repackage a fairly conservative message of personal holiness for a generation that seems increasingly feelings based rather than Word based. Although my wife and I are charismatic, we reject the “charismaniac” within the Charismatic Movement. We also reject the legalism inherent within much of the holiness teaching. This leaves us in a position where we are too much for some groups and not enough for others. So our niche seems to be getting smaller as time goes on.
I am 65 this year and my wife is 61. We sometimes wonder if it’s too late for “Late Harvest Ministries.” But then we remember Abraham and Sarah and the doubts they had before their promised child came along. Our goal is not to birth an Ishmael while waiting for our Isaac. God help us.
This class at Christian Leaders Institute came at a God-ordained time for me. It gave me the motivation and skills to be able to craft a personal values statement and vision statement for our ministry. I was surprised that of the nine items in my personal values statement, the ministry came in last in the ranking. That is a real change in my thinking and shows me that I am maturing in the Lord. Without the foundational values I placed before it, the ministry would not be possible in an engaging way. The class helped me in clarifying and expressing my values in a more balanced way.
We believe God is calling us to develop an apostolic, prophetic, itinerant ministry. It will encourage, challenge, and direct groups of believers toward a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ and His working in their lives.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.
My name is Angela Thompson, but most people call me Angie. I am excited about the free ministry training at CLI. It will equip me for my servant ministry calling. I was born, raised, and still live in a small town in Northwest, Florida called Milton. In our entire county, there are close to 175K people and 71 churches. Since there are no mega churches in our area, it’s unfortunate to acknowledge that we have many unchurched citizens.
Church leaders in our area are generally well-respected, and some are very outspoken on political issues. We see significant involvement at the high schools, where bi-vocational youth pastors are working as football coaches and serving on staff as paraprofessionals. My Christian journey started with an active youth leader, so I am well aware of their value.
My youth pastor was the one who introduced me to Jesus and Christianity. His name is Rev. Richard Crisco from Milton First Assembly of God. When I aged out of the youth program, “Bro. Richard” had also left. He continued his ministry at the acclaimed Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola best known for the Brownsville Revival that lasted five years. Under Bro. Richard, I learned the importance of servant ministry, church loyalty, true faith in God, and being a Christian example through action. He is now the Senior Pastor at a church in Rochester, Michigan. I am still connected to him and his ministry via a YouTube channel and Facebook Live. God’s Word propagated through technology is fascinating to me.
Brother Richard took our youth group to Camp Grace just a few weeks after I turned 14. During that retreat, I gave my heart to God. I knew right then I was changed. I was on fire for God and even joined a study group at the church called Youth on Fire for Christ. Getting enough Biblical knowledge into my mind was essential to me. I was hungry for His Word. There were obstacles, though. At 16, my family was struggling financially. Therefore, my little part-time job expanded to five days a week even though I was still in school and band. My availability to attend classes became less and less until finally, I was too far behind to catch up. I stopped attending the group and had to rely on my studies.
In 1990, I graduated from high school and met an older man. He was an evangelist, who I quickly fell for. I had always wanted to be in service for God, and I felt that being his wife would fulfill that role. I was naïve in believing this surreal new opportunity was God’s chosen direction for me. It wasn’t until after we married that I discovered he was fraudulent in his profession of faith. The ministry I thought was sincere was more of a performance for him.
Our relationship was tumultuous at best and escalated to physical abuse by the third year. I didn’t believe in divorce, so I tried to make things better. Staying in that situation for a total of seven years, I struggled. I questioned why God allowed me to sit in reverence to Jesus at church and then be dragged by my hair through our home that night. We had two daughters, and I thought that they would need to be from a Christian home, so I stayed.
Finally, after a very violent night, I heard a preacher on my car radio say that God did not call us to be abusers, and God did not call us to be abused. I was weeping and driving to my parents’ house when I heard this radio preacher on the phone with a caller. Her story was not very different from mine. When he told her that because they were unequally yoked, her husband might never stop abusing her, I felt free.
I chose to leave my husband that day, and I have always felt guilty. The guilt is not for the divorce, but rather for choosing my husband on my understanding, rather than praying and receiving God’s counsel. I chose poorly, and the consequences were devastating for my children.
That guilt led to bondage that prevented me from serving God. I thought I had messed everything up, and I was angry at God for not protecting me. I quit church, didn’t raise my children with Christian values, and quit God. However, and that is the absolute biggest “however” in my lifetime… God didn’t quit or leave me. He chased me down and reminded me of His love. This part of the story is too sweet to miss.
A couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day when I was 12 years old, Bro. Richard came to me and asked if I would go to the Valentine’s Banquet at our church with a boy from our youth group. I didn’t know the boy, and didn’t want to, but decided to anyway. That day, in the sanctuary of our church, I met Donald Thompson, who technically would take me on my very first “date.” That was in 1984.
Fast forward 30 years! In January of 2014, Donald sent me a friend request on Facebook. We met up again in February, and on March 23rd of that same year, we started dating. We were married three and a half years later in that church and in the same room where we were introduced. It’s the fellowship hall now, but the sentiment was too great not to do it that way.
In preparation for our wedding, Donald and I agreed that we should start attending church again. It seemed only right that we should regularly attend for a while if we were going to use the church for our wedding. Looking back, we can see God’s hand in every aspect of this time. We went to church regularly. We got married in September of 2017 and continued attending church, feeling a pull on our lives. Finally, during the summer of 2018, we both decided that we wanted to give God everything. In doing that, we would always be equally yoked and protected by God’s grace. We wanted to serve Him but did not know how.
We needed to get plugged in, so we attended a pastor-led Growth Track series in a small group setting. It helped us find our place. We were back in tune with God, loving Jesus, and changing our lives. On December 2, 2018, just as worship was ending, the pastor started talking. I audibly heard God say to me, “I am going to use you. Start preparing yourself.” I wept.
I spent the next couple of weeks trying to figure out how to prepare myself. I asked Donald for a new Bible for Christmas. As soon as I tore the wrapping paper from it on Christmas morning, I started reading and found great peace with this decision. I needed to immerse myself in His Word. Then, one day, I was looking up something on my phone’s Bible App. I switched over to Facebook. I saw an ad for Christian Leaders Institute and decided to investigate further.
Like many, we work 40+ hours a week and live paycheck to paycheck. So, there was no extra money for tuition. The scholarship class allowed me the opportunity to check out CLI more intentionally. I was excited to learn that my beliefs correlated with the teachings. The depth of servant ministry training I was getting was impressive. I have decided to continue through to Ordination. Then, I will be able to help others understand God, get to know Jesus and be blessed as I have been.
My spiritual dream is to use all of my business knowledge to run a servant ministry that will meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the women in my community. This scripture replays in my head almost every day, “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 – KJV). CLI is a critical piece of making that happen. Nobody should follow someone without training, regardless of their passion.
My husband shares my love and passion for service to God, and we desire to help grow His kingdom. We look forward to whatever God has in store for us, and we are prayerful for His revealing that path soon.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.